Document Type



Psychiatry; School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan


Background: Peer violence is common globally, but a little researched topic in low-and middle-income countries. This study presents the evaluation of a two-year randomized controlled trial of a structured play-based life-skills intervention implemented in schools in Hyderabad, Pakistan.
Objective: To determine the impact of the intervention on school-based peer violence (victimization and perpetration) and depression among school children.
Methods: 40 single-sex public schools were randomized into two study arms (20 per arm 10 of each sex). A total of 1752 grade 6 students (929 from intervention and 823 from control schools) were enrolled in the trial. The two-year intervention was a biweekly structured game led by a coach followed by critical reflection and discussion for 30 minutes. Primary outcomes (exposure to peer violence exhibited through victimization and perpetration and depression) were evaluated using generalized linear-mixed models.
Results: Of the enrolled children (N = 1752) 91% provided data for analysis. There were significant decreases in self-reported peer violence victimization, perpetration and depression. For peer violence victimization, the reductions in the intervention and control arms were: 33.3% versus 27.8% for boys and 58.5% versus 21.3% for girls. For peer violence perpetration, the reductions were: 25.3% versus 11.1% for boys and 55.6% versus 27.6% for girls in the intervention and control arms, respectively. There were significant drops in mean depression scores (boys 7.2% versus 4.8% intervention and control and girls 9.5% versus 5.6% intervention and control).
Conclusion: A well-designed and implemented play-based life-skills intervention delivered in public schools in Pakistan is able to effect a significant reduction in peer violence.


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Publication (Name of Journal)

Global Health Action

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.