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Child Maltreatment in Bangladesh: Perceptions, Prevalence and Determinants
Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Health Sciences (from 2013).
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: Like most low- and middle-income countries Bangladesh have no prevalence data on Child Maltreatment (CM) and lack a reporting system.

Objectives: The overall aims of the thesis were to generate knowledge on CM in the Bangladeshi society and to estimate the prevalence and associated risk factors.

Methods: The thesis is based on four studies. In Study I children’s experiences were explored and 24 school aged children were interviewed. Qualitative content analysis was used for data analysis. In Study II 790 newspaper articles on CM from six national daily newspapers were selected during three months in 2014. Data were analysed through descriptive content analysis. Studies III and IV were cross-sectional population surveys. The International Child Abuse Screening Tool for Children (ICAST-C) was translated for data collection. Face-to-face interviews were performed during March-April 2017 with 1,416 children aged 11-17 years. In Study III the prevalence and risk factors of child physical abuse (CPA) were estimated, while in Study IV the same for child psychological abuse (CPsyA) and neglect.

Results: CM was a common and painful experience with serious physical and emotional consequences but highly accepted by the society. Vulnerable groups were young children, girls, and poor children (Study I). Physical and sexual abuse were the most common types of CM covered in the news articles. One third of the reported cases resulted in death. Boys were victims of physical abuse to a higher degree, while girls were reported as victims of sexual abuse. The identity of the victims was often disclosed (Study II). Approximately all children reported experiences of CPA and CPsyA. Neglect was less reported (Study III and IV). Boys, younger children, victim of family violence, and low maternal education were risk factors of CPA (Study III). Not living with parents, working, family size and victim of family violence were risk factors of CPsyA or neglect. More years of schooling was a protective factor (Study IV).

Conclusions: The results show that almost every child in Bangladesh experience CM. The studies incorporated in this thesis contribute to the knowledge on CM in the Bangladeshi cultural context.

Key words: Child Maltreatment, ICAST-C, Public Health, Bangladesh

Abstract [en]

Like most low- and middle-income countries Bangladesh have no prevalence data on Child Maltreatment (CM) and lack a reporting system. The overall aims of the thesis were to generate knowledge on CM in the Bangladeshi society and to estimate the prevalence and associated risk factors.

