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Childhood Victimization: a Public Health Perspective

4th term
Mental Health
3 credits
Academic Year:
2020 - 2021
Instruction Method:
Class Times:
  • M W,  3:30 - 4:50pm
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Undergrads Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor:
Elizabeth Letourneau

Examines childhood victimization across a wide spectrum of victimizations, including sexual and physical abuse, peer and sibling assaults, witnessing domestic violence and verbal abuse and neglect. Acquaints students with the epidemiology of childhood victimization, reviews existing victim and perpetrator-focused interventions, and explores established emerging prevention strategies. Reviews legal policies aimed at reducing childhood victimization, their strengths and weaknesses, and challenges to the notion that childhood victimization is, or can be, effectively addressed solely or primarily via criminal justice interventions.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Discuss how differences in the age and sex of perpetrators and victims link to different etiologies and consequences.
  2. Identify factors associated with increased risk for childhood victimization and perpetration.
  3. Explain the mechanisms of action by which interventions have an impact on clients (both victims and perpetrators)
  4. Identify the primary components of effective prevention programs, including who is targeted and the expected mechanism of action.
  5. Evaluate the quality and limitations of legal interventions that address childhood victimization.
  6. Identify elements of a more comprehensive public health approach to childhood victimization.
Methods of Assessment:

A final term paper (35%), one individual 5-minute in-class presentation on an assigned topic (15%), and participation in classroom discussion and exercises (50%).

Instructor Consent:

No consent required