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Revista Paulista de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0103-0582On-line version ISSN 1984-0462


BISCEGLI, Terezinha Soares; ARROYO, Helena Hotz; HALLEY, Nathália da Silva  and  DOTOLI, Giuliana Martinelli. Domestic violence against children: knowledge of parents of children enrolled in public and private schools. Rev. paul. pediatr. [online]. 2008, vol.26, n.4, pp.366-371. ISSN 1984-0462.

OBJECTIVE: To study the knowledge about domestic violence of parents and caregivers of children enrolled in elementary schools, and to identify how they deal with this subject in their children education. METHODS: This descriptive study used a questionnaire about child abuse and educational practices applied to parents/caregivers of children from one public and one private school in Catanduva, São Paulo State, Brazil. RESULTS: The questionnaires were sent to caregivers in the public school and (1429) and private school (256), and they were answered respectively by 670 (47%) and 115 (45%) of them. The answers were (private/public school): 1) do not approve physical punishment by educators (99/96%); 2) draw the attention of children to bad behavior (90/92%); 3) disagree that "slapping" prepares for life (80/66%); 4) agree that it is wrong to reprimand children in front of others (87/73%); 5) agree that "slaps/smacks" affect the relationship between parents and children (59/57%); 6) talk about "mistakes" as a part of education (97/91%); 7) agree that "insulting" causes damage to a child (81/60%); 8) think that "fear" is not the same as "respect" (86/57%); 9) agree that a "child does not forget easily" (92/79%); 10) agree with child abuse notification (93/90%); 11) worry about violence in someone else's house (51/30%); 12) know that domestic violence may kill (97/94%); 13) consider the violence level in their homes low (89/86%). There were diferences between schools regarding questions 3, 4, 7, 8, 9 and 11 (p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Caregivers of children attending elementary schools are aware of the main concepts regarding child abuse, although participants from the public school presented a worse performance regarding educational questions.

Keywords : domestic violence; child abuse; family; child rearing.

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