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Salud mental

versão impressa ISSN 0185-3325

Salud Ment vol.30 no.4 México Jul./Ago. 2007

 

Artículos originales

La familia y el maltrato como factores de riesgo de conducta antisocial

Nieves Quiroz del Valle* 

Jorge Ameth Villatoro Velázquez*  ** 

Francisco Juárez García* 

María de Lourdes Gutiérrez López* 

Nancy G. Amador Buenabad* 

María Elena Medina-Mora Icaza* 

* Instituto Nacional de Psiquiatría Ramón de la Fuente Muñiz


Resumen:

La conducta antisocial es una problemática que surge por la combinación de diversos factores entre los que destacan la conducta turbulenta en la escuela, el consumo de drogas, el alcoholismo, la relación antisocial con sus pares, las alteraciones emocionales, el maltrato, los problemas familiares, entre otras situaciones que hacen a los individuos más vulnerables.

La presente investigación retoma de esos factores el ambiente familiar y el maltrato para analizar su relación con las conductas antisociales, conocer cómo se comportan los individuos que viven con estos dos aspectos y observar si los mismos pueden ayudar a predecir la presencia de conducta antisocial en los adolescentes.

La personalidad antisocial se desarrolla en ambientes en los que se dan el abuso infantil, los problemas económicos, la humillación, el castigo físico sistemático o las rupturas familiares. Vivir tales emociones en la infancia provoca una carencia importante de sentimientos, y esto propicia una tendencia a cometer actos delictivos en el futuro.

Se debe terminar con el círculo vicioso en el que los padres que fueron maltratados, maltratan a sus hijos; se tiene que evitar que los padres que vivieron experiencias desagradables como hostilidad, rechazo, falta de comunicación, inestabilidad, etc., repitan patrones de conducta con sus hijos. Es importante revalorizar el papel de la familia, sus funciones, sus características y, sobre todo, la influencia tan determinante que la familia tiene para que los jóvenes presenten problemas de conducta y, más específicamente, de conducta antisocial.

Es vital que se cree consciencia del daño que llegan a presentar los niños, los adolescentes e incluso los adultos que crecieron en ambientes familiares negativos llenos de hostilidad, agresión y maltrato, pues todo ello aumenta las posibilidades de que las personas realicen actos delictivos.

Es en este contexto que la presente investigación tiene como principal interés mostrar la relación que existe entre el haber vivido situaciones de maltrato o el haberse desenvuelto en ambientes familiares poco proveedores de protección y buen desarrollo, y la presencia de la conducta antisocial en los adolescentes.

Para cumplir con nuestro objetivo, se utilizaron los datos obtenidos en la Encuesta sobre Consumo de Drogas en estudiantes, medición otoño 2003 en el DF (11).

Los resultados de la investigación muestran que existen diferencias entre el grupo que comete actos antisociales del grupo que no lo comete, tanto para el área del ambiente familiar como para el área del maltrato. Los principales predictores de la conducta antisocial fueron: mayor presencia de hostilidad y rechazo, menor comunicación por parte de los hijos, menor apoyo de los hijos y mayor presencia de disciplina negativa severa y disciplina negativa. En lo que respecta a la comunicación, el apoyo de los padres y la disciplina prosocial, estos no se identificaron como predictoras de conducta antisocial.

De esta forma se concluyó que el ambiente familiar y el maltrato son factores asociados con la presencia de conducta antisocial, por lo que debemos prevenir dicha problemática mejorando las relaciones familiares, la interacción entre los miembros con un ambiente familiar positivo que permita a los adolescentes un sano desarrollo. En los casos en los que desde la infancia se proporciona un ambiente familiar óptimo, y que éste se logra mantener con relaciones intrafamiliares de verdadero afecto, el adolescente convierte a los padres en sus guías y orientadores. Una familia con una disciplina razonable y no arbitraria permite al adolescente desarrollar una conducta social que lo va a conducir a su propio autocontrol y a la autodirección. En cambio, cuando las relaciones entre padres e hijos son desfavorables, la conducta moral del adolescente se deteriora fácilmente y es común que los jóvenes presenten dificultades para adaptarse.

Palabras clave: Adolescente; familia; maltrato; conducta antisocial

Summary:

Antisocial behavior emerges as the result of different factors such as scholar problems, drug consumption, alcoholism, antisocial peer relationships, emotional problems, etc., which may in turn predispose to the individual to develop a pattern of antisocial behavior.

The present work aims to determine the association of antisocial behavior between the factors of a bad family environment and mistreatment, and to determine if they can predict the presence of antisocial behaviors in adolescents.

Family plays a primary role in the development of a person, especially in adolescent. In recent times, several problems of family disintegration and inadequate parent-child relationships are observed, and it has been described that antisocial personalities may arise from environments with child abuse, economical problems, humiliation, physical punishment and family disintegration. The experience of such emotions during childhood may lead to a severe impairment in the conformation of an emotionally-adapted personality, and may promote a tendency for the commitment of delictive behaviors in the future.

It is necessary to close the vicious cycle where mistreated parents mistreat their own children and avoid that the parents who lived unpleasant experiences of hostility, rejection, lack of communication, inestability, etc., repeat these patterns with their children. It is important to revalorize the role of family, its functions and characteristics and the most important, its determinant influence on young people that have behavior problems as antisocial behavior.

