Prevalence of Violence Estimation in Russia through a Retrospective Youth Survey



Objective. Estimating the prevalence of violence among children born in Russia in the 1980s, in the early 1990s and in the late 1990s using a retrospective youth survey. Background. Assessing the prevalence of a child abuse is an unresolved scientific and methodological problem. There are disagreements in approaches to assess the prevalence of violence, in interpreting the results. However, the main problem is the problem of reliable measuring instruments. Many studies show a wide variability in estimating prevalence and even in compared parameters; even greater discrepancies arise when it comes to identifying the factors and consequences of child abuse. Such a wide variability of estimation is associated with the insufficient quality of the measuring instruments and research procedures themselves. Study design. The sampling analyzed data on the prevalence of violence among “post-Soviet children”, “children of the 90s” and “children of the 21st century”. The presence and nature of the relationship was checked using methods of mathematical statistics (correlation analysis and analysis of the significance of differences). Participants. The study sample consisted of 537 people aged 18 to 24 years (M=20.23, SD=1.84) living in the Russian Federation. The 2006 sample of respondents included 144 people (25,7% of boys, 74,3% of girls), 2012 — 203 people (36,4% of boys, 63,6% of girls), 2018 — 190 people (35,7% of boys, 64,3% of girls). Measurements. International Questionnaire ICAST-R (ICAST-Retrospective) (adapted by E.N. Volkova, O.M. Isaeva). Results. A comparative analysis of the prevalence of violence among “children of the 21st cen¬tury”, “post-Soviet children” and “children of the 90s” showed that there is more similarity between these groups than differences in the severity of types, forms of violence and their frequency of occurrence (with the exception of cases of sexual violence, the percentage of cases of which is significantly reduced from the 2006 study to the 2018th year). Conclusions. A retrospective survey of young people using ICAST-R allows you to assess the prevalence of violence among children, as well as the state of the child protection system from violence and the content of public perceptions regarding child abuse.

General Information

Keywords: ICAST-R, retrospective survey, prevalence of violence, child abuse

Journal rubric: Empirical Research

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Volkova E.N., Volkova I.V., Isaeva O.M. Prevalence of Violence Estimation in Russia through a Retrospective Youth Survey. Sotsial'naya psikhologiya i obshchestvo = Social Psychology and Society, 2021. Vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 166–182. DOI: 10.17759/sps.2021120210. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Elena N. Volkova, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Leading Researcher, Psychological Institute of the Russian Academy of Education, Professor of the Department of Psychology of Education and Prevention of Deviant Behavior, Moscow Pedagogical State University (MPGU), Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Irina V. Volkova, senior analyst, Russian Academy of Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Oksana M. Isaeva, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor of Organizational Psychology Department, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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