Prevalence of Childhood Exposure to Violence, Crime, and Abuse: Results From the National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence.

Academic Article


  • IMPORTANCE: It is important to estimate the burden of and trends for violence, crime, and abuse in the lives of children. OBJECTIVE: To provide health care professionals, policy makers, and parents with current estimates of exposure to violence, crime, and abuse across childhood and at different developmental stages. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: The National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence (NatSCEV) includes a representative sample of US telephone numbers from August 28, 2013, to April 30, 2014. Via telephone interviews, information was obtained on 4000 children 0 to 17 years old, with information about exposure to violence, crime, and abuse provided by youth 10 to 17 years old and by caregivers for children 0 to 9 years old. MAIN OUTCOME AND MEASURE: Exposure to violence, crime, and abuse using the Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire. RESULTS: In total, 37.3% of youth experienced a physical assault in the study year, and 9.3% of youth experienced an assault-related injury. Two percent of girls experienced sexual assault or sexual abuse in the study year, while the rate was 4.6% for girls 14 to 17 years old. Overall, 15.2% of children and youth experienced maltreatment by a caregiver, including 5.0% who experienced physical abuse. In total, 5.8% witnessed an assault between parents. Only 2 significant rate changes could be detected compared with the last survey in 2011, namely, declines in past-year exposure to dating violence and lifetime exposure to household theft. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Children and youth are exposed to violence, abuse, and crime in varied and extensive ways, which justifies continued monitoring and prevention efforts.
  • Authors

  • Finkelhor, David
  • Turner, Heather
  • Shattuck, Anne
  • Hamby, Sherry L
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • August 2015
  • Published In

  • JAMA Pediatrics  Journal
  • Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Abuse
  • Child, Preschool
  • Crime
  • Domestic Violence
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Sex Offenses
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Violence
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 26121291
  • Start Page

  • 746
  • End Page

  • 754
  • Volume

  • 169
  • Issue

  • 8