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Violence exposure during childhood and adolescence is associated with a range of negative psychosocial outcomes. Research examining the impact of violence exposure has been limited by the compartmentalization into separate bodies of research (e.g., community violence, domestic violence). There is also a paucity of research examining long-term adult outcomes. Using a large and racially diverse sample (n = 754; male = 58%; Black = 46%), the current longitudinal study aimed to elucidate the comparative and cumulative effect of different types of violence exposure (witnessing vs. victimization) across different locations (home, school, neighborhood) in childhood and adolescence (lifetime through Grade 8) on long-term internalizing, externalizing, and attention problems; substance use; and intimate partner violence in adulthood (age 25). Victimization, but not witnessing violence, predicted all five adult outcomes. Specifically, being victimized at home was associated with the widest range of negative outcomes (internalizing, externalizing, and attention problems), while school victimization was associated with substance use. Further, when youth experienced multiple types of violence across multiple locations (cumulative violence exposure), they experienced a more diverse range of negative outcomes in adulthood (composite score). The current study highlights the stronger effects of violence exposure in more proximal contexts, and how these locations are important for emotional and behavioral development.
Research in postconflict settings indicated that children's exposure to war and natural disaster is a significant predictor of experiencing violence within their families. However, it is unclear if this effect is driven by characteristics of traumatized children or their parents. To disentangle these different factors we conducted a survey in a children's home in Sri Lanka. A total of 146 institutionalized children (aged 8 to 17) were interviewed using standardized questionnaires administered by local senior counselors in order to assess children's exposure to mass trauma, family violence, and violence in the institution as well as their mental health. Linear regression analyses revealed that, controlling for potential confounds, previous exposure to civil war was a significant predictor of violence by guardians in the children's home. In addition, previous exposure to family violence was a significant predictor of violence by peers in the institutions. A mediation analysis showed that children's internalizing and externalizing behavior problems partly mediated the relationship between violence prior to the admission to the children's home and violence in the children's home. The findings of our study provide evidence for the assumption that the transmission of mass trauma into interpersonal violence can occur independently from parents through children's psychopathology.
A correct understanding of the dynamics and mechanisms that make it possible for a woman to become a victim of intra-family violence allows the necessary measures to be taken so that she can escape from the situation of victimization. Emilio C. Viano, President of the International Society of Criminology, defines the victim of an abuse as “any subject injured or that has suffered wrongdoing on the part of others, who perceives herself to be a victim, who shares the experience with others looking for help, assistance and compensation, who is recognized as a victim and who presumably is being helped by public, private or collective agencies/structures”. Before the birth of Anti-Violence Centers it was believed that the awareness of being a victim was the necessary condition for a woman to ask for help. Experience has shown that, in reality, it is the request for help that allows her to begin a process of awareness together with the operators in the Anti-Violence Centers. This reflection has led to the creation of a theoretical model called “The Circular Model of Victimization”. The aim of the research, and which is presented here, was to verify whether the Italian Anti-Violence Centers recognize the Circular Model in the daily operational reality, and thus to ascertain whether this model can be considered a real empirical model, as well as a theoretical explanatory model. In conclusion, the revisited Circular Model of Victimization will be presented, in which it is assumed that the way out of the circuit of violence passes from a first moment of perception of victimization to arrive at a real awareness of the same.
The present study used a longitudinal and discordant twin design to explore in depth the developmental associations between victimization and loneliness from mid-childhood to young adulthood. The data were drawn from the Environmental Risk (E-Risk) Longitudinal Twin Study, a birth cohort of 2,232 individuals born in England and Wales during 1994–1995. Diverse forms of victimization were considered, differing across context, perpetrator, and timing of exposure. The results indicated that exposure to different forms of victimization was associated with loneliness in a dose–response manner. In childhood, bullying victimization was uniquely associated with loneliness, over and above concurrent psychopathology, social isolation, and genetic risk. Moreover, childhood bullying victimization continued to predict loneliness in young adulthood, even in the absence of ongoing victimization. Within-twin pair analyses further indicated that this longitudinal association was explained by genetic confounds. In adolescence, varied forms of victimization were correlated with young adult loneliness, with maltreatment, neglect, and cybervictimization remaining robust to controls for genetic confounds. These findings indicate that vulnerability to loneliness in victimized young people varies according to the specific form of victimization in question, and also to the developmental period in which it was experienced.
