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.
Global Health Action
Khuwaja, H. M.,
Somani, Y. H.,
Ali, T. S.,
Chirwa, E. D.,
(2020). Right to play's intervention to reduce peer violence among children in public schools in Pakistan: A cluster-randomized controlled trial. Global Health Action, 13(1), 1836604.
Available at: https://ecommons.aku.edu/pakistan_fhs_son/410
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