The proposed project is designed to fill a gap in the existing knowledge about the consequences of violence exposure in childhood by studying a prospectively derived sample of adults with records of a disability, exposure to domestic violence, and residing in a census tract associated with high rates of community violence in childhood and a comparable non-exposed sample drawn from the same population. The purpose of the project is to determine whether there are specific and general adverse long-term mental health, posttraumatic stress, and antisocial consequences to childhood violence exposure among adults with an identified childhood disability. Resiliency to violence exposure in childhood will also be studied. Project objectives include determining the moderating role of age at exposure, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and childhood disability status in the occurrence of adverse long-term outcomes. Violence characteristics, community characteristics, family of origin characteristics, and out-of-home placement will be evaluated as outcome mediators. The researchers have access to an extensive database, dating from the early 1980's, that includes the Nebraska Central Child Abuse Register, the Foster Care Review Board, which includes records of all children placed in foster care due to adverse home environments, as well juvenile and adult law enforcement databases. Cohorts of adults with and without childhood records of diagnosed disabilities, domestic violence in the home, childhood residence in violent neighborhoods, and child maltreatment will be recruited from 40,211 public school records in Douglas County, Nebraska during the 1994-95 school year. Some 79 percent are now 19 years of age or older, 20% have a record of domestic violence in the home, and 32 percent resided in a high violence neighborhood during childhood. A total of 500 subjects comprised of 250 disabled and 250 non-disabled adults will be recruited throughout the five years of the project from eight subject pools obtained from electronic data mergers between the total school population and the violence exposure and disability databases. Subjects will be given a battery of interviews and tests to obtain self-report data on childhood violence exposure, violence victimization, and current adulthood psychopathology, posttraumatic stress, and antisocial status. This will allow the identification of both risk and protective factors for the violence exposure outcomes in a disabled population and identify targets to guide prevention and intervention efforts. ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Project (R01)
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Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-CPDD (50))
Program Officer
Feerick, Margaret M
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Creighton University
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Sullivan, Patricia M (2009) Violence exposure among children with disabilities. Clin Child Fam Psychol Rev 12:196-216