Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

February 2002


Published in Behavior Therapy 33 (2002), pp. 271-297. Copyright © 2002 by the Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy (now the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies). Published by Elsevier. Used by permission.


Injury is the leading killer of children in the United States, yet little research has focused on this vital subject. One of the distinct barriers to injury prevention is the absence of effective assessment devices. Epidemiological aspects of injury have been assessed, but these provide little information at a level sufficient to allow conclusions about potential behavioral prevention methods. This paper describes an alternative, the Participant Event Monitoring (PEM) system. In this paper, the PEM system is used to examine a sample of 170 toddlers (ages 18 to 36 months), over a 6-month period, resulting in data on over 4,200 injuries, 1,000 proactive interventions, and 300 reactive interventions. PEM involves a structured interview, producing detailed information concerning measures of antecedents, events, and consequences of injury. Sample PEM data are included. Its ultimate goal is to guide effective interventions to decrease childhood injury.