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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 1991;24(2): 232-242.
A survey on child battering among elementary school children and related factors in urban and rural areas.
Kae Soon Jeon, Jung Han Park
Graduate School of Public Health Kyungpook National University, Korea.
ABSTRACT
To determine the incidence rate of child battering and related factors, a questionnaire survey was conducted on 1,255 children in 4th and 5th grades of two elementary schools (one in the upper economic class area with 519 students and the other in the lower economic class area with 504 students) in Taegu and two schools in rural areas of Kyungpook province (120 and 112 students, respectively) from 1st May to 10th May 1990. Total number of children who were battered during one-month period (1-30 April 1990) prior to the survey was 918 (73.1%)> Among the battered children 87 (6.9%) were severely battered (twice or more in a month by kicking or more severe method) and 831 children (66.2%) were moderately battered (all other battering than severe battering). The percentage of battered children and degree of battering were not significantly different between two schools in Taegu and between urban and rural areas. Common reasons for battering were disobediance (61.9%), making troubles (34.9%), and poor school performance (33.3%). However, 16.1% of severely battered children responded that the perpetrators battered them to wreak their anger and 5.7% of them did not know the reason why they were battered. A majority of the battered children (65%) regretted their fault after being battered but 20.7% of the severely battered children wanted to run away and 9.2% of them had an urge to commit suicide. While most of the physical injuries due to battering were minor as bruise (52.7%) but some of them were severe, e.g., bone fracture (2.5%), skin laceration (1.5%), and loss of consciousness (0.2%). The common psycho-behavioral complaints of the severely battered children were unwillingness to study (31%), unwillingness to live (17.2%), and reluctance to go home (13.8%). The incidence rate of severe battering was significantly higher (p=0.018) among the children living in a quarter attached to a store (14.0%) than the children living in an apartment (6.6%) and individual louse (6.2%). The incidence rate of severe battering was higher among children living in a rental house (8.4%) than children living in their own house (6.3%) (p=0.005). The children of father only working (5.1%) and mother only working (4.5%) had a lower incidence rate of severe battering than the children of both parents working (9.1%) and both parents unemployed (20.7%) (p=0.006). More children were battered when there was a sick family member (80.8%) compared with the children without a sick family member (71.4%) (p=0.001). The incidence rates of severe and moderate battering increased as the frequency of quarreling between mother and father increased (P=0.000). The percentage of unbattered children was higher among children whose father's occupation was professional (39.4%) than that of the total study subjects (26.9%) (p<0.001).
Key words: child battering incidence rate; risk factors
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