Polyvictimization, resilience and mental health

Funding: The Ministry of Justice and Public Security
Project period: 2016-2019
Researchers: Svein Mossige (project leader), Mette Løvgren

Svein Mossige. Foto: Benjamin Ward, HiOA
Professor Svein Mossige. Photo: B. Ward, HiOA

The aim of the proejct is to explore polyvictimization among Norwegian adolescents based on the YoungViolence 2015 survey. The term polyvictimization refers experience of multiple victimizations of different kinds (for instance sexual abuse and physical abuse, bullying and witnessing family violence).

Research has shown that polyvictimization has a strong impact on the kinds of mental health problems children and young people struggle with. At the same time, some “survive” the experiences without the serious maladjustments that otherwise could be expected. The term resilience refers to this capacity to survie or adapt well when faced with trauma. Both polyvictimization and resilience may be important conditions to consider when we want to understand the connection between serious and negative experiences on the one side and different mental health outcomes on the other.

The project addresses the following questions

  1. Is it possible to identify groups of young people that may be particularly vulnerable to experiencing polyvictimization?
  2. What kinds of contextual conditions may be of importance for their vulnerability?
  3. What conditions or factors may protect against mental health problems among young people who experience polyvictimization?


Huang, L. & Mossige, S. (2015). Resilience in young people living with violence and self-harm: evidence from a Norwegian national youth survey. Psychological Research and Behavior Management, 8, 231-238.

Mossige, S. & Huang, L. (2017). Poly-victimization in a Norwegian adolescent population: Prevalence, social and psychological profile, and detrimental effects. PLOS ONE. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0189637.

For questions about this project, contact researcher Svein Mossige (svein.mossige@oslomet.no)