Psychosocial aspects of changes during adolescence among school going adolescent Indian girls
Keywords:Adolescents, School-going girls, Psychosocial aspects, Indian
Background: Physical as well as psychological changes during adolescence create a state of physiological stress that must be coped with. This study was undertaken to study the psychosocial aspects of changes associated with adolescence among school going girls.
Methods: A predesigned questionnaire was administered to students of class VI to XII prior to a talk on ‘Adolescent health’ in two urban schools of Bhopal. The questions were directed at understanding the psychosocial aspects of behavior among the girls during adolescence while they cope with changes of adolescence.
Results: A total of 414 schoolgirls from classes VI-XII participated in the study. Their mean age was 14.4years [SD 2.01; Range 10-18 years]. Of them, 277 reported having attained menarche, the mean age at menarche being 12.7 years [SD 1.52]. Almost 63% of girls had knowledge about menstruation before attaining menarche. Majority of them had learned about it from their mother (41%). Nearly one third (30.6%) of girls were not comfortable with the bodily changes of adolescence; 41% reported feeling anxious and 26.4% reported suffering from low self-esteem. Excessive irritability was reported by 47% of girls; undue anger by 51.4%, and 34.7% felt uncomfortable interacting with people. One third of girls had frequent arguments with parents. Almost 80% of girls found their parents supportive.
Conclusions: A good proportion of adolescent girls appear to be in need for counseling and support for optimally coping with the bodily as well as psychological changes of adolescence. This preliminary study unveils the need for more widespread and regular Adolescent School health programs for increasing awareness and support services.
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