Association between Physical Abuse, Physical Neglect and Health Risk Behaviours among Young Adolescents: Results from the National Study


  • Dimitrinka Jordanova Peshevska World Health Organization, Country Office Skopje, Skopje
  • Marija Raleva University Clinic of Psychiatry, Medical Faculty at Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje, Skopje
  • Izabela Filov Higher Medical School, Bitola
  • Dinesh Sethi World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe, Copenhagen
  • Tamara Jordanova National Association for Improvement of the Health and Rights of Persons with Mental Illnesses and Other Vulnerable Groups, Skopje
  • Kadri HazdiHamza University Clinic of Psychiatry, Medical Faculty at Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje, Skopje
  • Fimka Tozija Institute of Public Health, Medical Faculty, Ss Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje, Skopje
  • Vesna Damchevska Ilievska Primary School "Zivko Brajkovski", Skopje



Physical abuse, physical neglect, corporal punishment, health risk behaviours, Republic of Macedonia.


OBJECTIVES: One of the main objectives of this paper is to analyze the associations between physical abuse and neglect and health risk behaviours among young adolescents in the country.

METHOD: A representative sample consisted of total 1277 students (58.6% female and 41.6%), aged 18 and above. About 664 of them are in last (fourth) year of secondary school and 613 respondents are first- and second-year university students. The data were obtained using Adverse Childhood Experiences Study Questionnaires (Family Health History Questionnaire) for collecting information on child maltreatment, household dysfunction and other socio-behavioural factors, applying WHO/CDC-recommended methodology. Statistical significance was set up at p<0.05.

RESULTS: Physical abuse (21.1%) and physical neglect (20%) were reported with similar prevalence rates. Disciplining children by spanking or corporal punishment was presented with very high rate of 72.4%.

CONCLUSION: The results demonstrated a relationship between physical abuse and later manifestation of health risk behaviours such as: smoking and early pregnancy. Physical neglect increased the chances for drug abuse, drink-driving, having early sex, having more sexual partners.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...

Plum Analytics Artifact Widget Block


World Health Organization, Social Change and Mental Health, Violence and Injury Prevention. Report of the Consultation on Child Abuse Prevention. Geneva: WHO, 1999(13-17).

Krug EG, Dahlberg LL, Mercy JA, Zwi AB, Lozano R (Eds.) World report on violence and health. Geneva: WHO, 2002.

Implementing the recommendations of the World report on violence and health. Geneva: World Health Organization, 2003.

Pinheiro P. World report on violence against children. Geneva:United Nations Secretary-General's Study on Violence against Children, 2006.

Cicchetti D, Rogosch FA. The toll of child maltreatment on the developing child. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America. 1994; 3:759-776.

Belsky J. Child maltreatment: An ecological integration. American Psychologist. 1980; 35, 320-35.

Belsky J. Etiology of child maltreatment: a developmental ecological analysis. Psychological Bulletin. 1993;114: 413-34.

Butchart, A., Kahane, T. Preventing child maltreatment: a guide to taking action and generating evidence. Geneva: World Health Organization and International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, 2006.

Sethi D, Bellis M, Hughes K, Gilbert R, Mitis F, Galea G. European report on preventing child maltreatment Geneva: World Health Organization, 2013.

Kudsen EI, Heckman JJ, Cameron JL, Shonkoff JP. Economic, neurobiological, and behavioural perspectives on building America's future workforce. PNAS. 2006;103, 27: 10155-162.

MacMillan H, Wathen C, Barlow J, Fergusson D, Leventhal J, Taussig H. Interventions to prevent child maltreatment and associated impairment. The Lancet. 2008; 373: 250-66.

Perry B. Examining child maltreatment through a neurodevelopmental lens: clinical applications of the neurosequential model of therapeutics. Trauma and loss. 2009; 4(4): 240-55.

Shonkoff JP, Boyce WT, McEwen BS. Neuroscience, molecular biology, and the childhood roots of health disparities: building a new framework for health promotion and disease prevention. JAMA. 2009; 301(21): 2252-59.

Browne A, Finkelhor D. Impact of Child Sexual Abuse: A Review of the Research, Psychological Bulletin. 1986;99 (1): 66-77.

Bensley LS, Van Eenwyk J, Simmons KW. Self-reported childhood sexual and physical abuse and adult HIV-risk behaviours and heavy drinking, Am J Prev Med. 2000; 18: 151-58.

