[Psychological and health sequelae of childhood sexual, physical and psychological abuse].Rev Epidemiol Sante Publique. 2008 Oct; 56(5):333-44.RE
The co-occurrence of child victimization experiences is not a rare phenomenon. However, few studies have explored the long-term consequences of such experiences. Empirical studies present important methodological limitations, namely the fact that few studies have documented more than two forms of victimization, that they rely on non representative samples and have not used multivariate analyses. The present study aims to evaluate the specific contribution of each form of child victimization (sexual, physical and psychological) on the outcomes in adulthood. Moreover, the study explores the role of co-occurrence on these symptoms.
A phone survey was conducted with a representative sample of 804 adults from the province of Quebec. Households were randomly selected among those having a telephone. Sociodemographic variables, child victimization experiences (sexual, physical and psychological) and partner violence were evaluated to explore their links with psychological distress, post-traumatic stress symptoms and physical health of participants.
Higher psychological distress in men is associated with younger age, lower education level and having experienced sexual and physical violence in childhood. For women, psychological distress is linked to younger age, having experienced partner violence, childhood physical and psychological violence. Only experiencing partner violence and childhood sexual and psychological victimization are linked to greater post-traumatic stress symptoms in men and women. Finally, lower education level and childhood sexual and physical victimization increase physical health problems for men, while for women, only lower education level contributes to the prediction.
The results of this study show that experiencing more than one form of childhood victimization increases the negative outcomes in adulthood, underlying the relevance of considering the phenomenon of co-occurring victimization in the elaboration and dissemination of intervention programs.