Factors associated with interpersonal violence among children from public schools in Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil

Caroline Soares Nobre Luiza Jane Eyre de Souza Vieira Ceci Vilar Noronha Mirna Albuquerque Frota About the authors

Abstract

The school has witnessed the growth of manifestations of interpersonal violence among children, and in this perspective, this paper examines the prevalence of interpersonal violence in the relationship between students and the associated factors. This is a cross-sectional study developed with 874 public school students aged 10 and 11 years conducted in 2013. A questionnaire implemented the collection of data that were submitted to bivariate analysis with statistical significance calculation between associations. The results show that the child-perpetrator (83.2%) is associated with the male gender (PR=1.08), as well as being beaten at home (PR=1.13) and having a family that encourages retaliation (PR=1.17). The child-victim (89.5%) is associated with the family that encourages retaliation (PR=1.05), participation in conflicts (93.6%) and age. The 10-year-old child is up to 3.0% more likely to participate in conflicts. The “family that encourages retaliation” is positively associated with the situations of assault, victim condition and participation in conflicts, which entails the reframing of these parental practices.

Violence; Family relationships; School health

Introduction

Analyzing the social place of the child in the family and at school contextualizes the practices inscribed in the scenarios that consider the historical, social and political aspects. In this logic, the school is a privileged social space where children can decide, show individual and autonomous attitudes in the face of conflicts, show divergent ideas among their peers and express their viewpoint, pondering on what has been said, taught or experienced.

The school has been institutionally and socially conceived and built to receive and contribute to the education of children, building on the interactions11. Abramovay M. Violências nas escolas. Brasília: UNESCO Brasil; 2002. among the leading roles and structuring in these relationships different forms and representational contents, showing the societal culture in which they are inserted22. Santos A, Lauro BR. Infância, criança e diversidade: proposta e análise. 2010: 2-23. [acessado 2012 Maio 10]. Disponível em: http://www.ufjf.br/virtu/files/2010/04/artigo-2a23.pdf
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. However, the school has been shaped as an arena and locus of exponential growth of relationships eroded by behavioral incivilities and shattered values, understood in this study as the manifestations of interpersonal violence.

In the school context, the phenomenon leads to concerns and reflections that extrapolate the educational context and enter the field of collective health, in continuous construction and interdisciplinary character22. Santos A, Lauro BR. Infância, criança e diversidade: proposta e análise. 2010: 2-23. [acessado 2012 Maio 10]. Disponível em: http://www.ufjf.br/virtu/files/2010/04/artigo-2a23.pdf
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3. Minayo MCS. Violência e Saúde. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Fiocruz; 2010.

4. Kappel VB, Gontijo DT, Medeiros M, Monteiro EMLM. Enfrentamento da violência no ambiente escolar na perspectiva dos diferentes atores. Interface (Botucatu) 2014; 18(51):723-735.
-55. Silva MAI, Silva JL, Pereira BO, Oliveira WA, Medeiros M. O olhar de professores sobre o bullying e implicações para a atuação da enfermagem. Rev. esc. enferm. USP 2014; 48(4):723-730.. Despite its growing visibility, there is no consensus in the conception of scholars about theoretical constructs and operational concepts66. <underline>Finkelhor D</underline>, Turner HA, Hamby S. Let’s prevent peer victimization, not just bullying. Child Abuse Negl 2012; 36(4):271-274., except that children and young people are involved as perpetrators or victims11. Abramovay M. Violências nas escolas. Brasília: UNESCO Brasil; 2002.,77. Charlot B. A violência na escola: como os sociólogos franceses abordam essa questão. Sociologias 2002; 4(8):432-443..

