Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 40  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 161-168

A descriptive study on behavioral and emotional problems in orphans and other vulnerable children staying in institutional homes


1 Department of Psychiatry, GITAM Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, GITAM Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Archana Vinnakota
Door No: 39 -17 – 2/10, Ashok Nagar, Madhawadara, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/IJPSYM.IJPSYM_316_17

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Introduction: Orphans and the other vulnerable children and adolescents (OVCA) living in institutional homes are more prone to behavioral and emotional problems than others as they are deprived of a family's love and care. There is a dearth of studies focusing on the psychological health of these children in India. Hence, we have conducted a cross-sectional descriptive study to explore the behavioral and emotional problems in these institutionalized children. Materials and Methods: The sample consisted of 292 orphans and OVCA in institutional homes of Visakhapatnam city. The sociodemographic data were collected using a semi-structured questionnaire. The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) with impact supplement was used to assess the behavioral and emotional problems in them. Results: In our study, 49 (16.78%) out of 292 children and adolescents were found to be having behavioral and emotional problems. Factors such as age, sex, reason for being in the institute, age of admission, and years of stay in the home were all seen to be significantly associated (P < 0.05) with emotional and behavioral problems. Conduct problems (34.90%) were found to be most prevalent followed by peer problems (15.80%), emotional problems (14.70%), hyperactivity (8.60%), and low prosocial behavior (3.40%). Conclusion: The present study shows that the orphans and OVCA in institutional homes are vulnerable to behavioral and emotional problems. The screening for conduct problems, emotional problems, hyperactivity, and peer problems needs to be done at a regular basis for these children. Given the paucity of data in this regard, several multicenter studies also need to be done to get an overall comprehensive view of these problems.


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