It is vital to create conscience about the harm that some children, adolescents and even adults have from their negative familial experiences of hostility, aggression, and mistreatment, because these experiences increase the possibilities of delictive behavior in these individuals.

Objective.

In this context, the present research has its main interest in showing the relationship between past experiences of mistreatment or inadequate familial environments and the presence of antisocial behaviors in adolescents.

Method.

The present research is supported on results of the Mexico City Survey on drug consumption in 7 th to 12 th grade population carried on October 2003.

The total sample of the survey comprised 10659 students. For this research we used 3603 students, that corresponds to the number of students that completed the Form A of the questionnaire, that contained the areas of interest of the study.

The questionnaire was previously validated an its main indicators have shown adequate stability in different surveys. This instrument was applied in three different times due to its extension. Total time for its application was of 75 minutes.

Raters were trained for the application of the questionnaire. The course lasted 12 hours and included all the theoretical aspects related to addictions, objectives of the study, management of the questionnaire and the instructions for its application in the groups.

Results.

First of all, a comparative analysis by gender was performed. It was observed that antisocial behaviors were more frequent in men than in women. It is important to mention that men committed this acts in a double frequency than women, specially in terms of severe acts, where 10% of men committed them in contrast to the 3.3% observed in women.

Additionally, two factor ANOVA was performed (gender and antisocial behaviors) with the variables of this study, mistreatment and family environment, to determine if there were differences between groups (p<0.05) and significant differences were observed in all the areas of family environment.

The interaction analysis of the two factors: gender, act-non acts with family environment showed that for the area of hostility and rejection there were significant differences where women that committed antisocial acts were the ones that reported higher levels of hostility and rejection. In terms of communication of the son/daughter, women that committed antisocial acts were also the ones that reported a lower level of communication.

In the area of parent support, women that committed antisocial acts were also the ones that reported the lower levels. In the areas of parent communication and support to the son/daughter, men and women that committed antisocial acts reported less communication and support, respectively.

For the area of mistreatment, women reported higher levels of prosocial discipline and negative discipline when compared to men. No significant differences emerged between men an women in the area of severe negative discipline.

Also, no significant differences emerged between adolescents that committed antisocial acts and adolescents than do not committed these acts, in terms of prosocial discipline. Nevertheless, adolescents that committed antisocial acts reported higher levels of severe negative discipline.

For the analysis of the interaction of the factors gender, acts-non acts in the area of mistreatment, no differences emerged in the area of negative discipline. Significant differences emerge for prosocial discipline, where men that do not committed antisocial acts reported the lowest levels of prosocial discipline. For severe negative discipline, both men and women that committed antisocial acts reported the highest levels.

Finally, using logistic regression, we find that the main predictors of antisocial behavior were the presence of high hostility, low level of communication from the children, less child support and the presence of higher negative discipline and negative severe discipline. Communication, parent support and prosocial discipline were not predictive variables for antisocial behavior.

Our results support what is described in other studies where family is the main agent of socialization as family teaches the ways of social interaction, values, habit, etc. Furthermore, several studies that evaluated the relationship of the family and antisocial behavior were performed by analyzing the role of the family as a mediator of behavior and society, on the basis that family teaches children rules, abilities and motivations that in some way constitute their cultural and social patterns.

We conclude that family environment and mistreatment are factors associated to the presence of antisocial behavior. We must prevent this problem by improving familial relationships and providing a positive family environment to adolescents. In this way, our adolescents may have an adequate development throughout their lives.

If an adequate and positive environment is provided during childhood and is maintained through adolescence, with positive affective family relationships, the adolescent may see his/her parents as a guide; a reasonable not arbitrary discipline allows the adolescent to develop a social behavior that leads to an adequate self-control and self-directedness. On the contrary, if the relationships between parents and children are not favorable, the social behavior of the adolescent may be easily impaired and it is very common that these adolescents exhibit severe difficulties for social adaptation.

Key words: Adolescents; antisocial behaviors; family; mistreatment

Texto completo disponible sólo en PDF.

Financiamiento

Investigación financiada por el Instituto Nacional de Psiquiatría Ramón de la Fuente a través del proyecto 4316 y por el CONACYT a través del proyecto 42092-H.

Referencias

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11. VILLATORO J , MEDINA-MORA ME , ROJANO C , AMADOR N y cols.: Consumo de Drogas, Alcohol y Tabaco en Estudiantes del Distrito Federal: Medición Otoño 2003. Reporte del Nivel Educativo de Secundaria. INP-SEP, México, 2004. [ Links ]

_ Este artículo ganó el Concurso de Carteles y de trabajos in extenso de la XXI Reunión Anual del INPRF.

** Correspondencia: Jorge A. Villatoro Velázquez. Dirección de Investigaciones Epidemiológicas y Psicosociales, Instituto Nacional de Psiquiatría Ramón de la Fuente. Calz. México-Xochimilco 101. San Lorenzo-Huipulco, Tlalpan 14370, México, DF. Correo electrónico ameth@imp.edu.mx

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