Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 197–205 | Cite as

Victimization and Poly-Victimization in Adolescent Outpatients from Mental Health Centers: A Case-Control Study

  • M. Soledad Álvarez-Lister
  • Noemí Pereda
  • Georgina Guilera
  • Judit Abad
  • Anna Segura
Original Article


The aims of the present study were to establish interpersonal victimization rates in a clinical sample and to analyze this sample’s risk of victimization relative to the general population. The sample was composed of 472 adolescents (12–17 years of age): 118 outpatients from public mental health centers and 354 students who were matched by age and sex. Following previous studies, this research defined poly-victimization as four or more victimization types occurring during the previous year. The clinical group was more likely to report sexual victimization (OR = 9.540), conventional crime (OR = 3.120), caregiver victimization (OR = 3.469), witnessing and indirect victimization (OR = 3.466), electronic victimization (OR = 2.809), and poly-victimization (OR = 4.319) compared with the control group. Clinical samples present an increased risk of interpersonal poly-victimization compared with the general population. The influence of poly-victimization on mental health should be considered in the evaluation and treatment of adolescent outpatients.


Case-control studies Victimization Poly-victimization Adolescent victims Mental health services 



This work was supported by the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (MEC) [grant number DER2012-38559-C03-02]. The first author was supported by a PhD student fellowship from BECAS-CHILE, Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (CONICYT). In addition to the authors, the following were members of the GReVIA collaborative group: Francesc X. Arrufat (Psiquiatria i Salut Mental del Consorci Hospitalari de Vic), Lurdes Duñó, Luis Miguel Martín and Marta Aceña (INAD-Parc de Salut Mar), Montserrat Pàmias (CSMIJ Corporació Sanitària Parc Taulí), Fernando Lacasa (CSMIJ Cornellà de Llobregat, HSJD), Núria López (CSMIJ Granollers, HSJD), Teresa Ribalta and Montserrat Palau (Fundació Orienta: Sílvia Bonfill, CSMIJ Sant Boi; Tuulikki Trias, CSMIJ El Prat de Llobregat; Maria de Querol, CSMIJ Castelldefels; Esther Urpinas, CSMIJ Gavà and Montserrat Balcells, CSMIJ Hospitalet de Llobregat), Montserrat Daniel (Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau), Montserrat Nogués (CSMIJ Sant Pere Claver) and Mireia Escardíbul (CSMIJ Fundació Eulàlia Torres de Beà - Sant Andreu). The authors would like to thank all the adolescents who participated in this study.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.

Conflict of Interest

All authors declare that they have no competing interests.


This work was supported by the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (MEC) [grant number DER2012–38,559-C03–02]. The first author was supported by a PhD student fellowship from BECAS-CHILE, Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (CONICYT).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Soledad Álvarez-Lister
    • 1
    • 2
  • Noemí Pereda
    • 1
    • 3
    • 2
  • Georgina Guilera
    • 4
    • 3
  • Judit Abad
    • 1
    • 2
  • Anna Segura
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Psychology and PsychobiologyUniversity of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Research Group on Child and Adolescent Victimization (GReVIA)University of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Social and Quantitative PsychologyUniversitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.Institut de Recerca en Cervell, Cognició i Conducta (IR3C)University of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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