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  • 1.
    Aho, Nikolas
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Victimization, Prevalence, Health and Peritraumatic Reactions in Swedish Adolescents2016Doctoral 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.  

    List of papers
    1. The Prevalence of Potentially Victimizing Events, Poly-Victimization, and Its Association to Sociodemographic Factors: A Swedish Youth Survey
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Prevalence of Potentially Victimizing Events, Poly-Victimization, and Its Association to Sociodemographic Factors: A Swedish Youth Survey
    2016 (English)In: Journal of Interpersonal Violence, ISSN 0886-2605, E-ISSN 1552-6518, Vol. 31, no 4, p. 620-651Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    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
    Keywords
    JVQ; victim; youth; poly-victimization; sociodemographics
    National Category
    Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-124456 (URN)10.1177/0886260514556105 (DOI)000367838200004 ()25392393 (PubMedID)
    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: 2018-02-21
    2. Victimization, polyvictimization , and health in Swedish adolescents
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Victimization, polyvictimization , and health in Swedish adolescents
    2016 (English)In: Adolescent Health, Medicine and Therapeutics, ISSN 1179-318X, Vol. 7, p. 89-99Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    The main objective of this article was to study the relationship between the different areas of victimization (eg, sexual victimization) and psychological symptoms, taking into account the full range of victimization domains. The final aim was to contribute further evidence regarding the bias that studies that focus on just one area of victimization may be introduced into our psychological knowledge. The sample included 5,960 second-year high school students in Sweden with a mean age of 17.3 years (range =16–20 years, standard deviation =0.652), of which 49.6% were females and 50.4% males. The Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire and the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children were used to assess victimization and psychological problems separately. The results show that a majority of adolescents have been victimized, females reported more total events and more sexual victimization and childhood maltreatment, and males were more often victims of conventional crime. The majority of victimization domains as well as the sheer number of events (polyvictimization [PV]) proved to be harmful to adolescent health, affecting females more than males. PV explained part of the health effect and had an impact on its own and in relation to each domain. This suggests the possibility that PV to a large degree explains trauma symptoms. In order to understand the psychological effects of trauma, clinicians and researchers should take into account the whole range of possible types of victimization.

    Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
    Dovepress, 2016
    Keywords
    victimization, childhood trauma, psychological symptoms, JVQ, TSCC
    National Category
    Clinical Medicine Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Psychiatry Neurosciences
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-132626 (URN)10.2147/AHMT.S109587 (DOI)27616895 (PubMedID)
    Available from: 2016-11-17 Created: 2016-11-17 Last updated: 2018-02-21Bibliographically approved
    3. Posttraumatic stress symptoms and mental health services utilization in adolescents with social anxiety disorder and experiences of victimization
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Posttraumatic stress symptoms and mental health services utilization in adolescents with social anxiety disorder and experiences of victimization
    Show others...
    2013 (English)In: European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, ISSN 1018-8827, E-ISSN 1435-165X, Vol. 22, no 3, p. 177-184Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    Recent findings from studies on adults show similarities between social anxiety disorder (SAD) and posttraumatic stress in the form of recurrent memories and intrusive and distressing images of earlier aversive events. Further, treatment models for SAD in adults have been successfully developed by using transdiagnostic knowledge on posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS). Studies on adolescents are though missing. The present study aimed at exploring the association between PTSS and SAD in Swedish adolescents. A second aim was to study mental health services utilization in relation to these conditions. A total of 5,960 high-school students participated and reported on SAD, life time victimization, PTSS and mental health service utilization. Socially anxious adolescents reported significantly higher levels of PTSS than adolescents not reporting SAD and this difference was seen in victimized as well as non-victimized subjects. Contact with a school counselor was the most common mental health service utilization in subjects with SAD and those with elevated PTSS. In the prediction of contact with a CAP-clinic, significant odds ratios were found for a condition of SAD and elevated PTSS (OR = 4.88, 95 % CI = 3.53–6.73) but not for SAD only. Screening of PTSS in adolescents with SAD is recommended. The service of school counselors is important in detecting and helping young people with SAD and elevated PTSS. Clinical studies on SAD and PTSS in adolescents could aid in modifying treatment models for SAD.

    Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
    Springer, 2013
    Keywords
    Social anxiety disorder, victimization, mental health service utilization, adolescents
    National Category
    Medical and Health Sciences
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-89939 (URN)10.1007/s00787-012-0336-z (DOI)000315736200005 ()
    Available from: 2013-03-11 Created: 2013-03-11 Last updated: 2018-02-21
  • 2.
    Aho, Nikolas
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Gren Landell, Malin
    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).
    Svedin, Carl Göran
    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.
    The Prevalence of Potentially Victimizing Events, Poly-Victimization, and Its Association to Sociodemographic Factors: A Swedish Youth Survey2016In: Journal of Interpersonal Violence, ISSN 0886-2605, E-ISSN 1552-6518, Vol. 31, no 4, p. 620-651Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 3.
    Aho, Nikolas
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Barnafrid. 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.
    Proczkowska Björklund, Marie
    Region Östergötland, Local Health Care Services in Central Östergötland, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Linköping. Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Svedin, Carl Göran
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Barnafrid. 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.
    Peritraumatic reactions in relation to trauma exposure and symptoms of posttraumatic stress in high school students2017In: European Journal of Psychotraumatology, ISSN 2000-8066, E-ISSN 2000-8066, Vol. 8, no 1, article id 1380998Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Exposure to traumatic events is clearly associated with a diversity of subsequent mental health problems, with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as the most prevalent disorder. Epidemiologically, trauma exposure rates are more prevalent than PTSD, indicating that most trauma victims do not develop PTSD. More knowledge is needed to understand the development of the different posttraumatic pathways including the significance of pretraumatic, peritraumatic and posttraumatic risk factors. Objective: To study peritraumatic reactions in relation to trauma exposure and symptoms of posttraumatic stress and to enhance our understanding of peritraumatic reactions as mediators between trauma and later symptomatology. Method: The study was composed of a representative community sample of 5332 second year high school students (mean age 17.3 years) who completed the Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire (SAQ/JVQ), Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children (TSCC) and answered questions about peritraumatic reactions. Mediation effects of peritraumatic reactions on the trauma exposure relationship to symptoms was tested using the PROCESS macro for SPSS. Results: Traumatic events are common (84.1%) and are accompanied in three-quarters of the students with at least one form of peritraumatic reaction. Peritraumatic reactions, especially peritraumatic dissociative reactions, mediate the relationship between trauma exposure and symptoms, and gender moderates the effect of peritraumatic dissociation. This moderating effect was found to be larger for boys than for girls, indicating gender differences in response to trauma. Conclusions: The results indicate the need to screen for peritraumatic reactions as early as possible after a traumatic event in order to identify those at risk for PTSD.

  • 4.
    Aho, Nikolas
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Proczkowska-Björklund, Marie
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Clinical Sciences. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Svedin, Carl Göran
    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.
    Victimization, polyvictimization , and health in Swedish adolescents2016In: Adolescent Health, Medicine and Therapeutics, ISSN 1179-318X, Vol. 7, p. 89-99Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The main objective of this article was to study the relationship between the different areas of victimization (eg, sexual victimization) and psychological symptoms, taking into account the full range of victimization domains. The final aim was to contribute further evidence regarding the bias that studies that focus on just one area of victimization may be introduced into our psychological knowledge. The sample included 5,960 second-year high school students in Sweden with a mean age of 17.3 years (range =16–20 years, standard deviation =0.652), of which 49.6% were females and 50.4% males. The Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire and the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children were used to assess victimization and psychological problems separately. The results show that a majority of adolescents have been victimized, females reported more total events and more sexual victimization and childhood maltreatment, and males were more often victims of conventional crime. The majority of victimization domains as well as the sheer number of events (polyvictimization [PV]) proved to be harmful to adolescent health, affecting females more than males. PV explained part of the health effect and had an impact on its own and in relation to each domain. This suggests the possibility that PV to a large degree explains trauma symptoms. In order to understand the psychological effects of trauma, clinicians and researchers should take into account the whole range of possible types of victimization.

