Poly-victimization of Bullying, Sexual Harassment and Violence in Youth - A Latent Class Analysis

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Publication Details
Author list: Dahlqvist, Heléne;Gillander Gådin, Katja
Publication year: 2019


Introduction: Violence in a broad sense among youth is common and there is some evidence that there are groups of youth who are victims of more than one form of violence. More knowledge is needed in terms of patterning of subgroups of poly-victimization. The aim was 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 14-16-year-olds were used (females 48.4%). Measures were physical violence, threat of physical violence, bullying, sexual harassment, and cyber bullying and harassment in the past six months as well as lifetime physical violence. Latent Class Analysis (LCA) was used to identify subgroups of youth with particular violence victimization patterns. Model fit assessment was based on model parsimony, theoretical justification and fit indices criteria (the Akaike information criterion and the Bayesian information criterion).

Result: A three-latent-class model was selected: 1. Poly-victims with high probabilities of being victimized by a multitude of different types of violence (girls 47.6%). 2. Overall low probabilities of violence victimization (girls 47.5%). 3. High probabilities of victimization of sexual harassment off- and online as well as bullying online (girls 65.6%).

Discussion: Three distinct subgroups of violence victimization in youth was evident in the data. There was a greater representation of girls in the purely sexualized violence sub-group. Further research and preventive programs should acknowledge that young people who are victims of one type of violence are likely also to be victims of other types of violence.

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