Childhood physical and sexual abuse, and adult health risk behaviours among university students from 24 countries in Africa, the Americas and Asia

SOURCE: Journal of Psychology in Africa
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2016
TITLE AUTHOR(S): K.Peltzer, S.Pengpid
KEYWORDS: CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE, MENTAL HEALTH, RISK BEHAVIOUR, SEXUAL ABUSE, SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR, UNIVERSITY STUDENTS, VIOLENCE
DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Capabilities (HSC)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 9282
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/9907
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11910/9907

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Abstract

The goal of this study was to retrospectively estimate the prevalence of childhood physical abuse (CPA) and childhood sexual abuse (CSA) in relation to experience of adult violence, poor mental health, addictive behaviour and sexual risk behaviour among university students from 24 countries in Africa, the Americas and Asia. In a cross-sectional survey, data were collected from 18 404 undergraduate university students (mean age 20.7, SD = 2.9, age range of 16-30 years) from 24 countries. Overall, 5.0%, 2.6% and 1.2% of the students reported childhood physical abuse, childhood sexual abuse and childhood physical and sexual abuse, respectively. In the logistic regression models, adjusting for age, sex, study year, family wealth, and country, having experienced CPA and CSA was associated with increased odds of having any adult violence (physical and sexual partner violence victimisation. Having been in a physical fight, and weapon carrying), any poor mental health (post-traumatic stress disorder, depression symptoms and sleeping problems), addictive behaviour (tobacco use, binge drinking, frequent gambling and obesity) and sexual risk-taking was higher with a self-reported history of CPA and CSA.