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Childhood Emotional, Physical, and Sexual Abuse and Associations With Mental Health and Health-Risk Behaviors Among University Students in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

  • Thang, Nguyen Huu (Faculty of Public Health, Hanoi Medical University) ;
  • Anh, Le Viet (Faculty of Public Health, Hanoi Medical University) ;
  • Peltzer, Karl (ASEAN Institute for Health Development, Mahidol University) ;
  • Pengpid, Supa (ASEAN Institute for Health Development, Mahidol University) ;
  • Low, Wah Yun (Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya) ;
  • Win, Hla Hla (Preventive and Social Medicine Department, University of Medicine)
  • Received : 2016.07.02
  • Accepted : 2017.01.11
  • Published : 2017.02.28

Abstract

The aim of this study was to retrospectively estimate the prevalence of childhood emotional abuse (CEA), childhood physical abuse (CPA), and childhood contact sexual abuse (CCSA) in relation to adult poor mental health, addictive behavior, and other health-risk behaviors among university students in five ASEAN countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam). In a cross-sectional survey, 3,240 undergraduate university students were randomly selected (M age = 20.5 years, SD = 1.6 years) to respond to a questionnaire including the Abuse section of the World Health Organization (WHO) Version 1 "Adverse Childhood Experiences International Questionnaire" (ACE-IQ) and other measures. The students reported 17.9% CEA, 28.2% CPA, and 22.4% CCSA, with the highest prevalence of CEA in Myanmar (30.9%) and CPA and CCSA in Vietnam (55.8% and 41.6%, respectively). In logistic regression models, adjusting for sociodemographic and social variables, the separate and cumulative effects of three types of child abuse (emotional, physical, and sexual) were found to increase the risks for poor adult mental health, addictive, and other health-risk behaviors.