Not Simply “In Their Heads”: Individual Differences Associated With Victimization and Health


  • This paper was funded by a grant awarded to Jennifer M. Knack and Lauri A. Jensen-Campbell by Timberlawn Psychiatric Research Foundation, Inc. (Dallas, TX).

Lauri A. Jensen-Campbell, Psychology Department, University of Texas at Arlington, 501 S. Nedderman Drive, Arlington, TX 76019. E-mail:


Research has not examined whether victimization predicts health after controlling for personality differences associated with victimization and health. In Study 1, college students (N = 1182) completed surveys assessing victimization, health, and personality. In Study 2, college students (N = 69) participated in a short-term longitudinal study that examined whether (a) victimization would predict health changes; (b) increases in victimization would lead to increased health problems; and (c) fall health would predict spring victimization when personality was considered. After controlling for individual differences, we found victimization predicted health outcomes (Study 1) and health problems over time (Study 2). These findings suggest the victimization–health link may occur because of physiological changes, rather than personality differences associated with victimization and health.