In this polarity, it is understood that these institutions are influenced by and influence the child’s historical-social context88. Ricas J, Donoso MTV. Aspectos históricos da educação no Brasil versus violência física na infância: reflexões. Rev Med Minas Gerais 2010; 20(2):212-217.,99. Conh C. Concepções de infância e infâncias: Um estado da arte da antropologia da criança no Brasil. Civitas 2013; 13(2):221-244., in which violent behavior results from the interaction of individual development with the triad family, school and community11. Abramovay M. Violências nas escolas. Brasília: UNESCO Brasil; 2002.,77. Charlot B. A violência na escola: como os sociólogos franceses abordam essa questão. Sociologias 2002; 4(8):432-443.,1010. Lopes Neto AA. Bullying: comportamento agressivo entre estudantes. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) 2005; 81(Supl. 5):164-172.. Considering this meaning, the fact that the family is the one to be blamed the most for the behavioral changes in children1111. Carnut L, Faquim JPS. Conceitos de família e a tipologia familiar: aspectos teóricos para o trabalho da equipe de saúde bucal na estratégia de saúde da família. J Manag Prim Health Care 2014; 5(1):62-70.,1212. Plan International. Bullying Escolar no Brasil – Relatório de Pesquisa Final. São Paulo: CEATS/FIA; 2010. [acessado 2012 Maio 10]. Disponível em: http//:www.aprendersemmedo.org
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has been recursive in the literature, which leads us to suppose that “showing” affectivity to the detriment of conflicting exacerbations in the family mirrors the construction of respectful, supportive and mediating relationships.

Thus, the set of social and cultural characteristics of the households should be considered, paying attention to the parental education models1313. Freire IP, Simao AMV, Ferreira A. O estudo da violência entre pares no 3º ciclo do ensino básico: um questionário aferido para a população escolar portuguesa. Rev. Port. de Educação 2006; 19(2):157-183.

14. Pinheiro FMF, Williams LCA. Violência intrafamiliar e intimidação entre colegas no ensino fundamental. Cadernos de Pesquisa 2009; 39(138):995-1018.

15. Tortorelli MFP, Carreiro LRR, Araújo MV. Correlações entre a percepção da violência familiar e o relato de violência na escola entre alunos da cidade de São Paulo. Psicologia: teoria e prática 2010; 12(1):32-42.

16. Oliveira WA, Silva MAI, Mello FCM, Porto DL, Yoshinaga ACM, Malta DC. Causas do bullying: resultados da Pesquisa Nacional de Saúde do Escolar. Rev. Latino-Am. Enfermagem 2015; 23(2):2275-2282.
-1717. Marin AH, Piccinini CA, Gonçalves, TR, Tudge JRH. Parental child-rearing practices, behavior problems and pre-school children’s social competence. Estudos de Psicologia (Natal) 2012; 17(1):5-13.. Reinforcing this assertion, individual and family factors may be at the root of school violent behavior1414. Pinheiro FMF, Williams LCA. Violência intrafamiliar e intimidação entre colegas no ensino fundamental. Cadernos de Pesquisa 2009; 39(138):995-1018.,1818. Pigozi PL, Machado AL. Bullying na adolescência: visão panorâmica no Brasil. Cien Saude Colet 2015; 20(11):3509-3522..

The Brazilian production on school violence1212. Plan International. Bullying Escolar no Brasil – Relatório de Pesquisa Final. São Paulo: CEATS/FIA; 2010. [acessado 2012 Maio 10]. Disponível em: http//:www.aprendersemmedo.org
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,1919. Malta DC, Souza ER, Silva MMA, Silva CS, Andreazzi MAR, Crespo C, Mascarenhas MDM, Porto DL, Figueroa ALG, Morais Neto OL, Penna GO. Vivência de violência entre escolares brasileiros: resultados da Pesquisa Nacional de Saúde do Escolar (PeNSE). Cien Saude Colet 2010;15(Supl. 2):3053-3063

20. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE). Pesquisa Nacional de Saúde do Escolar/ 2012. Rio de Janeiro: IBGE; 2013.
-2121. Nesello F, Sant’Anna FL, Santos HG, Andrade SM, Mesas AE, González AD. Características da violência escolar no Brasil: revisão sistemática de estudos quantitativos. Rev. Bras. Saude Mater. Infant. (Recife). 2014; 14(2):119-136. and studies on interpersonal violence in children is worth mentioning, adding that studies on children interpersonal violence, especially that of a population character2222. Cunha JM. Violência interpessoal em escolas no Brasil: características e correlatos [dissertação]. Curitiba: Universidade Federal do Paraná; 2009. still has discrepancies that may make debates on the subject more complicated.

Despite the increased knowledge about the issue, the unfolding and singularities that emanate from it require continuous investigations so that it can be understood and contribute to the elaboration of coping strategies, with the expanded knowledge that is found in the literature, marking the peculiarities of the field where the investigations are inscribed.

