|Year : 2020 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 2-7
Assessment of life skills among early adolescents: A descriptive study
Parashmoni Borah, Nurnahar Ahmed, Sandeep Kollipara
Department of Psychiatric Nursing, LGBRIMH, Tezpur, Assam, India
|Date of Submission||24-Mar-2020|
|Date of Decision||29-May-2020|
|Date of Acceptance||13-Jun-2020|
|Date of Web Publication||08-Aug-2020|
Ms. Parashmoni Borah
B-30, Indianoil Nagar (Site-1), Sector-55, Noida - 201 307, Uttar Pradesh
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Background: Life skills are the abilities that enable to maintain life in adaptive way and help to deal with the challenges of life. Adolescence is a very crucial stage where various changes take place and during this phase needs special attention. Life skills play a significant role in adolescence and help to cope with the stress and frustration of their life. The present study was conducted with the aim to assess the life skills of among early adolescents. Subjects and Methods: A cross-sectional survey with descriptive research design was used. The study was conducted in a selected school of Sonitpur, Assam. A total of 122 students from Class VI to VIII were selected using total enumeration technique. Sociodemographic pro forma and translated version of life skills assessment scale were used to collect data after ethical clearance and written permission from concerned authorities. Results: The findings showed that 72% of the participants had average of life skills. There was a statistically significant association between gender (χ2 = 5.40, P = 0.02) and father's education (χ2 = 4.49, P = 0.03) with the global score of life skills of the participants. Creative thinking of early adolescents was found to be significantly associated with religion (χ2 = 5.20, P = 0.03) and critical thinking was found to be significantly associated with mother's education (χ2 = 7.99, P = 0.01). Decision-making of early adolescents was found to be significantly associated with gender (χ2 = 5.11, P = 0.02) and mother's occupation (χ2 = 4.16, P = 0.04). Coping with emotion of early adolescents was found to be significantly associated with gender (χ2 = 3.86, P = 0.04). Coping with stress of early adolescents was found to be significantly associated with gender (χ2 = 4.54, P = 0.03) and mother's occupation (χ2 = 7.07, P = 0.01). Conclusion: Comparative study can be conducted between the students of government and private schools or rural and urban schools. Life skill training could enhance the life skills.
Keywords: Adolescence, early adolescence, life skills
|How to cite this article:|
Borah P, Ahmed N, Kollipara S. Assessment of life skills among early adolescents: A descriptive study. Indian J Psy Nsg 2020;17:2-7
|How to cite this URL:|
Borah P, Ahmed N, Kollipara S. Assessment of life skills among early adolescents: A descriptive study. Indian J Psy Nsg [serial online] 2020 [cited 2022 Aug 15];17:2-7. Available from: https://www.ijpn.in/text.asp?2020/17/1/2/291620
| Introduction|| |
Adolescent is a transitional development period between childhood and adulthood, which is characterized by a host of biological, psychological, and social changes. The World Health Organization (WHO) defined that adolescence is the period of life that extends from 10 to 19 years. Adolescence is generally divided into three phases: early, middle, and late adolescence. Early adolescence refers to 10–13 years, middle adolescence to 14–16 years, and late adolescence to 17–20 years. India has the largest population of adolescence with 243 million individuals aged between 10 and 19 years, which is nearly 90% of world's adolescents.
During adolescence period, brain undergoes substantial development which affects in emotional skills as well as physical and mental abilities. There are two types of changes that generally occur in adolescent's life, viz., primary and secondary. Primary changes are pubertal, cognitive, and social role and secondary changes are identity, achievement, sexuality, autonomy, and attachment. Primary changes always have an impact on secondary changes.
During these changes, even though biological forces play a significant role in the physical changes, a combination of biological, psychological, and social forces influences development. This process of development requires special attention and protection. This transition is so crucial that adolescents face problems in certain areas of life such as parent child conflicts, substance abuse, violence, risky behaviors, and mood changes. If these issues are not resolved, the individual suffers role diffusion or negative identities, which results in mismatch of abilities and desire, directionless and are unprepared for the psychological challenges of adulthood.
