Examining the Link Between Childhood Physical Abuse and Risk for Violent Victimization in Youth and Young Adulthood in China
This study examines the association between childhood physical abuse and an increased risk for violent victimization in youth and young adulthood in China. It further assesses if this relationship is mediated by an individual’s routine activities. Data used in this study were collected from more than 2,000 individuals of school-based samples in Changzhi, a city of over 3 million people in Northern China. Drawing from a survey that captures childhood physical abuse, violent victimization, and routine activities, this study uses negative binominal regression to examine the relationships between childhood physical abuse, routine activities, and violent victimization among Chinese youth and young adults. We find that individuals who were physically abused in childhood were at a greater risk for violent victimization in youth and young adulthood, and that an individual’s routine activities (e.g., drinking) partially mediated this relationship. The findings from this study suggest that routine activity theory provides a useful framework for explaining the link between childhood physical abuse and risk for violent victimization in the Chinese context. Furthermore, our findings stress the importance of future research to look more closely at childhood experiences when studying future behaviors. In addition, our findings challenge beliefs held among Chinese parents about the acceptability of physical punishment to discipline children. These findings can be used to shape programs that create awareness of acceptable parenting practices in China.