Today's children are bombarded with images of violence in cartoons, news reports, television shows, computer games, movies, and other media. In growing numbers, they are also exposed to real-life violence in their own homes and communities--as witnesses, victims, and, increasingly, perpetrators. Emphasizing the need for early intervention and prevention, this timely book details the incidence and scope of the violence epidemic and examines the developmental impact of violence on children. Contributors describe several exemplary prevention and intervention programs currently in place around the country and propose a range of educational and policy initiatives.
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Joy D. Osofsky, PhD, a psychologist and psychoanalyst, is Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) in New Orleans. She is President of Zero to Three/National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families; past president of the World Association for Infant Mental Health; and Director of the Violence Intervention Program for Children and Families and the LSUHSC Harris Center for Infant Mental Health. Following Hurricane Katrina, Dr. Osofsky was asked to serve as Clinical Director of Child and Adolescent Initiatives for Louisiana Spirit for the Louisiana State Department of Health and Hospitals, Office of Mental Health. She is editor or coeditor of Young Children and Trauma, Children in a Violent Society, Handbook of Infant Development, and WAIMH Handbook of Infant Mental Health; and editor of the Infant Mental Health Journal. Dr. Osofsky's research, intervention, and clinical work with infants, children, and families at high psychosocial risk have been recognized with honors and awards from Division 37 of the American Psychological Association, the Juvenile Court Judges of the 11th Judicial Circuit, and the New Orleans City Council, among others.
Foreword, Scharf. Part I: Scope of the Problem. Osofsky, Children and Youth Violence: An Overview of the Issues. Jenkins, Bell, Exposure and Response to Community Violence among Children and Adolescents. Garbarino, Kostelny, What Children Can Tell Us About Living in a War Zone. Christoffel, Firearm Injuries Affecting U.S. Children and Adolescents. Murray, Media Violence and Youth. Zeanah, Scheeringa, The Experience and Effects of Violence in Infancy. Perry, Incubated in Terror: Neurodevelopmental Factors in the "Cycle of Violence". Fonagy, Target, Steele, Steele, The Development of Violence and Crime as It Relates to Security of Attachment. Part II: Prevention and Intervention Programs for Children and Families Exposed to Violence. Groves, Zuckerman, Interventions with Parents and Caregivers of Children Who Are Exposed to Violence. Marans, Adelman, Experiencing Violence in a Developmental Context. Murphy, Pynoos, James, The Trauma/ Grief-Focused Group Psychotherapy Module of an Elementary School-Based Violence Prevention/Intervention Project. Osofsky, The Violence Intervention Project for Children and Families. Fick, Osofsky, Lewis, Perceptions of Violence: Children, Parents, and Police Officers. Lewis, Osofsky, Violent Cities, Violent Streets: Children Draw Their Neighborhoods. Jenkins, Seydlitz, Osofsky, Fick, Cops and Kids: Issues for Community Policing. Osofsky, Prevention and Policy: Directions for the Future.
"This book is a unique contribution to our understanding of a problem that is of increasing concern to people here and abroad, but which has received inadequate public attention to date. Over the last two decades, there has been much needed and increased attention to the long-term consequences of childhood victimization, but less attention has been paid to problems that are seen in younger children who witness violence. In keeping with this focus, this volume adopts a developmental perspective to understanding the impact of violence exposure and witnessing violence on children and youth. Although the emphasis is on developmental factors, such as neurodevelopmental effects, effects in infancy, and attachment issues, chapters are wide-ranging and include pieces on firearms injuries and media violence. The book's contributors argue for early preventive intervention and provide examples of innovative prevention and intervention programs for children and families exposed to violence in cities around the country." --Cathy Spatz Widom, PhD, Professor of Criminal Justice and Psychology, The University at Albany (SUNY) "As judges handling acts of violence in criminal and family court, we rarely look beyond the legal parties and inquire about witnessing violence by children. Dr. Osofsky has documented the alarming rate of occurrence of violence in the lives of our children, has explained the developmental delays and traumatic stress and other effects of violence exposure on children, and has described several innovative education and treatment programs. She has given us the tools to begin to initiate systemic reform. This is a book that every judge should read." --Judge Cindy Lederman, Circuit Court Judge, Juvenile Justice Center, Dade County, Florida; Former Administrator of Dade County Domestic Violence Court
"This is one of the most important books that I have seen. We live in the most violent industrialized country in the world. Violence is increasingly a major influence in our children's lives. Unless we begin to think preventively, violence in their world is bound to escalate and they are bound to be more vulnerable to it. This volume approaches it from a preventive standpoint, and covers the impact on our infants and children if we don't move to prevent violence in their world. We are becoming increasingly aware of the earliest effects on children's development. This volume should stir us all to act!" --T. Berry Brazelton, MD, The Brazelton Center for Infants & Parents
