Sexual abuse in Thai children: a qualitative study

Trangkasombat, U.

Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand 91(9): 1461-1467

2008


ISSN/ISBN: 0125-2208
PMID: 18843879
Document Number: 14898
To understand sexual abuse in the Thai context, the impact of abuse, and the health problems of abused children. This is a qualitative research. Sixty substantiated cases of child sexual abuse were recruited (56 girls and 4 boys). Participants were interviewed with a semistructured interview instrument. Data were coded and content analysis was done to identify common themes. Most children were first-born and came from families with multiple psychosocial stressors. About 77% were abused by family members. Most abuse was chronic and occurred when caretakers were not available or did not closely supervise the children due to economic and work-hour problems. Sixty-three percent of the children made purposeful disclosures. After disclosure, 65% of the children were placed in rehabilitation centers. At least 16.7% of the sample had intellectual limitations, and 28.3% had physical problems resulting from abuse. Frequent mental health problems included guilt feelings and aggressive behavior Family dysfunction and cultural factors place many children at risk for sexual abuse. Important preventive strategies include empowering families so they can take better care of their children, as well as educating parents and professionals about child sexual abuse.

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Sexual abuse in Thai children: a qualitative study