David Finkelhor

Director, Crimes Against Children Research Center
Phone: (603) 862-2761
Office: Sociology, McConnell Hall Rm 125D, Durham, NH 03824
headshot of David Finkelhor

I am the Director of Crimes against Children Research Center, Co-Director of the Family Research Laboratory, Professor of Sociology, and University Professor, at the University of New Hampshire. I have been studying the problems of child victimization, child maltreatment and family violence since 1977. I am best known for my conceptual and empirical work on the problem of child sexual abuse, reflected in publications such as Sourcebook on Child Sexual Abuse (Sage, 1986) and Nursery Crimes (Sage, 1988). I have also written about child homicide, missing and abducted children, children exposed to domestic and peer violence, commercial sexual exploitation and internet victimization.

I am the co-founder of several large national data collection efforts including the National Survey of Children Exposed to Violence (NatSCEV) and the National Incidence Study of Missing, Abducted, Runaway and Thrownaway CHildren (NISMART).

In my recent work, for example, my book, Child Victimization (Oxford University Press, 2008), I have tried to unify and integrate knowledge about all the diverse forms of child victimization in a field I have termed Developmental Victimology. This book received the Daniel Schneider Child Welfare Book of the Year award in 2009. Altogether, I am editor and author of 12 books and over 250 journal articles and book chapters.

I have received grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, and the US Department of Justice, and a variety of other sources.


  • Ph.D., Sociology, University of New Hampshire
  • M.Ed., Sociology, Harvard University
  • B.A., Social Sciences, Harvard University

Research Interests

  • Applied Sociology
  • At-Risk Children/Youth
  • Child Abuse/Neglect
  • Child/Youth Health Services
  • Children - Services For
  • Children (Patients)
  • Children/Youth
  • Crime
  • Emotional/Mental Health--Child/Adolescent
  • Family Violence
  • Infant / Child Mortality
  • Internet Safety
  • Psychology/Abused Children
  • Sociology of the Family
  • Victimization/Compensation

Courses Taught

  • JUST 602: Research Internship
  • SOC 525: Juvenile Crime and Delinquency
  • SOC 773/873: Childhood and Social Policy
  • SOC 792: Internship Independent Study

Selected Publications

Gewirtz-Meydan, A., & Finkelhor, D. (2020). Sexual Abuse and Assault in a Large National Sample of Children and Adolescents. Child Maltreatment, 25(2), 203-214. doi:10.1177/1077559519873975

Gewirtz-Meydan, A., Lahav, Y., Walsh, W., & Finkelhor, D. (2019). Psychopathology among adult survivors of child pornography. Child Abuse & Neglect, 98, 104189. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2019.104189

Tucker, C. J., Finkelhor, D., & Turner, H. (2019). Patterns of Sibling Victimization as Predictors of Peer Victimization in Childhood and Adolescence. Journal of Family Violence, 34(8), 745-755. doi:10.1007/s10896-018-0021-1

Turner, H. A., Vanderminden, J., Finkelhor, D., & Hamby, S. (2019). Child Neglect and the Broader Context of Child Victimization. CHILD MALTREATMENT, 24(3), 265-274. doi:10.1177/1077559518825312

Finkelhor, D., Turner, H., Wormuth, B. K., Vanderminden, J., & Hamby, S. (2019). Corporal Punishment: Current Rates from a National Survey. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 28(7), 1991-1997. doi:10.1007/s10826-019-01426-4

Straus, M. A., Hamby, S. L., Finkelhor, D., Moore, D. W., & Runyan, D. (1998). Identification of Child Maltreatment With the Parent-Child Conflict Tactics Scales: Development and Psychometric Data for a National Sample of American Parents. Child Abuse & Neglect, 22(4), 249-270. doi:10.1016/s0145-2134(97)00174-9

Finkelhor, D., Hotaling, G., Lewis, I. A., & Smith, C. (1990). Sexual abuse in a national survey of adult men and women: Prevalence, characteristics, and risk factors. Child Abuse & Neglect, 14(1), 19-28. doi:10.1016/0145-2134(90)90077-7

Browne, A., & Finkelhor, D. (n.d.). Impact of child sexual abuse: A review of the research.. Psychological Bulletin, 99(1), 66-77. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.99.1.66

Kendall-Tackett, K. A., Williams, L. M., & Finkelhor, D. (n.d.). Impact of sexual abuse on children: A review and synthesis of recent empirical studies.. Psychological Bulletin, 113(1), 164-180. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.113.1.164

Finkelhor, D., & Browne, A. (n.d.). The traumatic impact of child sexual abuse: A conceptualization.. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 55(4), 530-541. doi:10.1111/j.1939-0025.1985.tb02703.x

Most Cited Publications