246377 CHILD Maltreatment Among Asian-American Women: HIV RISK Behaviors, Depression and Suicidality

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hyeouk Chris Hahm, PhD, LCSW , Assistant Professor, Boston University School of Social Work, Boston, MA
Eric Kolaczyk, PhD , Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Boston University, Boston, MA
Jisun Jang, BS, MA Candidate , Department of Biostatistics, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Lisa Ng, BA Candidate , College of Arts and Sciences, Boston University, Boston, MA
Background: What is the prevalence of child maltreatment among Asian-American women? Are different types of maltreatment associated with HIV risk behaviors, depression and suicidality? Answers to these questions are critical for developing culturally appropriate interventions for this population. Nonetheless, empirical evidence for this population is scarce.

Objective: This study was designed to examine the role of multiple child maltreatment on HIV risk behaviors and mental health functions among single Asian-American women.

Methods: Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese women (n = 501) were interviewed using Computer-Assisted Survey Interviews. Multiple logistic regression analyses were used to estimate the association between child maltreatment and HIV risk behaviors, as well as mental health outcomes.

Results: Approximately six in ten women reported having been maltreated as a child and 5% reported having been sexually abused as a child. We found no evidence that experience of child sexual abuse plus other maltreatment predicts sexual risk behaviors, which contradicts findings in studies with other racial groups. However, exposure to child sexual abuse plus other maltreatment was associated with higher risks for depression (OR = 3.2) and suicidal attempts (OR = 11.7).

Conclusions: Those who experienced sexual abuse plus other maltreatment were at greater risk for depression and suicidality, compared to those who had never been maltreated. The null finding between multiple child maltreatment and HIV risk behaviors is consistent with Asian cultural norms of internalizing trauma. These new findings demonstrate that prevention of child maltreatment among Asian-American women may be the key to reducing mental health problems.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to: 1) Describe the prevalence of multiple types of child maltreatment among Asian-American women. 2) Identify the association between exposure to multiple types of child maltreatment and HIV risk behaviors, as well as poor mental health outcomes in Asian American women. 3) Discuss possible intervention strategies that will reduce depression and suicidality among Asian American women.

Keywords: Child Abuse, Adult and Child Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I oversee Asian-American Women’s Health Initiative Project (AWSHIP) as the Principal Investigator and examine mental, sexual, and physical health, and how culture and familial relations affect personal health practices among Asian American women.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.