Abuse in childhood and adolescence linked to increased chance of conduct issues

Abuse in childhood and adolescence linked to higher likelihood of conduct problems

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Children who are exposed to abuse before they are 11 years old and children who are exposed to abuse in both childhood and adolescence may be more likely to develop behavioral problems (such as bullying or theft) than children who are only exposed to abuse in adolescence and such Who Are Subject to Abuse She is not subject to abuse, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Psychiatry.

A team of researchers from the Universities of Bath and Bristol examined data on 13,793 children and adolescents (51.6% boys) observed between the ages of four and 17 who were included in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, a cohort of born children in south west England in the early 1990s.

Andreas Bauer, the lead author, said, "Behavior problems relate to antisocial behavior in childhood and / or adolescence such as fighting, bullying, lying, or stealing. They are associated with various negative outcomes, including, and it is, psychological and physical health problems. " important to understand their possible causes and to develop effective prevention and intervention programs. While we know that child abuse is an important factor in relation to behavior problems in children, much less is known about when child abuse is most harmful and how it affects the development of serious behavior problems over time. "

Of the children included in this study, the authors identified three groups who developed increased levels of behavioral problems. There was an early onset persistent group who developed behavior problems in childhood that persisted into puberty (4.8% of the sample), an adolescent onset group who developed behavior problems in adolescence (4.5%), and one Impaired childhood group who developed behavior problems only in childhood (15.4%). The majority of children (75.3%) did not develop serious behavior problems.

Andreas Bauer said: "We looked at whether abuse was more common in the backgrounds of these three groups than in those who did not develop behavioral problems. Our results showed that abuse was more common in the early onset persistent group who had behavioral problems in childhood occurs. " and adolescence, and also in the adolescence group that developed behavioral problems in adolescence. "

The authors also looked at the timing of child abuse and compared those who were exposed to abuse only in childhood or only in adolescence with those who were exposed to abuse in childhood and adolescence. They found that children who were exposed to abuse in both childhood and adolescence were 10 times more likely in the group of problems with persistent behavior in the early stages and 8 times more often in the group of behavior problems in adolescence. Childhood abuse has been associated with a 4 to 6-fold increase in the risk of early-onset persistent or adolescent behavior problems. In contrast, abuse only in adolescence was not associated with an increased risk of serious behavioral problems.

Behavioral problems were measured at ages 4, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, and 17 by asking parents to rate their child's behavior over the past six months. At the age of 22, people were asked to report physical, psychological or sexual abuse in childhood (before the age of 11) and in adolescence (between the ages of 11 and 17). For 3,127 participants, complete data were available on behavior problems reported by parents and children, as well as physical, psychological, and sexual abuse as reported by children. Of these, one in five (19.6%) participants said they had experienced some form of abuse, with 11.3%, 8.9% and 8.1% of participants reporting physical, psychological and sexual abuse.

One limitation of the study is that childhood and adolescent abuse experiences were measured when participants were 22 years old. As a result, there may be issues with recall bias and issues related to disclosure of previous abuse. Relying on parent-reported behavioral problems in adolescence may have underestimated the magnitude of behavioral problems, as parents may not be aware of their child's behavior outside the home.

Andreas Bauer said: "Our results suggest that abuse is more common among young people with behavioral problems and that behavior problems from puberty onwards may be linked to negative experiences in childhood rather than being or an exaggerated form of teenage rebellion these are due. " Peer pressure: Preventing child abuse can also help protect children from serious behavior problems. It is important to note, however, that many young people who experience abuse do not develop behavior problems, and behavior problems can occur even in the absence of child abuse. ""

Emotionally neglected or severely sexually abused girls report more risky sexual behavior

More information:
Relationship between the development time of child abuse and the implementation of problem courses in a British birth cohort Bauer et al. BMC Psychiatry 2021, DOI: 10.1186 / s12888-021-03083-8

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Childhood and Adolescent Abuse Linked to Greater Chances of Behavioral Problems (2021 March 15)
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