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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 172-176

Lifetime child sexual abuse assessed at age 18: A survey of college students from Kerala, India

1 Department of Psychiatry, Ramaiah Medical College and Hospitals, Ernakulam, Kerala, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College, Ernakulam, Kerala, India
3 Department of Biostatistics, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
4 Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. T S Jaisoorya
National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru - 560 029, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_201_20

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Estimates of child sexual abuse (CSA) during adolescence may undercount exposure and retrospective recollection in adulthood may be prone to recall bias. Thus, a more accurate and CSA may be possible if the question is examined in a large sample of 18 years old. This study examined the prevalence and psychosocial correlates of CSA among college-going 18 years olds. This is a cross-sectional survey of college students. 1424 students from 58 colleges selected by cluster random sampling completed a self-administered questionnaire incorporating standardized instruments. Prevalence rates were calculated. Chi-square test was used to compare categorical variables and binary logistic regression analysis was used to examine the correlates of CSA. CSA was reported by 13.2% and significantly more common among males compared to females (18.4% vs. 10.4%, P < 0.05). In the full model of binary logistic regression analysis, students who reported sexual abuse were significantly more likely to report psychological distress and suicidal thoughts. The finding was replicated even when male and female students were analyzed separately. To conclude, CSA is common among college students. With an increasing number of young people enrolling in colleges in India, timely interventions on campuses are important to reduce the psychological morbidity in this population.

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