Childhood aggression is a significant factor in the occurrence of behaviors, such as a tendency to delinquency, dropout, as well as violence in adolescence and adulthood. Meanwhile, zinc plays a key role in brain and behavior development. This study aimed to evaluate the serum zinc level in aggressive children aged 6 to 12.
In this descriptive study, 69 children with aggression symptoms referred to the Rafsanjan psychiatric clinic in 2016, together with 69 children without aggression symptoms, were included in the study by purposive sampling after clinical interviews. Their parents completed Shahim's aggression questionnaire. Then, the serum zinc level was determined by the spectrophotometry method. Data were analyzed by independent t-test and Pearson correlation coefficient.
Of the 138 children, 97 (70.3%) were boy. The mean serum zinc level of aggressive children was 75.07±12.77 mcg/dl, which was significantly less than that of non-aggressive children (80.96±15.05 mcg/dl) (p=0.015). Serum zinc level was 78.93±13.90 mcg/dl in boys and 75.85±15.06 (p=0.249) in girls. The relationship between serum zinc level with total aggression (r=-0.169, p=0.048) and physical aggression (r=-0.216, p=0.011) of children was reversed significantly.
The results of this study showed that serum zinc levels of aggressive children were lower than healthy ones in Rafsanjan city. Therefore, parents and chiefs of community health, especially school health, need to identify and treat these cases on time to reduce aggressive behavior in childhood in order to prevent delinquent behavior in adulthood.
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