Objective: The aims of this study are to (a) provide reliable estimates of prevalence rates of family polyvictimization by synthesizing the findings from the existing literature, (b) examine the effect sizes of the impact of one type of family victimization on other types of family victimization, and (c) investigate the correlates of family polyvictimization. Method: Databases of literature published on or before April 2018 were searched. A total of 59 publications met the inclusion criteria and were included in the analysis for the combined odds ratios (ORs) to estimate the associations among different types of family victimization; 38 of them (99,956 participants) were used for the calculation of the combined prevalence rates of family polyvictimization. Findings: The overall co-occurrence rates of family victimization were 9.7% among the general population and 36.0% among the clinical population. The combined OR of other type(s) of victimization when one was present was 6.01 (p <.001). Longitudinal studies show that, when a family reported intimate partner violence, the odds of child abuse and neglect within the same family at a later stage was 3.64 (p <.001). Depression and post-traumatic stress disorder were two significant correlates associated with family polyvictimization. Conclusion: Family polyvictimization is prevalent across the world. The high co-occurrence rates and strong associations between different types of victimization on different family members warrant the need for the early detection of victims and effective preventions and interventions using a family approach, instead of treating victims from the same family individually.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article: The work described in this article was fully supported by a grant from the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (Project No. PolyU37000316; RGC Humanities and Social Sciences Prestigious Fellowship Scheme).
© The Author(s) 2019.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)
- Applied Psychology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health