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Concept: Child abuse

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Child sexual abuse is considered a modifiable risk factor for mental disorders across the life course. However the long-term consequences of other forms of child maltreatment have not yet been systematically examined. The aim of this study was to summarise the evidence relating to the possible relationship between child physical abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect, and subsequent mental and physical health outcomes.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Child abuse, Sexual abuse, Abuse, Neglect

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BACKGROUND: Episodes of explosive rage and violence comprise a symptom complex which can have a devastating effect on a person’s life. In the community this behavior is seen as workplace violence, domestic abuse and road rage, while in the clinical setting, this behavior is rarely mentioned by patients, despite evidence that it can signify an important biological disorder that may afflict more than three percent of the population. DISCUSSION: Patients are often reluctant to seek help for episodic attacks of rage, especially attacks which are accompanied by physical violence. Although, in the past, clinicians have had few treatment options to offer, recent neuroscience advances have created new possibilities to understand and help patients with this neglected problem. No formal medical guidelines for treating violence exist; however, many patients can be helped by diagnosis, referral and treatment. Treatment can include pharmaceuticals and nutrients, as well as referral for anger management or behavioral therapy. SUMMARY: The astute clinician has an opportunity to positively impact an important problem through the diagnosis and treatment of patients with symptoms of intermittent explosive disorder.

Concepts: Psychology, Medicine, Domestic violence, Hospital, Physician, Violence, Child abuse, Rage

167

BACKGROUND: This study examined predictors of parenting self-efficacy (PSE) in a sample of first-time mothers during the first year after childbirth and evaluated the effect of a brief, intensive, mother-infant residential intervention on PSE and infant behaviour. METHODS: 83 primiparous women with infants aged 0-12months admitted to a residential parent-infant program participated in a structured clinical interview for DSM-IV diagnosis of depressive and anxiety disorders and completed questionnaires assessing psychological distress, adult attachment and childhood parenting experiences. During their residential stay, nurses recorded infant behaviour using 24-hour charts. RESULTS: Results showed PSE to be inversely correlated with maternal depression, maternal anxiety and attachment insecurity. Low levels of parental abuse during childhood, avoidant attachment, male infant gender and depressive symptom severity were found to predict low PSE. Major depression mediated the relation between attachment insecurity and PSE, but there were no links between PSE and infant behaviour. After the intervention, there was a significant improvement in PSE, with abusive parenting during childhood and depressive symptom severity being predictive of change. CONCLUSIONS: This study highlights the links between maternal psychopathology and maternal background factors such as childhood parenting experiences and attachment style in the development of postnatal PSE. Directions for future research are discussed.

Concepts: Psychology, Infant, Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, Abnormal psychology, Child abuse, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Attachment in adults, John Bowlby

50

To evaluate the effectiveness of current medical and psychological interventions for individuals at risk of sexually abusing children, both in known abusers and those at risk of abusing.

Concepts: Psychological trauma, Child abuse, Suffering, Sexuality

50

The damaged goods hypothesis posits that female performers in the adult entertainment industry have higher rates of childhood sexual abuse (CSA), psychological problems, and drug use compared to the typical woman. The present study compared the self-reports of 177 porn actresses to a sample of women matched on age, ethnicity, and marital status. Comparisons were conducted on sexual behaviors and attitudes, self-esteem, quality of life, and drug use. Porn actresses were more likely to identify as bisexual, first had sex at an earlier age, had more sexual partners, were more concerned about contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD), and enjoyed sex more than the matched sample, although there were no differences in incidence of CSA. In terms of psychological characteristics, porn actresses had higher levels of self-esteem, positive feelings, social support, sexual satisfaction, and spirituality compared to the matched group. Last, female performers were more likely to have ever used 10 different types of drugs compared to the comparison group. A discriminant function analysis was able to correctly classify 83% of the participants concerning whether they were a porn actress or member of the matched sample. These findings did not provide support for the damaged goods hypothesis.

Concepts: Sexual intercourse, Oral sex, Sexually transmitted disease, Human sexual behavior, Human sexuality, Pornographic actor, Erotica, Child abuse

49

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) such as child abuse are related to poor health outcomes. Spanking has indicated a similar association with health outcomes, but to date has not been considered an ACE. Physical and emotional abuse have been shown in previous research to correlate highly and may be similar in nature to spanking. To determine if spanking should be considered an ACE, this study aimed to examine 1): the grouping of spanking with physical and emotional abuse; and 2) if spanking has similar associations with poor adult health problems and accounts for additional model variance. Adult mental health problems included depressive affect, suicide attempts, moderate to heavy drinking, and street drug use. Data were from the CDC-Kaiser ACE study (N=8316, response rate=65%). Spanking loaded on the same factor as the physical and emotional abuse items. Additionally, spanking was associated with increased odds of suicide attempts (Adjusted Odds Ratios (AOR)=1.37; 95% CI=1.02 to1.86), moderate to heavy drinking (AOR)=1.23; 95% CI=1.07 to 1.41), and the use of street drugs (AOR)=1.32; 95% CI=1.4 to 1.52) in adulthood over and above experiencing physical and emotional abuse. This indicates spanking accounts for additional model variance and improves our understanding of these outcomes. Thus, spanking is empirically similar to physical and emotional abuse and including spanking with abuse adds to our understanding of these mental health problems. Spanking should also be considered an ACE and addressed in efforts to prevent violence.

