The Psychological World of Adolescence: A Comparative Evaluation between Rural and Urban Girls

By Dhoundiyal, Manju; Venkatesh, Renuka | Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, January-June 2009 | Go to article overview

The Psychological World of Adolescence: A Comparative Evaluation between Rural and Urban Girls


Dhoundiyal, Manju, Venkatesh, Renuka, Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine


Byline: Manju. Dhoundiyal, Renuka. Venkatesh

A cross-sectional study was conducted to get an insight into the psychological world of adolescence and to study the influence of locality and school-going activity on it. The study group comprised of 240 girls in the age group 12-18 years equally representing urban and rural areas. Using two psychological tests, namely Strengths and Difficulty Questionnaire and Health-Related Quality of Life Inventory, the results revealed that two-third of them were in the problematic and borderline category as per SDQ and one-third as per PedsQL. Further, there was a definite linear relationship between the total problem score of both scales. This was irrespective of the locale and school-going activity. The results indicate the need for building psychological infrastructure into the social system to help adolescents girls grow to their potential.

Introduction

Adolescence is an amazing natural process of a young girl blossoming into womanhood. Young girls undergo numerous conflicts during this period resulting in emotional ups and downs. Facing hitherto unknown physical and social situations are known to raise fears, concerns, and anxiety in them. They are very sensitive and their perception of mistakes may lead to a feeling of guilt. Also, pressures and expectations from home and society lead to the formation of a negative self-image.

They are also scantily understood segment of society. While every stage has its own problems, that of adolescence for the girls is especially different in view of perceived vulnerability of this age group and the accompanying customs and traditions which tend to be restrictive by and large. This concept of adolescence has been attempted by various professionals to understand its vivid dimensions and aspects. Still, there is a strong felt need to understand their complete psychology before planning any intervention programs for them. With this in view, the present study is an attempt to explore their inner world by way of two psychological tests, namely Strengths and Difficulty Questionnaire (SDQ) and Health-Related Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL), version 3.

Materials and Methods

Study area The research carried out in 2002-2003 was purported to study the difference between urban and rural girls with regard to this situation. It was felt that slums in urban areas provided a better option for comparison with rural areas because of similar socioeconomic condition. It is admitted that residential comparison would hold ground only when other variables are held constant. It was felt that though social fabric was different, yet economic and accessibility factors were fairly comparable between the living conditions of the girls chosen from both these areas. It was with this in view that rural area abounding Bangalore rural district and slum areas around Chamrajpet (Bangalore urban district) were selected.

Sample The sample included 240 girls in the age group of 12-18 years equally representing urban and rural areas and also school and nonschool going girls in each of the areas. Thus, each comprised 60 subjects (60 x 4 = 240) which was felt to be a fair enough number to deduce conclusions for this in-depth study of the psychological world of adolescent girls.

The details of the sample is as follows:

Adolescent girls (240)

Rural (120): School going - 60; Non-school going - 60

Urban (120): School going - 60; Non-school going - 60

Instrument The following psychological tests were administered.

Strengths and difficulties questionnaire[sup] [1] It is a brief behavioral screening questionnaire with two versions, an informant rated and a self-rated version. The self-rated version was utilized for this study.

There are 25 items in this questionnaire which are divided between five scales, namely conduct problems, hyperactivity, emotional symptoms, peer problems, pro-social behavior. …

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