Physical Assaults Common Among Kids in U.S.

Children in the U.S. experience a high rate of assault according to a new study.

Over 37 percent of children who answered a recent survey reported being physically assaulted in the past year.

The survey, which was done by Director of Crimes against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire David Finkelhor, was first published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics June 29. It was conducted through telephone interviews with 4,000 children between the ages of 10 and 17 and caregivers for children under the age of 10.

Most of the assaults were done by children’s siblings or peers, and boys were about twice as likely to be assaulted as girls, according to

Other findings included that about one in 20 children had been abused by a parent of caregiver in the past year, and 15 percent of children reported being mistreated by a parent in the past year. Another six percent of children said they witnessed a physical fight between their parents.

Finkelhor said many of society’s social problems, like criminal behavior, depression and suicide, are associated with assault and abuse in childhood.

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