The Effects of Polyvictimization on Adolescent Self-Concept and Academic Achievement




Jimenez, Carlin Hernandez

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Studies on the overall impact of victimization indicate that victimization can impair functioning capacities and adversely affect quality of life. It has recently been postulated that victimization and its effects should be viewed as a continuum of harms that generates a negative condition, rather than victimization being simplistically defined and analyzed as a singular experience that creates specific negative aftereffects. This idea has been articulated and labeled as polyvictimization. Because the study of polyvictimization is a relatively new area of research, it is unknown how polyvictimization affects subsequent development and functioning. For instance, it is plausible that polyvictimization can negatively affect an individual's self-concept due to impaired cognitive functioning and debilitated emotional responses. It is also plausible that polyvictimization may impair an individual's sense of self and the ability to function in an academic setting, due to psychosocial impediments. This research examines polyvictimization's impact on adolescents' self-concept and academic performance using longitudinal data collected from a nationally representative sample of adolescents. The data were analyzed using ordinary least squares regression to examine the relationship between polyvictimization and negative self-concept. Logistic regression analysis was used to examine polyvictimization's relationship with academic failure. Results indicate that polyvictimization is significantly and positively associated with negative self-concept and academic failure. Implications for theory, policy, and future research are discussed.


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Criminal Justice, Criminological Theory, Polyvictimization, Victimization



Criminal Justice