Acta psicopatológica Acceso abierto


Family Violence against Children and Adolescents in Brazil and Relations with Identity Development

Tardivo LSPC

This work is based on the investigation of a juvenile population in Brazil with a focus on identity development of adolescents, which have experienced severe violence in their families. Intra familial violence against children and adolescents results from the interaction of socio-economic, cultural and psychological factors of the people involved. Intra familial violence against a child or an adolescent represents a risk factor to the developmental process, which may lead to disturbances of personality and social adaptation. The focus of the present study is to present data about the impact of intra familial violence on adolescents and to discuss the consequences in adolescents, between 12 and 18 years, victims of intra familial violence the instruments used were: Assessment of Identity Development in Adolescence (AIDA), Defense Style Questionnaire (DSQ-40) and Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). The results were compared with data from adolescents from school population, without intra familial violence experience. The results were found: the victims of violence show more difficulties and weaknesses in the SDQ and more immature defenses in DSQ-40. They need help for developing more positive defenses, and strong models of identification. They feel a lack of affect and they reveal more identity diffusion (AIDA) when compared to the control group. It’s possible to get in touch with this difficult reality, the presence of domestic intra familial violence against children and adolescents. The suffering and consequences to development, in general, and in the formation of identity, in particular, are shown. Clinical researchers have to give voice especially to disadvantaged adolescents who deserve caring to develop a healthy identity and a better quality of life.