Children and adolescents with developmental disorders and violence

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Ebeling, Hanna ; Nurkkala, Hannele (2002)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: International Journal of Circumpolar Health (issn: 1797-237X)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/ijch.v61i0.17502
  • Subject: adolescents, children, developmental disorders, inpatients, violence

Objectives: The aim of this preliminary study was to investigate how commonly child-psychiatric inpatients have experienced and seen violence, and whether children with developmental disorders are at an increased risk for such traumatic events. Methods: The sample consisted of 41 patients, 29 boys and 12 girls, with a mean (SD) age of 11.8 (3.2) years. Ten children had a developmental disorder, 19 an emotional disorder, 9 a behavioural disorder and 3 a psychotic disorder. The study was performed as part of the normal clinical examinations by paying special attention to violence in the lives of these patients. Results: 88% of the patients had experienced some form of violence. 49% had experienced active physical violence and 49% active psychological violence. If suspected violence was also taken into account, active physical violence was more common among the patients with developmental disorders (90%) or behavioural disorders (78%) than among those with emotional disorders (37%) or psychotic disorders (67%). On the other hand, passive physical violence without active physical violence had been experienced by 37% of the patients with emotional disorders but not by the other patients. Conclusions: Violence was common among all groups of child-psychiatric inpatients. These individuals may be vulnerable to violence, as interaction with them may be especially demanding for peers and adults.(Int J Circumpolar Health 2002; 61 suppl 2:51-60)Keywords: adolescents, children, developmental disorders, inpatients, violence
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