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The current prevalence of child sexual abuse worldwide: a systematic review and meta-analysis


Barth, J; Bermetz, L; Heim, Eva Maria; Trelle, S; Tonia, T (2013). The current prevalence of child sexual abuse worldwide: a systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Public Health, 58(3):469-483.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Systematic reviews on prevalence estimates of child sexual abuse (CSA) worldwide included studies with adult participants referring on a period of abuse of about 50 years. Therefore we aimed to describe the current prevalence of CSA, taking into account geographical region, type of abuse, level of country development and research methods.

METHODS: We included studies published between 2002 and 2009 that reported CSA in children below 18 years. We performed a random effects meta-analysis and analyzed moderator variables by meta-regression.

RESULTS: Fifty-five studies from 24 countries were included. According to four predefined types of sexual abuse, prevalence estimates ranged from 8 to 31 % for girls and 3 to 17 % for boys. Nine girls and 3 boys out of 100 are victims of forced intercourse. Heterogeneity between primary studies was high in all analyses.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results based on most recent data confirm results from previous reviews with adults. Surveys in children offer most recent estimates of CSA. Reducing heterogeneity between studies might be possible by standardized measures to make data more meaningful in international comparisons.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Systematic reviews on prevalence estimates of child sexual abuse (CSA) worldwide included studies with adult participants referring on a period of abuse of about 50 years. Therefore we aimed to describe the current prevalence of CSA, taking into account geographical region, type of abuse, level of country development and research methods.

METHODS: We included studies published between 2002 and 2009 that reported CSA in children below 18 years. We performed a random effects meta-analysis and analyzed moderator variables by meta-regression.

RESULTS: Fifty-five studies from 24 countries were included. According to four predefined types of sexual abuse, prevalence estimates ranged from 8 to 31 % for girls and 3 to 17 % for boys. Nine girls and 3 boys out of 100 are victims of forced intercourse. Heterogeneity between primary studies was high in all analyses.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results based on most recent data confirm results from previous reviews with adults. Surveys in children offer most recent estimates of CSA. Reducing heterogeneity between studies might be possible by standardized measures to make data more meaningful in international comparisons.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:10 Jan 2019 11:56
Last Modified:10 Jan 2019 11:56
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1661-8556
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00038-012-0426-1
PubMed ID:23178922

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