Trends in Childhood Violence and Abuse Exposure: Evidence From 2 National Surveys

Crimes Against Children Research Center, University of New Hampshire, 126 Horton Social Science Center, 20 College Road, Durham, NH 03824, USA.
JAMA Pediatrics (Impact Factor: 5.73). 03/2010; 164(3):238-42. DOI: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2009.283
Source: PubMed


To assess trends in children's exposure to abuse, violence, and crime victimizations.
An analysis based on a comparison of 2 cross-sectional national telephone surveys using identical questions conducted in 2003 and 2008.
Telephone interview.
Experiences of children aged 2 to 17 years (2030 children in 2003 and 4046 children in 2008) were assessed through interviews with their caretakers and the children themselves. Outcome Measure Responses to the Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire.
Several types of child victimization were reported significantly less often in 2008 than in 2003: physical assaults, sexual assaults, and peer and sibling victimizations, including physical bullying. There were also significant declines in psychological and emotional abuse by caregivers, exposure to community violence, and the crime of theft. Physical abuse and neglect by caregivers did not decline, and witnessing the abuse of a sibling increased.
The declines apparent in this analysis parallel evidence from other sources, including police data, child welfare data, and the National Crime Victimization Survey, suggesting reductions in various types of childhood victimization in recent years.

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Available from: Sherry Hamby, Oct 10, 2015
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    • "Although the prevalence of child sexual abuse is declining somewhat, it is still estimated that 6.7% of children in the United States are being abused sexually (Finkelhor et al., 2010). As child sexual abuse leads to high tangible and intangible costs (Miller et al., 1996), it is a matter of great public concern. "
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    ABSTRACT: Thus far, four studies have used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to test for differences in brain structure between paedophilic (i.e. sexually attracted to pre-pubescent children) and teleiophilic (i.e. sexually attracted to adults) men, revealing divergent results. To re-examine this issue, we acquired high resolution structural T1-weighted and diffusion MRI scans of the brain in 24 paedophilic and 32 teleiophilic men. We performed voxel-based morphometry (VBM) of the T1-weighted images and tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) of the diffusion tensor imaging data to search for grey and white matter differences between groups. In contrast to previous studies, less than half of the individuals in our paedophilic group had a record of sexual offences against children, as subjects were partially recruited from two outpatient facilities of a child sexual abuse prevention project for self-acknowledged paedophiles. After adjustment for multiple comparisons and controlling for important confounding factors, we did not find any significant grey or white matter differences between the paedophilic and teleiophilic subjects. Together with the inconsistencies in the literature, these results argue against consistent structural differences at the macroanatomical scale between paedophiles and teleiophiles. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Psychiatric Research 09/2015; 68:246-253. DOI:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2015.07.002 · 3.96 Impact Factor
    • "Multiple forms of victimization are negatively associated with adolescent well-being, and cyber-victimization can influence adolescents above and beyond traditional victimization [25]. Although many studies suggest that there is a decline in various types of peer victimization among school children [26], bullying remains a problem in schools today. The considerable prevalence of bullying/cyberbullying in the Basque Country [3] and its harmful effects reveal the need for programs to prevent this type of violence. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: In recent years, the problem of youth violence has been a cause of increasing concern for educational and mental health professionals worldwide. The main objective of the study was to evaluate experimentally the effects of an anti-bullying/cyberbullying program (Cyberprogram 2.0) on conflict-resolution strategies and self-esteem. Methods: A randomly selected sample of 176 Spanish adolescents (93 experimental, 83 control) was employed, aged 13-15 years. The study used a repeated measures pretest-posttest design with a control group. Before and after the program (19 one-hour sessions), two assessment instruments were administered: the Questionnaire for Measuring Conflict-Management Message Styles and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. Results: The posttest ANCOVAs confirmed that the program stimulated an increase of cooperative conflict-resolution strategies, a decrease in aggressive and avoidant strategies, and an increase of self-esteem. The change was similar in both sexes. Conclusions: The study provides evidence of the effectiveness of Cyberprogram 2.0 to improve the capacity for conflict resolution and self-esteem. The discussion focuses on the importance of implementing programs to promote social-emotional development and to prevent violence.
    Journal of Adolescent Health 07/2015; 57(2):229-234. DOI:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2015.04.007 · 3.61 Impact Factor
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    • "Trends are much better and more sensitively assessed on the basis of annual prevalence and from surveillance systems that use equivalent questions, samples, or measurement strategies over a period of years. These approaches do show declines in sexual abuse/assault to girls, using different data sets, reported cases [18] [20], cases known to professionals [21], and victim surveys [18] [22]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose To estimate the likelihood that a recent cohort of children would be exposed to sexual abuse and sexual assault by age 17 in the United States. Methods This analysis draws on three very similarly designed national telephone surveys of youth in 2003, 2008, and 2011, resulting in a pooled sample of 708 17-year-olds, 781 15-year-olds, and 804 16-year-olds. Results The lifetime experience of 17-year-olds with sexual abuse and sexual assault was 26.6% (95% confidence interval [CI] 19.8–33.5) for girls and 5.1% (95% CI 2.6–7.6) for boys. The lifetime experience with sexual abuse and sexual assault at the hands of adult perpetrators exclusively was 11.2% (95% CI 6.4–16.1) for females and 1.9% (95% CI .5–3.4) for males. For females, considerable risk for sexual abuse and assault was concentrated in late adolescence, as the rate rose from 16.8% (95% CI 11.5–22.2) for 15-year-old females to 26.6% (95% CI 19.8–33.5) for 17-year-old females. For males, it rose from 4.3% (95% CI 1.9–6.8) at 15 years to 5.1% (2.6–7.6) at 17 years. Conclusions Self-report surveys in late adolescence reveal high rates of lifetime experience with sexual abuse and sexual assault at the hands of both adults and peers. Because of high continuing victimization during the late teen years, assessments are most complete when conducted among the oldest youth.
    Journal of Adolescent Health 09/2014; 55(3). DOI:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.12.026 · 3.61 Impact Factor
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