Injuries From Physical Abuse: National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence I-III.

Academic Article


  • INTRODUCTION: Official data sources do not provide researchers, practitioners, and policy makers with complete information on physical injury from child abuse. This analysis provides a national estimate of the percentage of children who were injured during their most recent incident of physical abuse. METHODS: Pooled data from three cross-sectional national telephone survey samples (N=13,052 children) included in the National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence completed in 2008, 2011, and 2014 were used. RESULTS: Analyses completed in 2016 indicate that 8.4% of children experienced physical abuse by a caregiver. Among those with injury data, 42.6% were injured in the most recent incident. No differences in injury were observed by sex, age, race/ethnicity, or disability status. Victims living with two parents were less likely to be injured (27.1%) than those living in other family structures (53.8%-59%, p<0.001). Incidents involving an object were more likely to result in injury (59.3% vs 38.5%, p<0.05). Injured victims were significantly more likely to experience substantial fear (57.3%) than other victims (34.4%, p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: A substantial percentage of physical abuse victims are physically hurt to the point that they still feel pain the next day, are bruised, cut, or have a broken bone. Self-report data indicate this is a more common problem than official data sources suggest. The lack of an object in an incident of physical abuse does not protect a child from injury. The results underscore the impact of childhood physical abuse and the importance of early prevention activities.
  • Authors

  • Simon, Thomas R
  • Shattuck, Anne
  • Kacha-Ochana, Akadia
  • David-Ferdon, Corinne F
  • Hamby, Sherry
  • Henly, Megan
  • Merrick, Melissa T
  • Turner, Heather
  • Finkelhor, David
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • January 2018
  • Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Caregivers
  • Child
  • Child Abuse
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Ethnicity
  • Exposure to Violence
  • Family
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Wounds and Injuries
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 129
  • End Page

  • 132
  • Volume

  • 54
  • Issue

  • 1