Getting punched by your brother or sister is sometimes a painful rite of passage, but many U.S. kids also experience other types of assaults, mistreatment and abuse, a large government-funded survey found.
The consequences can include social and emotional troubles, even when the perpetrator is a sibling, other research has found.
While most incidents reported in the survey didn't cause injuries and many didn't involve weapons, the results show that youths younger than age 18 are exposed to violence in extensive ways, "which justifies continued monitoring and prevention efforts," the researchers said.
The results are from 2013-14 phone interviews with 4,000 randomly selected kids or their parents, asked about recent and lifetime experiences. Results were published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics; there was little change from a previous survey in 2011.
Among the key findings:
- For all ages grouped together, 37% experienced any physical assault in the previous year.
- About 22% were by siblings and 16% were by peers.
- 41% of kids surveyed had more than one direct experience of violence, crime or abuse and 10% had six or more.
- 14% of girls aged 14 to 17 said they'd been sexually assaulted within the past year and for 4% the attack was a rape or rape attempt.
- 15% of kids surveyed experienced maltreatment by a parent or other caregiver within the previous year, including 5% who experienced physical abuse.
- 9% of all physical assaults resulted in injuries, but it jumped to 22% in the oldest kids.
"The full burden of this tends to be missed because many national crime indicators either do not include the experience of all children or don't look at the big picture," he said.