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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 16-21

Life skills of adolescent girls in relation to their self-concept developed through kishori panchayat: An adolescents for health action model


1 District Family Welfare Officer (West Tripura), Tripura Health Services, Agartala, Tripura, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Wardha, Maharashtra, India

Date of Submission01-Sep-2020
Date of Decision18-Oct-2020
Date of Acceptance27-Feb-2021
Date of Web Publication30-Jun-2021

Correspondence Address:
Ishita Guha
District Family Welfare Officer (West Tripura), Directorate of Family Welfare and Preventive Medicine, Government of Tripura, Agartala, Tripura
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/IJAMR.IJAMR_211_20

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  Abstract 


Background: The Adolescents for Health Action model: Kishori Panchayat (KP) is a novel community participation approach for mobilizing and empowering adolescent girls. The model is expected to improve life skills of adolescent girls not only through occasional life skills sessions but also by providing them a platform for interaction with peer-groups, villagers and health-care providers, sharing experiences, community level health, and social activities. Objective: We aimed to assess whether life skills of KP girls are better in comparison to non-KP girls aged 12–18 years. Methodology: A cross-sectional study was carried out among 100 KP and non-KP girls, respectively, of aged 12–18 years, selected using random lottery method over 1-year period under Anji and Waifad Primary health center areas (10 villages from each) of rural Wardha, Maharashtra. Validated self-administered scales for communication skill, critical thinking, decision-making, problem-solving, and self-esteem were used. Written consent from participants and permission from institutional ethics committee were taken. Results: The mean life skill scores were better among KP girls compared to non-KP with a significant difference (P < 0.001) in both groups regarding communication skill, critical thinking skill, decision-making, problem-solving, self-esteem, and total life skill scores. Conclusion: Community-based adolescents for health action model for the rural adolescent girls can empower and enhances their life skills with minimum resource and intensive effort.

Keywords: Adolescence, Kishori Panchayat, life skills


How to cite this article:
Guha I, Maliye CH, Gupta SS, Garg BS. Life skills of adolescent girls in relation to their self-concept developed through kishori panchayat: An adolescents for health action model. Int J Adv Med Health Res 2021;8:16-21

How to cite this URL:
Guha I, Maliye CH, Gupta SS, Garg BS. Life skills of adolescent girls in relation to their self-concept developed through kishori panchayat: An adolescents for health action model. Int J Adv Med Health Res [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Nov 30];8:16-21. Available from: https://www.ijamhrjournal.org/text.asp?2021/8/1/16/319770




  Introduction Top


Adolescence being an important phase of human life, healthy behaviors, and lifestyles developed at this period will have a positive impact in future. Life skills education has spread over different countries since mid-1980s, and thus showing its effectiveness if inculcated at adolescent phase of life.[1],[2]

The adolescents for health action model Kishori Panchayat (KP) was a component of the Community-Led Initiatives for Child Survival project brought forward by Department of Community Medicine, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (MGIMS), Sevagram, Maharashtra, since 2003 focusing mainly on “community ownership” mechanism by forming groups for adolescent girls including both school and nonschool going girls of 12–19 years. KP's is an innovative approach aiming mobilization and empowerment of adolescent girls of rural areas. In KP, they get opportunity to interact with peer groups, villagers, and health-care providers. Training sessions on health education, life skills, family life education, maternal, and child health are taken by social workers and vocational trainings are also conducted periodically. They are encouraged to participate in various community level activities like providing health education and counseling on care during pregnancy, child care, immunization, sanitation, nutrition, common ailments to villagers, conducting home visits, street plays, rallies, and preparing health education materials. Initial intense efforts, dedication, and community participation have made the model gradually self-sustainable. Thus, KP has a crucial role in gaining knowledge, attitude, and life skills which are very necessary to function assertively and proficiently in day-to-day life.[3],[4],[5]

Therefore, the study was planned to assess whether the approach of KP is helpful in improving the life skills of the adolescent girls compared to girls who are not members of KP.


