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Original Articles

Descriptive study of the psychosocial and physical environments of school in relation to violence among adolescents in the Gampaha District of Sri Lanka

Authors:

Monika Priyadarshani Wijeratne ,

Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka, LK
About Monika
Consultant Community Physician, Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka
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Rohini Seneviratne,

University of Colombo, LK
About Rohini
Professor in Community, Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
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Nalika Gunawardena,

University of Colombo, LK
About Nalika
Professor in Community, Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
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Truls Østbye,

Professor, Duke Global Health Institute, Duke University and Health Services and Systems Research, Duke-NUS,, SG
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Catherine Lynch

Duke University, GB
About Catherine
Assistant Professor of Surgery and Global Health, Duke Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Surgery, Duke Global Health Institute, Durham
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Abstract

Introduction: Adolescents spend a considerable proportion of their time in school and the physical and psychosocial dimensions of schools are important for their wellbeing.

Objective: To assess the psychosocial and physical environments of schools for factors that promote or prevent peer violence among adolescents in the Gampaha District of Sri Lanka. 

Methods: A cross sectional study was carried out in 28 schools in the Gampaha District, Sri Lanka. A locally developed and validated checklist was used to obtain information through observation, by perusing school records and by interviewing teachers of grades 8-10 and school principals. 

Results: Only 32% of schools had a code of conduct or policy on violence among students and 44% stated that school will not tolerate bullying. None had specified procedures to deal with victims of violence. Only 21% of schools had a policy discouraging physical punishments by teachers. Of the schools 39% had abandoned classrooms or buildings, 28% had dark places and 43% had other places which may facilitate violence.

Conclusions: The psychosocial and physical environments of schools in the Gampaha district are unsatisfactory regarding prevention of peer violence among adolescents in Sri Lanka. 

Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 2015; 44(3): 138-142

How to Cite: Wijeratne, M.P., Seneviratne, R., Gunawardena, N., Østbye, T. and Lynch, C., 2015. Descriptive study of the psychosocial and physical environments of school in relation to violence among adolescents in the Gampaha District of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 44(3), pp.138–142. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljch.v44i3.8009
Published on 12 Sep 2015.
Peer Reviewed

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