An extensive literature in political science and sociology has analyzed how state repression shapes attempts by social movements to pursue political objectives. Less studied, however, is the effect that state repression of activists has on the broader public. Understanding public responses to repression is important, as both states and social movements take action with an eye toward (de)mobilizing broader constituencies. This letter analyzes this dynamic in the context of contemporary Catalonia, where the Spanish state cracked down on efforts by Catalan activists to hold a public referendum on independence. Matching poll respondents in the months before and after the crackdown in late 2017, the study finds that repression increased public sympathy for independence for a short period, and heightened animosity towards actors perceived to be associated or complicit with the Spanish state. The findings speak to the potential for state repression of nonviolent movements to create windows of opportunity for broader mobilization.
From an evolutionary perspective, aggression is viewed as a flexible context-specific adaption that was selected for because it enhanced the survival and reproductive success of ancestral humans. Evolutionary pressures have impinged differentially on the sexes, leading to the hypothesis that sex differences should be manifest in aggressive behavior. Evidence to date supports key predictions made from sexual selection theory that women direct their aggression primarily toward same-sex competitors, which peaks as mate competition intensifies. Women demonstrate a notable preference across cultures for more indirect, as opposed to direct, forms of intrasexual rivalry as a likely consequence of heightened obligatory parental investment, lower lifetime reproductive potential, and the greater importance of maternal survival for the health and longevity of offspring. An evolutionary approach can yield unique insights into the sex-differentiated functions, development, and outcomes of aggressive behavior.
What are the consequences of being the victim of crime for political participation? Previous studies report mixed results with respect to voter turnout, in contrast to the positive effects found for other indicators of political engagement. However, previous turnout studies have failed to differentiate between violent and non-violent crime, and have relied on cross-sectional survey data that is prone to measurement biases and selection effects. This article addresses these shortcomings via a panel analysis of official registry data from Denmark recording individual-level turnout in two municipal elections (in 2009 and 2013) and victimization from violent and non-violent crime. It identifies the effect of victimization by comparing changes in turnout between the two elections for victims and two different counterfactual groups: non-victims in the general population, and individuals who were victimized after the 2013 election. The results show that victimization from violent crime increases turnout by 2 to 3 percentage points. The study further demonstrates a large negative between-individual effect of victimization, suggesting that previous studies have been marred by severe selection bias.
Symptoms of mental disorder, particularly schizophrenia, predispose to victimization. Much less is known about the relationship between depressive symptoms and later victimization in the general population, the influence of these symptoms on types of subsequent victimization, or the role of symptom severity. We investigated this in nationally representative data from the United Kingdom.
Data were from the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2007. Multivariable logistic regressions estimated association between (a) prior depressive symptoms, (b) prior depressive symptoms with suicide attempt, and types of more recent victimization. Gender-specific associations were estimated using multiplicative interactions.
Prior depressive symptoms were associated with greater odds of any recent intimate partner violence (IPV), emotional IPV, sexual victimization, workplace victimization, any victimization, and cumulative victimization (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] for increasing types of recent victimization: 1.47, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.14, 1.89). Prior depressive symptoms with suicide attempt were associated with any recent IPV, emotional IPV, any victimization, and cumulative victimization (aOR for increasing types of recent victimization: 2.33, 95% CI: 1.22, 4.44). Self reported recalled data on previous depressive symptoms may have limited accuracy. Small numbers of outcomes for some comparisons results in imprecision of these estimates.
Aside from severe mental illness such as schizophrenia, previous depressive symptoms in the general population are associated with greater subsequent victimization. Men and women with prior depressive symptoms may be vulnerable to a range of types of victimization, and may benefit from interventions to reduce this vulnerability.
Poly-victims are described as subjects who experience extremely high levels of victimization. This condition is regularly associated with wide psychopathological distress. Children and adolescents are special risk collective for this type of victimization.
To describe and analyze more frequents mental health problems in adolescents with different levels of victimization.
A community sample of 895 adolescents (M = 15.7; SD = 1.3 years old) was subdivided into several groups taking as reference the number of victimizations suffered in the last year, obtained from the Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire. Resulting groups were as follows: those adolescents presenting no type of victimization, the group below average, a group above average and the group of poly-victimized adolescents. Mental health problems were identified with the Youth Self Report, analyzing specifically the DSM syndrome scales.
