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August 2002

Understanding and Preventing Violence in Children and Adolescents

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2002;156(8):746-747. doi:10.1001/archpedi.156.8.746

VIOLENCE AMONG children and adolescents expresses itself in many different forms, all of them harmful. The term "violence" can be defined broadly or specifically. I prefer a broad definition like "the abusive or unjust exercise of power."1 While some may believe we live in a violent society, history tells us that society was even more violent in the not so distant past. The practice of infanticide was common throughout history. It was not until the 1960s that child abuse came to be recognized as such, followed by sexual abuse in the late 1970s. Only recently have we begun to treat domestic violence as an assault.

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