Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/

0000-0003-1096-9248

Date of Award

5-2-2022

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Dr. Leah Daigle

Second Advisor

Dr. Dean Dabney

Third Advisor

Dr. Mark Reed

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Heidi Scherer

Abstract

Since its conceptualization by Finkelhor et al. (2005), the phenomenon of polyvictimization (i.e., experiencing multiple types of victimization) has been widely studied. Past reviews have assessed works examining polyvictimization among children and adolescents, but there appears to be no systematic review exploring polyvictimization correlates and consequences among adults. Thus, Chapter II presents a systematic review examining the correlates and consequences of polyvictimization among adults. Additionally, few works have longitudinally examined individual-level correlates of polyvictimization, such as personality traits. As such, there was a clear need for research in this area able to establish time order between personality type and experiencing polyvictimization (i.e., Chapter III). Finally, many polyvictimization consequences have been explored but few studies have examined academic performance. Chapter IV fills this gap by examining how experiencing polyvictimization may impact GPA, mental health-related, physical health-related, and substance use-related academic performance. These chapters provide a set of unique but interconnected findings. First, the most common definition and measurement strategy for polyvictimization was to define it as experiencing two or more types, but the use of broad or specific victimization types varied. Prior victimization was the most consistent correlate of polyvictimization, and depression was the most consistent consequence of polyvictimization across studies. Second, when examining the Big Five personality traits (i.e., agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, openness, extraversion) as a correlate of polyvictimization with longitudinal data, openness and agreeableness were the only significant correlates of polyvictimization. Third, compared to non-polyvictims, polyvictims had significantly greater odds of having a lower GPA and academic performance issues related to mental health, physical health, and substance use. From these findings, it is clear that identifying and understanding the correlates and consequences of polyvictimization are deserving of further study and awareness. Service providers should work toward an individual-level, tailored approach to assist those who are experiencing polyvictimization and develop intervention programs based on relevant risk factors to prevent its occurrence.

Available for download on Sunday, April 28, 2024

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