U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence

Goals and Objectives

The goal of NatSCEV was to develop a comprehensive surveillance system to measure and track youth victimization in the United States and to collect data on the safe, stable, and nurturing relationships that may serve as protective factors for vulnerable youth. NatSCEV marks the first comprehensive attempt to measure children's exposure to violence in their daily lives across the settings of home, school, and community. Specific goals of NatSCEV include:

  • Documenting the incidence and prevalence of children's exposure to violence in the United States in areas including family violence (with particular attention to domestic violence), school violence, and community violence.
  • Studying how rates of exposure to violence vary across demographic characteristics, such as gender, race, age, and family structure.
  • Assessing characteristics of each exposure to violence, such as the severity of the event and the child's relationship to the perpetrator.
  • Specifying how different forms of exposure to violence cluster or co-occur.
  • Identifying individual, family, and community characteristics that might be related to exposure to violence. Examples include:
    • Parent-child relationship characteristics, such as the degree to which they are stable and nurturing.
    • Parental supervision and monitoring.
    • Neighborhood characteristics, such as the presence of gangs.
    • Nature of peer relationships, including level of social support and associations with delinquent peers.
  • Examining associations between levels and types of exposure to violence and child mental health.
  • Assessing the extent to which children disclose incidents of violence to other individuals and, when applicable, the nature and source of assistance or treatment given to the child.

Next: Milestones

Date Created: April 3, 2020