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Multiple psychosomatic symptoms can indicate child physical abuse: results from a study of Swedish schoolchildren
Karlstad University, Faculty of Social and Life Sciences, Department of Health and Environmental Sciences.
Karlstad University, Faculty of Social and Life Sciences, Department of Health and Environmental Sciences.
Uppsala universitet.
Karlstad University, Faculty of Social and Life Sciences, Department of Health and Environmental Sciences.
2012 (English)In: Acta Paediatrica, ISSN 0803-5253, E-ISSN 1651-2227, Vol. 101, no 3, 324-9 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

AIM:

To examine whether children with self-reported experiences of either physical abuse alone or combined with intimate partner violence report more psychosomatic symptoms than other children and to explore whether these possible associations are enhanced by school-related factors, chronic condition and demographic factors.

METHODS:

A national cross-sectional study of 2771 pupils in grades 4, 6 and 9 from 44 schools in Sweden was carried out in 2006 (91% response rate). Data were analysed with univariate tests (chi-square), multiple logistic regression analyses and stratified logistic regression analyses, expressed as crude odds ratio (OR) and adjusted odds ratio (AOR) with 95% confidence intervals.

RESULTS:

There was a strong association between reported physical abuse and multiple (three or more) psychosomatic symptoms among schoolchildren (AOR 2.12). Chronic condition was the only determinant that had an obvious enhancing effect on the association between physical abuse and psychosomatic symptoms in childhood.

CONCLUSION:

This study shows that multiple psychosomatic symptoms are associated with child physical abuse. Health professionals therefore need to pay special attention to schoolchildren who complain about the co-occurrence of psychosomatic symptoms and pattern of symptoms, which could not be easily explained by other causes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 101, no 3, 324-9 p.
Keyword [en]
Child physical abuse, Chronic conditions, Intimate partner violence, Schoolchildren
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Public Health Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-15308DOI: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2011.02518.xISI: 000299468400029PubMedID: 22054216OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-15308DiVA: diva2:562226
Available from: 2012-10-23 Created: 2012-10-23 Last updated: 2015-11-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Barnmisshandel ur barns och ungas perspektiv: Omfattning, hälsa, avslöjande och stöd
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Barnmisshandel ur barns och ungas perspektiv: Omfattning, hälsa, avslöjande och stöd
2015 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
Child maltreatment from the perspectives of children and young people : Prevalence, health, disclosure and support
Abstract [en]

Child abuse is a major public health problem which is largely hidden in the society.

The main aim of the thesis was to study child maltreatment from children’s and young people’s perspectives focusing on prevalence, health, disclosure and support.

The thesis is based on four studies. Quantitative and qualitative data from three national surveys of child maltreatment, including children in different age groups and young adults, have been analysed.

The results showed that child maltreatment is prevalent and there is a large degree of overlap between maltreatment types. Neglect and witnessing intimate partner violence were the types that overlapped most with other types of maltreatment. Child maltreatment was strongly associated to psychosomatic symptoms and impaired quality of life. Young people who have been victims of child maltreatment described the psychological consequences, such as painful memories, low self-esteem and depression. The psychological abuse was described as particularly detrimental. Victims of sexual abuse expressed feelings of shame and guilt. About half of the severely abused children did not disclose the abuse, mainly because of lack of trust in adults. Many children felt that they did not receive adequate support when they disclosed the maltreatment, particularly because they experienced a lack of child perspective among professionals. Children and young people experienced positive support from the school health services which they considered to have a particularly important role in the detection and support of maltreated children. The results emphasize an increased awareness among professionals to recognise and respond to child maltreatment.

Abstract [sv]

Barnmisshandel är ett omfattande folkhälsoproblem som bryter mot de mänskliga rättigheterna. Det är också ett dolt problem då det sällan avslöjas eller upptäcks.

Avhandlingens övergripande syfte var att undersöka barnmisshandel ur barns och ungas perspektiv med fokus på omfattning, hälsa, avslöjande och stöd.

Avhandlingen bygger på fyra delstudier som baseras på nationella kartläggningar av barnmisshandel. Resultaten visar att barnmisshandel är vanligt förekommande och att olika former av barnmisshandel i stor utsträckning överlappar varandra. Vidare visar resultaten att barnmisshandel påverkade barns och ungas hälsa negativt ur ett biopsykosocialt perspektiv. Den psykiska misshandeln uttrycktes som särskilt svår och ouppmärksammad. De som utsatts för sexuella övergrepp uttryckte känslor av skam och skuld. En stor andel barn och unga som varit utsatta för barnmisshandel avslöjade inte misshandeln, framförallt på grund av brist på tillit till vuxna. Många upplevde att de inte fått tillräckligt med stöd när de berättat om misshandeln, huvudsakligen på grund av att de upplevt ett saknat barnperspektiv hos professionella. Barn och unga hade goda erfarenheter av elevhälsan och ansåg den ha en särskilt viktig roll för upptäckt och stöd.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2015. 84 p.
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2015:49
Keyword
barnmisshandel, hälsa, avslöjande, stöd, barn, unga
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Public Health Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-38184 (URN)978-91-7063-668-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-12-04, Fryxellsalen, 1B306, Karlstads universitet, Karlstad, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-11-12 Created: 2015-10-15 Last updated: 2015-11-12Bibliographically approved

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