Severeity and Chronicity of Domestic Violence: The Impact on Child and Adolescent Trauma

Allyson Drinkard, Kent State University

Beginning April 1999, a consortium comprised of Kent State University's Institute for the Study and Prevention of Violence (ISPV) and multiple community-based social service and health providers collaborated with police departments in five communities to identify and provide services to children and their families who have witnessed violence, known as the Children Who Witniess Violece (CWWV) program. CWWV has provided us with data on over 2900 children at the time of the violent incident, 342 cases at Time 2, and 227 cases at Time 3. In general, the majority of children (80% by caregiver report) experienced significant mental health and behavior problems as a result of witnessing violence. Having analyzed this data set, we currently find significant improvements in child and adolescent health over time. Currently, we ask how severity and chronicity of the violence witnessed impacts child trauma. A significan gap is addressed because previous knowledge in this area has been confined to small samples, particularly from domestic violence shelters, outpatient treatment centers, or hospital emergency departments. This research will contribute to the scientific understanding of the cycle of violence, risk related to child exposure to violence, and the childhood domestic violence experience.

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Updated 05/20/2006