Research view


Title: A study of child physical abuse
Author: Hiame F. Elsaied and Abdallha A. Alsehly
Background Child abuse − a form of family violence − is one of the major public health issues with far-reaching effects and costs and have many implications on health policy and prevention strategies. Objective The aim of the study was to assess risk factors of child physical abuse among school-aged children in the child’s background and family characteristics and to estimate its psychiatric sequelae. Patients and methods The study was conducted in Maternity and Children Hospital, Al Medina (Al Monawara), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on school-aged children referred from the committee protection program from September 2012 to April 2015 using such some psychometric tests as the Child Maltreatment Questionnaire, the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview for children and adolescents (for major depressive episodes), Revised Behavior Problem Checklist, and Copper Smith Self-Esteem Inventory. Results Out of 186 students (age range between 12 and 16 years) 49.4% were the youngest children, mainly boys (58%), 94% had good health, 70% were from large-sized families, and 51% of whose mothers and 54% of fathers were illiterate, and all these variables showed a significant difference in both mild/moderate and severe child abuse. There were significant associations between physical abuse and low selfesteem, major depressive episode, conduct disorder, anxiety withdrawal, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and socialized aggression, mainly with severe physical abuse. Conclusion Physical abuse is found in a significant proportion of children, mostly living in largesized families, of illiterate unemployed parents. Furthermore, physical abuse is commonly associated with low self-esteem, major depression episodes, conduct disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and socialized aggression. Keywords: physical abuse, psychiatric sequelae, risk factors
Distributor: Egypt J Psychiatr 38:120–126