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December 1987

Unintentional Injuries: Patterns Within Families

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Behavioral Science, School of Hygiene and Public Health, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore; and the Department of Pediatrics, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque. Dr Schor is now a program officer with The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Menlo Park, Calif.

Am J Dis Child. 1987;141(12):1280-1284. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1987.04460120042030

• The occurrence of unintentional injuries is known to be influenced by physical and socioeconomic environmental factors as well as human behavior. Questions remain about how personal characteristics interact with the social, psychological, and physical environment to increase the risk of injury. The present study investigated the role of families in the injury experience of individual family members. Health encounter data from 693 families over a six-year period were analyzed. A small number of families accounted for a disproportionately large number of visits for injuries. Individual members of families tended to have similar rates of injury, and these rates were stable over time. Individual accident experience is influenced by the family to which one belongs. Injury prevention programs may find increased success by directing intervention strategies toward families.

(AJDC 1987;141:1280-1284)

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