Characterization of Child Maltreatment Cases Identified in Health Services
Keywords:violence in children, childhood, public health
Child maltreatment is a severe Public Health issue. To understand its associated factors, our study analyzed 14.564 cases of child maltreatment recorded in the state of Rio Grande do Sul between 2010 and 2014. In our study, we analyzed immediate contextual aspects (child’s gender and developmental stage, perpetrator’s gender, family relationship between the victim and the perpetrator) and intermediate aspects (health professionals’ response). Chi-square analysis showed that girls were more likely to be vulnerable to sexual and psychological abuse, especially in middle childhood. Boys, on the other hand, were more likely to experience neglect in infancy and physical abuse in middle childhood. Males were the main perpetrators. Our results are discussed, based on a theoretical review of the sociocultural conceptions of child developmental characteristics, parenting practices, and gender roles. We suggest changes in the notification process and case referral.
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