Developmental Stage of Onset, Poly-Victimization, and Persistence of Childhood Victimization: Impact on Adult Well-Being in a Rural Community–Based Study

Kimberly J. Mitchell, Elizabeth A. Moschella, Sherry Hamby, Victoria Banyard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

The current study examines the persistence of victimization and poly-victimization (i.e., count of multiple types of victimization) across various stages of development (ages 0–5, 6–12, and 13–18) and the related impact on adult well-being. Participants were 2,098 adults from the Appalachian region of three Southern states. Eighty-two percent of participants reported at least one type of victimization during childhood. Among adult victims, 22.6% reported one victimization in one developmental stage (i.e., one stage, but no poly-victimization), 45.8% reported one victimization in more than one stage (i.e., persistent victimization, but no poly-victimization), 20.5% reported multiple types of victimization in one stage (i.e., poly-victimization), and 11.2% reported multiple types of victimization at more than one stage (i.e., persistent poly-victimization). Results indicated a linear decline in subjective well-being, mental health, and number of healthy days as victimization becomes more persistent across childhood and more diverse in types (i.e., poly-victimization). Study findings provide support for models of victimization that take both developmental trajectories and poly-victimization into account.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-31
Number of pages12
JournalChild Maltreatment
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Keywords

  • child abuse
  • child victims
  • exposure to violence
  • long-term effects
  • poly-victimiation
  • psychosocial issues
  • repeat victimization

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