Prevalence of maltreatment of adolescents among high school children in Kerala (pp. 277-280)
Authors: Jyothi Manoj and Josmy Thomas
Abstract: Purpose was to retrospectively analyze the awareness of adolescents about child rights and assess the prevalence of maltreatment. Methods: 300 students from two schools in Calicut district participated in a cross sectional study. The participants were 153(51%) boys and 147(49%) girls with median age 14 and range 3. Results: 53.67% of the children have poor awareness of child rights and maltreatment. The results provide baseline information on the prevalence and types of maltreatment children face. 47% were exposed to physical maltreatment, 47.6% has suffered emotional maltreatment, 16.7% sexual maltreatment, 29.7% neglect. There is no gender difference in exposure to the types of maltreatments (chi square p > 0.05) except sexual maltreatment where boys were found more vulnerable. Monthly income of the family and parents educational level has an influence on prevalence of maltreatment. Conclusion: Child maltreatment is highly prevalent among school children. We suggest schools must introduce interventions which incorporate personal safety, prevention of abuse and mental health issues for students and government and NGOs should develop programmes and counseling to create awareness among parents and teachers to build up a healthy generation.