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Familial Pathways to Polyvictimization for Sexual and Gender Minority Adolescents: Microaffirming, Microaggressing, Violent, and Adverse Families

NCJ Number
Psychology of Violence Volume: 9 Issue: 4 Dated: 2019 Pages: 461-470
Date Published
10 pages
This study examined a conceptual model of familial pathways to past-year polyvictimization, mediated by depression symptoms, posttraumatic stress symptoms, and emotional dysregulation for a large, national sample of sexual and gender minority adolescents (SGMA).

An online survey was completed by 1,177 SGMA (14-19 years old) who were enrolled in middle or high school. Latent class analysis was used to identify family classes based on family experiences of homo/transpositive microaffirmations, homo/transnegative microaggressions, violence, and nonviolent adversity. A single-indicator path model within a structural equation framework was used to examine pathways to polyvictimization. A five-class solution based on these family-level indicators had the best fit for the findings: (a) high violence and adversity, (b) low microaffirming, high microaggressing, (c) high microaffirming with mean levels of violence and adversity, (d) high microaffirming, low microaggressing, and (e) baseline (i.e., below the mean on all family indicators). The path model explained 40.6 percent of polyvictimization variance. Direct pathways to polyvictimization were observed for three family classes (high violence and adversity; low microaffirming, high microaggressing; and high microaffirming with mean levels of violence and adversity). Higher levels of posttraumatic stress were the primary indirect pathway from these three family classes to a greater likelihood of past-year polyvictimization. The study concluded that posttraumatic stress was the primary mechanism bridging family experiences of microaggressions, violence, and nonviolent adversity to polyvictimization. Addressing trauma symptoms related to these family experiences through school-based health services may have a beneficial impact on SGMA's risk for polyvictimization. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2019