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The Impact of Violence on Children

Joy D. Osofsky
The Future of Children
Vol. 9, No. 3, Domestic Violence and Children (Winter, 1999), pp. 33-49
Published by: Princeton University
DOI: 10.2307/1602780
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1602780
Page Count: 17
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Impact of Violence on Children
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Abstract

Existing research on the effects of children's exposure to violence covers a broad range of community, family, and media violence. This research is relevant and useful to an examination of domestic violence in two key ways. First, understanding how exposure to various types of violence affects children and what best enables them to cope can point to important considerations when trying to help children cope with exposure to domestic violence in particular. And second, many families experiencing domestic violence are exposed to other types of violence as well. Exposure to violence on multiple levels can affect the parents' behavior and can compound the effects on children. This article begins with an overview of the extent of children's exposure to various types of violence, and then examines what is known about the effects of this exposure across the developmental continuum. Key protective factors for children exposed to violence are examined. Research indicates that the most important resource protecting children from the negative effects of exposure to violence is a strong relationship with a competent, caring, positive adult, most often a parent. Yet, when parents are themselves witnesses to or victims of violence, they may have difficulty fulfilling this role. In the final section, directions for future research are discussed.

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