The effects of adolescent victimization on self-concept and depressive symptoms 

Author(s)Turner, Heather A., David Finkelhor and Richard Ormrod
Title The effects of adolescent victimization on self-concept and depressive symptoms
Source Child Maltreatment,February 2010, Vol 15, No 1, pp 76-90
Document type Journal Article
Coverage USA

This study explores a number of questions involving victimisation, self-concept and mental health of adolescent victims, with particular focus on mastery and self-esteem. The data was obtained from Waves II and III of the Developmental Victimization Survey involving a national sample of youth aged 11-18. Measures included victimisation exposure, non-victimisation adversity, mastery, self-esteem and depressive symptoms. A significant finding was that only exposure to sexual victimisation was independently related to reductions in self-esteem. There was only a marginal association between nonsexual maltreatment and reductions in self-esteem but this could have been due to the age of the youths in the study. Sexual victimisation was related to both decreases in self-esteem and higher levels of depressive symptoms and reductions in mastery and self-esteem were related to greater levels of depression. Noteworthy are the strong associations between all forms of past-year victimisation and depressive symptoms, when changes in self-concept were controlled.

Keywords Child victimisation; adolescence; self-esteem; mastery; depression