Friday, January 29, 2016

The Prevalence of Potentially Victimizing Events, Poly-Victimization, and Its Association to Sociodemographic Factors: A Swedish Youth Survey

Studying the extent to which children are exposed to victimizing events is important to fully understand the effect of such exposure in shaping them as adults. The aim of this study was to use self-report by adolescents to measure the prevalence of victimizing events and of poly-victimization. 

A representative sample of 5,960 students (aged 17) from high schools in Sweden was given the self-administrated version of the Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire (JVQ) along with questions concerning gender, birthplace, parents' birthplace and employment, residence, educational program, and municipality size. 

The results show that 84.1% (83.0% young men and 85.2% young women) of the students had experienced victimization during their lifetime, and 10.3% were categorized as poly-victims (8.1% young men and 12.5% young women). Adolescents living with both parents were at lower risk of any form of victimization for both genders, while females were at higher risk of maltreatment, peer victimization, and, most significantly, sexual victimization. 

In conclusion, the vast majority of young people have been victimized during their lifetime. A greater awareness of the impact of these victimizing events on children and adolescents is important as a basis for providing a safer milieu and establishing better interventions, especially for those that have been victimized on multiple occasions. The high-exposure group was determined by using ≥10 events as a cutoff. Findings on this group corresponded with findings in other international studies regarding distribution, elevated risk for females, and the possibility of limiting the effects of victimization by modifying living conditions.

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  • 1Link√∂ping University, Sweden
  • 2Link√∂ping University, Sweden. 
  •  2016 Feb;31(4):620-51. doi: 10.1177/0886260514556105. Epub 2014 Nov 11.

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