Psychosocial factors associated with mother–child violence: a household survey

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Purpose: The objective of this study was to investigate the psychosocial factors associated with violence by women against their children, using a household survey. Methods: Households in two neighborhoods in Juiz de Fora, Brazil, with different socioeconomic profiles, were selected through probability sampling and surveyed. A total of 446 women with children up to 18 years of age were interviewed. A sociodemographic questionnaire, the CTSPC (Parent–Child Conflict Tactics Scales), the CES-D (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale) and the AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test) were applied. Using STATA statistical software, logistic regression analysis was performed to investigate the association between psychosocial variables and domestic violence against children. Results: The prevalence of violence by mothers against their children during the 3 months prior to data collection was as follows: psychological aggression, 70.5% (n = 304); corporal punishment, 51.4% (n = 232); and physical maltreatment, 9.8% (n = 46). Women with a higher educational level exhibited lower odds of committing psychological aggression (OR 0.47; CI 0.24–0.91) and corporal punishment (OR 0.32; CI 0.16–0.64). Age was associated with corporal punishment, with older women (OR 0.94; CI 0.91–0.97) reporting a lower frequency of this type of violence against their children. Residing in the neighborhood with higher socioeconomic status reduced the odds of reporting psychological aggression (OR 0.45; CI 0.27–0.75). Maternal depression (OR 3.75; CI 1.51–9.31) and harmful drinking (OR 4.73; CI 1.17–19.10) were risk factors for physical maltreatment. Conclusions: The results point to the need for preventive strategies for mother–child violence in low and middle income countries, with a focus on the mothers’ education and mental health, especially with regard to the younger ones.




Gebara, C. F. de P., Ferri, C. P., Bhona, F. M. de C., Vieira, M. de T., Lourenço, L. M., & Noto, A. R. (2017). Psychosocial factors associated with mother–child violence: a household survey. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 52(1), 77–86.

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