Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

High Rates Of Childhood Exposure To Violence And Abuse In United States, New Study Finds

Date:
October 7, 2009
Source:
University of New Hampshire
Summary:
A new study finds that US children are routinely exposed to even more violence and abuse than has been previously recognized, with nearly half experiencing a physical assault in the study year.

A new study finds high rates of childhood exposure to violence and abuse in United States.
Credit: iStockphoto

A new study from the University of New Hampshire finds that U.S. children are routinely exposed to even more violence and abuse than has been previously recognized, with nearly half experiencing a physical assault in the study year.

"Children experience far more violence, abuse and crime than do adults," said David Finkelhor, director of the UNH Crimes against Children Research Center and the study director. "If life were this dangerous for ordinary grown-ups, we'd never tolerate it."

The research was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The research results are presented in the journal Pediatrics and an Office of Justice Programs/OJJDP bulletin titled "Children's Exposure to Violence: A Comprehensive National Survey."

UNH researchers asked a national sample of U.S. children and their caregivers about a far broader range of exposures than has been done in the past.

According to the research, three out of five children were exposed to violence, abuse or a criminal victimization in the last year, including 46 percent who had been physically assaulted, 10 percent who had been maltreated by a caregiver, 6 percent who had been sexually victimized, and 10 percent who had witnessed an assault within their family.

The authors contend that earlier studies of violence exposure only inquired about individual crimes – looking only at bullying or child maltreatment or sexual abuse. In contrast, this study asked about all such exposures as well as additional ones that are rarely, if ever, covered such as dating violence and witnessing domestic violence.

The study found that more than a third of the children had had two or more different kinds of exposures in the past year and 11 percent had five or more.

"Studies have missed the fact that there are a surprisingly large group of very repeatedly and variously victimized kids whom we should be doing a better job to help and protect," Finkelhor said.

The researchers urge teachers, police, doctors, counselors, and parents to ask children about a broader range of possible victimization experiences, especially children who had been identified as victims already. They also call for new efforts to create safer schools, homes and other youth environments.

The study was conducted in 2008 and involved interviews with caregivers and youth about the experiences of a nationally representative sample of 4,549 children ages 0-17. In addition to Finkelhor, the authors include Heather Turner, professor of sociology at UNH, Richard Ormrod, research professor of geography at UNH, and Sherry Hamby, research associate professor of psychology at Sewanee, the University of the South.

The UNH Crimes against Children Research Center (CCRC) works to combat crimes against children by providing high-quality research and statistics to the public, policy makers, law enforcement personnel, and other child welfare practitioners. CCRC is concerned with research about the nature of crimes including child abduction, homicide, rape, assault, and physical and sexual abuse as well as their impact. Visit the center online at http://www.unh.edu/ccrc/index.html.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of New Hampshire. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of New Hampshire. "High Rates Of Childhood Exposure To Violence And Abuse In United States, New Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091007081351.htm>.
University of New Hampshire. (2009, October 7). High Rates Of Childhood Exposure To Violence And Abuse In United States, New Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091007081351.htm
University of New Hampshire. "High Rates Of Childhood Exposure To Violence And Abuse In United States, New Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091007081351.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins