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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 40  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 162-169

Psychiatric aspects of children who witness domestic violence

1 Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt
2 Department of Psychiatry, Al-Dawly General Hospital, Mansoura, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
MSC Dalia Asfour
Department of Psychiatry, Al-Dawly General Hospital, 35516
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ejpsy.ejpsy_31_19

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Background The presence of domestic violence witnessed by children leads to development of different mental disorders of childhood. Objectives This study was aimed to assess the prevalence of psychiatric disorders in children who witness domestic violence. Patients and methods A community-based case–control study was designed to assess the prevalence of psychiatric disorder in children who witness domestic violence of both sexes aged 6–18 years old with different socioeconomic classes. Tools of measurement used in the current study were Hurt, Insulted, Threatened with Harm and Screamed tool; socioeconomic scale by El-Gilany; symptoms check list (SCL-90); and Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Childhood Diagnoses for child’s interview. Results The most common disorders among children witness domestic violence is conduct disorder (15%), major depressive disorder (10%), and attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (8.3%). Children who are not affected among studied families (cases) represented 33.3%. There was a statistically significant difference among cases that witness domestic violence and controls who did not witness it regarding additional signs, loss of appetite, insomniac problems, death ideas, aggressive symptom, and reactive sensitivity symptoms reported as well as global stress indices measured by SCL-90. The most common reason for domestic violence was the financial reasons. Fathers are more responsible for most of the violence incidents. Conclusions Ignoring of suffering and the long duration spent with domestic violent atmosphere without seeking help increase the risk for psychiatric disorder in those children. So legal empowerment and aid projects are essential in raising awareness to influence cultural change and put an end to domestic violence.

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