Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2015 Jan;2:e3.
doi: 10.1017/gmh.2015.1.

Gender (In) Differences in Prevalence and Incidence of Traumatic Experiences Among Orphaned and Separated Children Living in Five Low- And Middle-Income Countries

Affiliations
Free PMC article

Gender (In) Differences in Prevalence and Incidence of Traumatic Experiences Among Orphaned and Separated Children Living in Five Low- And Middle-Income Countries

C L Gray et al. Glob Ment Health (Camb). .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Background: Approximately 153 million children worldwide are orphaned and vulnerable to potentially traumatic events (PTEs). Gender differences in PTEs in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) are not well-understood, although support services and prevention programs often primarily involve girls.

Methods: The Positive Outcomes for Orphans study used a two-stage, cluster-randomized sampling design to identify 2837 orphaned and separated children (OSC) in five LMIC in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. We examined self-reported prevalence and incidence of several PTE types, including physical and sexual abuse, among 2235 children who were ≥10 years at baseline or follow-up, with a focus on gender comparisons.

Results: Lifetime prevalence by age 13 of any PTE other than loss of a parent was similar in both boys [91.7% (95% confidence interval (CI) (85.0-95.5)] and girls [90.3% CI (84.2-94.1)] in institutional-based care, and boys [92.0% (CI 89.0-94.2)] and girls [92.9% CI (89.8-95.1)] in family-based care; annual incidence was similarly comparable between institution dwelling boys [23.6% CI (19.1, -29.3)] and girls [23.6% CI (18.6, -30.0)], as well as between family-dwelling boys [30.7% CI (28.0, -33.6)] and girls [29.3% CI (26.8,-32.0)]. Physical and sexual abuse had the highest overall annual incidence of any trauma type for institution-based OSC [12.9% CI (9.6-17.4)] and family-based OSC [19.4% CI (14.5-26.1)], although estimates in each setting were no different between genders.

Conclusion: Prevalence and annual incidence of PTEs were high among OSC in general, but gender-specific estimates were comparable. Although support services and prevention programs are essential for female OSC, programs for male OSC are equally important.

Keywords: gender; incidence; low- and middle-income countries (LMIC); orphans; potentially traumatic events; prevalence.

Figures

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.
(a, b) Incidence of traumatic events in OSC ages ≥10.
Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.
Change in anxiety score associated with increasing numbers of PTEs experienced.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 1 article

References

    1. Alisic E, Jongmans MJ, van Wesel F, Kleber RJ (2011). Building child trauma theory from longitudinal studies: a meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review 31, 736–47. - PubMed
    1. American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th ed. Washington, DC.
    1. Atwoli L, Ayuku D, Hogan J, Koech J, Vreeman RC, Ayaya S, Braitstein P (2014). Impact of domestic care environment on trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder among orphans in western Kenya. PLoS ONE 9, e3. - PMC - PubMed
    1. Birdthistle IJ, Floyd S, Mwanasa S, Nyagadza A, Gwiza E, Glynn JR (2011). Child sexual abuse and links to HIV and orphanhood in urban Zimbabwe. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 65, 1075–82. - PubMed
    1. Blanchard EB, Jones-Alexander J, Buckley TC, Forneris CA (1996). Psychometric properties of the PTSD Checklist (PCL). Behavior Research Therapy 34, 669–73. - PubMed

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback