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Study Updates Estimates, Trends for Childhood Exposure to Violence, Crime, Abuse

A study by David Finkelhor, PhD, 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 National Survey 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 and 17 years.

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

“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 concluded.

— Source: American Medical Associationo