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Strong association between earlier abuse and revictimization in youth
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Sundsvall Hospital, Sundsvall, Sweden.
Uppsala, Sweden.
Sundsvall; Linköping, Sweden.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Department of Research and Development, Västernorrland County Council, Sundsvall, Sweden.
2014 (English)In: BMC Public Health, ISSN 1471-2458, Vol. 14, no 14, 715Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background:  Violence victimization among youth is recognized as a public health problem. The objective was to analyze the risk pattern of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse during the past 12 months by gender, sociodemographic factors, health risk behaviors, and exposure to abuse before the age of 15, among young men and women attending youth health centers in Sweden.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted using a nationally representative sample of youth health centers. A total of 2,250 young women and 920 young men aged 15-23 completed a self-administered questionnaire. Odds ratios (OR) and adjusted odds ratios (AOR) with 95% CI were calculated.

Results: A consistent and strong association was noted between exposure to all types of violence during the past year and victimization before the age of 15 for all types of violence for both women and men. The only exceptions were childhood sexual victimization and sexual violence during the past year for men. Younger age was associated with all violence exposure for the women and with emotional violence for the men. For the women, drug use was associated with all types of violence, while the association with hazardous alcohol use and not living with parents was restricted to physical and sexual violence exposure, present smoking was restricted to emotional and physical violence exposure, and partnership and living in urban areas were restricted to sexual violence. For men, not being partnered, hazardous alcohol consumption, and drug use meant increased risk for physical violence, while smoking and living in urban areas were associated with sexual violence. After adjustment, immigration had no association with violence exposure.

Conclusions: Violence victimization in young men and women is often not a single experience. Findings underline the importance of early interventions among previously abused youth.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 14, no 14, 715
Keyword [en]
Youth, Adolescents, Abuse, Violence, Cross-sectional study, Sociodemographics, Risk factors, Revictimization
National Category
Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-93838DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-715ISI: 000341198400001PubMedID: 25018145OAI: diva2:753254
Available from: 2014-10-07 Created: 2014-10-01 Last updated: 2015-08-27Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Violence exposure among Swedish youth
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Violence exposure among Swedish youth
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]


Violence is a global public health problem and violence among youth is a matter of high priority. Adolescence and young adulthood are important periods for the foundation of future health. Youth victimization may have serious health consequences, making it important to address the occurrence and socio-medical context for possible interventions against violence.


To analyze prevalence, risk patterns and gender differences in emotional, physical, sexual, and multiple-violence victimizations and the associations between violence victimization and sexual ill health, sexual risk behaviors and mental health in Swedish youth.


A cross sectional study using two samples, a national sample from nine youth health centers in Sweden and a population-based sample from a middle-sized Swedish city. The questionnaire included standardized instruments addressing violence exposure (NorAQ), socio-demographics, mental and sexual ill-health and sexual risk behaviors, alcohol and substance use. Proportions and crude and adjusted odds ratios with a 95% CI were calculated.


A total of 2,250 young women and 920 men, aged 15-23, answered the questionnaire at the youth health centers. In upper secondary school, 1,658 women and 1,589 men, aged 15-22, answered the questionnaire.

High prevalence rates with gendered differences both in rates and in co-occurrence of different types of violence were found. Women were more often exposed to emotional violence and sexual violence than men, while men were more often physically victimized. For both women and men, violence victimization before the age of 15 was strongly associated with all types of violence victimizations during the past year.

Strong associations were found between multiple-violence victimization and poor mental health in both genders. Among the sexually experienced students, consistent associations between lifetime multiple-violence victimization and various sexual ill-health and sexual risk behaviors were found in both genders, except for non-contraceptive use.


High prevalence of violence victimization in youth and strong associations between victimization, especially multiple victimization, and poor mental and sexual health were found. This needs to be recognized and addressed in social and medical settings.


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University, 2015. 70 p.
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1730
violence, adolescent, self-injurious behaviour, suicidal ideation, mental health, reproductive health, youth
National Category
Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
Research subject
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-107673 (URN)978-91-7601-291-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-09-18, Aulan, Utbildningsavdelningen, hiss 8, plan 1, Sundsvalls sjukhus, Sundsvall, 13:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2015-08-28 Created: 2015-08-26 Last updated: 2015-08-27Bibliographically approved

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