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Victimization and Polyvictimization of Spanish Children and Youth: Results From a Community Sample

NCJ Number
Child Abuse and Neglect Volume: 38 Issue: 4 Dated: April 2014 Pages: 640-649
Noemi Pereda; Georgina Guilera; Judit Abad
Date Published
April 2014
10 pages
This study determined the prevalence of victimization among 1,102 youth (590 boys and 517 girls) recruited from 7 secondary schools in a northeastern region of Spain.
The findings indicate that Spanish youth experience a higher level of victimization than official records report and that gender and age should be taken into account when addressing adolescent victimization. A total of 83 percent of the sample reported at least one type of victimization during their lives, and 68.6 percent reported victimization within the last year. The Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire assessed six aggregate categories of childhood victimization: conventional crimes, caregiver maltreatment, peer and sibling victimization, witnessed and indirect victimization, sexual victimization, and victimization through electronic means. Boys were generally more victimized by conventional crimes (68 percent), and girls were more likely to report emotional abuse by caregivers (23 percent) and sexual (13.9 percent) and electronic victimization (17.6 percent) during their lifetime. Age differences in victimization rates for the past year indicated that peer and sibling victimization peak in early adolescence (33.9 percent). Witnessing community violence was more prevalent in older adolescents (34.7 percent). Almost 20 percent of the sample was considered to be polyvictims, i.e., experienced victimization in seven or more forms of victimization. Polyvictims experience victimization in four or more domains during their lifetime. 4 tables and 49 references