  Methodology Top


A cross-sectional study was carried out from January 2016 to December 2016 among adolescent school-going girls aged 12–18 years who were members of KP and same-aged girls who were not members of KP from Anji and Waifad primary health center (PHC) jurisdriction of Wardha district, Maharashtra. KP was prevailing in Anji only.

By random lottery method, ten villages were selected from each PHC area. Similarly, by random lottery method, 10 adolescent girls (12–18 years) from ten KPs under Anji PHC and 10 girls of same age from Waifad PHC were included in the study group.

Based on literature review, it was assumed that 35% of those who are not members of KP and 55% of those who were members of KP had medium-to-high score. Sample size was calculated for a difference of 20% in the proportion of improving life skills in KP attending adolescent girls compared to girls not in KP, and with 95% confidence and a power of 80%. One hundred adolescent girls of KP and 100 non-KP girls (10 girls from each village) aged 12–18 years who gave valid consent were included in the study. The girls who were not satisfying the age range were excluded from the study.

Data collection was done using a predesigned pretested questionnaire for communication skill, critical thinking skill, decision-making skill, problem-solving skill, and self-esteem.

Following scales were used to determine the levels of life skills in adolescent girls.

  1. Communication scale: (Source: Youth Life Skills Evaluation Project at Penn State. Instrument also cited by the CYFAR Life Skills Project at Texas A and M University. Available from: https://cyfar.org/content/communication-scale-0) 23-item scale ratings corresponding to how often it was done in the past 30 days (0 = Never, 1 = Rarely, 2 = Sometimes, 3 = Often, 4 = Always)
  2. Critical thinking in everyday life scale: (Source: Policy Studies Associates, 1718 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20009. Available from: https://cyfar.org/critical-thinking-everyday-life) 20 items scale (0 = Never, 1 = Rarely, 2 = Sometimes, 3 = Often, 4 = Always)
  3. Decision making in everyday life scale: (Source: Youth Life Skills Evaluation Project at Penn State. Also cited by the CYFAR Life Skills Project at Texas A and M University. Available from: https://cyfar.org/making-decisions-everydaylife) 20 item scale (0 = Never, 1 = Rarely, 2 = Sometimes, 3 = Often, 4 = Always)
  4. Problem solving scale: (Source: Darden CA, Ginter EJ, Gazda GM. Life-skills development scale – adolescent form: The theoretical and therapeutic relevance of life skills. J Ment Health Couns 1996;18:142-63. doi: 10.5926/jjep1953.54.2_211) Life-skills development scale– adolescent form: The theoretical and therapeutic relevance of life-skills. J Ment Health Couns 18:142-63) 15 items scale. (0 = Completely agree, 1 = Mostly agree, 2 = Mostly disagree, 3 = Completely disagree)
  5. Rosenberg self-esteem scale: (Instrument was cited by the CYFAR Life Skills Project at Texas A and M. Available from: https://cyfar. org/content/self-esteem). 10-item scale on basis of their current feelings (0 = Strongly disagree, 1 = Disagree, 2 = Agree, 3 = Strongly agree).


Scoring

  • Higher scores represented positive responses
  • Summation of all item ratings was done and interpreted as higher scores for higher skills.


Data entry and analysis was done using EPI INFO 7 and R softwares. Written consent from participants and permission from institutional ethics committee was taken.


  Results Top


Sociodemographic characteristics of study participants

The mean age of adolescent girls under KP area was 15.2 years with standard deviation (SD) of 2 as compared to the mean score of adolescent girls of non-KP area, which turned out to be 14.68 years with SD of 2.07. Majority of the study participants were in their mid-adolescence (42% KP girls and 41% non-KP girls) and predominantly of other backward castes (53% KP girls and 69% non-KP girls). Mean years of education completed by KP girls was 9.5 years with SD of 1.9 and non-KP girls was 8.4 years with SD of 2.2.

