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East Mediterr Health J. 2012 Oct;18(10):1011-20.

Physical and verbal/emotional abuse of schoolchildren, Lebanon, 2009.

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Department of Community and Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Saint Joseph University, Beirut, Lebanon.


The extent of physical and verbal/emotional abuse in schools in Lebanon is currently unknown. This cross-sectional study aimed to determine the prevalence and patterns of both forms of abuse among a nationally representative sample of Lebanese schoolchildren, aged 10-18 years, using a self-reported questionnaire. A total of 1177 schoolchildren, 49.6% females, median age 14 years, completed the survey; 76.4% and 81.2% of these had experienced physical and verbal/emotional abuse respectively at least once at school. Male students [adjusted odd ratio (AOR)= 3.4, P < 0.01], children in public schools (AOR = 1.9, P< 0.01) and in South Lebanon (AOR= 2.2, P < 0.01) and Bekaa (AOR = 1.7, P < 0.05) regions were more likely to have experienced physical abuse than females, children from private schools and from Beirut. Male students (AOR = 1.3, P < 0.01) and children in public schools (AOR = 1.6, P < 0.01) were also more likely to experience verbal abuse, with no regional differences. The prevalence of physical and verbal/emotional abuse in schools in Lebanon is high and solutions should be sought to correct the problem engaging political and social leaders, the mass media, law enforcement agencies, parents and educators.

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