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Child physical abuse: factors influencing the associations between self-reported exposure and self-reported health problems: a cross-sectional study
Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Local Health Care Services in Central Östergötland, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Linköping. Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Clinical Sciences. Centre for Clinical Research in Sörmland, Sörmland County Council, Uppsala University, Eskilstuna, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Barnafrid. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Local Health Care Services in Central Östergötland, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Linköping.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2018 (English)In: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, ISSN 1753-2000, E-ISSN 1753-2000, Vol. 12, article id 38Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background

Child physical abuse (CPA) is an extensive public health problem because of its associations with poor health outcomes. The aim of this study was to examine which of the background factors of CPA committed by a parent or other caregiver relates to self-reported poor health among girls and boys (13; 15 and 17 years old): perpetrator, last year exposure; severity and frequency; socioeconomic load and foreign background.

Methods

In a cross-sectional study in a Swedish county (n = 8024) a path analysis was performed to evaluate a model where all background variables were put as predictors of three health-status variables: mental; physical and general health problems. In a second step a log linear analysis was performed to examine how the distribution over the health-status categories was different for different combinations of background factors.

Results

Children exposed to CPA reported poor health to a much higher extent than those who were not exposed. In the path analysis it was found that frequency and severity of abuse (boys only) and having experienced CPA during the last year, was significantly associated with poor health as well as socioeconomic load in the families. Foreign background was significantly negatively associated with all three health indicators especially for girls. Neither mother nor father as perpetrator remained significant in the path analysis, while the results from the log linear analyses showed that mother-abuse did in fact relate to poor general health and mental as well as physical health problems among boys and girls. Father-abuse was associated with poor mental health if severe abuse was reported. Poor mental health was also associated with mild father-abuse if exposure during the last year was reported.

Conclusion

Despite the limitations that cross-sectional studies imply, this study provides new knowledge about factors associated with poor health among physically abused children. It describes details of CPA that have significant associations to different aspects of poor health and thus what needs to be addressed by professionals within mental health providers and social services. Understanding how different factors may contribute to different health outcomes for exposed children is important in future research and needs further studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central, 2018. Vol. 12, article id 38
Keywords [en]
Child physical abuse; Background factors; Perpetrator; Last year exposure; Severity; Frequency; Socioeconomic load; Mental health; Physical health; General health
National Category
Psychiatry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-150256DOI: 10.1186/s13034-018-0244-1ISI: 000439899300001PubMedID: 30065784Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85050459767OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-150256DiVA, id: diva2:1239789
Note

Funding Agencies|Centre for Clinical Research in Sormland County council, Uppsala University, Sweden

Available from: 2018-08-17 Created: 2018-08-17 Last updated: 2019-04-09Bibliographically approved

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Annerbäck, Eva-MariaSvedin, Carl GöranDahlström, Örjan
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Faculty of Medicine and Health SciencesDepartment of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in LinköpingDivision of Clinical SciencesBarnafridDisability ResearchFaculty of Arts and Sciences
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CiteExportLink to record
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