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A Longitudinal Study of Risk Factors for Sexual Victimization in Puerto Rican Youth

  • Hiu-fai Fong
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to Hiu-fai Fong, MD, MSHP, Boston Children's Hospital, 300 Longwood Ave, Boston, MA 02115
    Affiliations
    Division of General Pediatrics, Boston Children's Hospital (H-f Fong), Boston, Mass

    Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School (H-f Fong), Boston, Mass
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  • Author Footnotes
    1 Dr Alvarez is now with the Department of Health, Behavior, and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Baltimore, MD.
    Kiara Alvarez
    Footnotes
    1 Dr Alvarez is now with the Department of Health, Behavior, and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Baltimore, MD.
    Affiliations
    Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School (K Alvarez, M Cruz-Gonzalez, and M Alegría), Boston, Mass

    Disparities Research Unit, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital (K Alvarez, M Cruz-Gonzalez, and M Alegría), Boston, Mass
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  • Mario Cruz-Gonzalez
    Affiliations
    Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School (K Alvarez, M Cruz-Gonzalez, and M Alegría), Boston, Mass

    Disparities Research Unit, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital (K Alvarez, M Cruz-Gonzalez, and M Alegría), Boston, Mass
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  • Glorisa Canino
    Affiliations
    Department of Pediatrics, University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, University of Puerto Rico Medical Science Campus (G Canino), San Juan, Puerto Rico
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  • Hector R. Bird
    Affiliations
    Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University (HR Bird), New York, NY
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  • Margarita Alegría
    Affiliations
    Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School (K Alvarez, M Cruz-Gonzalez, and M Alegría), Boston, Mass

    Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School (M Alegría), Boston, Mass

    Disparities Research Unit, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital (K Alvarez, M Cruz-Gonzalez, and M Alegría), Boston, Mass
    Search for articles by this author
  • Author Footnotes
    1 Dr Alvarez is now with the Department of Health, Behavior, and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Baltimore, MD.
Published:December 26, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acap.2022.12.003

      Abstract

      Objective

      To determine whether youth, family, and neighborhood factors and minoritized status are associated with youth-reported sexual victimization from childhood through young adulthood.

      Methods

      We analyzed longitudinal data from 2 population-based samples of Puerto Rican youth living in the South Bronx (as a minoritized group) and Puerto Rico (as a nonminoritized group). Waves 1 to 3 were collected annually beginning in 2000 (youth age 5–13). Wave 4 was collected 2013 to 2017 (youth age 15–29). We estimated multivariable associations between youth, family, and neighborhood factors and minoritized status at Wave 1 (independent variables); and youth-reported sexual victimization at Waves 1 to 4 (dependent variables).

      Results

      None of the factors was associated with youth-reported sexual victimization at Wave 1 (N = 1911). Among youth reporting no previous history of sexual victimization at Wave 1 (n = 1823), youth in the South Bronx vs Puerto Rico were more likely to report sexual victimization at Waves 2 or 3 (odds ratio (OR) [95% confidence interval (CI)] = 3.62 [1.46–8.97]). Older youth were less likely to report sexual victimization (OR [95% CI] = 0.77 [0.65–0.91]) (all P < .01). Among youth reporting no history of sexual victimization at Waves 1 to 3 (n = 1782), youth in the South Bronx (OR [95% CI] = 2.53 [1.52–4.22]), female youth (OR [95% CI] = 2.81 [1.83–4.30]), and youth whose parents had more than a high school degree (OR [95% CI] = 2.25 [1.38–3.67]) were more likely to report sexual victimization at Wave 4 than their counterparts (all P ≤ .001).

      Conclusions

      Future research should investigate how living as a minoritized youth may contribute to an increased risk of sexual victimization.

      Keywords

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