Revista de Psiquiatria Clínica
Print version ISSN 0101-6083
SERAFIM, Antonio de Pádua; SAFFI, Fabiana; ACHA, Maria Fernanda Faria and BARROS, Daniel Martins de. Demographic, psychological and behavioral characteristics of child and adolescent victims of sexual abuse. Rev. psiquiatr. clín. [online]. 2011, vol.38, n.4, pp. 143-147. ISSN 0101-6083. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0101-60832011000400006.
BACKGROUND: There is a well known relationship between sexual abuse in children and mental health disorders, which is seen both in clinical practice as in the scientific literature. OBJECTIVE: To describe demographic profile as well as behavioral and emotional features of a cohort of children and adolescents sexually abused. MÉTODO: 205 children and adolescent, ranging from 6 to 14 years old, 130 girls (age 9.6 ± 3.4 yo) and 75 boys (age 7.2 ± 2.9 yo) were evaluated due to being victims of sexual abuse between the years 2005 and 2009. Gender, age, relationship with the perpetrator, psychological and psychiatric symptoms, behavioral and affective-emotional features (blame, shame, fearfulness, male and female figures image and self perception) were all properly evaluated. RESULTS: Girls were the main victims (63.4%). The riskier age ranging from 7 to 10 yo (48.5%) among then, and from 3 to 6 yo (54.6%) for the boys. Fathers are the major perpetrators (38%) followed by step-fathers (29%). Boys and girls show high risk for depression and Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Girls tend to be more sexualized whilst boys tend to isolate themselves. DISCUSSION: This research allowed to identify an important set of psychological, psychiatric and behavioral characteristics that affect the normal emotional development of children and adolescents.
Keywords : Sexual abuse; mental disorders; infancy; adolescence.