According to the WHO, psychosocial competencies can be developed through teaching the life skills. Life skills are the skills and knowledge apart from academic skills, necessary for effective living. Life skills have been defined by the WHO as “Ability for adaptive and positive behaviour that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life.” The WHO has recognized following ten core life skills: empathy, critical thinking, effective communication, coping with stress, self-awareness, creative thinking, decision-making, interpersonal relationship, dealing with emotions, and problem-solving.
In a constantly changing environment, having life skills is an essential part of being able to meet the challenges of everyday life. The changes in global economies over the past 5 years have been matched with the transformation in technology and these are all impacting on education, the workplace, and home life. To cope with the increasing pace and change of modern life, students need life skills such as the ability to deal with stress and frustration.
Therefore, researcher felt the need to assess life skills of early adolescents.
| Subjects and Methods|| |
The study was conducted in a selected school of Sonitpur, Assam. The school was selected conveniently for the study. The study population consists of the students studying from class VI to VIII. A total of 122 early adolescents (10–14 years) were selected as per the selection criteria. Total enumeration sampling technique was used to select the sample. Both males and females were included in the study and physically ill students were excluded from the study. Sociodemographic profile comprises ten items, namely, age, gender, religion, class, residence, educational status of parents, occupational status of parents, monthly income of the family, type of family, and have undergone any life skill training program. Moreover, standardized life skills assessment scale developed by Subasree et al., consisting of 100 items with 10 different dimensions (self-awareness [11 items], empathy [11 items], effective communication [9 items], interpersonal relationship [11 items], creative thinking [8 items], critical thinking [11 items], decision-making [11 items], problem solving [9 items], coping with emotions [11 items], and coping with stress [8 items]), was used for data collection. The scores obtained under each dimension represent the level of life skills in the respective dimension and summation of all the score obtained under each of the ten dimensions would evolve as a global score for life skills. The scores obtained in each dimensions life skills and global score are categorized/interpreted as very high, high, average, low, and very low. Higher score represents higher level of life skill. All the tools were translated into local language, i.e., Assamese. Reliability of the translated version of life skills assessment scale was calculated using split-half method and Cronbach's coefficient alpha and the score was 0.86. Ethical Clearance and approval from Scientific Advisory Committee of Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi Regional Institute of Mental Health, Tezpur, was obtained, and thereafter, permission was taken from the school authority to conduct the study. Informed consent was taken from the parents of the participants and assents were taken from the participants after explaining the purpose and procedure of the study. Confidentiality and anonymity of the participant's information were maintained. Participants had the liberty to leave the study at any point of time if they desired. The study ensured no physical or psychological harm to the participants and was conducted without hampering the routine of school.
| Results|| |
Description of demographic data
The demographic data presented in [Table 1] showed that 55% (f = 67) of the participants were male. Forty-two percent (f = 51) of the participants were from Class VI. Majority (97%) (f = 118) of the participants belonged to Hindu religion and 98% (f = 120) of the participants were hailing from rural background. Sixty-four percent (f = 78) belonged to nuclear family. Thirty-three percent (f = 40) of the participants father's education were graduate and above and 43% (f = 53) the participants mother's education was up to high school. Thirty percent (f = 36) of the participant's fathers worked as private employee and 81% (f = 99) of the participants mother was homemaker. Regarding life skill training, none of the study participants underwent any training related to life skills.
|Table 1: Frequency and percentage distribution of selected sociodemographic variables of early adolescents (n=122)|
Click here to view
The data presented on [Table 2] showed that the mean and standard deviation of age of participants was 12 ± 0.7 years and monthly family income was Rs. 19010 ± 13902.
|Table 2: Mean, median and standard deviation of selected sociodemographic variables of early adolescents (n=122)|
Click here to view
The data presented in [Table 3] showed that, in terms of global scores of life skills, the participants were found to be 1.6% (f = 2) high, 72% (f = 88) average, 24% (f = 29) low, and 2% (f = 3) very low. The mean and standard deviation of global score of life skill of participants was 338.5 ± 23.26. The minimum and maximum level of life skill among early adolescents was 284 and 399, respectively.
