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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 51440 Find in a Library
Title: VIOLENCE TOWARD CHILDREN IN THE UNITED STATES
Journal: AMERICAN JOURNAL OF ORTHOPSYCHIATRY  Volume:48  Issue:4  Dated:(OCTOBER 1978)  Pages:580-592
Author(s): RJ GELLES
Corporate Author: American Orthopsychiatric Assoc, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: American Orthopsychiatric Assoc, Inc
New York, NY 10011
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A NATIONAL SURVEY OF 2,143 REPRESENTATIVE FAMILIES SHOWED THAT VIOLENCE TOWARDS CHILDREN WHICH GOES WELL BEYOND ORDINARY PHYSICAL PUNISHMENT IS AN EXTENSIVE PHENOMENON WHICH HAS BEEN UNDERESTIMATED BY PREVIOUS STUDIES.
Abstract: FOLLOWING A BRIEF REVIEW OF PREVIOUS ESTIMATES OF THE INCIDENCE OF PARENT-TO-CHILD VIOLENCE, REASONS WHY THIS SPECIAL SURVEY WAS COMMISSIONED ARE GIVEN. OFFICIAL STATISTICS AND OTHER DATA WERE FOUND TO BE INCOMPLETE, AND EVEN EDUCATED ESTIMATES GAVE ONLY A PARTIAL PICTURE OF THE PROBLEM OF CHILD ABUSE. THE METHOD OF SELECTING THE REPRESENTATIVE FAMILIES IS GIVEN BRIEFLY. THE QUESTIONNAIRE, ADMINISTERED BY TRAINED INTERVIEWERS TOOK ABOUT 60 MINUTES TO COMPLETE AND COVERED THE ENTIRE CONTINUUM OF PARENT-CHILD VIOLENCE, FROM SPANKING AND SLAPS TO THREATENING WITH A GUN OR KNIFE. IT WAS FOUND THAT 63 PERCENT OF RESPONDENTS WITH A CHILD BETWEEN THE AGES OF 3 AND 17 LIVING AT HOME REPORTED AT LEAST ONE VIOLENT EPISODE DURING THE SURVEY YEAR (1975), AND 73 PERCENT REPORTED ONE AT SOME TIME DURING THE CHILDREARING YEARS. MOTHERS ARE THE MOST LIKELY USERS OF SLAPPING OR SPANKING AND ARE SIGNIFICANTLY MORE LIKELY TO HIT THE CHILD WITH SOMETHING. BOTH PARENTS WERE EQUALLY LIKELY TO 'BEAT UP' A CHILD, THREATEN WITH A KNIFE OR GUN, OR USE A KNIFE OR GUN. SONS AND YOUNGER CHILDREN WERE THE MORE COMMON VICTIMS. TABLES PRESENT THE SURVEY DATA AND THE NARRATIVE CONTAINS EXTENSIVE COMMENTARY. EXTRAPOLATIONS FROM THE FIGURES SUGGEST THAT BETWEEN 1.4 MILLION AND 1.9 MILLION WERE VULNERABLE TO PHYSICAL INJURY FROM VIOLENCE IN 1975 WHILE CLOSE TO 46,000 WERE THREATENED WITH A GUN OR KNIFE. IT IS ARGUED THAT THE MAIN PROBLEM WITH THIS SURVEY WAS UNDERREPORTING AND THAT THE ACTUAL INCIDENCE OF VIOLENCE TOWARDS CHILDREN IS PROBABLY MUCH HIGHER. REFERENCES ARE APPENDED. (GLR)
Index Term(s): Canada; Child abuse; Statistics; Studies; Surveys; Victims of Crime; Violence
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51440

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