Thus, the decision by the municipality of Fortaleza as a field of analysis reiterates the importance of increasing investigations on violence due to the increased rates of this phenomenon2323. Waiselfisz J. Mapa da violência 2014: Os jovens do Brasil. Rio de Janeiro: CEBELA- Centro Brasileiro de Estudos Latino Americano. [acessado 2016 Mar 24]. Disponível em: http://www.mapadaviolencia.org.br/pdf2014/Mapa2014_JovensBrasil_Preliminar.pdf
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24. Vieira LJES, Freitas MLV, Pordeus AMJ, Lira SVG, Silva JG. “Amor não correspondido”: discursos de adolescentes que tentaram suicídio. Cien Saude Colet 2009; 14(5):1825-1834.
-2525. Matos KF, Martins CBG. Mortalidade por causas externas em crianças, adolescentes e jovens: uma revisão bibliográfica. Revista espaço para a saúde (Londrina) 2013; 14(1):82-93. in this capital, which has also been widely publicized in the media network.

By approaching the school-family binomial and seizing it as an essential context in the behavioral construction of children, the research analyzes the prevalence of interpersonal violence in the relationship between schoolchildren and the associated factors.

Methods

This cross-sectional study is a selection from the dissertation “Modalities of child violence in the school context”2626. Nobre CS. Modalidades da violência infantil e suas dinâmicas entre escolares [dissertação]. Fortaleza: Universidade de Fortaleza; 2013. developed in the city of Fortaleza, State of Ceará. This municipality is divided into six Regional Coordination Offices (CORES) that are responsible for the management of the districts. This political-administrative division aims to organize the management and access of the population to the services provided by the Municipality2727. Santos AAG, Silva RM, Machado MFAS, Vieira LJES, Catrib AMF, Jorge HMF. Sentidos atribuídos por profissionais à promoção da saúde do adolescente. Cien Saude Colet 2012; 17(5):1275-1284..

In this research, the selected area of coverage was CORES V, consisting of 18 districts with high levels of violence, high demographic density (the most populous area of the capital), mean income of one minimum wage and a young population (44%)2828. Instituto de pesquisa e estratégia econômica do Ceará (IPECE). Caracterização Espacial dos Homicídios Dolosos em Fortaleza. Fortaleza: IPECE; 2013. IPECE Informe - nº 66.,2929. Moura R, organizador. Mapa da Criminalidade e da Violência em Fortaleza Perfil da SER. Cartilha da Regional. UECE. Fortaleza: 2011. [acessado 2012 Fev 10]. Disponível em: https://www.uece.br/labvida/dmdocuments/regional_I.pdf
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. The set of vulnerabilities justifies the chosen field of analysis (CORES V) because the literature indicates that vulnerable populations are more exposed to urban violence, which in turn can influence school violence3030. Souza ECS. Violência urbana e cultura escolar: estudos das percepções dos atores sociais em uma escola pública em Ananideua - PA. Revista do NUFEN 2011; 3(2):116-137..

In the selection of the participants, the study requirements were: children aged 10 and 11 as per the age group established by the Statute of the Child and Adolescent3131. Brasil. [Estatuto da criança e do adolescente (1990)]. Estatuto da criança e do adolescente [recurso eletrônico]: Lei n. 8.069, de 13 de julho de 1990, e legislação correlata. 14ªed. Brasília: Câmara dos Deputados, Edições Câmara; 2016. (Série legislação; n. 237)., attending the 5th or 6th grade during the first semester of 2013, meeting the age-for-school year adequacy criteria. This age group was chosen because, at this age, children are in the transition phase (childhood-adolescence) and seek independence in their attitudes, towards becoming active subjects in the construction of their social world33. Minayo MCS. Violência e Saúde. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Fiocruz; 2010.,3232. Ramos AC. A construção social da infância: Idade, gênero e identidades infantis. REVISTA Feminismo 2013; 1(3)..

In response to these requirements, 5,264 students were identified, of which 539 from 51 CORES V schools were randomly sampled. Four schools that did not provide the selected school years in their didactic-pedagogical structure were excluded.

The collection included the following steps: visits to schools with prior scheduling; meeting with the manager to explain the objectives and provision of the Term of Assent for the children and Informed Consent Form for those responsible. Before completing the questionnaire, the Term of Assent was explained and accepted by the students; then the questions were read by one of the authors and the students answered the instrument in writing. In this logic, 1,203 questionnaires were collected so as not to exclude those who were in school discrepancy situation during the classroom collection. Thus, 874 questionnaires were eligible according to the participation criteria.

