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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


VIZCARRA L, María Beatriz et al. Child abuse in Temuco, Chile: Prevalence and risk factors. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2001, vol.129, n.12, pp.1425-1432. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: Child maltreatment is recognised as a significant health problem in developed countries. There is increasing awareness on family violence in Chile, becoming a health priority in the last five years, but there is scant information about its prevalence. Aim: Determine prevalence of child abuse, and associated factors in a population sample from Temuco, Chile. Material and methods: A standardised questionnaire was applied to a sample of 422 women at their homes. Instrument had questions about disciplinary practices by caretakers, a standardised questionnaire to assess mental health, as measures of risk and protective factors for violence Results: The prevalence of psychological aggression delivered by mothers or fathers was 17.5% and 6.8 % respectively. The figures for corporal punishment delivered by mother or fathers were 42.3% and 17% respectively. Three percent of mothers and 1.2% of fathers recognised severe physical abuse. Associated factors were mother impaired mental health, antecedents of child abuse in both parents, parents alcohol abuse and child emotional/behavioral problem. Conclusion: Child abuse is a extended significant problem in Temuco that requires multidisciplinary intervention programs (Rev Méd Chile 2001; 129: 1425-32)

Keywords : Aggression; Battered child syndrome; Mandatory reporting; Violence.

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