Study Shows That Pediatricians Play Crucial Role In Violence Prevention

March 30, 1999

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center say physicians and other health care providers play valuable roles in violence prevention in their communities.

A study published in the March issue of Injury Prevention states that physicians have a great deal of influence on families and often form unique bonds with them as they mature.

The study identified six potential ways clinicians could help curb violent behavior during a routine well-child examination. The six areas of intervention included: educating the family about youth violence, counseling the child directly, using the unique bond formed between doctor and patient, advocating gun safety to either the parent or the patient, referring patients and families to community programs, and educating patients through impersonal means, such as brochures or posters.

"Violence prevention is not just about guns; that's only part of it," said Shari Barkin, M.D. assistant professor of pediatrics and public health sciences at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and the principal investigator of the study. "During well-child examinations, pediatricians must provide education to parents regarding discipline and TV viewing.

"Corporal punishment is a very personal issue for most parents," Barkin said. "Discipline needs to be respectful but firm. However, corporal punishment sends a negative message to your children. It is saying, 'I have a conflict with you so I am going to strike you.' It teaches children to resolve conflicts in aggressive ways."

Viewing TV for extended amounts of time and watching violent programming can also negatively affect children.

"Children should watch a maximum of two hours of TV a day," she said. "And programs should be selected to decrease violent TV shows watched by children. Young children can't separate fantasy from reality, so they imitate TV and make it reality."

The study also reinforces that health care providers, while influential, don't work in a vacuum, Barkin said. "Physicians reinforce positive messages that children get elsewhere," Barkin said. "The role of the physician must be supported by community leaders and parents."

The study reports that physicians need to become familiar with the resources in their communities and help children plug into programs that can benefit them.

The qualitative study was conducted by interviewing pediatricians, community leaders, and parents living or working in Los Angeles, Calif. Participants were asked if they felt clinicians had a role in violence primary prevention, which was defined as preventing violent injury in children younger than 18 years of age. Barkin worked with Gery Ryan with the University of Missouri and Lillian Gelberg with the UCLA Division of Family Medicine.

"The study showed that while the physician cannot solve the problem of youth violence alone, findings suggest that they should address this issue with their patients and should work in tandem with existing community resources to further a solution to this growing epidemic," Barkin said.
-end-


Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

Related Children Articles from Brightsurf:

Black and Hispanic children in the US have more severe eczema than white children
A presentation at this year's virtual American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting reveals the disparities that exist for Black and Hispanic children when it comes to Atopic Dermatitis (AD), commonly known as eczema.

Black children with cancer three times less likely to receive proton radiotherapy than White children
A retrospective analysis led by investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital has found racial disparities in the use of the therapy for patients enrolled in trials.

The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health: First Europe-wide study of children confirms COVID-19 predominately causes mild disease in children and fatalities are very rare
Children with COVID-19 generally experience a mild disease and fatalities are very rare, according to a study of 582 patients from across Europe published today in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health journal.

Children not immune to coronavirus; new study from pandemic epicenter describes severe COVID-19 response in children
- While most children infected with the novel coronavirus have mild symptoms, a subset requires hospitalization and a small number require intensive care.

How many children is enough?
Most Russians would like to have two children: a boy and a girl.

Preterm children have similar temperament to children who were institutionally deprived
A child's temperament is affected by the early stages of their life.

Only-children more likely to be obese than children with siblings
Families with multiple children tend to make more healthy eating decisions than families with a single child.

Children living in countryside outperform children living in metropolitan area in motor skills
Residential density is related to children's motor skills, engagement in outdoor play and organised sports. that Finnish children living in the countryside spent more time outdoors and had better motor skills than their age peers in the metropolitan area.

Hispanic and black children more likely to miss school due to eczema than white children
In a study that highlights racial disparities in the everyday impact of eczema, new research shows Hispanic and black children are more likely than white children to miss school due to the chronic skin disease.

Children, their parents, and health professionals often underestimate children's higher weight status
More than half of parents underestimated their children's classification as overweight or obese -- children themselves and health professionals also share this misperception, according to new research being presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Glasgow, UK (April 28-May 1).

Read More: Children News and Children Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.