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Comparative Study
, 28 (1), 113-27

Cross-cultural Comparisons of Child-Reported Emotional and Physical Abuse: Rates, Risk Factors and Psychosocial Symptoms

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Comparative Study

Cross-cultural Comparisons of Child-Reported Emotional and Physical Abuse: Rates, Risk Factors and Psychosocial Symptoms

Sandra Sebre et al. Child Abuse Negl.

Abstract

Objectives: This study was designed to assess the incidence of child emotional and physical abuse, associated risk factors and psychosocial symptoms in a cross-cultural comparison between post-communist bloc countries.

Method: One-thousand one-hundred forty-five children ages 10-14 from Latvia (N = 297), Lithuania ( N = 300), Macedonia (N = 302), and Moldova (N = 246) participated in the study. They completed questionnaires assessing their experience of emotional or physical abuse, and provided information about family risk-factors and psychosocial symptoms, including PTSD-related symptoms.

Results: Incidence rates of maltreatment differed by country, as did levels of reported psychosocial symptoms. Incidence of emotional and physical abuse differed by region, with higher levels of abuse reported in the rural regions. In all four countries, a similar association between emotional/physical abuse and psychosocial symptoms was found, with the uniformly largest correlation between emotional abuse and anger. When examining the combined scores of emotional and physcial abuse, even higher correlation's were found, particularly in relation to anger and depression. In all four countries, parental overuse of alcohol was associated with emotional and/or physical abuse.

Conclusions: Findings show differences by country in child-reported levels of emotional and physical abuse, but similar patterns of correlation with psychosocial symptoms and the risk factors of parental alcohol overuse and living in a rural area.

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