In Recent decades it has become increasingly apparent that violence affects a significant proportion of families in the United States (Bureau of Justice Statistics 1983). Violence, in fact, is becoming a defining characteristic of American society. A recent comparison of the rates of homicide among 21 developed nations indicates that the United States has the highest homicide rate in the world, and its rate is more than four times higher than the next highest rate (Fingerhut and Kleinman 1990). What is even more alarming is the high incidence of violent death and injury for children and adolescents in the United States. Acts of violence are the cause of death for over 2000 children between the ages of 0 and 19 years each year, and more than 1.5 million children and adolescents are abused by their adult caretakers each year (Christoffel 1990).