Perceived threat in childhood: A review of research and implications for children living in violent households                

 

 

Author(s)Miller, Laura E.
Title Perceived threat in childhood: A review of research and implications for children living in violent households
Source Trauma Violence Abuse,published online 20 February 2014, pp. 1-16
Date 2014
Document type Journal Article
Summary

The study reviews existing literature in relation to children's threat perception. The aim of the study was to review literature in order to provide a meaningful integration of findings across methods of measurements (biological measures, observational data and other methods of collecting cognitive date) and age groups (ranging from infancy- 0-12 months- through to adolescence-12-19 years) and discuss how these findings may be applied to work with children living in violent households.   From the research findings it was evident that threat detection is prevalent in children as young as three months and has causal links to the child's adjustment throughout their development. Within the review of the literature it was found that, uniformly, children who display negative effects in response to threatening material are at an increased risk of being socially withdrawn, internalising problems as well as developing anxiety disorders. The study states that children who are exposed to violence at a young age are at a heightened risk of developing anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, behavioural inhibitions and social withdrawal in comparison to children who are not exposed to violence from a young age. The study also provides further implications for practice, policy and research.

Keywords Threat detection; threat appraisal; child development; violence
Topic

Children