Preprints are early versions of research articles that have not been peer reviewed. They should not be regarded as conclusive and should not be reported in news media as established information.
Draft.pdf (279.83 kB)
Download file

Understanding Childhood Victimization Experiences and Mental Health Outcomes in a Sample of Prison Inmates in Northern Chile

Download (279.83 kB)
posted on 2023-08-29, 05:41 authored by Cristián Pinto-CortezCristián Pinto-Cortez, Diego Portilla-Saavedra, Diego Arias, Rodrigo Ferrer-Urbina, Marjorie Rojas, Javiera Carvajal, Álvaro Zamora, Elizabeth Suárez-Soto

Previous research has demonstrated a relationship between childhood victimization and negative mental health outcomes among individuals deprived of liberty. However, these studies have generally focused on

physical abuse or sexual abuse and have been conducted in developed countries. Based on this background, the present study aimed to explore the associations between different forms of childhood victimization and psychological distress in a sample of individuals deprived of liberty in

northern Chile. Data from 229 participants in a high-security prison facility were used. Six modules of

victimization were included, such as conventional crimes, caregiver victimization, peer victimization, sexual

victimization, and indirect victimization. Correlation analyses and multiple hierarchical regression were conducted to measure the associations between the variables of interest and psychological distress.

Overall, different forms of victimization were associated with all evaluated symptomatology. In a more detailed analysis, it was found that gender, caregiver victimization, and sexual victimization had the greatest predictive weight on adult mental health problems among individuals deprived of liberty. From a social reintegration perspective,

these findings could provide the necessary theoretical basis for increased investment in mental health for the incarcerated population in Chile.

Considering that many of these individuals may have been exposed to experiences of victimization in their childhood, it becomes crucial to prioritize their mental well-being as part of their rehabilitation process. It is necessary to continue deepening the understanding of these

phenomena through studies considering the high prevalence of mental health problems among individuals in correctional systems.


Declaration of conflicts of interest


Corresponding author email

Lead author country

  • Chile

Lead author job role

  • Higher Education Researcher

Lead author institution

Universida de Tarapacá

Human Participants

  • Yes

Ethics statement

Yes, Comité Ético Científico Universidad de Tarapacá

Terms agreed

  • Yes, I agree to Advance terms


Log in to write your comment here...

Usage metrics

    Advance: Social Sciences & Humanities