Increased aggressive behavior among youth in the United States who have experienced multiple forms of victimization

Publication Date


Journal Title

Int J Adolesc Med Health


© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston. Victims of peer aggression, categorized broadly as face-to-face aggression (FA) and/or cyber-aggression (CA), are themselves at elevated risk for perpetrating aggressive behavior against others. Studies to date have not formally examined whether experiencing multiple forms of FA or CA is associated with even further increased likelihood of aggressive behavior towards others. Data from the 2014 National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence III were analyzed for youth aged 10-17. Based on self-report responses regarding past-year experience, two broad victimization categories were defined: FA (verbal/relational aggression and/or physical assault/intimidation and/or property victimization) and CA (Internet harassment and/or cell-phone harassment). Logistic regression adjusting for age, sex and race/ethnicity compared victim sub-groups against corresponding non-victims with respect to self-report of aggressive behaviors towards others. The sample (n = 1959) was 51.3% male and 77.5% White; 39.6% reported >1 form of FA and 7.9% reported >1 form of CA. Whereas victims of physical assault/intimidation or property damage were more likely than non-victims to perpetrate aggression [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 4.44 and 5.17, respectively), victims of both were strikingly at greatest risk (aOR = 20.29). Similarly, victims of Internet harassment or cell-phone harassment were more likely than non-victims to perpetrate aggression (aORs = 6.18 and 9.40, respectively), while victims of both were even more likely (aOR = 15.32). Students who experienced >1 form of both FA and CA were the most likely to engage in aggressive behaviors (aOR = 38.03). Victims of multiple forms of FA or CA are more likely to perpetrate aggression compared to non-victims and those victimized in fewer ways.

Document Type





School of Medicine

Primary Department

General Pediatrics






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