Youth Reported Perpetrators of Victimization Within a Foster Care Sample

Amanda Bennett, Alex Clement, Rachel Walton, Yo Jackson, Joy Gabrielli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Maltreatment type, severity, and chronicity are predictors of poor youth outcomes, yet youth reported perpetrators of abuse have gone largely unstudied. Little is known about variation in perpetration across youth characteristics (e.g., age, gender, placement type) and abuse features. This study aims to describe youth reported perpetrators of victimization within a foster care sample. 503 youth in foster care (ages 8–21 years) reported on experiences of physical, sexual, and psychological abuse. Follow up questions assessed abuse frequency and perpetrators. Mann-Whitney U Tests were used to compare central tendency differences in number of perpetrators reported across youth characteristics and victimization features. Biological caregivers were commonly endorsed perpetrators of physical and psychological abuse, though youth also reported high levels of peer victimization. For sexual abuse, non-related adults were commonly reported perpetrators, however, youth reported higher levels of victimization from peers. Older youth and youth residing in residential care reported higher numbers of perpetrators; girls reported more perpetrators of psychological and sexual abuse as compared to boys. Abuse severity, chronicity, and number of perpetrators were positively associated, and number of perpetrators differed across abuse severity levels. Perpetrator count and type may be important features of victimization experiences, particularly for youth in foster care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-296
Number of pages14
JournalChild Maltreatment
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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