Child Physical Abuse and concurrence of other types of Child Abuse: associations with health and risk behaviors
2012 (English)In: International Journal of Child Abuse & Neglect, ISSN 0145-2134, E-ISSN 1873-7757, Vol. 36, no 7-8, 585-595 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Objective: To examine the associations between child physical abuse and health problems/risk-taking behaviors among teen-agers. Further to evaluate concurrence of other types of abuse and how these alone and in addition to child physical abuse were associated with bad health status and risk-taking behaviors.
Methods: A population-based survey was carried out in 2008 among all the pupils in two different grades (15 respectively 17 years old) in Södermanland County, Sweden (N=7 262). The response rate was 81.8 %. The pupils were asked among other things about their exposure to child physical abuse, exposure to parental intimate violence, bullying and exposure to being forced to engage in sexual acts. Adjusted analyses were conducted to estimate associations between exposure and illhealth/risk-taking behaviors.
Results: Child physical abuse was associated with poor health and risk-taking behaviors with adjusted Odds Ratios (OR) ranging from 1.6 to 6.2. The associations were stronger when the pupils reported repeated abuse with OR ranging from 2.0 to 13.2. Also experiencing parental intimate partner violence, bullying and being forced to engage in sexual acts was associated with poor health and risk-taking behaviors with the same graded relationship to repeated abuse. Finally there was a cumulative effect of multiple abuse in the form of being exposed to child physical abuse plus other types of abuse and the associations increase with the number of concurrent abuse.
Conclusions: This study provides strong indications that child abuse is a serious public health problem based on the clear links seen between abuse and poor health and behavioral problems. Consistent with other studies showing a graded relationship between experiences of abuse and poor health/risk-taking behaviors our study shows poorer outcomes for repeated and multiple abuse. Thus, our study calls for improvement of methods of comprehensive assessments, interventions and treatment in all settings where professionals meet young people.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 36, no 7-8, 585-595 p.
National CategoryMedical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-67219DOI: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2012.05.006ISI: 000307913700004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-67219DiVA: diva2:408345