Thursday, January 10, 2008

Adolescent Victimization

By Sudipa Sarkar
Abstract

The adolescent victimization has been played a crucial role in the developmental factors contributing the occurrence of likelihood of various negative outcomes incorporating adulthood by means of various voluntary behaviours such as committing crimes, using illicit drugs and involuntary consequences such as mental health problems. However, the adolescents suffering from victimization may encounter a significant level of psychological defoliation implicating the importance of identifying the problem in individualized fashion and isolating them by prioritizing the individual needs on the basis of education and counselling. The present study aims at finding out the relevance and significance of individual counselling in the context of rehabilitation and educational enhancement for each victim on the basis of the surveys taken to ascertain their crisis regarding victimization.

Mental Health Counselling in terms of Education and Individual Needs and Preferences

Several studies have been conducted at both cross-sectional as well as longitudinal level facilitating the research by means of finding and establishing the probable relationship between the adolescence phase with the short and long term effect of victimization occurred in that developmental phase by emphasizing the understanding of the effect of victimization on developmental tasks inducing the changes in behaviour pattern, drug abuse, other substance abuse and mental health difficulties. Several researchers have paid their attention on finding out the relationship among the adolescent victimization and its relation to voluntary behaviours, the translation and transition of victimization from adolescence to adulthood, and its influence in adulthood.

In order to facilitate the education relating to the aspect of victimization in adolescence period, the primary concern should encapsulate the context of intervention and development of strategic plan of action to sort the problem out. The primary step, that is intervention, includes the understanding of multi-dimensional phenomenon of the problem of victimization which needs to be addressed in the perspective of the education system. Hence, the primary goal of the study must sum up the research methodology enabling the development of a strategic form of education system which would be instrumental in nature and being helpful for those victims in order to assist them to live a normal life in the main stream of society.

Review of Literature

According to the data retrieved from National Youth Survey, the consequences of victimization in adolescence phase manifest the likelihood of occurrence of negative outcomes in adult phase by means of different voluntary and involuntary changes. Research conducted in this aspect such as National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), previously known as National Crime Survey (NCS) suggests primarily four different kinds of impacts – physical or medical, financial, behavioural, and cognitive or emotional.

Physical or Medical costs: According to Blumberg (1979), near about 25% of victims of personal crimes including violent crimes as well as personal theft suffered from mild injury, whereas, near about 10% of those victims suffered from severe injury. Klaus (1994) argued that approximately 31% of all victims conducting violent crimes may suffer from serious physical injury, whereas, 18.5% among them may require medical attention. Miller et al (1996) reported that 3% of all of the medical spending as well as 14% of injury related medical spending in US are basically featured to the violent crime.

Financial costs: Miller et al (1996) argued that the financial losses as a result of experiencing victim of a crime are attributed to approximately $270 per larceny, $750 per robbery, $970 per burglary, and $3,300 per motor vehicle theft considering both attempted and successful crimes. Apart from those expenses, the other financial costs are associated with productive losses, medical care, ambulance service, mental health care, police and fire services, and victim services.

According to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), the data collected annually on selected non-lethal offences with identifiable victims include forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, simple assault, personal larceny with contact (e.g. pick pocket), personal larceny without contact (e.g. shoplifting), household burglary (e.g. stolen from someone’s house by breaking or hampering other’s property or committing another misdemeanour), household larceny (e.g. stealing from other’s home or property without letting the victim known) and motor vehicle theft. According to Mihalic and Elliott (1997), the NCVS questions lack the specificity particularly incorporating the domestic violence apparently resulting in underreporting in these crime sectors. Eigenberg (1990) argued that NCVS did not include the questionnaire related to rape and hence encapsulate underreporting problem whatsoever in that particular aspect.

Several researches conducted on victimization suggested that there is a strong correlation among victimization and subsequent offending. The data retrieved from NCVS confirms that the nature of victims of crime and the arrested person of the crime are characteristically prevalent as suggested by the researchers like Hindelang, Gottfredson, and Garofalo (1978) as well as Karmen (1990). Moreover, Ageton (1981); Esbenson and Huizinga (1990); Jenson and Brownfield (1986); Lauritson, Sampson and Laub (1991); Thornberry and Figlio (1974) assert that an individual may play the role of both victim and the offender at any given and specified time frame. Shaffer and Ruback (2002) affirmed that violent victimization and violent offending share many of the similar risk factors. Fagan, Piper and Cheng (1987) reported that the victims and victimizers share many homogeneous social, situational and environmental characteristics and lifestyles. However, still yet the researches on this area are unable to identify the mutual influence and predominance of relationship between the victimization and the prevalence of offending and their mutual interactive nature as well.

