Typologies of childhood exposure to violence: Associations with college student mental health


Objective: This study examined typologies of childhood violence exposure (CVE) and the associations of profiles with current demographic characteristics and mental health in emerging adulthood. Participants: The study evaluated a sample of college students from 2 US geographic regions (Midwest, n = 195; Southeast, n = 200). Methods: An online questionnaire (collected 2013-2014) assessed CVE and current mental health. Latent class analysis was used to identify typologies of CVE. Follow-up analyses were conducted to distinguish differences between typologies in demographic characteristics and mental health. Results: Four distinct profiles emerged: High-Exposed, Domestic-Exposed, Community-Exposed, and Low-Exposed. High- and Domestic-Exposed groups were more likely to be first-generation college students and to experience symptoms of psychopathology. Conclusions: This study offers a unique presentation of CVE profiles and a nuanced interpretation of their differential relationship to current demographic characteristics and mental health. It may befit university mental health initiatives to engage first-generation students and utilize comprehensive assessments of previous victimization.

Publication Title

Journal of American College Health