Physical Maltreatment in Childhood in the Adult Population in the Czech Republic: Occurrenceand Some Correlations. Results of a Retrospective Study

Authors: M. Ryšánková;  V. Bosák;  Z. Kučera;  M. Lainová
Authors‘ workplace: Sdružení Linka bezpečí dětí a mládeže, Praha předsedkyně představenstva ing. Z. Baudyšová
Published in: Čes-slov Pediat 2004; (5): 229-241.


The authors present main results of their first retrospective study of the occurrence of physical maltreatmentand punishment in children in the adult population of the Czech Republic and its correlations. The study is a partof an extensive project, which is mapping, in addition to prevalence of psychological maltreatment (abuse) ofchildren in the Czech society, physical abuse corporal and punishment.In order to detect physical maltreatment it is necessary to strictly differentiate physical abuse from corporalpunishment. The authors reflect complexity of the problems and acquaint the readers with their present evolutionwith the western world. They subsequently present a survey of selected important prevalence and incidence studiesof physical maltreatment from world literature and data from the Czech Republic.The presented research was initiated as a sociological study. In order to obtain data a method was created asa special individually administered questionnaire, verified in a pilot study. The field study itself was partlyperformed by the technique of standardized guided interview and partly by the questionnaire technique.The authors interviewed a cohort o 1104 respondents, constituting a representative sample of population in theCzech Republic at the age of 18 to 44 years from the points of view of sex (50.9% of men, 49.1% of women), ageand regional domicile (according to regions valid from January 1st, 2001). The participation of subjects in theresearch was voluntary, their anonymity was guaranteed.The responders stated in 83.1% (85.9% of men, 80.1% of women) that they experienced in their childhood someform of violence such as corporal punishment and/or physicalmaltreatment. The interviewed individuals admittedin 24.4% (26.7% ofmen and22%of women) that they were subjected to such form of treatment, which correspondsto the definition of physical maltreatment in the sense of endangerment standard and, at the same time, to thedefinition of maltreatment corresponding to „The Conflict Tactics Scale“ of prof. Straus. In 19.2% (21.7% ofmen,16.6% of women) the subjects stated that they suffered from physical consequences as a result of the physicalmaltreatment. It indicated that 19.2% of the interviewed subjects were physically maltreated, provided the harmstandard is considered as a criterion of maltreatment.

Key words:
physical abuse, corporal punishment, definition, prevalence, Czech Republic

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