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Clinical Features and Risk Factors of Psychiatric Disorders among Maltreated Children

Kuo-Ping Li, Cheng-Hsien Sung, Shih-Kai Liu, Yuan-Chang Hsu, Chih-Tsai Chen

Objective: In this survey, we intended to study the clinical features and possible risk factors including types of maltreatment, family factors, and psychopathology of maltreated children. Methods: We reviewed the clinical case reports of comprehensive assessment in annual projects of maltreated children placed in the children’s homes between 1997 and 2016. The comprehensive assessment included history of maltreatment, family condition, psychiatric interview, physical examination, and psychological assessment. We divided maltreated children into Axis I psychiatric disorder and non-Axis I psychiatric disorder groups for comparing the difference in clinical features and risk factors. Results: Among the 377 participants, the average age was 9.1 ± 3.0 years. The majority were male (60.5%) and pupils of elementary school (69.9%). Only 22.5% of their parents still maintained as married in marital status. In Axis I psychiatric disorder group, both age (p < 0.05) and full intelligence (p < 0.001) were significantly lower than non-Axis I psychiatric disorder group. Besides, the study participants in the Axis I psychiatric disorder group had significantly more times of changes in placement (p < 0.05) and stayed longer in a placement (p < 0.05). In both groups, around 40% of all the participants were 25 percentile or less in height. The feature was not found in weight dimension. Conclusion: While the problem of psychiatric disorder adds complexity to child maltreatment issues, the promotion, protection, and restoration of mental health can be regarded as a vital concern in these vulnerable children.
Key Word age, duration of placement, frequency of changes in placement, intelligence
Editorial Committe, Taiwanese Journal of Psychiatry
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