Violence and Health through the Lifespan

The Critical Role of Childhood Exposures and Developmental Context

Authored by: Kathy Sanders-Phillips

Handbook of Research Methods in Health Psychology

Print publication date:  November  2020
Online publication date:  November  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138595347
eBook ISBN: 9780429488320
Adobe ISBN:


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Violence is one of the leading and most costly causes of death worldwide. Violence is the “intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation” (World Health Organization, 2002, p. 5). It includes public and private acts; victimization and perpetration; and acts resulting from an imbalance of power that significantly burdens individuals, families, and communities worldwide (e.g., threats, intimidation, acts of neglect, omission, and commission). There are three subcategories of violence (World Health Organization, 2002). Interpersonal violence occurs between family members, intimate partners, friends, acquaintances, and strangers and includes child maltreatment, youth violence, violence against women, and elder abuse. Self-directed violence is inflicted against oneself such as suicide. In collective violence , larger groups such as nation-states, militia groups, and terrorist organizations inflict violence in order to achieve political, economic, or social objectives.

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