Study finds violence, injury against adolescents most likely occurs at home, rose during pandemic

A new study finds more than half of all violence-related injuries sustained by adolescents are linked to family members, with the most likely location where it happened at home.

Researchers with Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore looked at data concerning visits to its emergency department before and during the pandemic.

The study looked at more than 800 cases involving children from 10 to 15 years old.

It found almost 55% of all violence-related injuries involved a family member, most often a parent or guardian, and that there was around a 10% greater chance that it takes place at home.

The likelihood of home violence leading to adolescent injuries went from nearly 82% before COVID-19 took hold, compared to more than 92% after the virus took a firm hold on the U.S. and the entire globe.



The study also found that factors involving alcohol, illegal drugs and weapons by either the patient or the other party leading to violence and injuries also rose during the pandemic.

“We know that exposure to family violence increases a child or teen’s risk for perpetrating violence in their own future relationships,” Dr. Leticia Ryan, head of the center’s pediatric emergency medicine division, said in a news release.

“The emergency department plays an important role by identifying at-risk youth, initiating preventive interventions and stopping the negative cycle,” Ryan said.

The center plans to present its findings on Sunday at the American Academy of Pediatrics 2021 National Conference and Exhibition in Philadelphia.

Ken Duffy

Ken Duffy is a reporter and anchor at WTOP with more than 20 years of experience. He has reported from major events like the 2016 Democratic and Republican National Conventions, 2016 Election Night at Trump Headquarters in Midtown Manhattan and the 2007 Super Bowl in Miami.

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