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Violence exposure among Swedish youth
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background

Violence is a global public health problem and violence among youth is a matter of high priority. Adolescence and young adulthood are important periods for the foundation of future health. Youth victimization may have serious health consequences, making it important to address the occurrence and socio-medical context for possible interventions against violence.

Aims

To analyze prevalence, risk patterns and gender differences in emotional, physical, sexual, and multiple-violence victimizations and the associations between violence victimization and sexual ill health, sexual risk behaviors and mental health in Swedish youth.

Methods

A cross sectional study using two samples, a national sample from nine youth health centers in Sweden and a population-based sample from a middle-sized Swedish city. The questionnaire included standardized instruments addressing violence exposure (NorAQ), socio-demographics, mental and sexual ill-health and sexual risk behaviors, alcohol and substance use. Proportions and crude and adjusted odds ratios with a 95% CI were calculated.

Results

A total of 2,250 young women and 920 men, aged 15-23, answered the questionnaire at the youth health centers. In upper secondary school, 1,658 women and 1,589 men, aged 15-22, answered the questionnaire.

High prevalence rates with gendered differences both in rates and in co-occurrence of different types of violence were found. Women were more often exposed to emotional violence and sexual violence than men, while men were more often physically victimized. For both women and men, violence victimization before the age of 15 was strongly associated with all types of violence victimizations during the past year.

Strong associations were found between multiple-violence victimization and poor mental health in both genders. Among the sexually experienced students, consistent associations between lifetime multiple-violence victimization and various sexual ill-health and sexual risk behaviors were found in both genders, except for non-contraceptive use.

Conclusions

High prevalence of violence victimization in youth and strong associations between victimization, especially multiple victimization, and poor mental and sexual health were found. This needs to be recognized and addressed in social and medical settings.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University , 2015. , 70 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1730
Keyword [en]
violence, adolescent, self-injurious behaviour, suicidal ideation, mental health, reproductive health, youth
National Category
Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
Research subject
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-107673ISBN: 978-91-7601-291-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-107673DiVA: diva2:849030
Public defence
2015-09-18, Aulan, Utbildningsavdelningen, hiss 8, plan 1, Sundsvalls sjukhus, Sundsvall, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-08-28 Created: 2015-08-26 Last updated: 2015-08-27Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Gendered patterns of high violence exposure among Swedish youth
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gendered patterns of high violence exposure among Swedish youth
Show others...
2009 (English)In: Acta obstetricia et gynecologica Scandinavica, ISSN 1600-0412, Vol. 88, no 5, 528-35 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

OBJECTIVE: The WHO describes violence as a global public health problem. In contrast to domestic violence, violence against youth has been little explored. Our aims were to investigate the prevalence and gender differences in relation to emotional, physical and sexual abuse among young men and women attending youth health centers in Sweden, the current adverse effects of the abuse and the perpetrators of the abuse. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: Nationally representative youth health centers in Sweden. POPULATION AND METHODS: In total, 2,250 women and 920 men aged 15-23 years answered a validated questionnaire about emotional, physical and sexual abuse. RESULTS: A total of 33% (CI: 31-35) of the young women and 18% (CI: 16-21) of the young men had been exposed to emotional abuse during the past year. For physical abuse, 18% (CI: 17-20) of the women and 27% (CI: 24-30) of the men stated that they had been abused during the past year. The gender differences for sexual abuse were pronounced, with 14% (CI: 12-15) of the young women and 4.7% (CI: 3.3-6.0) of the men stating that they had been abused during the past 12 months. The young women reported more severe adverse effects from all types of abuse and were more often abused by a person close to them. CONCLUSIONS: The exposure to violence among young people is alarming and presents prominent gender differences, and should be taken into serious consideration as it is a matter of health, democracy and human rights.

