Prevalence, socio-demographic risk factors and consequences of exposure to violence among adolescents in the Macassar community

Pietersen, Marshall (2002-03)

Thesis (MA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2002.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The goals of this study were to determine (1) the prevalence of exposure to non-sexual interpersonal violence in a random sample ru=203) of adolescents (14-20 years) from a disadvantaged, relative low socio-economic coloured community, (2) the prevalence ratio of the number of participants who were only witnesses (witnesses) versus the number who were victims (of which some might occasionally also have been witnesses) of non-sexual interpersonal violence, (3) the relationship between certain socio-demographic variables and exposure to non-sexual interpersonal violence in order to identify potential risk factors, and (4) to determine whether victims differed significantly from witnesses with regard to the incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms (PTSDS) and post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) that do not meet the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder. The sample consisted of Afrikaans-speaking coloured boys (!!=101) and girls (!!=102) between the ages of 14 and 20 years predominantly from low-income families who lived in municipal sub-economic housing, and who attended two high schools in Macassar. The measuring instruments comprised a customised socio-demograhpic questionnaire, the Child Exposure to Community Violence Scale which measures exposure to non-sexual interpersonal violence as witnesses and victims and the Child and Adolescent PTSD Checklist to assess the incidence ofPTSDS and PTSS. In order to identify potential risk factors for exposure to violence, the relationship between , exposure to violence and the socio-demographic variables of age, gender and presence/absence of a parent as primary caretaker was investigated. It was found that all participants were exposed to non-sexual interpersonal violence as either witnesses (37.9%) or victims (62.1 %). In contrast to findings of other studies, the majority of participants were victims themselves and not only witnesses. Older adolescents (17-20 years) were, in comparison with younger ones (14-16 years), significantly more exposed to non-sexual interpersonal violence as both witnesses and as victims. Older adolescents were thus more at risk for exposure to interpersonal violence. No statistically significant relationship was found between exposure to non-sexual interpersonal violence, either as witness or as victim, and the variables of gender and presence or absence of a parent as a pnmary caregiver. The incidence of reported PTSDS and PTSS, which was significantly related to exposure to non-sexual interpersonal violence, was relatively high. Thirty adolescents (15%) met the diagnostic criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder, 131 (65%) presented with one or more prominent PTSDS and a further 186 (90%) reported PTSS. Victims reported significantly more PTSS than witnesses.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doelstellings van hierdie studie was om (1) die voorkoms van blootstelling aan nieseksuele interpersoonlike geweld by 'n ewekansige steekproef Ct:l:=203) adolessente (14 tot 20 jaar oud) van twee plaaslike hoërskole in 'n benadeelde, relatief lae sosio-ekonomiese Kleurlinggemeenskap te bepaal, (2) die voorkomsratio van die aantal deelnemers wat slegs waarnemers was (waarnemers) versus die aantal wat slagoffers was (van wie sommige per geleentheid ook waarnemers kon gewees het) van nie-seksuele interpersoonlike geweld te bepaal, (3) die verband tussen sekere sosio-demografiese veranderlikes en blootstelling aan nie-seksuele interpersoonlike geweld te bepaal ten einde potensiële risiko-faktore te identifiseer, en (4) om vas te stelof waarnemers beduidend van slagoffers verskil het ten opsigte van die voorkoms van post-traumatiese-stresversteuring-simptome (PTSVS) en post-traumatiese-stres-simptome (PTSS) wat nie voldoen aan die kriteria van posttraumatiese- stresversteuring nie. Die steekproef het bestaan uit Afrikaanssprekende kleurlingseuns (n= 101) en -dogters (n=102) tussen 14 en 20 jaar oud uit oorwegend lae-inkomste gesinne in sub-ekonomiese munisipale behuising en wat leerders was aan twee hoërskole in Macassar. Die meetinstrumente het 'n doelmatige sosio-demografiese vraelys, die Child Exposure to Community Violence Scale om blootstelling aan nie-seksuele interpersoonlike geweld as waarnemers en as slagoffers te meet, en die Child Adolescent PTSD Checklist om die voorkoms van PTSVS en PTSS te bepaal, ingesluit. Ten einde potensiële risiko-faktore vir blootstelling aan geweld te identifiseer, is die verband tussen blootstelling aan geweld en die sosio-demografiese veranderlikes van ouderdom, geslag en die teenwoordigheid/afwesigheid van 'n ouer as pimêre versorger ondersoek. Daar is bevind dat al die deelnemers, hetsy as waarnemers (37.9%) of slagoffers (62.1 %), aan nie-seksuele interpersoonlike geweld blootgestel was. In teenstelling met die bevindings van ander studies was die meerderheid van die deelnemers self slagoffers van geweld en nie net waarnemers daarvan nie. Ouer adolessente (17-20 jaar) was, in vergelyking met jongeres (14 tot 16 jaar), beduidend meer aan interpersoonlike geweld, beide as waarnemers en as slagoffers, blootgestel. Ouer adolessente was dus 'n hoër risikogroep vir blootstelling aan interpersoonlike geweld. Geen statisties beduidende verband is tussen die veranderlikes van geslag en die teenwoordigheid van 'n ouer as primêre versorger en blootstelling aan nie-seksuele interpersoonlike geweld as óf slegs waarnemer óf slagoffer gevind nie. Die voorkoms van gerapporteerde PTSVS en PTSS, wat 'n beduidende verband met blootstelling aan nie-seksuele interpersoonlike geweld getoon het, was relatief hoog. Dertig adolessente (15%) het voldoen aan die diagnostiese kriteria van post-traumatiese stresversteuring, 131 (65%) het met een of meer prominente PTSVS gepresenteer en 'n verdere 186 (90%) het PTSS gerapporteer. Slagoffers het beduidend meer PTSVS en PTSS as waarnemers gerapporteer.

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