As vicissitudes de famílias que convivem com a violência: um estudo longitudinal com intervenção
Pereira, Paulo Celso
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Family violence is an international phenomenon, victimizing, among others, primarily women and children. The child may be the target of abuse (direct violence) and/or being exposed to marital violence (indirect violence). Women are the preferential victim of marital aggression. Such factors are serious risk factor for any stage of development. The objectives of the present study were: 1) conducting a longitudinal study to investigate the events over time (four years) of families living with violence, in order to: a) determine the impact of family violence on children's school performance; b) identify risk and protective factors present in the current context of family violence, and c) identifying a history of victimization of the father and his views on family violence (Study 1); and 2) implementing and evaluating an intervention program to teach parenting skills to mothers who are victims of domestic violence, and whose children were also victimized (Study 2). Participants in Study 1 were 18 adolescents, 17 mothers and 12 fathers. The adolescents were assessed at school and responded to the Parenting Styles Inventory (IEP), presented a sample of their school notebook and Report Card in terms of Math and Portuguese grades, as well as producing an essay in terms of a particular drawing as analysis of their writing skills. Mothers and fathers were assessed in their respective homes, answering a semi-structured interview. The data obtained from the longitudinal study (Study 1) revealed that most families overcame two serious risk factors which had ceased: family violence and the use of alcohol or drugs. In terms of domestic violence, the cessation of violence against women was statistically significant, a positive outcome, which also means the end of the exposure of children to marital aggression. The condition of poverty in the families has remained over time. Except for one adolescent, all others attended school, which in this study served as a protective factor. More than half of youngsters maintained or improved their school performance. In Study 2, these 17 mothers participated of an intervention program called Project Parceria (Partnership), consisting of 16 weekly sessions conducted in the homes of participants. Mothers filled an Evaluation Sheet Daily of their sense of well-being and of maternal competence. The intervention program was evaluated in three stages: pre-intervention, post intervention and followup. In addition, for the evaluation of the intervention mothers answered the following instruments: Parenting Styles Inventory (IEP), The Inventory of Child Abuse Potential (CAP), and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire for Children (SDQ). The intervention program had total attendance by mothers, which is unusual, considering the vulnerability profile of these families. The data that evaluated the program indicated favorable results, especially regarding the IEP and SDQ, as the increase in scores from pre-intervention to post-intervention, for such instruments was statistically significant. In conclusion, despite the crystallization of risk factors, family, social and/or school resources have acted as facilitators of resilience. The study showed that it is possible and feasible to conduct intervention with vulnerable families with psychosocial risk. Implementation of other longitudinal studies is suggested, as well as the replication of the intervention program.