Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 106, Supplement 7, pp eS31–eS37 | Cite as

Prevalence, co-occurrence and decennial trends of family violence toward children in the general population

  • Marie-Ève ClémentEmail author
  • Claire Chamberland
  • Camil Bouchard
Quantitative Research



In Quebec, three population-based surveys have documented the prevalence of psychological aggression, and minor and severe physical violence toward children. This paper aims to present 1 ) the results of the 2012 survey with regard to the frequency and annual prevalence of violence, and 2) the trends in all three forms of violence between 1999 and 2012 according to children’s age.


The three independent surveys were all conducted through telephone interviews in 1999, 2004 and 2012 by the Institut de la Statistique du Québec and reached a total sample of 9,646 children living with a mother figure. Psychological aggression, and minor and severe physical violence were measured using the Parent Child Conflict Tactics Scales.


The results show that repeated psychological aggression, after having increased between 1999 (48%) and 2004 (53%), slightly decreased in 2012 (49%). Minor physical violence decreased steadily between 1999 and 2012, from 48% to 35%, and severe physical violence remained stable (6%). These three forms of violence varied by the age category of the children. Finally, the results show that the co-occurrence of the use of physical and psychological violence remained high in all three surveys.


The results are consistent with trends in North America and are discussed in terms of services to support families.

Key words

Prevalence physical violence psychological aggression children trends 



Au Québec, trois enquêtes populationnelles ont permis de documenter la prévalence de la violence familiale. Cet article vise à présenter: 1) les résultats de la dernière enquête en regard de la fréquence et des taux de prévalence annuelle de la violence; et 2) l’évolution de la violence physique et psychologique envers les enfants entre 1999 et 2012 selon l’âge des enfants.


Réalisées en mode téléphonique en 1999, 2004 et 2012 par l’Institut de la Statistique du Québec, ces enquêtes ont rejoint au total 9 646 enfants habitant avec une figure maternelle. Les conduites d’agression psychologique et de violence physique mineure et sévère envers les enfants ont été mesurées à l’aide du Parent Child Conflict-Tactics-Scales.


Les résultats montrent que l’agression psychologique répétée, après avoir connu une hausse entre 1999 (48 %) et 2004 (53 %), diminue légèrement en 2012 (49 %). La violence physique mineure a baissé de manière constante entre 1999 et 2012, passant de 48 % à 35 % alors que la violence physique sévère est demeurée stable (6 %). Ces trois formes de violence varient selon les catégories d’âge des enfants. Enfin, les résultats montrent que la cooccurrence de la violence physique et psychologique demeure élevée dans les trois enquêtes.


Les résultats rejoignent les tendances observées en Amérique du nord et sont discutés en termes de services d’aide aux familles.

Mots Clés

prévalence évolution violence physique agression psychologique enfants 


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marie-Ève Clément
    • 1
    Email author
  • Claire Chamberland
    • 2
  • Camil Bouchard
    • 3
  1. 1.Université du Québec en OutaouaisSaint-JérômeCanada
  2. 2.École de service socialUniversité de MontréalMontréalCanada
  3. 3.Département de psychologieUniversité du Québec à MontréalMontréalCanada

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