Family, school and community violence and problem behavior in childhood: results from a longitudinal study in Brazil

Simone Gonçalves de Assis, Raquel de Vasconcellos Carvalhaes de Oliveira, Thiago de Oliveira Pires, Joviana Quintes Avanci, Renata Pires Pesce


Objective - To analyze if the presence of internalizing and externalizing behavior over the years are associated to the occurrence of family and social violence among schoolchildren in a Brazilian municipality.

Subjects - A sample of 295 children from public schools was followed longitudinally in three waves (2005-2008), assessing the emotional and behavioral problems (CBCL) and the presence of different forms of violence. Methods - Two linear regression models were conducted taking into account the longitudinal dependence.

Results - The final model for externalizing problems identified that boys are more affected and that physical violence between grandparents, between parents and between siblings, parental verbal aggression against the child and school violence are related to an increase in symptomatology throughout the period studied. The model of internalizing behavior encountered the following variables as being significant: verbal aggression of parents towards the child, sibling physical aggression and violence at school.

Conclusion - The results indicate the need for preventive proposals focusing on the family and violence at school, thereby reducing emotional and behavioral problems that seriously affect child development.


Child; Internalizing Behavior; Externalizing Behavior; Violence

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