Violence exposure in South African adolescents: Differential and cumulative effects on psychological functioning

Xincheng Sui*, Karlijn Massar, Loes T E Kessels, Priscilla S Reddy, Robert A C Ruiter, Kathy Sanders-Phillips

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

This study examined the associations between different types of violence victimization and psychological functioning in South African adolescents. Both differential and cumulative effects of violence were investigated. A multi-ethnic (Black, White, people of mixed heritage, and people of Indian/Asian descent) sample of adolescents in secondary schools in the Western Cape Province ( N = 1,574; boys = 46.5%, girls = 53.5%; Mage = 16 years) completed a survey on their experiences of exposure to violence (across different contexts and polyvictimization) and their levels of hopelessness, anxiety, depression, perceived stress, and suicidal ideation. The results showed that indirect and direct victimization in the community, and indirect political victimization were consistent predictors for adverse psychological functioning, whereas victimization in home and school contexts did not emerge to be significant. Polyvictimization had a consistent linear effect on psychological symptoms. Interventions in South Africa should focus on addressing the psychological effects of community and political victimization on adolescents. Adopting a holistic treatment approach would be useful to gain a comprehensive understanding of adolescents' victimization experiences and maximize the impact of support to enhance their psychological functioning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4084-4110
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Volume36
Issue number9-10
Early online date19 Jul 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021

Keywords

  • Journal Article
  • POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS SYMPTOMS
  • mental health and violence
  • RESILIENCE
  • COMMUNITY VIOLENCE
  • violence exposure
  • ADJUSTMENT
  • CHILDREN
  • MULTIPLE CONTEXTS
  • POLY-VICTIMIZATION
  • youth violence
  • INTERGENERATIONAL TRAUMA
  • YOUTH
  • community violence
  • HEALTH

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