Can family structure and social support reduce the impact of child victimization on health-related quality of life?

Ko Ling Edward Chan, Mengtong Chen, Qiqi Chen, Patrick Ip

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


We conducted a cross-sectional school survey in Hong Kong using a two-stage stratified sampling procedure. The final sample comprised 4139 children's self-reports and proxy-reports (boys = 51.5%; mean age = 6.3). The main outcome was HRQoL measured with the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL). Family structure was represented by parents’ marital status, major caregivers, number of siblings and the living arrangement of children. Child victimization, social support, and demographic characteristics were also measured. All types of child victimization were associated with compromised HRQoL, and the strength of association varied across different types of child victimization. Family structure (in particular the number of siblings and whether additional childcare was received from grandparents) and social support were associated with better HRQoL. The negative associations between child victimization and polyvictimization and HRQoL were reduced when there was an adjustment made for family structure and social support. Findings show that family structure and social support are related to a reduction in negative health consequences for child victimization. The varying strengths of negative associations between victimization and HRQoL highlight the possibility that the effects of child victimization on health might not be homogeneous.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-74
Number of pages9
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


  • Child abuse
  • Children
  • Chinese
  • Family violence
  • Health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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