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Salud mental

versión impresa ISSN 0185-3325


GONZALEZ-PACHECO, Itzel; LARTIGUE, Teresa  y  VAZQUEZ, Gerardo. Case studies and controls in a group of pregnant with adverse experience in childhood and/or adolescence and sexually transmitted infections. Salud Ment [online]. 2008, vol.31, n.4, pp.261-270. ISSN 0185-3325.

Introduction Psychic traumas, also called adverse experiences, are events from the subject's life characterized by its intensity, the subject's inability to respond to them properly and the pathogenic lasting effects they cause in the psychic organization. The violence effects against women and girls are usually devastating for their reproductive health and other aspects of their physical and mental well-being. Besides injuries, violence causes an increase in the long-term risk of women developing other health problems. Women with a history of psychic mistreat or sexual abuse face also a bigger risk of non-expected or involuntary pregnancies, sexual transmitted infections and adverse results from pregnancy. High rates of childhood abuse were found: 42.2% had suffered physical mistreat, 21.4% had been insulted, 16.5% was victim of humiliation and 7.6% had been a victim of sexual abuse before fifteen years of age. The main aggressors were male relatives, the stepfather or the father. A study done in the United States found that women exposed to this form of violence suffered STI in adult age in a bigger proportion (10.7%) than the ones that were never exposed (5.7%). An investigation was made in the National Perinatolgy Institute called «STD/HIV-AIDS and Personality Disorders (PD) in pregnant women and their couples. Detection and prevention from high risk practices» with the objective -among others- to resolve the existing association between adverse experiences in childhood and the presence of sexually transmitted infections in gestation. Material and method The investigation design was of cases and controls; the characteristics of the study in relation to temporality was prospective with respect to the presence or absence of the pathogenic agent in gestation and retrospective (investigating adverse experiences in childhood), analytical referring to the analysis type and transverse with respect to the capture of the sample. The evaluation of the STIs was made through the Laboratory of the Sexually Transmitted Infections Clinic of the INPer and from the pertinent clinic exams. The diagnostic evaluation was made on the basis of the structured clinic interviews for the diagnostic psychiatric evaluation of I and II axes of DSM-IV. To investigate adverse childhood experiences, a psychodynamic interview was made and answers were transcribed then to the questionnaire made by Whitfields, Dube, Felitti and Anda, who developed the instrument Adverse Experiences in Childhood and/or Adolescence (ACE) with the aim to measure the amplitude of the exposition to emotional, physical and sexual abuse, as well as family dysfunction in these stages of life. It includes seven categories of adverse experiences, three relative to active abuse and five to passive abuse: 1. psychological abuse; 2. physical abuse; 3. sexual abuse; 4. conjugal violence against the mother; 5. living with parent or adults with alcohol problems and/or substance abusers; 6. living with parents or adults with mental disorders or suicidal; 7. living with parents that had been in jail. Results One hundred seventy-eight pregnant women were divided in two groups, the first one with 89 participants, in which a virus that caused the STI was identified, and the second group was the control group with also 89 pregnant women without STI. Significant differences were obtained in the socioeconomic level. There was also a significant association between fathers of the women with STI that had some legal problem and had being sent to jail for a period of time (RM 3.311); they also show small alcoholic problems (RM 2.073). There was a significant association with the different types of passive abuse (carelessness, negligence and indifference) physical, emotional and sexual, emphasizing that the relation between these categories and having an STI by a virus is highly significant; this is, being exposed in childhood to adverse events, more probability to get a viral STI in adulthood. The cases group accumulated three or more in bigger proportion (20.2%) than the control group (9%). The STI pregnant group presented a bigger number of traumatic events (69.9%) in comparison to the group with no STI that was 48.3%. It is appraised the bigger prevalence of mental disorders in the STI pregnant group, having a disorder increased the potential risk of infection by 2.45 times (C:I to 95% that oscillates between 1.303 and 4.61). Conclusions The STI viral group and the control group are different concerning socioeconomic level and schooling, finding in the STI group a bigger proportion of women whose monthly family income is lower, the poverty as a risk factor and/or social vulnerability for the HIV infection, the interaction between living in poverty conditions and the difficulty to access and to stay in the national educative system are closely related. In addition, this case group was integrated in a bigger proportion with pregnant who were not united in the study period. It is important to mention that half of the pregnant that formed the HIV/ AIDS group suffered the pain of seeing their couple die. From the adverse experiences in childhood and/or adolescence that could have been in the start or been a beginning factor for getting afterwards a viral STI in adulthood, the significant ones were having lived with a alcohol abuser adult, thus being victim of carelessness, negligence or indifference, same as being hit, pushed, pushed or hit so hard to leave marks, humiliations, coarses, insults, feelings of being less and victim of being touched or having a sexual experience. These traumatic events happened simultaneously, mainly in the cases group where 40 pregnant declared being exposed to two or more categories in contrast with 22 of the control group. Alcohol abuse is a generalized health problem and common in all societies; pregnant women with STI were in bigger proportion more exposed to familiar alcohol than the control group and approximately half of them were at the same time victims of some forms of abuse or violence by their fathers or stepfathers. Studies made in 21 countries show that between 7% and the 36% of the women had accepted being victims of sexual aggressions during their childhood and, according to most of these studies, the rate of abuses suffered by girls is 1.5 to 3 times bigger than men. The same report makes evident the fact that between 133 and 275 millions of children from all over the world are witnesses of domestic violence each year; this is, witness violent scenes at their home, generally through fights between their parents or between their mother and couple, which can also seriously affect their well-being, development and their social interaction in childhood and adult age. It has also been found that suffering an active abuse in childhood is a risk factor for structuring a borderline personality disorder.

Palabras llave : Gestation; adverse experiences; traumatic events; sexually transmitted infections by virus.

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