..".an impressive, cross-disciplinary set of essays, literature reviews, and empirical studies that will appeal to developmental, clinical community, and forensic psychologists, as well as to specialists in law, social work, psychiatry, sociology, and law enforcement....The individual chapters of the volume integrate surprisingly well....Perusal of the complete volume is recommended for most readers, but those interested only in particular topics will find individual chapters informative and easily comprehended without the context of the volume as a whole.....CHILDREN IN A VIOLENT SOCIETY is a readable, informative and relatively comprehensive work. It promises to serve as a valuable resource for specialists in a wide range of disciplines interested in a continuing crisis, the implications of violence for America's youth." --David C. Schwebel, Contemporary Psychology "This is a well-written book, with instructive clinical anecdotes, summaries of epidemiology, and in-depth description of selected interventions. It will serve as an excellent introduction for lay persons or health professionals new to this area." --"The Canadian Child Psychiatry Review"
"The descriptions of five programs...are very worthwhile to read....[A] valuable book..." --"American Journal of Psychotherapy"
"This book is useful for those wishing to better understand the sociological and psychological effects of violence on youth." --"Youth Today"
"This book provides detailed and essential information about the impact of violence on children at home, at school, and in the community....an excellent resource for anyone working with families affected by violence. The book provides excellent suggestions for implementing programs that will significantly help children and families in their attempt to find better solutions for resolving interpersonal conflicts and preventing crimes." --"Intervention in School and Clinic"
.,."this volume will be of use to anyone interested in children who are living in dangerous environments and to those planning programs to address their psychosocial needs." --"The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease"
.,."captures the chilling magnitude of violence confronting children in our society....There is much of value in these pages for psychologists, nurses, social workers, psychiatrists, community organizers, community activists, policy makers, social agencies, educational agencies, police, mental health workers, and all those interested in the future of our youth. This volume accomplishes the extraordinarily difficult task of addressingthe individual, communal, and societal impacts of violence on our children....This superbly crafted and articulated book addresses an individual, communal, and societal epidemic with a focused and comprehensive understanding of the need to work together to provide a safer environment for our children." --"Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic"
"This excellent book provides a broad overview of childhood exposure to violence and some thoughtful strategies for addressing the problem. The book contains an extensive range of information for professionals in the fields of health care, mental health, criminal justice, child advocacy, public health, and social and human services....[The first section] examines the scope of the problem comprehensively in the context of child development....[The second section] provides a set of programmatic illustrations that others can consider, replicate, or at least learn from as they attempt to respond to violence in their specific clinical setting or broader community." --"New England Journal of Medicine"
"The purpose of [this] book is two-pronged: to provide a broader understanding of the problem and to move beyond understanding to present model programs of prevention and intervention. The book is successful on both accounts....Overall, the contributors have held to high standards of scientific accuracy; prevention and intervention projects are based on state-of-the-art behavioral science research and include evaluation components. The book should appeal to a number of different audiences....Would serve well as a text for graduate or undergraduate courses covering issues relating to children and violence." --"Science Books & Films"
"'Must' readingfor anyone with an interest in, or responsibility for, children vulnerable to the violence that permeates our contemporary American culture." --"The Bookwatch"
"The contributors include some of the leading lights in the field...."Children in a Violent Society "will serve public health and public safety officials charged with reducing the levels and impacts of violence. Sadly, the overwhelming number of children affected also makes the book a must-read for developmental pediatricians and child mental health workers caring for urban children in the United States." --"Journal of the American Medical Association"
"The scope of the problem of children's exposure to violence in society is discussed in the first half of the book, and these chapters alone make the book a valuable addition to the library of anyone interested in this topic....The chapters in the second half add immeasurably to the book's value by presenting a broad discussion of prevention and intervention programs aimed at addressing the needs of children in troubled neighborhoods....Each of the chapters in this collection is written by recognized experts in the field. Anyone interested in understanding the complex threat of exposure to violence to the well-being of our children will benefit from reading and rereading "Children in a Violent Society,"" --"Psychiatric Services"
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