A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF TEMPERAMENT, STRENGTHS AND DIFFICULTIES OF STREET CHILDREN WITH AND WITHOUT SEXUAL ABUSE
Street children present emotional, psychological, cognitive and social disturbances. They are vulnerable to physical, emotional and sexual abuses. Sexual abuse is one of the critical issue faced by them which can be traumatic. Childhood trauma with other risk factors in street can alter their temperament, affecting peer relation, emotion, activity and adaptability level.
The aim of the study was to compare temperament, strengths and difficulties of street children with and without sexual abuse. The specific objectives were to assess types of sexual abuse, to evaluate the peer problems and to compare strengths & difficulties among the study groups.
The study adopted cross sectional design. Initially 152 boys aged 8 to 16 years, from two rehabilitation centers in Kathmandu, were screened for sexual abuse using child sexual abuse screening tool. Among them 50 boys screened for sexual abuse and 50 without sexual abuse were recruited for further study. It was purposive sampling. Malhotra’s Temperament scale and Strength and Difficulties Questionnaires were administered in both study groups by help of social workers of the centers.
Findings of the study show maximum number of boys in street use multiple substance. Most of their parents were separated or had step parent and with poor family support. 32.89% of boys reported to be sexually abused. More than half of them got involved in sexual activities by witnessing others and maximum of perpetrators were peers and seniors in street. The problem in hyperactivity was high in children with sexual abuse in comparison to other group and it is statistically significant. Peer problem and Pro social behavior are observed high in CSA group than in other study group, and the differences are statistically significant. Domain of Rhythmicity is high in CSA group than in other group which is statistically significant.
Findings of study may be helpful to understand problematic domains of street children, which can be understood and addressed by organizations taking their guardianship and make their policies accordingly.
Author's Name: Hashana Shrestha