Balkan Epidemiological Study on Child Abuse and Neglect

Initiated by Institute of Child Health,  Department of Mental health and Social Welfare, Centre for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect-Greece and run under the auspices of the European Commission and co-funded by DG Research in the context of FP7-Cooperation, the “Balkan Epidemiological Study on Child Abuse and Neglect” (BECAN) Project began on September 2009 and will run for 3 years.


BECAN is an epidemiological study aiming at mapping child abuse and neglect (CAN) in the general population of 11 to 16-year-old children that attend and those that have dropped-out school and at identifying the number of reported/detected cases of CAN being recorded in at least 8 Balkan countries. Mapping of CAN will be achieved by applying two of the I-CAST questionnaires (ICAST-CH for children and ICAST-P for parents, created by ISPCAN with the support of UNICEF) to matched pairs of children and parents. I-CAST questionnaires will first be translated into the official languages of the participating countries, and culturally validated. There is no information on the prevalence of CAN in the general population of children in Balkan countries, and this study is certainly the larger in sample size ever conducted in the Balkan area (over 30.000 children and parents), and probably one of the biggest globally. CAN is associated with unhealthy behaviour in children and adolescents. Particularly, due to the well established “circle of violence” phenomenon, domestic violence tends to reproduce itself. Preventive cutting off lf that circle contributes substantially and more effectively in the disappearance of such unhealthy behaviour in both children and adults. It is also believed that this study will provide the basis for the harmonization of CAN screening procedures in the Balkan area, and offer valuable tools to relevant policy-making activities in all participating Balkan countries.


Keywords: healthy behaviour in children and adolescents, child abuse and neglect, screening, epidemiological study, I-CAST questionnaires, parent-child paired samples

Project Acronym: BECAN
Duration: 36 months
Project Number: 223478

Call identifier: FP7-HEALTH-2007-B

Activity codes:

Health-2007-3.3-1: Promoting healthy behaviour in children and adolescents

Health-2007-3.1-1: Implementation of research into healthcare practices

Health-2007-3.2-7: Trends of population health