This study found that 73.3% women in our sample reported one or more types of child maltreatment. Among those who were victims of child maltreatment (n = 293), physical abuse was the most prevalent form of child maltreatment (58.4%). More than one third of the sample reported having experienced physical abuse plus neglect. Approximately 7% of the total sample reported sexual abuse in combination with other maltreatment. The most common form of sexual abuse was sexual abuse combined with both neglect and physical abuse (4.3%). The majority of sexual abuse victims reported co-occurring maltreatment; only one individual reported sexual abuse only.
presents the number and percentage distributions of Asian-American women by demographic characteristics. Among the 400 study participants, Chinese is the most predominant ethnic group in this study, followed by Korean, Vietnamese and Other. The majority of our sample had a college degree or was in college, and more women were born in the U.S. than Asia.
Number and Percent Distribution of Asian-American women by Background Characteristics (n=400)
Prevalence of HIV Risk Behaviors, Depression, and Suicidality
provides prevalence of HIV risk behaviors, depression, and suicidality. In regard to HIV risk behaviors, approximately 20% reported ever having anal sex, and almost 60% reported ever having potentially risky sexual partners, including those whose sexual histories were not known very well to them. In terms of mental health outcomes, 31% of participants reported moderate to severe depression score, about 16% had lifetime suicidal ideation, and 8% had lifetime suicide attempts.
Prevalence of HIV Risk Behaviors and Mental Health Outcomes (n=400)
Associations between Types of Child Maltreatment, HIV Risk Behaviors, and Mental health
shows the proportion of HIV risk behaviors and mental health functioning by six different types of maltreatment. The proportion of women who had sex at age 16 or before was the highest among participants who experienced sexual abuse plus other maltreatment. However, this pattern was not consistent in the other three HIV risk behaviors. None of the child maltreatment types were significantly associated with HIV risk behaviors.
However, the association between sexual abuse plus other maltreatment and mental health outcomes was stronger than the association with HIV risk behaviors. Approximately 4 out of 10 women who experienced sexual abuse plus other maltreatment during childhood reported moderate to severe depression (p = 0.011), and two out of 10 who experienced sexual abuse plus other maltreatment reported ever having attempted suicide (p = 0.006).
shows the adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for multiple logistic regression models for HIV risk behaviors, adjusting for age, education, birth place, and ethnicity. Exposure to child maltreatment, including physical or sexual abuse, was not associated with HIV risk behaviors. However, age and higher education were significant explanatory variables for both ever having anal sex and ever having potentially risky sexual partners, and ethnicity was also a significant explanatory variable for ever having potentially risky sexual partners.
Logistic Regression of HIV Risk Behavior outcomes on Child Maltreatment Types (n = 400)
presents the results of multiple logistic regression models for mental health outcomes. These models indicate that having experienced sexual abuse plus other maltreatment during childhood was significantly associated with a greater likelihood of reporting both having experienced depression, suicidal ideation (model p = 0.06) and attempted suicide, controlling for demographic and background characteristics. Sexual abuse plus other maltreatment increased the risk of having moderate to severe depression by 3 times, having suicidal thoughts in one’s lifetime by almost 4 times and having attempted suicide in one’s lifetime by almost 12 times. None of the covariates were associated with any of the mental health outcomes.
Logistic Regression of Mental Health Outcomes on Child Maltreatment