This questionnaire was adapted from the instrument validated by Orpinas3333. Orpinas P, Frankowski R. The Aggression Scale: A Self-Report Measure of Aggressive Behavior for Young Adolescents. Journal of Early Adolescence 2001; 21(1):50-67. and used by Santos3434. Santos ACG. Violência Interpessoal e Adolescência; um estudo nas escolas de Camaçari – Bahia [dissertação]. Salvador: Universidade Federal da Bahia; 1998.. We refined the analysis process by selecting questions (among the blocks) that resulted in the dependent (children who were perpetrators, victims and participants in conflicts) and independent variables (school year, age, gender, family structure, number of brothers in the household, fear of being beaten at school, being beaten at home and family encouraging retaliation).

The variable child-perpetrator resulted from the affirmative answers to the questions: did you make fun of other colleagues to the point of irritating them? Did you strike back someone who hit you first? Did you say things about another person to make your classmates laugh? Did you encourage colleagues to fight? Have you ever pushed your colleagues? Also, did you curse other colleagues?

The variable child-victim resulted from the affirmative answers the questions: Did any colleague pick on you to make others laugh? Did other colleagues encourage you to fight? Has a colleague ever pushed you? Did some colleague call you to fight? Has a colleague cursed you or your family? Has a colleague threatened to hurt or beat you?

Moreover, the variable participant in conflicts resulted from the affirmative answers to any question of the inquiries that originated the dependent variables child-perpetrator or child-victim.

The family structure was recoded in nuclear (father, mother, and children) and non-nuclear family (mother/children, father/children, father/mother/children/other relatives); fear of being beaten at school in the dichotomous variable in which the answers “rarely”, “sometimes” and “always” originated the “yes”; and the answer “never”, the “no”.

For the variable being beaten at home, the answer “never” determined the item “no”; the item “yes” considered the statements for any of the answers: “rarely”; “once a month”; “once a week” or “almost daily”.

The family that encourages retaliation encompassed the affirmative answers to the questions: “when someone hits you, hit him/her back”; “when someone curses you, hit him/her”; “when someone curses you, curse him/her back”; “when you cannot solve the problem by talking, you better solve the problem by fighting”; and, negative for the questions: “when someone curses you, don’t be bothered”; “when someone calls you to fight, try to talk him/her out of it”; “when another colleague asks you to fight, you should talk to the teacher”; “no matter what happens, fighting is not good and there are other ways to solve the problem”.

The data was organized in Excel v.7 and exported to STATA v.8 software (Stata Corp College Station, Texas), and univariate and bivariate frequency analyses were performed. The bivariate analysis was based on the cross-tabulation between dependent and independent variables with the calculation of statistical significance between the associations, with the use of Pearson’s Chi-Square test. All analyses had a significance level of 5% (p ≤ 0.05) and a 95% confidence interval. The Research Ethics Committee of the University of Fortaleza (UNIFOR) approved the study.

Results

In total, 874 primary school 5th graders (60.6%) and 6th graders (39.4%) participated in the study. Table 1 describes school and sociodemographic data, school and family relationship related to interpersonal violence among children in the 5th-6th primary school years of public schools, in the city of Fortaleza, Ceará.

Table 1
Distribution of school year, demographic data, school and household dynamics related to interpersonal violence of children from public schools. Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil, 2013.

Among the respondents, females (52.3%), aged 10 years (51.7%), part of a nuclear family (53.4%), with two or three siblings (42.2%) and living with four or five people (51%) predominated.

Regarding the occurrence of interpersonal violence, the following scenario was observed: stated that they were afraid of being caught in school (48.9%); assured that they were beaten at home (65.3%) and families encouraging retaliation (58.7%). Regarding the polarity of self-perception as perpetrator-victim, the study showed that 83.2% of the children assumed the role of perpetrators; the number of victims prevailed in 89.5%, and 93.6% of students had participated in conflicts during the last seven days before the survey.

