Mental Health Problems and Victimization in Adolescents

  • Magallón-Neri E
  • Kirchner T
  • Forns M
 et al. 
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Poly-victims are described as subjects who experience extremely high levels of victimization. This condition is regularly associated with wide psychopathological distress. Children and adolescents are special risk collective for this type of victimization. Objective To describe and analyze more frequents mental health problems in adolescents with different levels of victimization. Method A community sample of 895 adolescents (M = 15.7; SD = 1.3 years old) was subdivided into several groups taking as reference the number of victimizations suffered in the last year, obtained from the Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire. Resulting groups were as follows: those adolescents presenting no type of victimization, the group below average, a group above average and the group of poly-victimized adolescents. Mental health problems were identified with the Youth Self Report, analyzing specifically the DSM syndrome scales. Results The group of poly-victimized adolescents presented more significant (p<.05) affective, anxious symptomatology with attention and behavior problems, post-traumatic and obssesive compulsive disturbances, even after Bonferroni's post-hoc contrast regarding the other groups. On the other hand, somatic and oppositional defiant problems were perceived with same intensity between the group above average and the poly-victimized group in front of the groups below victimizations average. Conclusions Poly-victimization in adolescents is associated to larger symptomatology patterns and mental health problems development.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Adolescents
  • mental health problems
  • victimization

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  • E Magallón-Neri

  • T Kirchner

  • M Forns

  • C Calderón

  • G Canalda

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