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Childhood Physical and Sexual Abuse: Prevalence and Correlates Among Adolescents Living in Rural Taiwan

NCJ Number
Child Abuse and Neglect Volume: 32 Issue: 3 Dated: March 2008 Pages: 429-438
Cheng-Fang Yen; Mei-Sang Yang; Ming-Jen Yang; Yi-Ching Su; Mei-Hua Wang; Chu-Mei Lan
Date Published
March 2008
10 pages
This study examined the prevalence and correlates of childhood physical and sexual abuse in adolescents living in the rural areas of Taiwan.
The results indicated that 22.2 percent of adolescents living in rural Taiwan reported having experienced physical abuse, and 2.5 percent reported having experienced sexual abuse as a child. While there was no difference in the risk of being physically abused between indigenous and non-indigenous adolescents, indigenous adolescents had a higher risk of experiencing sexual abuse. No gender differences in prevalence of sexual abuse among indigenous or non-indigenous adolescents were found. Poor family function, parents who drank habitually, and frequent family conflicts increased the risk of childhood sexual abuse; chaotic family environments put children at risk of encountering abuse. Because rural areas have less medical, social service, and educational sources than urban areas, all professions who have contact with children, including clinical workers, public health nurses, social workers, official and private welfare departments, and schoolteachers may have roles in preventing and identifying the occurrences of physical and sexual abuse in children living in rural areas. Since the collection of information concerning physical and sexual abuse presents significant challenges to researchers because of the hidden nature of the activities, providing nonclinical communities opportunities for victims to anonymously disclose experiences of physical and sexual abuse might aid clinical workers in identifying abuse cases. Data were collected from the Project for Health of Adolescents in Rural Taiwan; a total of 2,079 adolescents from 9 junior high schools participated in the study in 2003. Tables, references