Concepts: Domestic violence, Drug, Drug addiction, Mental disorder, Child abuse, Major depressive disorder, Psychiatry, Recreational drug use

39

Non-accidental injury (NAI) in children is an important cause of major injury. The Trauma Audit Research Network (TARN) recently analysed data on the demographics of paediatric trauma and highlighted NAI as a major cause of death and severe injury in children. This paper examined TARN data to characterise accidental versus abusive cases of major injury.

Concepts: Child abuse

29

Rape and sexual violence occur in all societies, and cut across all social classes. Prevalence estimates of rape victimisation range between 6 and 59% of women having experienced sexual abuse from their husbands or boyfriends in their lifetime. Two population-based studies from South Africa have found that 28% and 37% of men, respectively, have perpetrated rape. Estimates of rape perpetration from high-income countries seem to be lower than those from low- and middle-income countries; however, current data make it impossible to confirm this. Women and girls are much more likely to be the victims and men the perpetrators and, in most instances, the perpetrator is known to the victim. Children are particularly vulnerable to sexual abuse, with girls being at greater risk, especially while at school and at home. High rates of child sexual abuse are emerging from the research, with an increasing understanding of the effect of child sexual abuse on later perpetration and victimisation, highlighting the importance of primary prevention for sexual violence to address childhood exposures to violence. Much of our knowledge about sexual violence has historically been based on research undertaken in high-income countries. This, however, is changing with the emergence of good-quality studies from other settings, particularly in Africa, alongside an increasing number of multi-country studies looking at interpersonal and sexual violence. Most countries lack population data on perpetration of sexual violence, across all categories, including children, and a major gap exists in research on sexual violence among sub-groups and populations. Much of the existing research has limitations that affect cross-study comparability, owing to differences in definitions, research tools, methods and sampling used. Improved research is essential. Research priorities for understanding the magnitude of sexual violence prevalence include assessment of the prevalence and patterns of sexual violence victimisation and perpetration in a range of settings, across a range of acts of sexual violence, in men and women, in adults and children, using methodologies based on best practice in gender-based violence research and standard measures of different forms of sexual violence; research on the social context of sexual violence perpetration and victimisation by both men and women; and methodological research to measure sexual violence for particular population sub-groups or violence types, such as child perpetrators or young child victims, or sexual harassment at work and school.

Concepts: Domestic violence, Violence, Child abuse, Sexual abuse, Rape, Abuse, Victim, Violence against women

29

We describe a case of shibari, a double hanging sexual asphyxia practice, which ended fatally for one of the two women involved. We present the autopsy findings and a psychiatric and psychometric evaluation of the surviving participant. The survivor had a borderline personality disorder, had suffered sexual abuse as a child, and had a history of illicit substance consumption, self-harm behavior, and sexual dysregulation. This case study raises doubts regarding the safety measures adopted by participants in masochistic practices and the engagement of people with psychiatric disorders in these extremely dangerous games. Further case studies of living participants in such games are likely to shed light on this practice and facilitate treatment.

Concepts: Mental disorder, Abnormal psychology, Child abuse, Borderline personality disorder, Schizotypal personality disorder, Self-harm, Personality disorder, Antisocial personality disorder

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Food insecurity and hunger during childhood are associated with an array of developmental problems in multiple domains, including impulse control problems and violence. Unfortunately, extant research is based primarily on small convenience samples and an epidemiological assessment of the hunger-violence link is lacking. The current study employed data from Wave 1 (2001-2002) and Wave 2 (2004-2005) of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC). The NESARC is a nationally representative sample of non-institutionalized U.S. residents aged 18 years and older. Participants who experienced frequent hunger during childhood had significantly greater impulsivity, worse self-control, and greater involvement in several forms of interpersonal violence. These effects were stronger among whites, Hispanics, and males. The findings support general theoretical models implicating impulse control problems as a key correlate of crime and violence and add another facet to the importance of ameliorating food neglect in the United States.

Concepts: Domestic violence, Epidemiology, United States, Crime, Violent crime, Child abuse, Famine