Justice-involved youth report experiencing elevated levels of peer victimization. However, the links between the various forms of peer victimization and specific types of charges are unclear.
The current study advances our understanding of peer victimization among justice-involved youth by examining how experiencing overt and relational victimization are linked to specific charges among detained youth.
Detained youth (N = 268; 74.6% male) responded to questions regarding peer victimization experiences and the detention facilities provided charge information.
Analyses indicated that experiencing overt victimization was associated with increased risk for being detained for arson-related charges, and those detained with an arson-related offense reported higher mean levels of overt victimization than those detained for other charges. Experiencing relational victimization was associated with increased risk for being detained for a sex-related crime, and youth detained for a sex-related crime reported higher levels of relational victimization than youth detained for other charges. In contrast, youth detained for theft-related charges reported lower levels of both overt and relational victimization than those detained for other reasons, but neither form of victimization was uniquely associated with risk for being detained for theft.
These results suggest experiencing overt and relational victimization are uniquely associated with specific charges among detained youth, with more research needed to understand these links.