Demographic factors, childhood maltreatment and psychological functioning among university students' in Ghana: A retrospective study

Samuel Adjorlolo, Sarah Adu‐Poku, Johnny Andoh‐Arthur, Irene Botchway, Budeba Petro Mlyakado
Published Online:
28 Dec 2015
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 52 Issue S1

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This study retrospectively investigates the influence of child (i.e., gender), care‐giver (e.g., who grew up with), household size (i.e., number of siblings grew up with) and community (i.e., rural versus urban) factors on childhood maltreatment, as well as the impacts of maltreatment on psychological functioning. A cross‐sectional survey and self‐report methodology is used to gather data from 300 students of the University of Ghana. The results show that being a male, growing up in rural areas, living with more than 3 siblings in the same household and being raised by both biological parents have significant main effects on childhood maltreatment. Analyses of the interaction effects show that living with more than 5 siblings in a rural household with “other” parents (i.e., non‐biological parents) has a significant effect on physical abuse. Furthermore, males from rural households consisting of more than 3 siblings and who did not grow up with both biological parents endorsed significantly more physical abuse and physical neglect, compared with the females. With respect to the psychological outcome, childhood maltreatment significantly predicts and account for significant variance in depression (34%), self‐efficacy (18%) and life satisfaction (22%). The findings and the implications of the study are briefly discussed.

© 2015 International Union of Psychological Science