Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation

Survey evidence of the decline in child abuse in younger Canadian cohorts

Abstract : Physical and sexual abuse in childhood is a worldwide phenomenon with potentially dramatic consequences of both a psychological and physical nature. Measures of primary prevention have been developed in some countries. In the USA, child protection services reports and research surveys indicate that child sexual abuse has been on the decline in recent decades. Results are less clear for physical and overall abuse. The aim of this study was to describe how childhood abuse has changed over the years in Canada through an analysis of the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey: Mental Health Edition data. The sample comprised 22,775 respondents ages 20 and over who completed a child abuse questionnaire. Respondents born from 1983 to 1992 reported significantly less overall abuse, physical abuse, and sexual abuse than did older generations, with the exception of people born in 1942 or earlier. The decrease was observed among men and women and across all the regions of Canada.Conclusion: The results are encouraging in that they may have an impact on life expectancy, severity of various chronic disorders, and suicide in the population. They also support policies that have focused on improving the childhood environment in the 1990s. Results also underline the importance of using different kinds of data sources for evaluating child abuse. What is Known: • Physical and sexual abuse in childhood has been associated with lower life expectancy in connection with an array of chronic diseases, including mental disorders, and with suicide. • Measures of primary prevention have been developed in some countries, such as the USA and Canada. What is New: • Canadians born from 1983 to 1992 report significantly less overall abuse, physical abuse, and sexual abuse than older generations do. • These encouraging results support policies implemented in the 1990s focused on improving the childhood environment.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadatas

https://hal.univ-lorraine.fr/hal-02459173
Contributor : Sylvie Vialaron <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, January 29, 2020 - 11:22:34 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, February 19, 2020 - 4:46:11 PM

Identifiers

Collections

Citation

Fabienne Ligier, Charles-Edouard Giguère, Monique Séguin, Alain Lesage. Survey evidence of the decline in child abuse in younger Canadian cohorts. European Journal of Pediatrics, Springer Verlag, 2019, 178 (9), pp.1423-1432. ⟨10.1007/s00431-019-03432-6⟩. ⟨hal-02459173⟩

Share

Metrics

Record views

17