English, D. J., Widom, C.S, Brandford, C. Another look at the effects of child abuse. NIJ Journal. 2004; 251: 23-4

Johnson JL, Leff M. Children of substance abusers: Overview of research findings, Pediatrics. 1999;103: 1085-99.

Silverman AB, Reinherz HZ, Giaconia RM. The long-term sequelae of child and adolescent abuse. Child Abuse & Neglect. 1996; 20, 8: 709-23.

Springer KW, Sheridan J, Kuo D, Carnes M. Long-term physical and mental health consequences of childhood physical abuse: Results from a large population-based sample of men and women. Child Abuse & Neglect. 2007; 31: 517-30.

Flaherty EG, Thompson R, Litrownik AJ, Theodore A, English DJ, Black MM, Wike T, Whimper L, Runyan DK, Dubowitz H. Effect of early childhood adversity on child health. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006; 160(12):1232-8.

Kleinman RE1, Murphy JM, Little M, Pagano M, Wehler CA, Regal K, Jellinek MS. Hunger in Children in the United States: Potential Behavioural and Emotional Correlates. Pediatrics. 1998; 101(1):E3.

Statistics by theme, key indicators. Accessed January 25, 2013).

Petrova D. Family violence in Macedonia. Skopje, Institute of Social Affairs, 2006.

Tozija F, Gjorgjev D, Kosevska E, Kendrovski V. 2007/2008 Global school based student health survey results Macedonia. Skopje: National Institute of Public Health, 2009.

Sheikhattari P, Stephenson R, Assasi N, Eftekhar H, Zamani Q, Maleki B, Kiabayan H. Child Maltreatment among school children in Kurdistan Province, Iran. Child Abuse & Neglect. 2006; 30 (3):231-45.

Government of India. India country report on violence against children. New Delhi: Deparment of women and Child Development, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, 2005.

Bonevski D, Novotni A, Raleva M, Boshkovska M. Psychological trauma symptoms in correlation with degree of emotional, physical and sexual abuse reported by children and adolescents in Macedonia. Mac Med Rev. 2002; (1-2):32-6.

Child abuse and neglect in Eastern Europe.

WHO. Global Status Report on Alcohol. Geneva: WHO, 2004.

The Body Shop/ UNICEF, Behind closed doors: The Impact of Domestic Violence on Children, London. The Body Shop International Plc, 2006.

Bonomo Y, Coffey C, Wolfe R, Lynskey M, Bowes G, Patton G. Adverse outcomes of alcohol use in adolescents. Addiction. 2001; 96(10): 1485-96.

UNAIDS. Report on the Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic. Geneva; 2004. Available on-line at: html/GAR2004 00 en.htm

Finkelhor D. The international epidemiology of Child Sexual Abuse. Child Abuse & Neglect. 1994; 18(5): 409-17.

Navarre EL. Psychological maltreatment: the core component of child abuse, in M.R. Brassard, R. Germain and S.N. Hart (eds), Psychological Maltreatment of Children and Youth, Pergamon Press, New York, 1987.

Kolip P & Schmidt B. Gender and health in adolescence, European Health 21, Target 4,13 Geneva: WHO Regional Office Europe, 1999.

Raleva M. Adolescence, crisis, family, Magor: Skopje, 2006.

Felitti VJ, Anda RF, Nordenberg D, Williamson DF, Spitz AM, Edwards V, Koss MP, Marks JS. Relationship of childhood abuse and household dysfunction to many of the leading causes of death in adults: The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study. AJPM. 1998; 14:245–58.

Anda RF, Croft JB, Felitti VJ, Nordenberg D, Giles WH, Williamson DF, Giovino GA. Adverse childhood experiences and smoking during adolescence and adulthood. JAMA. 1999;282:1652–58.




How to Cite

Jordanova Peshevska D, Raleva M, Filov I, Sethi D, Jordanova T, HazdiHamza K, Tozija F, Damchevska Ilievska V. Association between Physical Abuse, Physical Neglect and Health Risk Behaviours among Young Adolescents: Results from the National Study. Open Access Maced J Med Sci [Internet]. 2014 Jun. 15 [cited 2022 Aug. 14];2(2):384-9. Available from:



Preventing Interpersonal Violence in Europe

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>