|Table 3: Description of global score of life skills of early adolescents in terms of frequency and percentage distribution, range, mean and standard deviation|
Click here to view
The data presented in [Table 4] showed that the mean and standard deviation of self-awareness, empathy, effective communication, interpersonal relationship, creative thinking, critical thinking, decision-making, problem-solving, coping with emotions, and coping with stress were 39.04 ± 6.21, 37.46 ± 4.91, 30.58 ± 5.03, 36.19 ± 4.45, 27.52 ± 4.20, 37.48 ± 4.83, 36.48 ± 4.19, 33.04 ± 5.20, 34.04 ± 5.22, and 26.73 ± 5.88, respectively. The mean life skill score was highest in self-awareness and least in coping with stress domain.
|Table 4: Domain wise range, mean and standard deviation of life skills of participants (n=122)|
Click here to view
The data presented in [Table 5] showed that there was a statistically significant association between gender (χ2 = 5.401, P = 0.02) and father's education (χ2 = 4.498, P = 0.03) with the global score of life skills of the participants.
|Table 5: Chi-square values showing association between global score of life skill and selected sociodemographic variables (n=122)|
Click here to view
A significant association was observed between the domain of life skills and the sociodemographic variables of the participants. The data presented in [Table 6] showed that a significant association was found between religion with creative thinking (χ2 = 5.208, P = 0.036), mother's education with critical thinking (χ2 = 7.993, P = 0.01), decision-making with gender (χ2 = 5.11, P = 0.02), and mother's occupation (χ2 = 4.167, P = 0.04). Further, an association was also observed in gender with coping with emotion (χ2 = 3.868, P = 0.04) and coping with stress with gender (χ2 = 4.547, P = 0.03) and mother's occupation (χ2 = 7.078, P = 0.01).
|Table 6: Chi-square values showing association between domains of life skills and selected sociodemographic variables (n=122)|
Click here to view
| Discussion|| |
In the present study, the mean age of the participants was 12 years with standard deviation of 0.7. The present study finding was consistent with the study conducted by Sinha et al. where the researcher found that majority of the participants 61.3% belonged to the age group of 12–15 years. The data of the current study showed that majority of participants 97% (f = 118) belonged to Hindu religion. According to the census of 2011, 79.85% of population of India practices Hinduism. This might be a reason of getting majority of participants belonged to Hindu religion, followed by Islam and Christianity.
In the current study, findings of global score of life skills showed that 1.6% (f = 2) scored high, 72% (f = 88) scored average, 24% (f = 29) scored low, and 2% (f = 3) scored very low. Majority of the participants scored average. In literature, the reason for it may be due to the factors related to like environment, parenting, family structures, and healthy relationships. The study findings were also consistent with the study conducted by Sinhaet al. which revealed that 53.9% of participants had average life skill and 37.3% had low life skill. The present study findings were contrast with the findings of the study conducted by Sharma, which showed that 51% (f = 176) of participants had high level of life skills. The current study findings showed that the majority of the participants scored average in each domain of life skill, i.e., self-awareness 67% (f = 55), empathy 62% (f = 76), effective communication 65% (f = 79), interpersonal relationship 62% (f = 76), creative thinking 67% (f = 82), critical thinking 62% (f = 76), decision-making 73% (f = 89), problem-solving 57% (f = 69), coping with emotions 60% (f = 73), and coping with stress 50% (f = 61). That means as comparing with the global score, the participants also scored average in each domain of life skill, the reason for it may be due to that the socio demographic profile variation are less in the study. The findings of the study were consistent with finding that conducted by Sinhaet al., which revealed that majority of the participants scored average in each domain of life skill.
