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The Prevalence of Potentially Victimizing Events, Poly-Victimization, and Its Association to Sociodemographic Factors: A Swedish Youth Survey
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Center of Paediatrics and Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Department of Paediatrics in Linköping. Linköping University, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience (CSAN).
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Local Health Care Services in Central Östergötland, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Linköping.
2016 (English)In: Journal of Interpersonal Violence, ISSN 0886-2605, E-ISSN 1552-6518, Vol. 31, no 4, 620-651 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
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Abstract [en]

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; OR = 1.62, 95% confidence interval [CI] = [1.35, 1.94]). 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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC , 2016. Vol. 31, no 4, 620-651 p.
Keyword [en]
JVQ; victim; youth; poly-victimization; sociodemographics
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-124456DOI: 10.1177/0886260514556105ISI: 000367838200004PubMedID: 25392393OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-124456DiVA: diva2:899853
Note

Funding Agencies|Crime Victim Compensation and Support Authority in Sweden; Medical Research Council of Southeast Sweden

Available from: 2016-02-02 Created: 2016-02-01 Last updated: 2016-11-17
In thesis
1. Victimization, Prevalence, Health and Peritraumatic Reactions in Swedish Adolescents
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Victimization, Prevalence, Health and Peritraumatic Reactions in Swedish Adolescents
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis was to expand the knowledge of victimization in children and youth in Sweden. Victimization, prevalence, health and peritraumatic reactions were explored in a cross sectional, representative sample of 5,960 second grade high school students in Sweden. A computerized survey was developed and administered in class room setting.

Lifetime victimization was found in 84.1% of the sample (m=83.0%, f=85.2%), and, in relation to the five domains, 66.4% had experienced conventional crime, 24% child maltreatment, 54.4% peer and sibling victimization, 21.8% sexual victimization, and 54% had experienced witness victimization. Females experienced significantly more child maltreatment, peer and sibling victimization, sexual victimization, and witnessed victimization, males more conventional crime (p<0.001). Using logistic regression risk factors for victimization were confirmed by a significant increase OR regarding gender, environment and lack of both parents.

Symptoms (TSCC), were clearly associated with both victimizations per se and the number of victimizations. The results indicated a relatively linear increase in symptoms with an increase in number of events experienced. Mental health of the polyvictimized group was significantly worse than that of the non-polyvictimized group, with significantly elevated TSCC scores (t<0.001). Hierarchical regression analysis resulted in beta value reduction when polyvictimization was introduced supporting the independent effect on symptoms. Social anxiety was found in 10.2 % (n = 605) of the total group (n = 5,960). A significant gender difference emerged, with more females than males reporting social anxiety. Elevated PTSS was found in 14.8 % (n=883). Binary logistic regression revealed the highest OR for having had contact with child and adolescent psychiatry was found for the combined group with social anxiety and elevated PTSS (OR = 4.88, 95 % CI = 3.53–6.73, p<001). Significant associations were also found between use of child and adolescent psychiatry and female gender (OR = 2.05, 95 % CI = 1.70–2.45), Swedish birth origin (OR = 1.68, 95 % CI = 1.16–2.42) and living in a small municipality (OR = 1.33, 95 % CI = 1.02–1.73).

Mediation models used peritraumatic reactions (PT): total, physiological arousal (PA), peritraumatic dissociation (PD), and intervention thoughts (IT) and JVQ and TSCC. Of the n=5,332 cases, a total of n=4,483 (84.1%) reported at least one victimizing event (m = 83.0%, f = 85.2%). Of these, 74.9% (n=3,360) also experienced a PT reaction of some kind. The effect mediated by PT tot was b= 0.479, BCa CI [0.342 – 0.640], representing a relatively small effect of 7.6%, κ2=0.076, 95% BCa CI [0.054- 0.101]. The mediating effect of JVQ on TSCC was mediated by PD more for males (b=0.394 BCa CI [0.170-0.636]) than for females (b=0.247, BCa CI [0.021-0.469]). The indirect effect of the JVQ on the TSCC tot mediated by the different PT reactions was significant for PD (b=0.355, BCa CI [0.199- 0.523]. In males a mediating effect of PD could be seen in the different models, while females had a more mixed result. IT did not show any indirect effect in males, but had a mixed effect for females.

The empirical findings in this thesis lead to the conclusion that victimization is highly prevalent in children and youth and is related to health issues. The association of victimization on symptoms was mediated by peritraumatic reactions. Using a comprehensive instrument such as the JVQ provides the researcher or clinician the opportunity to acquire more complete measurement and also makes it possible to identify polyvictimization, a high-level category of events with severe impact on health.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2016. 130 p.
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 1538
Keyword
Keywords: victimization, JVQ, TSCC, trauma, mediation.
National Category
Clinical Medicine Psychiatry Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-132629 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-132629 (DOI)9789176856871 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-12-08, Berzeliussalen, Campus Valla, Linköping, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-11-17 Created: 2016-11-17 Last updated: 2017-05-02Bibliographically approved

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Aho, NikolasGren Landell, MalinSvedin, Carl Göran
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Division of Neuro and Inflammation ScienceFaculty of Medicine and Health SciencesDepartment of Paediatrics in LinköpingCenter for Social and Affective Neuroscience (CSAN)Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Linköping
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