  • 5.
    Comasco, Erika
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Sweden.
    Gustafsson, Per
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Clinical Sciences. 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.
    Sydsjö, Gunilla
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Clinical Sciences. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Center of Paediatrics and Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics in Linköping.
    Agnafors, Sara
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Aho, Nikolas
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Svedin, Carl Göran
    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.
    Psychiatric symptoms in adolescents: FKBP5 genotype-early life adversity interaction effects2015In: European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, ISSN 1018-8827, E-ISSN 1435-165X, Vol. 24, no 12, p. 1473-1483Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Psychiatric disorders are multi-factorial and their symptoms overlap. Constitutional and environmental factors influence each other, and this contributes to risk and resilience in mental ill-health. We investigated functional genetic variation of stress responsiveness, assessed as FKBP5 genotype, in relation to early life adversity and mental health in two samples of adolescents. One population-based sample of 909 12-year-old adolescents was assessed using the Life Incidence of Traumatic Events scale and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. One sample of 398 17-year-old adolescents, enriched for poly-victimized individuals (USSS), was assessed using the Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire and the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children (TSCC). The FKBP5 rs1360780 and rs3800373 polymorphisms were genotyped using a fluorescence-based competitive allele-specific PCR. Most prominently among poly-victimized older male adolescents, the least common alleles of the polymorphisms, in interaction with adverse life events, were associated with psychiatric symptoms, after controlling for ethno-socio-economic factors. The interaction effect between rs3800373 and adverse life events on the TSCC sub-scales-anxiety, depression, anger, and dissociation-and with the rs1360780 on dissociation in the USSS cohort remained significant after Bonferroni correction. This pattern of association is in line with the findings of clinical and neuroimaging studies, and implies interactive effects of FKBP5 polymorphisms and early life environment on several psychiatric symptoms. These correlates add up to provide constructs that are relevant to several psychiatric symptoms, and to identify early predictors of mental ill-health.

  • 6.
    Gren Landell, Malin
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Local Health Care Services in Central Östergötland, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
    Aho, Nikolas
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
    Carlsson, Elisabeth
    Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Jones, Annica
    Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Svedin, Carl Göran
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
    Posttraumatic stress symptoms and mental health services utilization in adolescents with social anxiety disorder and experiences of victimization2013In: European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, ISSN 1018-8827, E-ISSN 1435-165X, Vol. 22, no 3, p. 177-184Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recent findings from studies on adults show similarities between social anxiety disorder (SAD) and posttraumatic stress in the form of recurrent memories and intrusive and distressing images of earlier aversive events. Further, treatment models for SAD in adults have been successfully developed by using transdiagnostic knowledge on posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS). Studies on adolescents are though missing. The present study aimed at exploring the association between PTSS and SAD in Swedish adolescents. A second aim was to study mental health services utilization in relation to these conditions. A total of 5,960 high-school students participated and reported on SAD, life time victimization, PTSS and mental health service utilization. Socially anxious adolescents reported significantly higher levels of PTSS than adolescents not reporting SAD and this difference was seen in victimized as well as non-victimized subjects. Contact with a school counselor was the most common mental health service utilization in subjects with SAD and those with elevated PTSS. In the prediction of contact with a CAP-clinic, significant odds ratios were found for a condition of SAD and elevated PTSS (OR = 4.88, 95 % CI = 3.53–6.73) but not for SAD only. Screening of PTSS in adolescents with SAD is recommended. The service of school counselors is important in detecting and helping young people with SAD and elevated PTSS. Clinical studies on SAD and PTSS in adolescents could aid in modifying treatment models for SAD.

  • 7.
    Gren-Landell, Malin
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
    Aho, Nikolas
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
    Andersson, Gerhard
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Clinical and Social Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Svedin, Carl Göran
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
    Social anxiety disorder and victimization in a community sample of adolescents2011In: Journal of Adolescence, ISSN 0140-1971, E-ISSN 1095-9254, Vol. 34, no 3, p. 569-577Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Despite high prevalence rates of social anxiety disorder (SAD) and high rates of victimization in adolescents, studies on the relationship between these phenomena are missing. In the present study we report associations between SAD and multiple victimization experiences in a community sample of adolescents. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 3211 Swedish high-school students. The prevalence rate of self-reported SAD was 10.6% (n=340). Significantly higher rates of lifetime victimization was found in subjects with self-reported SAD compared to non-cases, on the total score on the Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire, and on the subscales maltreatment, sexual victimization and victimization from peer/siblings. Different results emerged due to gender. In females, maltreatment and sexual victimization was associated with an increased risk of SAD and, in males sexual victimization increased the risk of reporting SAD. Further studies are needed to elaborate developmental models on SAD and to add to modification of prevention- and treatment interventions.

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