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A comparative study of mental health problems among 11-17 year old Indian school children living in areas with persistent political violence and children of the same age group living under standard conditions

Authors:

Monidipa Banerjee,

Department of Paediatrics, Peerless Hospital and BK Roy Research Centre, Kolkata, IN
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Altaf Ahmad Bhat ,

Department of Paediatrics, Peerless Hospital and BK Roy Research Centre, Kolkata, IN
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Anindita Chatterjee

Department of Paediatrics, Peerless Hospital and BK Roy Research Centre, Kolkata, IN
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Abstract

Objectives: To compare behaviour abnormalities in children living in disturbed areas with persistent political violence and children of the same age group living under standard conditions.

Method: A comparative study was carried out in 11-17 year old school children of grades 9-12 from private schools Srinagar, Kashmir and age matched children of same grades from Kolkata city private schools. All participating schools had English as the medium of instruction. Data was collected and analyzed by the Child Guidance Clinic Team, Tertiary Hospital, Kolkata, from the private English Medium schools in Srinagar and Kolkata. The selfrated version of Strength and Difficulty Questionnaire (SDQ) was given to the students and answers collected. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 16.1. Questions were in the Likert scale 0 (not true), 1 (somewhat true) and 2 (certainly true).

Results: Three hundred and eight students participated in the study. Group 1 comprised 154 students from Kashmir Srinagar area and Group 2 comprised 154 students from Kolkata city schools. There were 79 boys and 75 girls in Group 1 and 74 boys and 80 girls in Group 2. Among Group1 participants, 42% had a total SDQ score between 20–40 compared to 17.5% in Group 2 that can be classified as abnormal by published cutoffs (p <0.05). In Group 1, the common problems in those with abnormal SDQ score were emotional problems in 47 (30.5%), conduct problems in 63 (40%) and peer relationship problems in 28 (18%). Males were more likely to have higher ratings in emotional, hyperactivity, conduct and total SDQ scores than girls. Girls rated higher in peer relation problems and had low (abnormal) pro-social scores in group 1. Both genders had significantly higher total abnormal SDQ scores in more than one domain of mental health when compared with group 2 using the two tailed test for comparison.

Conclusion: There is a higher prevalence of mental health issues among 11-17 year old Indian school children living in disturbed areas with persistent political violence, as compared to those living under standard conditions.

Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 2015; 44(2): 88-91

How to Cite: Banerjee, M., Bhat, A.A. and Chatterjee, A., 2015. A comparative study of mental health problems among 11-17 year old Indian school children living in areas with persistent political violence and children of the same age group living under standard conditions. Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 44(2), pp.88–91. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljch.v44i2.7990
Published on 12 Jun 2015.
Peer Reviewed

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