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Household and family characteristics of street children in Aracaju, Brazil

Abdelgalil, S., Gurgel, R. G., Theobald, Sally ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9053-211X and Cuevas, Luis ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6581-0587 (2004) 'Household and family characteristics of street children in Aracaju, Brazil'. Archives of Disease in Childhood, Vol 89, Issue 9, pp. 817-820.

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Abstract

Aims: To describe the family background of street children in Aracaju, Brazil, their parents' perception of street life, and the reasons for the high prevalence of males observed among street children.
Methods: Cross sectional study using semi-structured interviews and qualitative focus group discussions with parents of purposively selected index street children.
Results: Fifty eight families were enrolled. Most participants were single parent, female headed families living in slums or low cost housing, with high levels of illiteracy, drug use, unemployment, and a history of migration. Most parents reported receiving financial support from their children and were aware of the dangers of the street. Many parents had lived in the street, worked from an early age, and had been adolescent parents themselves. Parents perceived that the street was more dangerous for girls than for boys. Besides economic reasons, parents highlighted the role of peers and drug use in pulling their children to the street. A total of 187 siblings were identified. Siblings had poor school performance with high school drop out rates. Twenty per cent of the adolescent girl siblings were not living at home. Gender determined the type of work undertaken by children and adolescents. Males worked in the streets and females worked as housemaids, shop assistants, and in restaurants and bars.
Conclusion: Family disintegration, poverty, drug use, adolescent pregnancy, peer pressure, and socially constructed gender roles determine the characteristics of children in the street. There is an urgent need for increased social support in this area.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: perspective violence
Subjects: WA Public Health > WA 30 Socioeconomic factors in public health (General)
WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 395 Health in developing countries
WS Pediatrics > WS 20 Research (General)
Faculty: Department: Groups (2002 - 2012) > Child & Reproductive Health Group
Groups (2002 - 2012) > International Health Group
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1136/adc.2003.032078
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Ms Julia Martin
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2012 16:17
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 13:03
URI: https://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/2123

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