The group of poly-victimized adolescents presented more significant (p<.05) affective, anxious symptomatology with attention and behavior problems, post-traumatic and obssesive compulsive disturbances, even after Bonferroni's post-hoc contrast regarding the other groups. On the other hand, somatic and oppositional defiant problems were perceived with same intensity between the group above average and the poly-victimized group in front of the groups below victimizations average.
Poly-victimization in adolescents is associated to larger symptomatology patterns and mental health problems development.
The present study examined the association between relational aggression and depressive symptoms, and the serial mediation of relational victimization and attachment insecurity in this association from a gender-informed approach. Participants consisted of 35 students (77% female; age: 18–25) for the pilot qualitative study and 206 students (68% female; age: 18–25) for the main quantitative study. Both sets of participants were recruited at the same public university in Guam. The qualitative data were transcribed verbatim and coded by three trained researchers (interrater agreement = 90%). From the qualitative data, several themes, such as relational aggression and victimization, physical aggression and victimization, negative affect and emotion, and culture emerged. All participants reported the use of relational aggression and showing negative emotions in a close relationship. Gender differences in the content of the themes were also found, such that relational aggression and victimization seemed to be more emotionally stressful for women than men. In line with these qualitative findings, the quantitative data showed that relational aggression was associated with depressive symptoms, and this association was mediated by relational victimization and attachment anxiety (not avoidance) only for women, while the contributions of physical aggression and victimization were controlled for. No direct and indirect links for physical aggression was evidenced. These findings are discussed from clinical, developmental and cultural perspectives.
Tendencies to attend to threatening cues in the environment and to interpret ambiguous situations with negative/hostile intent maintain and may even precipitate internalizing and externalizing problems in young people with a history of maltreatment. Challenging maladaptive information-processing styles using cognitive bias modification (CBM) training may reduce symptoms.
To investigate the acceptability of CBM training in nine young people attending alternate education provision units in the UK, and 10 young people living in out-of-home care institutions in Nepal with a history of maltreatment.
CBM training consisted of five sessions of training over a 2-week period; each training session consisted of one module targeting attention biases and one module targeting interpretation biases for threat. A feedback form administered after training measured acceptability. Pre- and post-intervention measures of internalizing and externalizing symptoms were also taken.
Most young people (89%) found the training helpful and 84% found the training materials realistic. There were reductions in many symptom domains, but with individual variation. Although limited by the lack of a control condition, we established generalizability of acceptability across participants from two cultural settings.
Replication of these findings in larger feasibility randomized controlled trials with measures of attention and interpretation bias before and after intervention, are needed to assess the potential of CBM in reducing anxiety symptoms and its capacity to engage targeted mechanisms.
Little is known about intimate partner abuse (IPA) among couples during pregnancy in Iran. This study aimed to compare the rates of IPA by pregnant women towards their husbands (perpetration), and women’s experience of IPA from their husbands (victimization) and determine the predictors of the two behaviours. The cross-sectional study was conducted on 525 pregnant women at 24–30 weeks of gestation visiting governmental health care centres/posts in Tabriz, Iran, in 2014. The study sample was selected using random cluster sampling. The Revised Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS2) was used to assess IPA perpetration and victimization. The McNemar test was employed to compare the prevalences of IPA perpetration and victimization, and adjusted logistic regression was utilized to determine the socio-demographic predictors of overall IPA perpetration and victimization. The overall rates of women’s reported abuse of their husbands (perpetration) and women’s experience of abuse from their husbands (victimization) were 70% and 67%, respectively, but the difference was not statistically significant (p=0.086). The prevalence of psychological aggression perpetrated by women towards their husbands was significantly higher than that experienced by the women from their husbands (65% vs 58%, p<0.001). The prevalences of sexual coercion (15% vs 30%) and injury (8% vs 16%) perpetrated by women on their husbands were significantly lower those they experienced by the women from their husbands (p<0.001). There was no statistically significant difference between the prevalence of perpetration of physical violence towards husbands by women (19%) and that experienced by women from their husbands (22%) (p=0.072). Women’s and husbands’ satisfaction with their own occupations were predictors of both perpetration and victimization of IPA. The observed high rates of IPA perpetration by, women and victimization of, women during pregnancy, and the significantly higher rate of violence towards women compared with that perpetrated by women, especially for sexual coercion and injury, require health policymakers and care providers to make serious efforts to identify such violence, and take appropriate measures to reduce it, during pregnancy in women in Iran.
