The Malawi Violence Against Children and Young Women Survey was conducted among a nationally representative sample of males and females aged 13 to 24 years in Malawi in 2013. The experience of sexual, physical, and emotional violence prior to age 18 and during the past 12 months and associated health outcomes were ascertained using a comprehensive interview.
Latent factors of sexual violence, physical violence, and emotional violence as well as psychological distress were constructed. The study examined whether the experience of violence was related to psychological distress after controlling for age and gender.
CDC Research brief: Over one-third of Malawians (ages 13-24) report recent moderate or severe psychological distress
More than one in three Malawians report mild, moderate, or serious psychological distress.
Females were more likely to experience sexual violence, whereas males were more likely to experience physical violence.
Older youth were less likely to experience violence and more likely to experience psychological distress.
Sexual violence and emotional violence experienced in childhood or recently were associated with psychological distress in young adulthood.
Youth who experienced multiple types of violence during their lifetime were more likely to experience psychological distress than youth who experienced one type of violence or no violence.
What is added by this report?
This study confirms connections among experiencing violence and mental health problems in a nationally representative sample of youth in Malawi. Comprehensive efforts based on the best-available evidence can prevent violence in the first place and address the needs of victims to mitigate the adverse effects of experiencing violence.