Table 2 shows the association between school year, demographic data, school and family dynamics related to interpersonal violence with the child-perpetrator variable. Associations were found between gender, being beaten at home and family encouraging retaliation, with p-value < 0.01. It is observed that being male increases [PR (95% CI) = 1.08 (1.02-1.15)] by up to 8.0% the probability of the child becoming the perpetrator, as well as being beaten at home and having a family encouraging retaliation increases [PR (95% CI) = 1.13 (1.05-1.21)] up to 13.0% and [PR (95% CI) = 1.17 (1.10-1.25)] 17.0%, respectively, the probability of the child being the perpetrator.

Table 2
Association between school year, demographic data, school and household dynamics related to interpersonal violence with the child perpetrator variable. Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil, 2013.

Table 3 shows the results of the association between the variables studied and the child-victim, with a significant difference between the variable family that encourages retaliation (p=0.030), resulting in an increase [PR (95% CI) = 1.05 (1.00-1.10)] of up to 5.0% the probability compared to children who do not have families encouraging them to retaliate.

Table 3
Association between school year, demographic data, school and household dynamics related to interpersonal violence with the child victim variable. Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil, 2013.

Table 4 shows the relationship between the factors associated with participation in conflicts. A statistically significant difference in the independent variables was found: age (p=0.026), family that encourages retaliation (p=0.005). Regarding gender (p=0.063) and school year (p=0.088), borderline significance was identified, as attested by the respective prevalence ratios – [PR (95% CI) = 0.96 (0.93-0.99)]; [PR (95% CI) = 0.97 (0.94-1.00)]. Children aged 10 years are 3.0% more likely to participate in conflicts [PR (95% CI) = 0.96 (0.93-0.99)]. Children encouraged to retaliate increase their probability of participating in conflicts by 5.0% [PR (95% CI) = 1.05 (1.01-1.09)].

Table 4
Association between school year, demographic data, school and household dynamics related to interpersonal violence with involvement in conflicts. Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil, 2013. (n = 874).

Discussion

We can perceive that the theme of interpersonal violence in schools, choosing the fine line between being a child and becoming an adolescent, requires investigations that point to theoretical constructs that can establish new practices, whether in the dynamics of families or the reshaping that encompasses the educational system.

This research establishes the predominance of females among the participating schools, which leads us to believe that it is related to the proper age-school year criterion since the school census of the city of Fortaleza confirms this profile. However, the literature reiterates a higher proportion of females in classrooms3535. Williams LCA, Pinheiro FMF. Violência intrafamiliar e intimidação entre colegas no ensino fundamental. Cad. Pesqui (São Paulo) 2009; 39(138):995-1018.

36. Mendes CS. Prevenção da violência escolar: avaliação de um programa de intervenção. Rev. esc. enferm. USP 2011; 45(3):581-588.
-3737. Abramovay M, coordenadora. Diagnóstico participativo das violências nas escolas: falam os jovens. Rio de Janeiro: FLACSO - Brasil, OEI, MEC; 2016..

Regarding the family structure, the nuclear family prevailed in the responses of the participants, according to the last national census, in which this conformation represented 49.4% of Brazilian households in 20103838. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE). Censo Demográfico 2010: Família e domicílio. 2012. [acessado 2016 Mar 24]. Disponível em: http://www.ibge.gov.br/home/presidencia/noticias/imprensa/ppts/00000010435610212012563616217748.pdf
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.

The significant percentage of respondents who assumed the roles of perpetrators, victims or participated in conflicts in school settings causes a stir. Possibly, in this study, these results reflect the non-requirement of the repetition criteria and regular periodicity of some situation of violence so that they can call themselves perpetrators or victims.

In this logic of reasoning, anchored in the discussions that confront the distortion of educational action – diverted to a context that enables the exercise of power, reinforcement of fear and submission between peers –, the results require critical reflections on these frequent manifestations of violent attitudes between the participants in the 47 schools investigated. It is assumed that we are also witnessing the naturalization of these manifestations before the resolution of conflicts in the daily life of social settings, whether within families, schools, and regardless of the subjects involved.

Regarding the complexity of this phenomenon, Goergen3939. Goergen P. Educação e valores no mundo contemporâneo. Educ. Soc. 2005; 26(92):983-1011. argues that although we recognize the importance of the relationship between ethics/morals and education, both in families, in social institutions, in the media and also in the school itself, the ethical “lens” evidences despise rather than esteem. The author reiterates3939. Goergen P. Educação e valores no mundo contemporâneo. Educ. Soc. 2005; 26(92):983-1011. that the multicultural society, strengthened by globalization and social mobility, in which they share a space of multiple views of life and world, has further aggravated this bewildering in education and school (...) with so many disparities and relativism. Schools that must serve and respect everyone face a difficult challenge.