Although familial adversity is associated with poorer outcomes in childhood and adulthood, little research has looked at the influence of stability or transition between distinct familial adversity subgroups or the impact in adolescence. Using data from the 9-month, 3-, 5-, and 14-year time waves of the Millennium Cohort Study (n > 18,000), we used latent class analysis to identify distinct classes of early familial adversity (marital instability/conflict, “suboptimal” parenting, economic disadvantage, and parental mental health problems) and the impact of these adversity classes on adolescent (a) mental health (including self-harm), (b) risk taking, (c) criminality, and (d) victimization. Four profiles were identified largely differing on economic hardship, family composition, and parental conflict. Across the first three time points, 72% of the sample remained stable, with the remainder transitioning between classes. Adolescents in the higher risk groups (particularly categorized by economic hardship or high parental conflict) had poorer outcomes in adolescence. Transitioning to a higher adversity group at any time in the first 5 years was associated with poorer outcomes but was particularly pronounced when the transition occurred when the child was under 3 years. These findings demonstrate the broad consequences of early familial adversity and the need for targeted early support for at-risk families.
Several studies have demonstrated a vicious cycle of violence, in which experiences of childhood maltreatment (CM) transition into later perpetration of aggressive acts. But evidence for the presence of this cycle in adult women is mixed. The aim of this meta-analysis is to investigate the strength of associations and the mechanisms underlying a cycle of violence in women. Databases were searched for terms related to female aggression, violence, delinquency, antisocial behavior, or offending in addition to exposure to traumatic experiences, abuse, or maltreatment during childhood. Only peer-reviewed studies were included that investigated associations between any type of CM and different acts of aggression. Multi-level meta-analyses were applied, as well as meta-regressions, all based on Cohen's d. K = 34 studies were identified. The overall association between exposure to CM was in the positive but small range (Cohen's d = 0.30). There was no significant difference between specific types of abuse and/or neglect. However, associations were smaller for the perpetration of sexual aggression and violent crime compared with other acts of aggression. These findings underline the long-lasting and devastating impact of CM, including types of maltreatment that were long assumed to be less severe. Due to the limited number of available studies, interactions between types of CM and aggression could not be modeled, thus compromising their probable interacting contribution to the cycle of violence. Early interventions targeting families and women at risk are critical in order to prevent ongoing cycles of violence.
In the context of the negative consequences of psychological abuse, a scale was developed to specifically assess the emotional disturbances in individuals who had experienced abusive behaviors over a period of time within a cultic group. The Emotional Distress Scale in Survivors of Abusive Groups (EDS-SAG) was administered, along with other relevant measures of group psychological abuse and psychopathological symptoms, to 706 Spanish-speaking former members of different groups, distributed into two samples according to whether they had experienced group psychological abuse (n = 413) or not (n = 293). Analyses supported a unidimensional structure of the 18 items on the EDS-SAG, explaining 50.7% of the total variance. This factorial solution was found to be stable when the sample of victims was split by sex and by the age of involvement in the group. Results also showed adequate reliability of the scores and significant associations between the scores on the EDS-SAG and the scores on measures of group psychological abuse (PAEGS: .86, p < .001) and psychopathological symptoms (BSI: .30, p < .001; PTCI: .46, p < .001). The results obtained reveal that this new scale is a suitable tool for measuring emotional distress in Spanish-speaking survivors of abusive groups. In the research field, it would be possible to evaluate the antecedents of emotional distress or their protective factors. In applied contexts, it would be possible to rigorously evaluate the emotional difficulties of abuse victims, allowing a better diagnosis and therapeutic approach. All of this will contribute to the assessment and understanding of the long-term consequences of group psychological abuse.
