Multiple forms of violence may co-occur on a child. These may include various forms of child victimization and different types of family violence. However, evidence that child victims are more likely to witness other types of family violence has been lacking in China. Using data of a large and diverse sample of children recruited from 6 regions in China during 2009 and 2010 (N= 18,341; 47% girls; mean age. = 15.9 years), the associations between child victimization and family violence witnessed were examined. Descriptive statistics and the associations between child victimization, demographic characteristics, and family violence witnessed were analyzed. Lifetime and preceding-year rates were 71.7% and 60.0% for any form of child victimization and 14.0% and 9.2% for poly-victimization (having four or more types of victimization), respectively. Family disadvantages (i.e., lower socio-economic status, single parents, and having more than one child in the family) were associated with child victimization and poly-victimization. Witnessing of parental intimate partner violence, elder abuse, and in-law conflict also increased the likelihood of child victimization and poly-victimization, even after the adjustment of demographic factors. Possible mechanisms for the links between family violence and child victimization are discussed. The current findings indicated the need for focusing on the whole family rather than the victim only. For example, screening for different types of family violence when child victims are identified may help early detection of other victims within the family.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The Optimus Study was initiated and funded by the UBS Optimus Foundation .
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health