The Society for Social Work and Research

2014 Annual Conference

January 15-19, 2014 I Grand Hyatt San Antonio I San Antonio, TX

Child Victimization and Polyvictimization in China: Are They More At-Risk of Family Violence?

Saturday, January 18, 2014: 2:30 PM
HBG Convention Center, Room 001B River Level (San Antonio, TX)
* noted as presenting author
Edward K.L. Chan, PhD, Associate Professor, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Purpose: Child victimization, a prevalent public health problem, has attracted increasing attention worldwide. However, reliable profiles of the issue in China are lacking. Using a large and diverse sample of children in China, we aimed to (i) determine the prevalence of child victimization and poly-victimization and (ii) examine the associations between family violence and child victimization.


We used data collected in a study of 18,341 school-aged children from six geographical regions in China during 2009 and 2010. We computed the lifetime and preceding-year prevalence of child victimization, poly-victimization, and various types of family violence (i.e., child maltreatment, parental intimate partner violence, in-law conflict, and elder abuse). Adjusting for the demographic characteristics of the child, we also tested the association between each type of family violence and child victimization in separate logistic regression models.


The lifetime and preceding-year prevalence of child victimization was 71.7% and 60.0%, respectively. Almost one in every seven children had been poly-victims, while about one eleventh of children experienced poly-victimization in a year. All of the types of family violence examined in this study were associated with increased risks of preceding-year child victimization.


Child victimization is prevalent in China. Family violence is significantly associated with child victimization. With reference to such associations, screening for all other types of family violence when there are child victims may provide a useful means for the early identification of poly-victims. Possible mechanisms for the links between family violence and child victimization are also discussed.