An analysis of protection and vulnerability factors related to physical and psychological domestic violence among adolescents living with vertically-transmitted HIV/AIDS in a hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
A.C.M.W. Barros1, O.M. Bastos1, S.F. Deslandes2, M.V.d.S. Pone1
1Instituto Fernandes Figueira/Fiocruz, Pediatria, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2Instituto Fernandes Figueira/Fiocruz, Ensino, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Background: Adolescents living with HIV/AIDS are especially susceptible to domestic violence because they present some of the vulnerability factors described in literature, such as chronic illness and orphanhood with a resultant change in caretakers. On the other hand, there are the so-called protection factors like the presence of a support network, self-esteem, and family dialogue that protect adolescents against numerous forms of domestic violence.Objectives: To identify the presence of physical and psychological domestic violence among adolescents living with vertically-transmitted HIV/AIDS and to analyze protection and vulnerability factors described in literature.
Methods: The survey was carried out between August and November 2009, with 31 vertically-infected adolescents receiving treatment at the pediatric infectious disease outpatient unit of a public hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The study consisted of two stages: a quantitative one (distributing of Parent-Child Conflict Tactics Scales/ Straus,1998 and Psychological Violence Scale/Pitzner& Drumond,1997 questionnaires), and a qualitative one (semi-structured interviews).
Results: 67.7% of the adolescents suffered psychological violence, 42% suffered corporal punishment, 22.6% suffered moderate physical abuse, and none of the adolescents suffered severe physical abuse. The families analyzed in this survey had similar socio-economic conditions, and all adolescents presented at least one of the vulnerability factors described in literature. On the other hand, the importance of select protection factors in preventing domestic violence -- which became clear in the interviews -- was affirmed.
Conclusions: In addition to the importance of identifying vulnerability factors for abuse, efforts must be made to identify and above all promote protection factors against physical and psychological domestic violence. The intervention of a multi-disciplinary team for the promotion of these factors is of essential importance.
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