Parental Handling, Family Functioning and Life event in Help Seeking and non Help seeking Adolescents

  • Kamala Deka
  • Sabita Dihingia
  • Kaberi Baruah
  • Dhrubajyoti Bhuyan


Background: Worldwide 10 to 20% of Children and Adolescent experience Mental Disorders and of concern today. Youth under stress have ADHD, Conduct problems, Learning disorders and at higher risk for Depression. They at timesdefine problems due to harsh or rude parental handling or parental pressure on studies, demand on better performance at school.Objectives: This study was designed to asses parental handling , family functioning and life event in help seeking and non help seeking adolescent and to correlate them in development of psychopathology in both the groups.

Method: The study was a case control study in which all consecutive cases of Adolescents attending the department were taken as help seeking and controls were taken from the community by cluster sampling method that constitute non help seeking. The sample size consisted of 105 Help Seekingand 112 Non Help seeking subjects. Those who were mentally challenged, psychotic and suffering from co-morbid debilitating medical illness were excluded. After Initial clinical history and examination,informed consent was takenfrom participants in both the study groups. Participants then were administered with a semi structured questionnaire to collect socio-demographic profile, Strengths and Difficulty Questionnaire (SDQ), Parental handling questionnaire (Malhotra S), Family Assessment Device and Adolescent Life event scale(ALESS). This study was approved by the ethics committee of Assam Medical College, Dibrugarh.

Results: Results observed was analyzed using SPSS 16, and Excel. The study sample was comprised of, 42 (40%) male, 63(60%) female in help seeking group whereas in non help seeking, male are 60 (53.6%) and female 52 (46.4%). Most of the cases in both the study groups belonged to nuclear family and from rural background. The adolescent life event stress score was statistically greater in help seeking (t 3.34, p <.001) when compared with non help seeking group. It had been observed that adolescent who had greater ALESS score, were positively correlated with SDQ-difficulty score (p <0.05). In parental handling, higher ‘control’ than ‘care’ was positively correlated with SDQ difficulty score. In the old adolescent, higher care was statistically negatively correlated with SDQ difficulty score .

Conclusion: This study had shown that Life event stress in help seeking adolescents were significantly high and associated with psychological problems in them. Also, greater ‘control’ than ‘care’ by parent was a risk factor for development of psychological problems.

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