Prevalence and Associated Factors of Physical, Verbal and Relational Aggression among Iranian Preschoolers
Objective: Childhood aggression may lead to severe social disorders in adolescence and adulthood. Different psychiatric approaches are focused on preschool aged aggressive children. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence and associated factors of childhood direct and indirect aggression .
Methods: In this cross sectional study a total of 1403 children attending 43 kindergartens were assessed. Data were collected through a structured 46-item questionnaire investigating symptoms of physical, verbal and relational aggression which was completed by parents and teachers of day-care centers. Complex sample survey analysis and multivariate logistic regression method were used for data analysis.
Results: According to parents’ rating, the prevalence of physical ,verbal and relational aggression, was 9.9% (95% CI=7.4%-12.4%) , 6.3% (95% CI=5.0% -7.6%) and 1.6% (95%CI=1.0%-2.2%), respectively; while based on teachers’ rating the prevalence of physical ,verbal and rela ional aggression were 10.9% (95% CI=8.9% -12.9%), 4.9%(95% CI=3.8% - 6.0%) and 6% (95% CI=4.4% -7.6%), respectively. A wide range of family environment factors including living with a single parent, having a working mother, death of someone close to the child, and having less educated mother were significantly associated with different types of aggression; additionally, there was some evidence of a relationship between sex of the children and physical aggression, after controlling for other variables (p<0.05).
Conclusion: This study revealed that children’s family environment alongside internal factors plays an important role as an external factor in determining the child’s potential aggressive behavior. Given this, to better prevent the aggressive behavior of children, intervention strategies should be planned for families and caregivers; specially mothers should receive training to use such strategies.
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