Background A “Delinquent” refers to a child who has been neglected and abandoned by parents and who indulges in wrongful activities. Juvenile delinquency is a social problem worldwide of which less is acknowledged and much less is understood.
Aim This study examined the sociodemographic, psychological and self-esteem issues among the inmates of juvenile homes.
Methods A structured questionnaire was used to interview 129 juveniles residing in juvenile homes. Self-esteem and Psychological health of the juveniles were scored using Rosenberg's Self-esteem scale and General psychological well-being scale respectively. Personal hygiene was scored using a validated scale. Data were analysed using SPSS statistical software version 17.
Results Majority of the inmates (90%) were in the age group of 7–16 yrs. The duration since admission positively correlated with the Psychological well-being score (r=0.184, p=0.037) and Personal hygiene score (r=0.254, p=0.004). Rosenberg Self-esteem score (r=0.228, p=0.01) and Psychological Well-being score (r=0.204, p=0.02) also positively correlated with Personal hygiene score. Girls had higher Psychological well-being score (p=0.016) and Personal hygiene score (p=0.001). Interestingly, boys wanted to join parents back more than girls (p<0.05). Girls wanted to take up higher education more than boys (p<0.05).
Conclusions Our study concluded that the Psychological health and Personal hygiene of the children improved with the duration of stay at the juvenile home. Film stars and Television have maximum impact on them implying these could be utilised as modes of operant conditioning (modelling) to reinforce positive behaviours in these children.
- Psychological health
- juvenile delinquency
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