U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Psychological Distress as a Risk Factor for Re-Victimization in Children

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2010
9 pages
This study examined the role of psychological distress in predicting child re-victimization.
Results suggest that the psychological consequences of victimization may also serve as precipitants for re-victimization as well as different forms of victimization, including conventional crime, peer/sibling violence, maltreatment, sexual violence, and witnessed violence. Given longitudinal design, this indicates that, even while controlling for demographic variables and prior victimization, psychological distress uniquely predicts subsequent victimization. Results further suggest that the same symptomatology that may be the sequelae of victimization can also serve as a precipitant to future victimization. This pattern is present in children form one year to the next; it is possible that those results mask a re-victimization pattern that may be an on-going experience throughout childhood, with adult re-victimization simply being a continuation of chronic childhood victimization. Data were collected from the Developmental Victimization Survey for 1,025 children between the ages of 2 and 17. Tables and references

Date Published: April 1, 2010