Community Health Sciences; Psychiatry
Background: Children with disabilities are more likely to experience violence or injury at school and at home, but there is little evidence from Central Asia.
Objective: To describe the prevalence of disability and associations with peer violence perpetration and victimization, depression, corporal punishment, school performance and school attendance, among middle school children in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Method: This is a secondary analysis of data gathered in the course of evaluations of interventions to prevent peer violence conducted in Pakistan and Afghanistan as part of the 'What Works to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls Global Programme'. In Pakistan, the research was conducted in 40 schools, and disability was assessed at midline in 1516 interviews with Grade 7s. In Afghanistan, the data were from the baseline study conducted in 11 schools with 770 children. Generalized Linear Mixed Modeling was used to assess associations with disability.
Results: In Afghanistan, the prevalence of disability was much higher for girls (22.1%) than boys (12.9%), while in Pakistan 6.0% of boys and girls reported a disability. Peer violence victimization was strongly associated with disability in Afghanistan and marginally associated in Pakistan. In Pakistan, perpetration of peer violence was associated with disability. In both countries, disability was significantly associated with higher depression scores. Food insecurity was strongly associated with disability in Afghanistan.
Conclusion: Disability is highly prevalent in Afghanistan and Pakistan schools and this is associated with a greater risk of experiencing and perpetrating peer violence. It is important to ensure that all children can benefit from school-based prevention interventions.
Global Health Action
Chirwa, E. D.,
Khuwaja, H. M.,
Somani, Y. H.,
Heijden, I. V.,
(2021). Peer victimization and experiences of violence at school and at home among school age children with disabilities in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Global Health Action, 14(1), 1857084.
Available at: https://ecommons.aku.edu/pakistan_fhs_son/408
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