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A Latent Class Analysis of Violence Poly-victimization in Youth

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Author list: Gillander Gådin, Katja;Zetterström Dahlqvist, Heléne

Place: Ljubljana

Publication year: 2018


Abstract

Violence among youth is common and has been linked to poor mental health outcomes. There is some evidence that there are groups of youth who are victims of more than one form of violence but more knowledge is needed in terms of patterning of subgroups of multiple violence victimization. Aim: To explore if there are distinct subgroups of youth with particular patterns of violence victimization. Method: Survey data from a Swedish sample (n = 1,569) of youth 14-16 years old were used (females 48.4%). Using a broad definition of violence, respondents indicated if they had experienced physical violence, threat of physical violence, bullying, sexual harassment, cyber bullying, online sexual victimization, and other adverse sexual experience in the past six months as well as lifetime physical violence victimization. Distinct subgroups of youth within the data set with particular patterns of violence victimization were identified using Latent Class Analysis (LCA). Model fit was assessed using the Akaike information criterion (AIC) and the Bayesian information criterion (BIC), with smaller values indicating better model fit. Results: Preliminary results show three distinct subgroups: 1. Sexualized violence off- and online (girls 66.6%), 2. Bullying only (girls 47.5%) and 3. Multi-victimization including threat of physical violence, violence in the past six months and lifetime, sexual harassment on- and offline, bullying on- and offline as well as other adverse sexual experience (girls 47.6%). Conclusions: Three distinct subgroups of violence victimization in a sample of 14-16 year old youth was evident in the data. There was a greater representation of girls in the sexualized violence sub-group. Further research as well as preventive programs should acknowledge that many young people are victims of several types of violence. Future research should also investigate the implications of multi-victimization on mental health outcomes.


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