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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 38-42

Adolescent girls in romantic relationship under child protection system – Issues and concerns: A study from India


Department of Psychiatric Social Work, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Bergai Parthsarathy Nirmala
Department of Psychiatric Social Work, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jmhhb.jmhhb_26_18

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Background: Existing literature shows the developmental significance of romantic relationships during adolescence and its influence on mental health and emotional well-being of adolescents. However, in recent years, this phenomenon has begun to receive more research attention in the Indian context. In India, many adolescent girls engage in risk-taking behaviors such as running away from home, child marriage, unsafe sexual relationships and teenage pregnancy, and consequently come into contact with child protection units. Methods: Adopting a retrospective exploratory research design, this study is a case report analysis of the psychosocial issues at individual level and family level in romantic relationship of adolescent girls who engaged in such risk-taking behaviors and were institutionalized in a State Children's Home in urban India. Results: In the present study, the mean age of the participants was 16.34 years with the range of 14–18 years. About 60% of the participants were in high school. Majority of them hailed from nuclear family with lower socioeconomic status and belonged to Hindu Religion. Psychosocial issues among adolescents and parents before and after risk-taking behaviors are varied and interlinked. Majority of the issues are related to the social norms and have significant impact on adolescents and their parents. Conclusion: Implications for future research, and for designing interventions for adolescents and their families, based on a mental health and development perspective, are highlighted. There is a need for enhancing skills among adolescent girls and for family interventions to enhance parent–children relationships to deal effectively with issues in the context of adolescent romantic relationships.


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