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Social Ecological Correlates of Polyvictimization among a National Sample of Transgender, Genderqueer, and Cisgender Sexual Minority Adolescents

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2017
12 pages
Using a large, national convenience sample of sexual and gender minority adolescents (N = 1,177 14-19 years old), the current study aimed to (a) generate the first estimates of last-year polyvictimization (including nine victimization subtypes) for transgender, genderqueer, and cisgender (i.e., assigned birth sex aligns with gender identity) sexual minority adolescents and (b) identify social ecological correlates of last-year polyvictimization.
The study used an online survey advertised through Facebook and community organizations across the United States. Approximately, 40 percent of participants experienced ten or more different forms of victimization in the last year and were classified as polyvictims. A significantly higher percentage of transgender female (63.4 percent), transgender male (48.9 percent), genderqueer assigned male at birth (71.5 percent) and genderqueer assigned female at birth (49.5 percent) were polyvictimized in comparison to cisgender sexual minority males (33.0 percent). Polyvictimization rates for cisgender sexual minority females (35.1 percent) were not significantly different from male counterparts (33.0 percent). Several significant risk factors for polyvictimization were identified: genderqueer identity for participants assigned male at birth and higher-levels of posttraumatic stress, family-level microaggressions, and peer rejection. The article concludes with recommendations for future research, including the exploration of factors (e.g., lack of community support, gender-role policing) associated with higher polyvictimization rates for genderqueer adolescents. Additionally, professionals (e.g., foster care, homeless shelters, schools) require new tools to assess for polyvictimization among sexual and gender minority adolescents. (Publisher abstract modified)
Date Published: May 1, 2017