OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence and screen the nature and types of behavioural and psychological problems among working children in Karachi.
METHODS: A cross sectional study was conducted in three urban squatter settlements of Karachi from May to June 2006, targeting working children aged 11-16 years. Behavioural Problems of these children were estimated by using the self reported Urdu version of the Strengths and Difficulty Questionnaire. The results were cross-tabulated using SPSS 13.0 with the identified risk-factors.
RESULTS: Out of a total of 225 respondents, 94.2% (n = 212) males and 5.8% (n = 13) females, the prevalence of Behavioural Problems among working children was found to be 9.8%. Peer problems were most prevalent (16.9%) seconded by Conduct problems (16.7%). Adverse family environment and work environment were closely associated with Behavioural Problems in these children.
CONCLUSION: Our study reinforces the need for measures to improve the environment of the children and prevent the psychological and behavioural problems associated with working children. Gradual, long-term policies are required to decrease the need for working children, though sudden abolishment would cause more detrimental effects.
Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association
(2008). Prevalence of behavioural and psychological problems in working children. Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association, 58(6), 345-9.
Available at: http://ecommons.aku.edu/pakistan_fhs_mc_chs_chs/27