The distribution of adolescent girls by their parent's education, occupation, type of family, number of siblings, and socio economic status showed more or less uniform pattern in both KP and non-KP girls [Table 1].
Table 1: Sociodemographic characteristics of Kishori Panchayat girls and non-Kishori Panchayat girls (n=100)

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Characteristics of study participants of Kishori Panchayat

Among the KP girls 78% were members, 12% president and 10% secretary of any KP group. Among them, the mean duration of involvement in KP group was 2.5 years with a SD of 1.2. Most of the members were in the group for a duration of 1–2 years (55%), followed by 3–4 years (37%) and 8% for 6–7 years and above.

Among 94% of KP members who attended meetings in last 3 months only 77% attended meetings regularly and 6% never attended meetings [Figures 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3].
Figure 1: Designations of adolescent girls in Kishori Panchayat

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Figure 2: Duration of involvement of adolescent girls in Kishori Panchayat

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Figure 3: Status of adolescent girls attending Kishori Panchayat meetings

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Difference in life skill scores between Kishori Panchayat girls and non-Kishori Panchayat girls

The mean and SD of life skill scores suggest that life skill scores were significantly better among the KP girls compared to non-KP girls and a significant difference (P < 0.01) was seen in the two groups of study participants regarding communication skill, critical thinking skill, decision-making skill, problem-solving, self-esteem, and scores of total life skills [Table 2].
Table 2: Difference in life skill scores between Kishori Panchayat girls and non-Kishori Panchayat girls (n=100)

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Multivariable analysis

[Table 3] shows area of the study, age of participants (in completed years), completed years of education of participants (taken during data collection), socio-economic status, education of mothers, education of fathers, number of siblings, and type of family were included in the model. Stepwise regression was done. In the final model, study area, completed years of education of the participants, socio-economic status, education of mothers, number of siblings were included. For a unit increase in KP, total life skill scores increased by 73.5 compared to non-KP girls which was very significant. Multiple R2 was 0.77 and adjusted R2 for the final model was 0.76.
Table 3: Multiple linear regression analysis of factors associated with involvement in Kishori Panchayat

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In the final model for KP area significant association was found for middle class socio-economic status, secondary education, and higher secondary and above education of mothers of KP girls, among designation in KP secretary and president and girls belonging to nuclear family with total life skill scores. Adjusted R2 was 0.30 for this model and multiple R2 was 0.24 [Table 4].
Table 4: Multiple linear regression analysis of factors among adolescent girls associated with Kishori Panchayat

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Similarly, in the final model for non-KP area secondary and higher secondary and above education of mother of adolescent girls was found statistically significant. Multiple R2 was 0.16 and adjusted R2 was 0.14 for this model [Table 5].
Table 5: Multiple linear regression analysis of factors among adolescent girls not associated with Kishori Panchayat

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Multiple correlation among inter life skills among Kishori Panchayat and non-Kishori Panchayat girls

All the life skills were found to be significantly correlated with each other in KP area. Strong correlation of critical thinking scores with decision-making scores (r = 0.86) was noticed among the adolescent girls [Table 6].
Table 6: Pearson correlation between various life skills among Kishori Panchayat girls

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However, among non-KP girls the problem-solving skill and self-esteem skill were not having significant correlation; rest all the life skills were significantly correlated with each other. The correlation between communication skill scores and problem-solving was found to be higher (r = 0.84) compared to others [Table 7].
Table 7: Pearson correlation between various life skills among non-Kishori Panchayat girls

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  Discussion Top


KP comprehensively focuses on developmental issues of adolescent girls. The program provides a participatory learning platform with peers, villagers, and health-care providers which enable adolescent girls to enhance their life skills and empower them in the process of health actions done in the community. Majority of the adolescent girls in KP (80%) had high medium followed by high grade (17%) and among non-KP girls, 85% had low medium and 15% had high medium grade of life skill scores. Hence, the study reveals a significant impact of Life Skills Education training on adolescent girls in KP.