The primary mental health problems encountered as a result of victimization include depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Resick and Nishith (1997) as well as Kilpatrick et al (1987) reported that there is a positive correlation among PTSD and sexual assault. Researchers like Boney-McCoy and Finkelhor (1995) argued that compared to the victimization as a result of sexual assault with the victimization as a result of other form of assaults result in almost similar level of prevalence of PTSD. According to Resick and Nishith (1997) also reported about the strong correlation among the criminal victimization with anxiety, depression and other related psychological dysfunctions associated with the occurrence of victimization whatsoever with a special emphasize on the dependency of the drug abuse such a marijuana and other illicit drugs, whereas, the relevance and importance of the application of these studies are still on its budding level. Norris et al (1997) reported that there is not any significant relation among criminal victimization and specific symptom profile; rather it may be associated with the pervasive elevation of symptoms across multiple regions including depression, somatization (a special form of psychological dysfunction where a multiple, unexplained physical complaints are identified), hostility, anxiety, phobia, fear of crime, and avoidant behaviour pattern.

According to the survey conducted by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the rates of adolescent victimization are high. This survey has been conducted on the basis of past 10 years which confirms the high prevalence rate of victimization and violence among adolescents considering the number of large adolescent and general population studies. Department of Justice in U.S (2002) reported that the violent crime rate for adolescents of 16 to 19 years of age was double of the rate of individuals of age group 25 to 34. Finkelhor and Dziuba-Leatherman (1994) reported that it is three times less likely than that of adults of age group 35 to 49. Kilpatrick at al (2003) reports that the data of general population survey retrieved from The National Survey of Adolescents asserts that approximately 13% of females and 3.4% of males have been reported as sexually assaulted in a given point of their lives, 21.3% of boys and 13.4% of girls have been reported experiencing lifetime physical assault, and 43.6% of boys and 35% of girls have been reported as being witness of violence. A national telephone survey conducted on over 2000 samples of age group 10 to 16 years reports that 35% of the samples reported of being the victim of an assault and 5.4% reported as being experienced attempted assault. The researchers also focused on the cultural and social discrimination related to the adolescent victimization confirming a study stating that 91% of youth in low-income, inner-city neighbourhood being witnessed at least one incident of community violence (Lewis et al, 1997). Kilpatrick and Acierno (2003) reports that about 62% of forcible rapes happened before the age of 18 reported by adult women as per confirms The National Women Study. According to the study conducted by Schwab-Stone et al (1995), about 40% of the youth in urban school district reported being exposed to a shooting or stabbing and 74% reported being feeling unsafe in one or more common environmental contexts.

Method

In order to develop the instrumental form of educational system promoting the intervening strategy, the relevant methodologies addressing the individual needs for counselling and education for the adolescents suffered from victimization need to be developed. One of the most essential ingredients incorporating the research includes concept mapping in order to promote the development and enhancement of multiple types of learning and thinking. It is effective by means of aiding summarization of ideas along with taking important notes and then translation of those documents into reflective thinking. The other essential ingredient of concept mapping comprises the idea of brainstorming support in which an individual is directed towards a proper direction with an ability to generate newer ideas by means of developing new format of concept mapping.
Sample
According to the prospective, longitudinal survey conducted by National Youth Survey (NYS), the samples taken are as follows:
Americans of age group 11 years to 17 years at the year 1976 (the first collected data), and the same sample of age group 27 years to 33 years at the year 1992 (the last collected data).
The survey has been conducted into nine waves or interview cycles, among which the waves numbered from 1 to 5 had been collected annually during 1976-1980. Since 1980, the survey has been conducted with an interval of three years.
Measures

The measures of these studies primarily include four factors – types of victimization, prevalence and frequency, measures of problem outcomes and socio-demographic factors.
Types of Victimization: The type of victimization in general may be sub-divided into two broad categories – property and violence. Property victimization may include the stealing of vehicle or vehicle’s various parts or damages carried out on that particular aspect, vandalism, pick-pocketing (Blau, P.M., and Duncan, O.D. 1967), whereas violent victimization may include beating (Blumberg, M. 1979), attempted injury by weapon (e.g. knife) or objects (e.g. chair) (Boney-McCoy, S., and Finkelhor, D. 1995), being raped or sexually or physically assaulted.
Prevalence and Frequency: Prevalence and frequency are one of the essential ingredients for analysing the documents retrieved from the survey. Prevalence implies whether the individual has been victimized by a crime during a given measurement period, whereas, frequency implies the number of the occurrence of the victimization during that particular time frame.
Measures of Problem Outcomes: The analysis of the survey may encapsulate several different areas of measure of problem outcomes including non-domestic violent offending (felony assault) (Bureau of Justice Statistics. 1994), serious and severe property offending (felony theft), serious domestic violence offending (Eigenberg, H. 1990), serious domestic violence victimization (Elliott, D.S., Huizinga, D., and Menard, S. 1989), marijuana use, poly-drug abuse, problem drug use, mental health problems (Elliott, D.S., Wilson, W.J., Huizinga, D., Sampson, R.J., Elliott, A., and Rankin, B. 1996).
Socio-demographic factors: The analysis also considers the effects related to age cohort, gender, race/ethnicity, majority/minority and socioeconomic background of parents.
Design
The analysis is restricted to the three youngest NYS age cohorts. The sample of the respondents primarily satisfy the requirement of participants who are young enough not being experienced in certain problems especially being unexposed to the use of illicit drugs, whereas, on the other hand, the samples must encompass the requirement of being so much old that they have the opportunity to experience all sorts of problems.

