Association between Child Abuse and Health Risk Behaviors among Chinese College Students
Little is known about the link between child abuse and health risk behaviors among Chinese college students. This cross-sectional study examined the prevalence of child abuse and its relations with individual and clusters of health risk behaviors among Chinese college students. A total of 507 students participated in this survey. The prevalence of child abuse from the highest to the lowest was emotional neglect (53.9%), physical neglect (49.0%), emotional abuse (21.8%), physical abuse (18.3%), and sexual abuse (18.1%), respectively. Males were more likely to report child abuse than females (p < 0.01). For males, emotional abuse was associated with internet addiction [OR = 2.28; 95%CI (1.00, 5.20)] and suicidal behavior [OR = 12.47, 95%CI (2.61, 59.54)]; while sexual abuse was associated with internet addiction [OR = 2.30, 95%CI (1.14, 4.66)]. For females, emotional abuse was significantly associated with increased risks for self-harm behavior [OR = 15.03, 95%CI (3.59, 63.07)] and suicidal behavior [OR = 5.16, 95%CI (1.63, 16.40)]. Physical abuse was related to risks for internet addiction [OR = 2.50, 95%CI (1.03, 6.04)] significantly. Two-step cluster analysis showed that participants in clusters with more health risk behaviors reported higher scores of child abuse. These findings suggest that child abuse was associated with both individual and clustering of health risk behaviors among Chinese college students.