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Child Abuse Negl. 2007 Sep;31(9):1001-11. Epub 2007 Sep 17.

Physical violence and psychological aggression towards children: five-year trends in practices and attitudes from two population surveys.

Author information

1
Département de psychoéducation et psychologie, Université du Québec en Outaouais, C.P. 1250, Succ. Hull, Gatineau, Quebec J8X 3X7, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To present prevalence rates of child psychological aggression and physical violence from a population survey conducted in 2004 and to compare the rates with the rates obtained in the 1999 edition of the survey.

METHODS:

The survey used a randomly generated telephone number methodology. Interviews were conducted using a computer-assisted telephone interview system with a representative sample of 3,148 mothers living in Quebec province, Canada. Responses relating to psychological aggression, minor and severe physical violence were collected using the Parent-Child Conflict Tactics Scales.

RESULTS:

Eighty percent of the mothers reported the use of psychological aggression towards a child by an adult living in the household, 43% reported at least one episode of minor violence, and 6% reported at least one episode of severe physical violence. When compared to the 1999 surveys, mothers reported 5% less minor physical violence in 2004, a result that is counterbalanced by a similar significant increase in the report of repeated psychological violence towards children in a year. Results also reveal a significant decrease in attitudes favoring the use of violence for discipline purpose between 2004 and 1999.

CONCLUSIONS:

The trends observed in violence towards children over the 5-year period may partly be attributed to a change in mother's attitudes concerning methods of disciplining children. Findings support the need to promote alternative methods of firm discipline that do not involve violence.

PMID:
17875322
DOI:
10.1016/j.chiabu.2007.04.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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