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Re-Victimization Patterns in a National Longitudinal Sample of Children and Youth

NCJ Number
Child Abuse & Neglect Volume: 31 Issue: 5 Dated: May 2007 Pages: 479-502
Date Published
May 2007
24 pages
This study sought to discover the degree to which a broad range of childhood victimizations persist over the years.
The results indicate that large numbers of children experience a diverse range of victimizations that persist over time. Children who experienced high levels of different types of victimization during Year 1 of the study were significantly more likely to be re-victimized during Year 2 than children who had not been victimized in Year 1. Moreover, children’s vulnerability to revictimization extended over a broad range of type of victimizations. For example, children who experienced robbery in Year 1 were more likely to experience sexual abuse in Year 2 than children who had not been victimized at all in Year 1. Additionally, children who witnessed victimization were more likely to become victims themselves. The pervasiveness and diversity of victimization experiences among children highlight the fact that vulnerability to victimization is an ongoing condition rather than a discrete set of events for children. The findings also call into question the utility of the concept of revictimization because the concept itself presumes that victimization is unusual while this study shows that victimization experiences are common and almost normative. Future research should examine possible buffering effects of friendships on revictimization. Data were drawn from the Developmental Victimization Survey (DVS), a national longitudinal study that assessed a range of childhood victimizations by gender, race, and developmental stage. Participants for the current analysis were 1,467 respondents who completed 2 waves of data collection approximately 1 year apart via a random digit telephone survey. Following a short interview with an adult caregiver, one child was randomly chosen by selecting the child with the most recent birthday. Child interviews focused on victimization experiences, possible predictor variables, household and location factors, parental supervision, delinquency, life events, family and individual problems, and trauma symptoms. Data were statistically analyzed following Stouthammer-Loeber’s procedure for exploring a variable’s statistical significance. Tables, references, appendixes

Date Published: May 1, 2007