Poly-victimization: A neglected component in child victimization.
Objective: To assess the role of multiple victimization, or what is termed in this article "poly-victimization," in explaining trauma symptomatology. Method: In a nationally representative sample of 2,030 children ages 2-17, assessment was made of the past year's victimization experiences and recent trauma symptoms. Results: Children experiencing four or more different kinds of victimization in a single year (poly-victims) comprised 22% of the sample. Poly-victimization was highly predictive of trauma symptoms, and when taken into account, greatly reduced or eliminated the association between individual victimizations (e.g., sexual abuse) and symptomatology. Poly-victims were also more symptomatic than children with only repeated episodes of the same kind of victimization. Conclusion: Researchers and practitioners need to assess for a broader range of victimizations, and avoid studies and assessments organized around a single form of victimization.
Child Abuse and Neglect
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Finkelhor, D., Ormrod, R.K., Turner, H.A. Poly-victimization: A neglected component in child victimization. (2007) Child Abuse and Neglect, 31 (1), pp. 7-26.
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