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Multiple violence victimisation associated with sexual ill health and sexual risk behaviours in Swedish youth
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
Department of Women´s and Children´s Health, Uppsala University .
Department of Public Health and Research, Sundsvall Hospital .
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
2016 (English)In: European journal of contraception & reproductive health care, ISSN 1362-5187, E-ISSN 1473-0782, Vol. 21, no 1, 49-56 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objectives: To address the associations between emotional, physical and sexual violence, specifically multiple violence victimisation, and sexual ill health and sexual risk behaviours in youth, as well as possible gender differences.

Methods: A cross-sectional population-based survey among sexually experienced youth using a questionnaire with validated questions on emotional, physical, and sexual violence victimisation, sociodemographics, health risk behaviours, and sexual ill health and sexual risk behaviours. Proportions, unadjusted/adjusted odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated.

Results: The participants comprised 1192 female and 1021 male students aged 15 to 22 years. The females had experienced multiple violence (victimisation with two or three types of violence) more often than the males (21% vs. 16%). The associations between multiple violence victimisation and sexual ill health and sexual risk behaviours were consistent for both genders. Experience of/involvement in pregnancy yielded adjusted ORs of 2.4 (95% CI 1.5-3.7) for females and 2.1 (95% CI 1.3-3.4) for males, and early age at first intercourse 2.2 (95% CI 1.6-3.1) for females and 1.9 (95% CI 1.2-3.0) for males. No significantly raised adjusted ORs were found for non-use of contraceptives in young men or young women, or for chlamydia infection in young men.

Conclusions: Several types of sexual ill health and sexual risk behaviours are strongly associated with multiple violence victimisation in both genders. This should be taken into consideration when counselling young people and addressing their sexual and reproductive health.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 21, no 1, 49-56 p.
Keyword [en]
Adolescents, sexual behaviours, sexual health, violence, youth
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-107668DOI: 10.3109/13625187.2015.1089227ISI: 000367601900007PubMedID: 26416241OAI: diva2:848809
Available from: 2015-08-26 Created: 2015-08-26 Last updated: 2016-04-26Bibliographically 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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