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National Study of Children Exposed to Violence

Award Information

Award #
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2006, $1,493,015)

This project is a five year two-tiered study to collect national and local data on the children's exposure to violence to inform the field about the types of exposure and the intensity, frequency and chronicity of such exposure. These numbers will provide the first robust comprehensive numbers on children's exposure to violence as well as providing a tool for local communities to collect their own local data. The purpose of the study is to document the incidence and life-time prevalence of children's exposure to a broad array of violence, crime and abuse experiences including witnessing such experiences in the United States. Although the exact domain of violence exposure is still to be fully specified, the intention is to comprehensively assess a variety of victimization experiences and to include children across a wide developmental spectrum. Event characteristics will be obtained, including the location of exposure, the severity of the event (e.g., whether injury resulted), the frequency of occurrence across type of exposure, and the child's relationship to the perpetrator and (in the case of witnessing) the victim. A secondary goal of the study is the development of a 'toolkit' that can be used by communities interested in performing their own assessments of children's exposure to violence within their local area. Arising from our experience with the national study, the toolkit will include a set of guidelines, procedures, data instruments, and advice for conducting a local survey, designed to be accessible to wide variety of users.

Additional objectives of the national study include:

' Documenting variations in incidence and prevalence of violence exposure across gender, race, socio-economic status, family structure, region, urban/rural residence, and developmental stage of the child;
' Specifying how different forms of violent victimization 'cluster' or co-occur;
' Identifying individual, family, and community-level predictors of violence exposure among children;
' Examining associations between levels/types of violence exposure and child mental health; and
' Assessing the extent to which children disclose incidents of violence to various individuals and the nature and source of assistance or treatment (in any) given to the child.


Date Created: September 17, 2006