According to a survey conducted by Plan Brasil1212. Plan International. Bullying Escolar no Brasil – Relatório de Pesquisa Final. São Paulo: CEATS/FIA; 2010. [acessado 2012 Maio 10]. Disponível em: http//:www.aprendersemmedo.org
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with 5,168 students in five public and private schools in the country’s regions, 70.0% of the students said they had witnessed aggressive scenes among their colleagues, while 30.0% said they had lived at least one violent situation in the year before the survey.

The Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO), in partnership with the Ministry of Education (MEC) and the Organization of Inter-American States (OEI), in 2016, from the Brazilian school census and analyzing 6,709 6th graders to the last year of secondary school students pointed out that 42.0% suffered some violence at school. When considering the city of Fortaleza3737. Abramovay M, coordenadora. Diagnóstico participativo das violências nas escolas: falam os jovens. Rio de Janeiro: FLACSO - Brasil, OEI, MEC; 2016., the survey puts it first with 67.0%, approaching the findings of this study, in which 89.5% predominated.

This scenario of spiraling peer violence follows other locations. A study conducted in Esteio (RS) with the participation of 161 5th-8th graders, also adapted from the Orpinas questionnaire3333. Orpinas P, Frankowski R. The Aggression Scale: A Self-Report Measure of Aggressive Behavior for Young Adolescents. Journal of Early Adolescence 2001; 21(1):50-67., showed that 56.9% of the students self-referred as victims and 38.5% as perpetrators4040. Silva CE, Oliveira RV, Bandeira DR, Souza DO. Violência entre pares: um estudo de caso numa escola pública de Esteio/RS. Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional 2012; 16(1):83-93.. In Brasília, Federal District, an investigation conducted with 288 students aged 11-15 years identified a physical violence rate of 85.4%4141. Ribeiro IM, Ribeiro AS, Pratesi R, Gandolf L. Prevalência das várias formas de violência entre escolares. Acta Paul Enferm. 2015; 28(1):54-59.

It is important to point out that the studies mentioned above analyze ages above those chosen in this study. Thus, the findings of the high prevalence of the phenomenon occurring in the transition from childhood to adolescence, in which 48.3% refer to fear of being beaten at school, show their power towards contributing to a broader discussion of the topic, emphasizing its occurrence as early as in childhood.

Returning to the Plan Brasil study1212. Plan International. Bullying Escolar no Brasil – Relatório de Pesquisa Final. São Paulo: CEATS/FIA; 2010. [acessado 2012 Maio 10]. Disponível em: http//:www.aprendersemmedo.org
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, this feeling of fear related to the fact of being a victim or witness of school violence was identified, and could be responsible for the creation and existence of a particular configuration of the world in which it is socialized and operates as a social control mechanism4242. Vilhena J, Bittencourt MIGF, Zamora MH, Novaes JV, Bonato MCR. Medos infantis, cidade e violência: expressões em diferentes classes sociais. Psicol. clin. 2011; 23(2):171-186..

In this reasoning, the study under discussion presupposes that minimum levels of tolerance and openness to dialogue in the face of conflicts have been established in daily school life, suggesting weak mechanisms of sociability and coping with adverse situations.

In this case, the child-perpetrator variable showed a statistically significant association with the independent variables gender, being beaten at home and family encouraging retaliation. Regarding child-victims, the variable family encouraging retaliation was significant; the variable participation in conflicts has been associated with age, gender and, once again, family encouraging retaliation.

We observed that children aged 10 years are less likely to participate in conflicts, which agrees with systematic reviews on the subject4343. Rech RR, Halpern R, Tedesco A, Santos DF. Prevalência e características de vítimas e agressores de bullying. J. Pediatr (Rio J.) 2013; 89(2):164-170.,4444. Oliveira JC, Barbosa AJG. Bullying entre Estudantes com e sem Características de Dotação e Talento. Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica 2012; 25(4):747-755.. Interest in this subject is growing in the literature, justified by the recurrence of the findings that the child (or adolescent) who suffers violence would be at higher risk of experiencing a subsequent or simultaneous episode, termed as a revictimization or cycle of violence4545. Avanci JAS, Oliveira R, Pires T. Quando a convivência com a violência aproxima a criança do comportamento depressivo. Cien Saude Colet 2009; 14(2):383-394., making the future rupture of these experiences a complicated process.

