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J Trauma Dissociation. 2018 May-Jun;19(3):275-288. doi: 10.1080/15299732.2018.1440479.

Polyvictimization in childhood and its adverse impacts across the lifespan: Introduction to the special issue.

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a Department of Psychiatry, University of Connecticut Schools of Medicine and Law, Farmington, Connecticut, USA.
b Department of Psychology, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington, USA.


Although much empirical work has focused on the adverse impact of specific types of childhood victimization (e.g., sexual, physical, or emotional abuse), researchers and clinicians increasingly are recognizing the prevalence of polyvictimization, or exposure to multiple types of victimization. Polyvictimization during formative developmental periods may have detrimental and potentially lifelong biopsychosocial impacts over and above the effects of exposure to specific types of adversity. In this guest editorial, we summarize the key questions and findings for six empirical studies on polyvictimization included in this Special Issue of the Journal of Trauma & Dissociation. These empirical studies further our understanding of the nature, consequences, and assessment of polyvictimization. We conclude with recommendations for continued scientific research and clinical inquiry on polyvictimization.


Polyvictimization; abuse; childhood; lifespan; maltreatment; trauma

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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