Online Program

How Polyvictimization Impacts Adolescent's Sexual Health: A Latent Class Approach

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Tiara Willie, M.A., Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS, Yale University School of Public Health, New Haven, CT
Adeya Powell, PhD, School of Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Tamora Callands, PhD, Health Promotion and Behavior, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Jessica Lewis, LMFT, School of Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Urania Magriples, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Trace S. Kershaw, Ph.D., Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Background:Polyvictimization, experiencing multiple forms of victimization (e.g., intimate partner violence (IPV), family violence, peer violence, stranger violence), has been strongly associated with mental health problems among adolescents. However, very little research has examined the impact of polyvictimization on sexual health. The current study examined patterns of polyvictimization for females and males; and their association with sexual risk and psychosocial outcomes. 

Methods: Data were collected from 592 pregnant adolescents and their partners(N = 296 couples) between 2007 and 2011 as part of a longitudinal study. During baseline interviews, participants provided data on victimization, sexual risk, and psychosocial outcomes. 

Results: Latent class analyses showed three-class models for both females and males. Females’ classes were: No Violence; Stranger Violence/Prior IPV; and Prior IPV/Peer Violence; while, males’ classes were: No Violence; Prior IPV; and High Polyvictimization. ANOVAs revealed that females in the Stranger Violence/Prior IPV class reported less condom use in the past six months(F=6.00,p=0.003) and communicated more about HIV with their partner(F=3.83,p=0.02) than the No Violence class. Females in the Prior IPV/Peer Violence reported lower condom use self-efficacy(F=6.38,p=0.002) and less positive attitudes about condoms(F=3.26,p=0.03) than the Stranger Violence/Prior IPV class. Males in the High Polyvictimization class reported less condom use in the past six months(F=3.27,p=0.03) then the No Violence and Prior IPV class. Males in the Prior IPV class reported more HIV risks(F=8.81,p<0.001) than the No Violence class.

Conclusions: Polyvictimization impacts the sexual health of adolescents. It may be useful for HIV/STI interventions to identify and address experiences of polyvictimization among adolescent couples.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify groups of adolescents based on experiences of polyvictimization. Explain the relationship between polyvictimization and sexual health among adolescents. Define the importance of addressing polyvictimization and sexual health in order to inform interventions, research, and policy.

Keyword(s): Adolescents, Violence & Injury Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have supported multiple federally-funded research projects focusing on the implications of violence victimization, mental health disorders, and sexual health outcomes. My research interests have been focused on social determinants of gender-based violence and its impact on the mental, sexual, and reproductive health of marginalized populations. I have a MA and years of experience conducting research in the realm of HIV.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.