Topic: Violence and abuse

The Social Context of Violence: A Study of Repeated Victimization in Adolescents and Young Adults

Strøm, I. F., Hjemdal, O. K., Myhre, M. C., Wentzel-Larsen, T., & Thoresen, S. (2017). The Social Context of Violence: A Study of Repeated Victimization in Adolescents and Young Adults. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. doi:10.1177/0886260517696867

This article investigates individual and contextual factors associated with childhood abuse and revictimization.

Multiple factors may influence the risk of exposure to childhood violence and repeated victimization, although most research has focused on individual rather than contextual factors. Moreover, it is unclear whether family background factors associated with exposure to childhood violence also are associated with revictimization in young adulthood. This article investigates individual and contextual factors associated with childhood abuse and revictimization. Data from a community telephone survey, collected at two different time points (N = 1,011, 16-33 years of age), were used. Logistic regression analysis was applied to analyze family background factors in childhood violence–exposed cases and non-exposed controls. Similar analyses were conducted for the relationship of individual and contextual variables in the revictimized and the non-revictimized groups. The adjusted analyses showed that social problems (≥2 or more social problems: odds ratio [OR] = 2.89, 95% confidence interval [CI] = [1.41, 5.94]) and frequent binge drinking (OR = 1.21, 95% CI = [1.05, 1.40]) were significantly associated with repeated victimization whereas social support decreased the odds (OR = 0.74, 95% CI = [0.55, 0.99]). Family problems and low family cohesion growing up (although measured at Wave 2) were significantly associated with childhood exposure to violence, but not with revictimization. Our findings emphasizes that it is useful to separate factors associated with childhood abuse from factors related to revictimization to identify current ecological aspects that can be addressed to prevent further abuse.