Author(s): Shamshad Begum B1, Sudarshan C. Y2, Babool Raja3, Vikas Dhingra4

ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Psychiatric morbidity in school children can be multi-factorial. Stress in school and other life events contribute significantly to it. There are many western studies on the effects of life events on children and adolescents similar to studies on adults. Indian studies on life events have focused on their association with neurotic disorders in adults. There is paucity of literature about life events in school children and their association with psychiatric morbidity. Present study addresses this issue. AIM: To assess the association between life events and psychiatric morbidity in school children. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Two hundred and eighteen school children were selected through multistage random sampling. The study was conducted in three stages. In the first stage, all the students were administered six-item version of GHQ to screen for emotional problems. Life events were recorded using Life Events Inventory. Raven’s Progressive Matrices was administered to evaluate IQ. In the second stage, parents assessed their child’s behavior using CPMS. In the third stage, all students were subjected for detailed clinical work-up. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Continuous variables were analyzed using t test. RESULT: Out of 218 students 152 (69.7%) had Psychiatric illness. Majority of the students (53%) had Depression. Students with psychiatric problems had experienced more life events. Psychiatrically disturbed boys experienced more number of events than psychiatrically disturbed girls. Urban students having psychiatric problems had high life event score compared to urban students not having psychiatric problems. CONCLUSION: Psychiatrically ill students experienced more life events.