Likewise, the engagement of children in acts of violence, specifically as perpetrators, is pointed out as a risk factor for the development of antisocial patterns with the possibility of entering into the field of crime in adolescence or adulthood4646. Farrigton DP, Ttofi M, Losel F. School bullying and later criminal offending. Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health 2011; 21:77-79..

Regarding the gender variable, male children are more likely to be perpetrators and participate in conflicts; however, they were not more likely to be victims, contrary to the results of previous studies, in which the highest incidence is still observed in boys, both in the roles of perpetrators and victims2020. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE). Pesquisa Nacional de Saúde do Escolar/ 2012. Rio de Janeiro: IBGE; 2013.,4444. Oliveira JC, Barbosa AJG. Bullying entre Estudantes com e sem Características de Dotação e Talento. Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica 2012; 25(4):747-755.,4747. Wendt GW, Campos DM, Lisboa CSM. Agressão entre pares e vitimização no contexto escolar: bullying, cyberbullying e os desafios para a educação contemporânea. Cad Psicopedag 2010; 8(14):157-183.,4848. Kubota LC. Discriminação contra os estudantes obesos e os muito magros nas escolas brasileiras. Brasília, Rio de Janeiro: Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada; 2014..

Family structure issues drive the discussion to another context associated with victimization among peers. In the data presented, approximately half of the children (46.6%) belong to non-nuclear (single-parent, extended, reconstructed...) families. However, there were no significant associations with the variables child-perpetrator, child-victim or participant in conflicts. Although the variables do not have a significant association, we cannot disregard their relevance in this context, since the literature carries discrepancies concerning associating the family structure with the child being a perpetrator or victim.

A research carried out in Portugal with 242 7th-9th graders evidenced an association between the student being a victim and having a single-parent family or living with the simultaneous absence of the paternal and maternal figures; the student-perpetrator showed association with nuclear families1313. Freire IP, Simao AMV, Ferreira A. O estudo da violência entre pares no 3º ciclo do ensino básico: um questionário aferido para a população escolar portuguesa. Rev. Port. de Educação 2006; 19(2):157-183.. This association (perpetrator-nuclear family) is upheld in other studies conducted in different countries1616. Oliveira WA, Silva MAI, Mello FCM, Porto DL, Yoshinaga ACM, Malta DC. Causas do bullying: resultados da Pesquisa Nacional de Saúde do Escolar. Rev. Latino-Am. Enfermagem 2015; 23(2):2275-2282.,3333. Orpinas P, Frankowski R. The Aggression Scale: A Self-Report Measure of Aggressive Behavior for Young Adolescents. Journal of Early Adolescence 2001; 21(1):50-67.,4040. Silva CE, Oliveira RV, Bandeira DR, Souza DO. Violência entre pares: um estudo de caso numa escola pública de Esteio/RS. Revista Semestral da Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Escolar e Educacional 2012; 16(1):83-93.. Attesting this divergence in the literature, one Portuguese research with 5th-6th graders indicates that 46.6% of the perpetrators come from single-parent families and 58.6% from nuclear families3636. Mendes CS. Prevenção da violência escolar: avaliação de um programa de intervenção. Rev. esc. enferm. USP 2011; 45(3):581-588..

The analyses reveal that the association of the phenomenon with the family does not cease before its demographic characteristics, since high proportions of perpetrators and victims can represent the reproduction of parental values and practice1818. Pigozi PL, Machado AL. Bullying na adolescência: visão panorâmica no Brasil. Cien Saude Colet 2015; 20(11):3509-3522., in which the child internalizes the family relationships and establishes them for others contexts, in a perspective of historical, social and subjective construction of the social processes and the experienced interactions4949. Oliveira WA, Silva JL, Yoshinaga ACM, Silva MAI. Interfaces entre família e bullying escolar: uma revisão sistemática. Psico-USF 2015; 20(1):121-132..

In this study, parental practices with coercive measures as an educational model in the analyzed context were found to be recurrent. The variable being beaten at home is strongly associated with the child being the perpetrator (13.0% greater likelihood) evidences the possibilities of behavioral reproductions in other settings. In a compilation of studies, Minayo11. Abramovay M. Violências nas escolas. Brasília: UNESCO Brasil; 2002. shows that children/adolescents who are physically battered at home are four times more likely to be identified as aggressive at school.

