Childhood abuse in Swedish female users of psychiatric services

Gabriella Nilsson, Anita Bengtsson Tops, Lena Persson

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    Introduction:  The aims of this study were to investigate: (1) the prevalence of childhood abuse in women admitted to psychiatric services in a county in the south of Sweden; (2) who the perpetrators were; and (3) the women's self-reported consequences of childhood abuse.

    Method:  The study had a cross-sectional design and was a part of a more comprehensive study. An anonymous self-reported questionnaire was used which included both closed and open-ended questions. The data material were analysed by means of descriptive statistics, Mann–Whitney U-test and manifest content analysis.

    Results:  The total number of women who participated in the study was 259, 51% of whom reported experiences of abuse during childhood, with 53% of these having been exposed to more than one type of abuse. The most frequent perpetrator was the woman's parents; mainly the fathers but also the mothers turned out to be frequent perpetrators of abuse. Some 75% of the women reported current psychological problems in adulthood related to abuse in childhood. According to a manifest content analysis, five themes of self-reported psychological problems emerged: psychiatric problems, shortcomings in social relations, poor self-confidence, fears and bad memories.

    Sidor (från-till)365-371
    Antal sidor6
    TidskriftJournal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
    StatusPublicerad - 2005

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