A latent class approach to understanding patterns of peer victimization in four low-resource settings

Amanda J. Nguyen 1 , Catherine Bradshaw 2 , 3 , Lisa Townsend 4 , Alden L. Gross 3 , 5 ,  and Judith Bass 3
  • 1 University of Virginia Curry School of Education, Department of Human Services, 405 Emmet St S., Charlottesville VA 22904, United States of America
  • 2 University of Virginia Curry School of Education, Charlottesville, United States of America
  • 3 Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Mental Health, Baltimore MD, United States of America
  • 4 Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore MD, United States of America
  • 5 Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology, Baltimore MD, United States of America
Amanda J. Nguyen
  • Corresponding author
  • University of Virginia Curry School of Education, Department of Human Services, 405 Emmet St S., Charlottesville VA 22904, United States of America
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, Catherine Bradshaw
  • University of Virginia Curry School of Education, Charlottesville, United States of America
  • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Mental Health, Baltimore MD, United States of America
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, Lisa Townsend, Alden L. Gross
  • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Mental Health, Baltimore MD, United States of America
  • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology, Baltimore MD, United States of America
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and Judith Bass
  • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Mental Health, Baltimore MD, United States of America
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  • degruyter.comGoogle Scholar

Abstract

Background:

Peer victimization is a common form of aggression among school-aged youth, but research is sparse regarding victimization dynamics in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). Person-centered approaches have demonstrated utility in understanding patterns of victimization in the USA.

Objective:

We aimed to empirically identify classes of youth with unique victimization patterns in four LMIC settings using latent class analysis (LCA).

Methods:

We used data on past-year exposure to nine forms of victimization reported by 3536 youth (aged 15 years) from the Young Lives (YL) study in Ethiopia, India (Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states), Peru, and Vietnam. Sex and rural/urban context were examined as predictors of class membership.

Results:

LCA supported a 2-class model in Peru, a 3-class model in Ethiopia and Vietnam, and a 4-class model in India. Classes were predominantly ordered by severity, suggesting that youth who experienced one form of victimization were likely to experience other forms as well. In India, two unordered classes were also observed, characterized by direct and indirect victimization. Boys were more likely than girls to be in the highly victimized (HV) class in Ethiopia and India. Urban contexts, compared with rural, conferred higher risk of victimization in Ethiopia and Peru, and lower risk in India and Vietnam.

Conclusion:

The identified patterns of multiple forms of victimization highlight a limitation of common researcher-driven classifications and suggest avenues for future person-centered research to improve intervention development in LMIC settings.

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