The study at hand evidenced the prevalence of the variable family encouraging retaliation associated with all dependent variables, namely, perpetrator (17.0% more likely), victim (5.0% more likely) and participation in conflicts (5.0% more likely).

The association of the family encouraging retaliation to the events of interpersonal violence in the schools investigated unleashes a complex and broad discussion before the educational practices that are rooted in the families. One can understand the great challenge to articulate adequately the partnerships between families and schools that can understand the family structures and dynamics built in their historicity and, together, identify resolutive propositions.

Another research1515. Tortorelli MFP, Carreiro LRR, Araújo MV. Correlações entre a percepção da violência familiar e o relato de violência na escola entre alunos da cidade de São Paulo. Psicologia: teoria e prática 2010; 12(1):32-42. concludes with these results when it verifies the correlation between increasing reports of violent behavior at school such as cursing peers; participating in fights; suffering threats at school; feeling scorned, and having pleasure in fighting with family environments perceived by the child as violent or non-affective. It is highlighted that the more recurrent the family violence, the higher the likelihood of the students reporting involvement in interpersonal violence, with no difference between genders2020. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE). Pesquisa Nacional de Saúde do Escolar/ 2012. Rio de Janeiro: IBGE; 2013.,3333. Orpinas P, Frankowski R. The Aggression Scale: A Self-Report Measure of Aggressive Behavior for Young Adolescents. Journal of Early Adolescence 2001; 21(1):50-67..

The literature advocates that the parental educational practice gives rise to or steps up violent behavior. Cultural and social aspects, especially in abusive families and practicing punitive, authoritarian and affection-devoid practices can have repercussions on child behavior11. Abramovay M. Violências nas escolas. Brasília: UNESCO Brasil; 2002. and the development of antisocial attitudes1818. Pigozi PL, Machado AL. Bullying na adolescência: visão panorâmica no Brasil. Cien Saude Colet 2015; 20(11):3509-3522.,5050. Patias ND, Siqueira AC, Dias ACG. Bater não educa ninguém! Práticas educativas parentais coercitivas e suas repercussões no contexto escolar. Educ. Pesqui 2012; 38(4):991-996.,5151. Joly MCRA, Dias AS, Marini JAS. Avaliação da agressividade na família e escola de ensino fundamental. Psico-USF 2009; 14(1):83-93..

During this study, we considered the potentialities of building and strengthening an articulated intersectoral action regarding welfare, education and health, weighing the associations identified with the manifestations of interpersonal violence in the school space. It is challenging, but not impossible, to analyze strategies that resume dialogue, solidarity, respect for the diversity and the uniqueness of the other, and call on the public power to take responsibility for the problem.

In this incomplete state, but assuming the propulsive spring contour, the data point to the capillary complexity, which is associated spirally-wise with interpersonal violence. This setting undertakes continuous investigations that resume old debates, foment new clashes that result in current solutions.

We should elucidate some limitations of the investigative scopes. In the first allusion, due to the population studied in its transition from childhood to adolescence, the results cannot be generalized to the other regional ones of the city of Fortaleza, nor to another regional and national setting. Nevertheless, respecting socioeconomic and cultural diversities, the study portrays similarities with other findings when confronting national and international literature.

Conclusion

Concerning the uncovered picture about interpersonal violence in children of municipal public schools and the identification of associated factors, the investigation showed that they were related to gender, age and parental practice, signaling that the school context is shaped like a space for the reproduction of internalized violence, living with value distortions which are important references to fostering other ways of resolving conflicts.

Families who follow coercive measures and instruct peer retaliation have been significantly associated with interpersonal violence in children, recognizing, in this logic, that the meanings of school experiences are also based on parental education practices. We suggest that the study supports projects and strategies to address interpersonal violence, strengthening the sectoral integrality, the conflicts and debates in other collective venues.

Acknowledgments

We are grateful to CAPES (Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel) for their grant during the development of this study.

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History

  • Received
    19 May 2016
  • Reviewed
    09 Dec 2016
  • Accepted
    11 Dec 2016
  • Publication
    Dec 2018
ABRASCO - Associação Brasileira de Saúde Coletiva Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil
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