The thesis is based on four studies. An explorative interview study to get children’s views on CM was the first study. A systematic analysis of newspaper content was then performed to get a societal picture of CM. The first two studies generated new research questions for the two successive studies. Study III and IV were population based cross-sectional surveys. The results show that CM was a common and painful experience with serious physical and emotional consequences but highly accepted by the society (Study I). Boys were victims of physical abuse to a higher degree, while girls were reported as victims of sexual abuse. One third of the newspaper reported cases resulted in death. The identity of the victims was often disclosed (Study II). Almost every child in Bangladesh has experienced either physical or psychological abuse. Neglect was less reported (Study III and IV). The studies incorporated in this thesis contribute to the knowledge on CM in the Bangladeshi cultural context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2019. , p. 115
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2019:25
Keywords [en]
Child Maltreatment, ICAST-C, Public Health, Bangladesh
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Public Health Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-74655ISBN: 978-91-7867-044-4 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7867-049-9 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-74655DiVA, id: diva2:1349215
Public defence
2019-10-25, 1B306, 651 88, Karlstad, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-10-04 Created: 2019-09-06 Last updated: 2019-10-04Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Bangladeshi school-age children's experiences and perceptions on child maltreatment: A qualitative interview study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Bangladeshi school-age children's experiences and perceptions on child maltreatment: A qualitative interview study
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2017 (English)In: Child Care Health and Development, ISSN 0305-1862, E-ISSN 1365-2214, Vol. 43, no 6, p. 876-883Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BackgroundChild maltreatment (CM) is a public health problem and is recognized as a huge barrier for child development. Most of the research and definitions on CM are from the perspective of high-income western countries. Because no major studies have been conducted on CM in Bangladesh, the aim of the current study was to explore the experiences of and perceptions on CM in school-age children in rural and urban Bangladesh in order to understand maltreatment in a local context and from a child perspective. MethodsSemistructured individual interviews with 24 children (13 boys and 11 girls), between the ages of 9 and 13years of which 11 were schoolgoing and 13 non-schoolgoing, were conducted during July 2013 and analysed according to qualitative content analysis. ResultsCM was a common and painful experience with serious physical and emotional consequences but highly accepted by the society. Vulnerable groups were especially young children, girls, and poor children. The children's voices were not heard due to their low status and low position in their families, schools, and working places. The main theme that emerged in the analysis was children's subordination, which permeated the five categories: (a) perception of children's situation in society, (b) understanding children's development and needs, (c) CM associated to school achievement, (d) negative impact of CM, and (e) emotional responses. ConclusionsDifferent kinds of abuse are obviously common in Bangladesh, and the schools do not follow the law from 2011 prohibiting corporal punishment at school. The society has to take further steps to live up to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was ratified already in 1990, to protect the Bangladeshi children from CM.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2017
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Public Health Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-65869 (URN)10.1111/cch.12508 (DOI)000412293800011 ()28871592 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2018-01-25 Created: 2018-01-25 Last updated: 2019-09-06Bibliographically approved
2. Child maltreatment portrayed in Bangladeshi newspapers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Child maltreatment portrayed in Bangladeshi newspapers
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Public Health Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-74673 (URN)
Available from: 2019-09-06 Created: 2019-09-06 Last updated: 2019-09-19
3. Children's exposure to physical abuse from a child perspective: A population-based study in rural Bangladesh
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Children's exposure to physical abuse from a child perspective: A population-based study in rural Bangladesh
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2019 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 14, no 2, article id e0212428Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background Although child physical abuse (CPA) is considered as a major global public health problem, it has not yet been recognized as such in Bangladesh. Very few studies have assessed the prevalence and victims' characteristics of multiple forms of CPA. Objective This population-based study assessed the prevalence of CPA committed by adults in a rural area of Bangladesh and examined its association with demographic and socio-contextual factors. Methods Data were obtained using ISPCAN Child Abuse Screening Tool for Children (ICAST-C) in a random sample of 1416 children (49% girls, 51% boys) aged 11 to 17 years by face-to-face interviews during March-April 2017. The response rate was 91.5%. To estimate predictors of CPA, physical abuse was categorized into frequent and less frequent groups. Results The prevalence of at least one form (>= 1), two forms (>= 2) and three or more forms (>= 3) of CPA were estimated approximately to 99%, 95% and 83% in their lifetime and 93%, 79%, and 57% in the past year respectively. Hitting (except on buttocks), standing/kneeling and slapping were the most common physical abuse whereas given drugs or alcohol, pinched, burned or scalded, beaten-up and locked up were less reported. Female children were faced severe forms of CPA more than that of males. Male children, younger age groups, witnessing adults using weapons at home, bullied by siblings and low level of maternal education were found to be significant risk factors for both >= 1 form and >= 2 forms of frequent CPA whereas adding also adult shouting in a frightening way was found as a significant risk factor for >= 2 forms of frequent CPA. Conclusion Self-reported prevalence of CPA is extremely common in the Bangladeshi rural society. The prevalence was associated with demographic and socio-contextual characteristics of the children such as being younger, witnessing domestic violence and maternal low education. The findings provide evidence to support parents and policy-makers to take effective measures to implement policy and programme on alternative up-bringing methods and creating awareness of negative effects of CM which in turn help Bangladesh to line up with UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which the country signed in 1990.

National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Public Health Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-71490 (URN)10.1371/journal.pone.0212428 (DOI)000459062900055 ()30779784 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2019-03-14 Created: 2019-03-14 Last updated: 2019-09-06Bibliographically approved
4. Manuscript: Children's exposure to psychological abuse and neglect from a child perspective: A population-based study in rural Bangladesh
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Manuscript: Children's exposure to psychological abuse and neglect from a child perspective: A population-based study in rural Bangladesh
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-75066 (URN)
Available from: 2019-10-04 Created: 2019-10-04 Last updated: 2019-10-04

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