National Category
Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-30570 (URN)10.1080/00016340902846056 (DOI)19353335 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2010-01-08 Created: 2010-01-08 Last updated: 2015-08-27Bibliographically approved
2. Strong association between earlier abuse and revictimization in youth
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Strong association between earlier abuse and revictimization in youth
2014 (English)In: BMC Public Health, ISSN 1471-2458, E-ISSN 1471-2458, Vol. 14, no 14, 715Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background:  Violence victimization among youth is recognized as a public health problem. The objective was to analyze the risk pattern of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse during the past 12 months by gender, sociodemographic factors, health risk behaviors, and exposure to abuse before the age of 15, among young men and women attending youth health centers in Sweden.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted using a nationally representative sample of youth health centers. A total of 2,250 young women and 920 young men aged 15-23 completed a self-administered questionnaire. Odds ratios (OR) and adjusted odds ratios (AOR) with 95% CI were calculated.

Results: A consistent and strong association was noted between exposure to all types of violence during the past year and victimization before the age of 15 for all types of violence for both women and men. The only exceptions were childhood sexual victimization and sexual violence during the past year for men. Younger age was associated with all violence exposure for the women and with emotional violence for the men. For the women, drug use was associated with all types of violence, while the association with hazardous alcohol use and not living with parents was restricted to physical and sexual violence exposure, present smoking was restricted to emotional and physical violence exposure, and partnership and living in urban areas were restricted to sexual violence. For men, not being partnered, hazardous alcohol consumption, and drug use meant increased risk for physical violence, while smoking and living in urban areas were associated with sexual violence. After adjustment, immigration had no association with violence exposure.

Conclusions: Violence victimization in young men and women is often not a single experience. Findings underline the importance of early interventions among previously abused youth.

Keyword
Youth, Adolescents, Abuse, Violence, Cross-sectional study, Sociodemographics, Risk factors, Revictimization
National Category
Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-93838 (URN)10.1186/1471-2458-14-715 (DOI)000341198400001 ()25018145 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2014-10-07 Created: 2014-10-01 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
3. Multiple violence victimisation associated with sexual ill health and sexual risk behaviours in Swedish youth
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Multiple violence victimisation associated with sexual ill health and sexual risk behaviours in Swedish youth
2016 (English)In: European journal of contraception & reproductive health care, ISSN 1362-5187, E-ISSN 1473-0782, Vol. 21, no 1, 49-56 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objectives: To address the associations between emotional, physical and sexual violence, specifically multiple violence victimisation, and sexual ill health and sexual risk behaviours in youth, as well as possible gender differences.

Methods: A cross-sectional population-based survey among sexually experienced youth using a questionnaire with validated questions on emotional, physical, and sexual violence victimisation, sociodemographics, health risk behaviours, and sexual ill health and sexual risk behaviours. Proportions, unadjusted/adjusted odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated.

Results: The participants comprised 1192 female and 1021 male students aged 15 to 22 years. The females had experienced multiple violence (victimisation with two or three types of violence) more often than the males (21% vs. 16%). The associations between multiple violence victimisation and sexual ill health and sexual risk behaviours were consistent for both genders. Experience of/involvement in pregnancy yielded adjusted ORs of 2.4 (95% CI 1.5-3.7) for females and 2.1 (95% CI 1.3-3.4) for males, and early age at first intercourse 2.2 (95% CI 1.6-3.1) for females and 1.9 (95% CI 1.2-3.0) for males. No significantly raised adjusted ORs were found for non-use of contraceptives in young men or young women, or for chlamydia infection in young men.

Conclusions: Several types of sexual ill health and sexual risk behaviours are strongly associated with multiple violence victimisation in both genders. This should be taken into consideration when counselling young people and addressing their sexual and reproductive health.

Keyword
Adolescents, sexual behaviours, sexual health, violence, youth
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-107668 (URN)10.3109/13625187.2015.1089227 (DOI)000367601900007 ()26416241 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2015-08-26 Created: 2015-08-26 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
4. Strong associations between multiple violence victimisation and adverse mental health in secondary school students
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Strong associations between multiple violence victimisation and adverse mental health in secondary school students
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Keyword
Violence, adolescent, sel-injourious behaviour, suicidal ideation, mental health, gender identity
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-107672 (URN)
Available from: 2015-08-26 Created: 2015-08-26 Last updated: 2015-08-27

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