skip to primary navigationskip to content

Erika Alejandra Giraldo Gallo


Erika Alejandra Giraldo Gallo photo 1


I am a PhD candidate in Epidemiology at the Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil. My research interests include victimisation, violence and antisocial behavior, hostile behavior in young adolescents and public policies to reduce violence against children and adolescents. My PhD research is about the effects of adolescent violent victimisation on depression and generalized anxiety disorder at 18 years in the 1993 Pelotas (Brazil) Birth Cohort Study.  In 2010, I obtained a Master’s Degree in Epidemiology of the Pelotas Federal University in Brazil. Graduated from the University of Antioquia (Colombia) in health information systems Management and  Health Services Management. I have taught research methods in the University of Antioquia in Colombia. I worked as Coordinator of research and information Department on the Project: "Crescer com Dignidad". The purpose of this project is to restore the rights of children and adolescents under threat, and in situations of vulnerability and abandonment in Medellin, Colombia. For 7 years I was the System Information and Surveillance Epidemiology Coordinator in the Venancio Diaz Diaz Hospital in Sabaneta - Colombia.  




Victimisation During Childhood and Adolescence in the 1993 Pelotas (Brazil) Birth Cohort Study

Violent victimisation affects between 15-30% of children and adolescents worldwide. Studies have identified several risk factors related to victimisation: male, non-white skin color, aged between 15 to 29 years, low socioeconomic status and living in neighborhoods with public safety problems. Longitudinal studies in high-income countries have shown association between victimisation during childhood and mental health problems in adolescence: depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress and problems of adaptability.  The aim of this study is to describe victimisation in a population-based birth cohort until 18 years old, and to evaluate the association between victimisation with depression and generalized anxiety disorder at 18-19 years. This cohort study has information for 5249 births in an urban area in southern Brazil. Information on violent victimisation were obtained from the regional courts and police files. To our knowledge, this is the first longitudinal study of victimisation based on criminal justice data sources and one of the first in a low or middle income country. Cumulative prevalence of criminal victimisation until age 18 was 18%. Cumulative prevalence of violent victimisation was 14% and non-violent crime 6%. Among cohort participants, 16% suffered victimisation in the community, and 3% suffered victimisation in the family environment. Higher rates of victimisation were observed among cohort members with lower income levels, with mothers with white skin and with adolescent mothers. The most common types of violent victimisation were injury (5%) robbery (4%) and crimes against individual freedom (4%). Women were more likely to be victims of crimes against individual freedom (p<0.001), sexual crime (p<0.001) and misdemeanors regarding the person (p=0.016); men were more likely to be victims of burglary (p<0.001) and crimes against life (p <0.001). Multivariable ordinal logistic regression with proportional odds model analysis showed that women, but not men, exposed to violent victimisation in the childhood and adolescence were more likely to be depressed at 18 years (OR:1.61 IC95%:1.09-2.38 in adjusted analysis). The results of this research will provide data to support prevention strategies that can minimize the impact of early victimisation on mental health problems during adolescence.