Association between sleep disorders and child violence assessed in Southern Brazil
Aims: identifying sleep disorders (SDs) in children who experienced child maltreatment.
Methods: the study evaluated the sleep pattern of 123 children (from 2 to 10 years old), who received assistance with child maltreatment, based on the Children’s Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ) – applied in a medical consultation after confirmation of the veracity of the child’s report of a violation. The study applied the questionnaire to children seen by doctors in the sector for 11 months.
Results: among the children evaluated, 66.7% had SDs. The sample profile was predominantly female (59.3%) and aged between 4 and 7 years old (48.8%). Physical violence was found in 40.7% of the children, in addition to sexual (35.8%), psychological (24.4%), negligence (14.6%) and other types of violence (OTV) (4.5%). SDs are significantly associated with sexual, psychological and OTV (p=0.016). Regarding the subscales, there was a significant difference between the age groups in the bedtime resistance (BR) factor score (p=0.033). The BR characteristic typifies sexual, psychological and OTV. Sleep anxiety (SA) typifies more psychological, sexual and OTV. Night awakenings (NAs) typify psychological, sexual and physical violence. According to the type of violence, significant differences were found in SA (p=0.039), NAs (p=0.026) and BR (p=0.004).
Conclusions: the outcomes highlight the association between SDs and child maltreatment. Certain types of violence have a greater negative impact on children’s sleep and correlate with specific SD.
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