Efficacy of Psychosocial Intervention on Self-Esteem among Marginalized Children with Special Reference to Devadasis’Children
Background: The unique cultural context of Southern India gives rise children of unwed mothers due to the practice of devadasi system - a practice that was followed in various parts of the globe during the barbaric era of dedicating girls to temples. Thousands of children without parental care and children of devadasis in Northern Karnataka were reported psychosocial problems such as poverty, dropout, dedication of girls, poor health & vulnerability for HIV/AIDS etc. This increases the chances of developing poor self esteem among children of devadasis. Aim: To assess and compare the efficacy of a psychosocial intervention to improve the self esteem among children of unwed mothers (devadasis), a single parents children and children having both parents. Methodology: Psychosocial care program consisting of life skills and student enrichment were incorporated with educational services for children attending after school program carried out by the NGO. A quasi-experimental study was conducted among 184 children of 10 – 16 years, (62 - children of devadasis, 60- single parent and 62- children with both parents) attending the program in 36 villages of Bagalkot District, Karnataka, India through simple random sampling. Results: The results of the study showed a higher mean for self esteem among children of devadasis, single parents and dual parents with no significant difference between the three groups (df = 2, P>.05). The results confirm a significant increase in the self esteem among children due to psychosocial interventions when compared with the result of a study conducted in a larger geographic area in 2008 of which the current population was a part. Conclusion: The results confirm the efficacy of psychosocial interventions through after-school programs in improving self esteem among children especially among the children of an unwed mother who's vulnerability to develop poor self esteem is higher. Findings of the present study have significance in the implications for social work and social development practice.
Keywords: Psychosocial intervention, self esteem, unwed mothers, devadasis
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