Communication skill, critical thinking, decision-making, problem-solving, and self-esteem scores were found to be higher among KP girls compared to non-KP girls. The results indicated that training of life skills in KP has positively affected various life skills development of adolescent girls. These findings were in line with the outcomes of study by Nair(2005), Srikala et al. (2010), Mohammadi(2011), Pujar et al.(2014), Kazemi et al.(2014), and Parvathy and Pillai (2015) which indicated that life skills training can positively improve life skills among adolescent students.[2],[6],[7],[8],[9],[10]

It was seen that the longer exposure in KP and regular attendance in meetings enabled them to acquire higher life skills and the girls in the administrative roles (President, Secretary) in KP were having higher life skill scores compared to other members. One of the reasons may be that girls in administrative roles got more exposure with the trainers as they were supposed to train the fellow members of the group and also have more role in community mobilization.Thus, they acquire life skills more compared to the other girls. Moreover, they are supposed to organize monthly meetings in KP, so their attendance in KP was also more than other members.

In KP area and non KP area significant relationship was found in both with education of mothers of the adolescent girls and overall life skill scores. It may be attributed to the fact that as girls spent most of their times in a day with their mothers, higher educated mothers can devote more toward life skills education of their daughters than less educated counterparts. However, the study by Kaur (2014) reported that school going adolescent girls had higher life skills whose maternal education was lower.[11]

Our findings also suggest that KP girls of nuclear family possess higher total life skill scores than girls of joint families. It may be because in nuclear families the parents and siblings can impart more time towards the life skill development of adolescent girls and economic constraints are also less compared to joint families in rural areas.

Strengths

  1. This study has covered all domains of life skills (social, cognitive, and emotional)
  2. Noninterventional area was selected for comparison.


Limitations

In this study, only 5 life skills have been covered. More life skills could be covered.


  Conclusion Top


From the study, we can conclude that life skill education by the community based Adolescents for Health Action model: KP for the rural adolescent girls can empower and enhance their communication skills, critical thinking skills, decision-making skills, problem-solving skills, and self-esteem. With minimum resources and intensive efforts, this model can be valuable approach to enhance life skills of adolescent girls at the community level.

Institutionalization of Adolescents for Health Action model may help to empower adolescent girls by developing their life skills which is helpful for a successful life and career.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

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Sunitha S, Gururaj G. Health behaviours and problems among young people in India: Cause for concern and call for action. Indian J Med Res 2014;140:185-208.  Back to cited text no. 1
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Nair M. Family life and life skills education for adolescents: Trivandrum experience. J Indian Assoc Child Adolesc Ment Health 2005;1:278-84.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
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Community Led Initiatives for Child Survival Program – (CLICS); 2008. Available from: http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/Pdaca727.pdf [Cited on 2020 Nov 27].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
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Pyle DF, Gupta SD, Kumar Y, Nangalia R, Pahariya S. Child Survival Program- India Final Evaluation; 2008. Available from: https://www.oecd.org/derec/unitedstates/42305530.pdf [Cited on 2020 Nov 27].  Back to cited text no. 4
    
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Guha I, Maliye CH, Gupta SS, Garg BS. Qualitative assessment of life skill development of adolescent girls through Kishori Panchayat: An adolescents for health action model in selected villages of rural Central India. Indian J Community Med 2019;44:265-70.  Back to cited text no. 5
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Srikala B, Kishore Kumar K V. Empowering adolescents with life skills education in schools - School mental health program: Does it work?. Indian J Psychiatry 2010;52:344-9  Back to cited text no. 6
    
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Mohammadi A. Survey the effects of life skills training on Tabriz high school student's satisfaction of life. Procedia Soc Behav Sci 2011;30:1843-5.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
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Pujar LL, Hunshal SC, Bailur KB. Impact of intervention on life skill development among adolescent girls. Karnataka J Agric Sci 2014;27:93-4.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
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Kazemi R, Momeni S, Abolghasemi A. The effectiveness of life skill training on self-esteem and communication skills of students with dyscalculia. Procedia Soc Behav Sci 2014;114:863-6.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
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Parvathy V, Pillai RR. Impact of life skills education on adolescents in rural school. Int J Adv Res 2015;3:788-94.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
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Kaur M. Life skills among school going adolescents. Mier J Educ Stud Trends Pract 2014;4:218-30.  Back to cited text no. 11
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]
 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6], [Table 7]



 

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