Psychosocial sequelae of violent victimization in a national youth sample

J Consult Clin Psychol. 1995 Oct;63(5):726-36. doi: 10.1037//0022-006x.63.5.726.


In a national telephone sample of youths aged 10-16 years, over one third reported having been the victims of an assault. Victimized respondents displayed significantly more psychological and behavioral symptomatology than did nonvictimized respondents (more symptomatology related to posttraumatic stress disorder, more sadness, and more school difficulties), even after controlling for some other possible sources of distress. Sexual assault was associated with particularly high levels of symptomatology. However, victims of other forms of assault--nonfamily assaults involving weapons or physical injury (aggravated assaults), assaults by parents, violence to genitals, and attempted kidnappings--also evidenced levels of distress that were not statistically lower than those suffered by victims of sexual assault. The findings suggest that substantial mental health morbidity in the general child and adolescent population is associated with victimization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / psychology
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / statistics & numerical data
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Domestic Violence / psychology
  • Domestic Violence / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Social Adjustment*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Violence / psychology*
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data