The final year of the survey that is 1992, NYS has been conducted the measurement for adult mental health problems by emphasizing on the cycle of depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Procedure

The application of the format pertaining to the development of the educational framework with individualized mental health assessment pattern may formerly cover the evaluation of perception of whole with a special emphasize of problem solving ability of the victimized individuals. Data would be collected from the adolescent reported of abuse and a questionnaire would be developed according to the nature of the problem. Later the questioners would be analyzed and the adolescents would be segregated in accordance to level of mental ramifications. This segregated data would be preserved for the actual work shops for evaluation of progress.

Surveys would be done with the help of questioners. Along with it there would be digital camera to store the photographs of the students. Alongside there would be checklist to begin with and facilities of audio and video recording tat would be used while collecting the surveys.

One of the primary tenets if this reform Maria Montessori, emphasizes that the cognitive and emotional operating of a child is quite a different than that of an adult, in which it has been confirmed that the child’s psyche absorbs the environmental stimuli unconsciously and the conscious mind starts to build up from that point (Botsford, 1993). Thus, it is quite evident that before being ideologically advanced, a child must be appreciated in a right direction and provided with positive opportunities and practice of mind and concept developing application, so that the child in question must be carried out with an appropriate problem solving ability and enhanced rationality to cope up with the problems and difficulties in life. Hence the research design must follow the strategy formulizing with various stages and phases. The initial phase would encompass the relevant data for the purpose of research which would be done with optimum care and with intricate formulation. The next stage would be to use these data and formulate the result which would determine the later stages. Accordance to the findings it would be estimated the probable methods that would be applied to the adolescents and the most assumed method in this case would be a program that would involve daily classes of about 2 hours on metal health counselling in relation to education. Here the students would be taught according to their favourite subjects and while teaching the textual materials of the normal school curriculum students would be induced with counselling principals and cured of their problems by encouraging them to indulge into specific subjects of their likings. This would be a distraction from their usual frame of mind. Thus by providing them specific goals it is possible that they would be able to quit their existing way of life.
Results

Table # 1 shows the prevalence and odds of each problem outcome during adolescence, where prevalence illustrates the probability of experiencing a particular outcome and odds analyses the probability of experiencing an outcome with the probability of non-experiencing it.

Table # 2 shows the physical and financial consequences of victimization incidents, by offence: 1989 – 1992.

Table # 3 shows the relationship to the victimization to other problems considering both adolescents and adults.

Table # 4 shows adolescent’s risk factors for adult victimization, offending and drug abuse.
Discussion
Data retrieved from table #1 affirms that the prevalence and violent victimization during adolescence are 0.683 and 2.155 respectively. This implies that 7 out of 10 samples are the victims of a violent crime during adolescence, whereas, the prevalence and odds of violent victimization during adulthood are much lower, that is, 0.353 and 0.546 respectively.

Table # 2 affirms that most of the instances of sexual assaults, no weapons are actually used and almost 2/3rd of sexually assaulted victims suffered from some injury. Robberies typically involve no weapon and no injury but a property loss of more than $100.
Table # 3 affirms that the prevalence and frequency of violent and property crime victimization are positively and significantly correlated with the prevalence and frequency of the other problems. It is also quite evident that the mental health problems in adolescence are also positively correlated with violent victimization than that of property victimization.

Table # 4 illustrates that violent victimization during adolescence appears to be one of the important risk factors for association, time ordering and control for spuriousness.

Conclusion

This research would be extremely helpful for the organization in the context that this research would enable to formulate a certain theory that would be instrumental in dealing and helping adolescents with records of victimized incidents in the context of education and rehabilitation all at the same note. This would be fast and more helpful than usual educational institutes or rehabilitation centres and our organization would be pioneer in this respect.
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