Recent studies have highlighted the dysregulation of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity and its end products, cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), in women with a history of intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization. These studies analyzed several coping styles, but they neglected to examine the use of violent strategies to confront IPV and the way these strategies affect HPA functioning. This latter proposal would be based on the gender symmetry model of IPV, which sustains that IPV is generally symmetrical, but that women’s violence tends to be a reaction to male violence. Hence, the main objective of the present study was to examine whether women’s violent reactions to IPV would significantly predict salivary cortisol and DHEA levels, as well as the cortisol/DHEA ratio (assessed through two saliva samples per day on four consecutive work days), controlling for the women’s prior IPV abuse, psychopathology, and demographic variables. Our data demonstrated that, specifically, psychological confrontation strategies predicted vespertine cortisol levels (adj R2 = .18, β = .447, p < .01) and the cortisol/DHEA ratio (adj R2 = .08, β = .322, p < .05), even after controlling several confounding variables, whereas physical and total confrontation in response to IPV did not predict these hormonal parameters.
Violence in dating relationships constitutes a serious problem, thus, the study of related factors could help to better understand this violence and intervene in it. This study had three goals: (1) To analyze the prevalence of dating violence in adolescents under residential care settings according to sex and age; (2) to explore the relationships between victimization and perpetration in adolescents’ dating violence, sexist attitudes and clinical variables; and (3) to identify variables associated to adolescents’ dating violence (victimization and perpetration). The sample comprised 271 adolescents (54.6% boys and 45.4% girls), aged between 12 and 17 years (M = 15.23, SD = 1.60). The victimization (R2 = .17, p <.001) and perpetration (R2 = .20. p < .001) results showed prevalence rates higher than those of previous studies. Sex was not a differentiating factor for perpetration of dating violence, but age was: the older they were, the higher the perpetration rate. In the case of victimization, an interaction between sex and age was found. Results showed that age, sex, hostile sexism and depression were variables associated to victimization whereas age, hostile sexism and depression were associated to perpetration of dating violence.
Young sexual minority men (YSMM) experience more victimization and are at higher risk for mental health and substance use problems compared with heterosexual youth. We attempt to understand change over time in the experience of these constructs among YSMM. Data were taken from a diverse community-based sample of YSMM (N = 450, baseline mean age 18.93) surveyed every 6 months for 2.5 years. Multilevel modeling was used to model within-person change in victimization, internalizing symptoms, externalizing symptoms, alcohol frequency, marijuana use, and illicit drug use. We tested the indirect effect of concurrent and time-lagged victimization on the association between age and mental health and substance use. Victimization, internalizing symptoms, and externalizing symptoms decreased over time. Concurrent victimization was associated with higher internalizing symptoms, externalizing symptoms, alcohol use, marijuana use, and illicit drug use. Analysis of indirect effects suggested that the association between victimization and mental health and substance use outcomes decreased as participants transitioned from adolescence into adulthood. This study found that the reduction in victimization that YSMM experience as they grow older is associated with a reduction in negative mental health and substance use outcomes. Prevention efforts to limit victimization exposure may reduce health disparities for YSMM.
Despite efforts by civil defense authorities, levels of households’ preparedness to emergencies remain insufficient in many countries. Engaging the public in preparedness behavior is a challenge worldwide. The purpose of this study was to explore the efficacy of psychological intervention in promoting preparedness behavior to armed conflicts in Israel.
A randomized controlled trial (N = 381) with two control groups and three intervention groups was used. The psychological interventions studied were elevated threat perception, external reward, and manipulation of a cognitive cluster related to preparedness.
The results of the analysis suggest a significant effect of intervention on the increase of reported preparedness (F4,375 = 4.511, P = 0.001). The effect is attributed to the intervention group in which external reward was offered. Participants in this group were about two times more likely to report greater levels of preparedness compared to the control group (RR = 1.855; 95% CI: 1.065, 3.233).
The findings suggest that preparedness behavior can be promoted through external incentives. These are presumably effective motivators because they encourage preparedness while allowing subjects to retain their denial as an adaptive coping mechanism. Innovative thinking is required to overcome the psychological barriers associated with public reluctance to engage in preparedness. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;13:713–723)
Despite best intentions and considerable effort, promoting households' preparedness to emergencies remains insufficiently low globally. It seems that, in some cases, particularly those in which populations are frequently exposed to any given threat, a more complex sociopsychological framework emerges – one in which classical motivators, such as threat perception cues, are no longer capable of turning salient belief into action. Recent studies suggest that this phenomenon, called victimization, has considerable implications on the efficacy of risk communication efforts and could jeopardize the success in promoting public readiness. Circumventing the psychological barriers caused by this phenomenon requires innovative approaches, such as using external incentives. The model and its implications are discussed (Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2019;13:593-595)