Victimization experiences of adolescents in Malaysia

Choo, Claire, Dunne, Michael, Marret, Mary, Fleming, MaryLou, & Wong, Yut-Lin (2011) Victimization experiences of adolescents in Malaysia. Journal of Adolescent Health, 49(6), pp. 627-634.

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There has been little community-based research regarding multiple-type victimization experiences of young people in Asia, and none in Malaysia. This study aimed to estimate prevalence, explore gender differences, as well as describe typical perpetrators and family and social risk factors among Malaysian adolescents.


A cross-sectional survey of 1,870 students was conducted in 20 randomly selected secondary schools in Selangor state (mean age: 16 years; 58.8% female). The questionnaire included items on individual, family, and social background and different types of victimization experiences in childhood.


Emotional and physical types of victimization were most common. A significant proportion of adolescents (22.1%) were exposed to more than one type, with 3% reporting all four types. Compared with females, males reported more physical, emotional, and sexual victimization. The excess of sexual victimization among boys was due to higher exposure to noncontact events, whereas prevalence of forced intercourse was equal for both genders (3.0%). Although adult male perpetrators predominate, female adults and peers of both genders also contribute substantially. Low quality of parent–child relationships and poor school and neighborhood environments had the strongest associations with victimization. Family structure (parental divorce, presence of step-parent or single parent, or household size), parental drug use, and rural/urban location were not influential in this sample.


This study extends the analysis of multiple-type victimization to a Malaysian population. Although some personal, familial, and social factors correlate with those found in western nations, there are cross-cultural differences, especially with regard to the nature of sexual violence based on gender and the influence of family structure.

Impact and interest:

15 citations in Scopus
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15 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 52317
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Adolescents, Malaysia, Asia, Multiple victimization, Prevalence, Correlates, Perpetrators, Violence
DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2011.04.020
ISSN: 1054-139X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Deposited On: 19 Jul 2012 06:29
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2015 05:02

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