Study updates estimates, trends for childhood exposure to violence, crime, abuse

A study by David Finkelhor, Ph.D., of the University of New Hampshire, and colleagues updates estimates and trends for childhood exposure to a range of violence, crime and abuse victimizations.

The study used the of Children's Exposure to Violence, which was based on a national telephone survey conducted in 2011. The participants included 4,503 children and teenagers between the ages of one month to 17 years.

According to the results, 41.2 percent of children and youth experienced a in the last year; 10.1 percent experienced an assault-related injury; and 2 percent experienced sexual assault or sexual abuse in the last year, although the rate was 10.7 percent for girls ages 14 to 17 years. The results also indicate that 13.7 percent of the children and youth repeatedly experienced by a caregiver, including 3.7 percent who experienced .

"The variety and scope of children's exposure to violence, crime, and abuse suggest the need for better and more comprehensive tools in clinical and research settings for identifying these experiences and their effects," the study concludes.

More information: JAMA Pediatr. Published online May 13, 2013. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.42

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