UA-174898256-1 Crimes Against Children Research Center


Impacts of Child Victimization

The branch of developmental victimology that studies the impact of victimization on children posits that children at different stages of development experience and cope with victimization in different ways. Prior research into differing impacts has been narrowly focused on sexual abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder. Developmental victimology addresses a much broader range of victimizations, focusing particularly on victimizations experienced by a majority of children, such as peer or sibling assault and theft.

Developmental victimology explores a broad range of potential impacts beyond those falling in the realm of psychopathology, including effects on personality, social skills, political and social attitudes. It further focuses on how these impacts are felt and manifested at different stages of child developmment.

CCRC researchers have developed at theoretical framework, called the Developmental Dimensions Model of Victimization Impact, that identifies four distinct dimensions that have a bearing on how victimizations impact children. They are:

Source: David Finkelhor & Kathleen Kendall-Tackett (1997). A Developmental Perspective on the Childhood Impact of Crime, Abuse & Violent Victimization. In D. Cicchetti & S. Toth (Eds.), Developmental Perspectives on Trauma: Theory, Research, and Intervention (pp. 1-32).  New York: University of Rochester Press.