Methods: Data were collected as part of the DAVILA study, a national survey with Latino youth to examine their victimization experiences (child maltreatment, peer and sibling victimization, sexual victimization, dating violence, stalking, and conventional crime). Interviews were conducted in two time periods, spanning 15 months (n= 574). Participants were also asked about their social support from family, friends, and significant other. The mean age of participants was 14.8 at time 1 and over half (53%) were females. More than half (63%) lived in a household with an annual income of less than $30,000.
Regression models were conducted to examine the bidirectional relationship between social support and victimization. Model 1 examined the association between types of social support at time 1 and overall victimization at time 2. Model 2 explored the association between types of victimization at time 1 and overall social support at time 2. Models 3, 4, and 5 examined the relationship between types of victimization at time 1 and social support from a friend, family, and significant other, respectively, at time 2.
Results: Results indicated that youth who had social support from their family at time 1 were less likely to experience any type of victimization at time 2 (b=.53, p<.001). Whereas, those with social support from a significant other at time 1 were more likely to experience any type of victimization at time 2 (b=1.60, p<.001).
Youth who experienced peer/sibling victimization (b=-.15, p<.01) and stalking at time 1 had less overall social support at time 2 (b=.-18, p<.001). Specifically, youth with experiences of peer or sibling victimization (b=-.12, p<.01), stalking (b=-.16, p<.001), and conventional crime (b=-.12, p<.01), at time 1 had less support from friends at time 2, but those who experienced child maltreatment had more friend support (b=.30, p<.001). Those who experienced child maltreatment (b=-.38, p<.001) and stalking (b=-.13, p<.01) at time 1 had less support from family at time 2. Those who experienced child maltreatment and sexual victimization at time 1 reported less support from their significant other at time 2 (b=-.19, p<.001; b=-.13, p<.01, respectively). All the models were significant.
Conclusion/Implications: These findings highlight the importance of context in which social support may act as a protective or risk factor among Latino youth. It further emphasizes the impact of victimization on their supportive networks. These results serve to inform efforts to protect against victimization and improve social support networks in the Latino community.