Victimization of children

Am Psychol. 1994 Mar;49(3):173-83. doi: 10.1037//0003-066x.49.3.173.


Children suffer more victimizations than do adults, including more conventional crimes, more family violence, and some forms virtually unique to children, such as family abduction. On the basis of national statistics, these victimizations can be grouped into three broad categories: the pandemic, such as sibling assault, affecting most children; the acute, such as physical abuse, affecting a fractional but significant percentage; and the extraordinary, such as homicide, affecting a very small group. They can also be differentiated by the degree to which they result from the unique dependency status of children. A field called the victimology of childhood should be defined that adopts a developmental approach to understanding children's vulnerability to different types of victimizations and their different effects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Abuse / classification
  • Child Abuse / psychology
  • Child Abuse / statistics & numerical data*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Male
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Violence*