The current study findings showed that there was a significant association (χ2 = 5.401, P = 0.02) between gender with the global score of life skills of the participants. The reason may be that according to the census report of India 2011, sex ratio is 940 females per 1000 of males and the male literacy rate is 82.14% and female literacy rate is 65.46%. The finding was consistent with the study conducted by Anuradha, which revealed a significant association between life skill and gender. The present study findings showed that there was a significant association (χ2 = 4.498, P = 0.03) between father's education with the global score of life skills of the participants. In the literature, it has seen that parents play an important role in strengthening life skills in children and adolescents which help them to deal with the challenges of everyday life. Moreover, education makes parents aware of the needs and opportunities of their children for growth; therefore can provide a conducive environment to their children to learn and grow well. The findings were consistent with the findings of the study conducted by Sinhaet al., which showed a significant association with father's education. In the present study, the researcher found that there was a significant association between religion with creative thinking domain (χ2 = 5.208, P = 0.036) of life skill of the participants. In the literature, it has been found that religion has strong power in shaping societal and individual outcomes. The finding of present study was contrast to the findings of the study conducted by Dhingra and Chauhan. A significant association was found between mother's education (χ2 = 7.993, P = 0.01) and the critical thinking domain. It may be due that education make aware individual about the need and also mother plays an important role in the life of children. A significant association was found between gender (χ2 = 5.11, P = 0.02), mother's occupation (χ2 = 4.167, P = 0.04), and the decision-making; gender (χ2 = 3.868, P = 0.04) and coping with emotion; gender (χ2 = 4.547, P = 0.03), mother's occupation (χ2 = 7.078, P = 0.01), and coping with stress domain of life skills of the participants. It may be due to that as India is a country of consisting more male dominant society and according to United Nations Development Programme's Gender Inequality Index-2014: India's ranking is 127 out of 152 countries in the list.
| Conclusion|| |
Development in adolescent is multidimensional and a period of rapid growth. Adolescent period is associated with various changes in physical, cognitive, biological aspect, and along with it various challenges. Life skills provide the ability to deal with it effectively and lead an adaptive and positive life. From the present study it has seen that that 72% (f = 88) scored average in global score of life skills. In the present study, the researcher found that global scores of life skill and domains of life skills such as creative thinking, critical thinking, decision-making, coping with emotion, and coping with stress are significantly associated with selected sociodemographic variables.
The findings of this study would help the nursing personnel dealing with adolescents to focus on the various factors related to poor life skill and its consequences on the aspects such as physical, mental, social, academic, as well as overall wellbeing of the adolescents and to provide quality care to maintain balance in all the aspects. During the study and completion of nursing education, the nursing students go through various challenges in everyday life; therefore, life skill provides them the ability to deal with it effectively. The nurse administrator can organize education programs on life skill in school for the students and awareness programs for the teacher and parent about the importance of life skill. The nurse administrator may take part in the teacher training programs in order to teach them various strategies to enhance the life skill of the students. The present study findings may be used by the new researcher in their discussion. The findings may help the nurse researcher to develop protocols of life skill training module for adolescents in order to enhance the life skill. The study was limited as pilot study and the main study was conducted in the same school. The sample size of the present study was small, so generalization becomes limited.
Based on findings of the present study, it is recommended that similar study can be conducted with large numbers of participants. A comparative study between the students studying in government schools and private schools, rural or urban, can be conducted. A study can be done to assess the effectiveness of life skill training to improve life skill among adolescents.
The authors would like to acknowledge all the participants of the study for participating in the study and parents of the participants for their supports.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
| References|| |
Gupte S. The Short Textbook of Pediatrics: Incorporating National International Recommendation MCI, IAP, NNF, WHO, UNICEF, IAP, ISTP, AAP etc., 11th
ed.. New Delhi: Jaypee; 2009.
Nair AR, Subasree R, Ranjan S. Life Skill Assessment Scale. School of Life Skills Education and Social Harmony RJNIYD; 2010.
Gupta S, Maheshwari SK, Sabith T. Effectiveness of life skills training on self esteem and readiness to change drug use behavior among school drop out adolescent drug users. Indian J Psychiatr Nurs 2012;3:32-5.
Kumar R, Maheshwari SK. Relapse precipitants, life events & coping behaviors among substance users. Indian J Psychiatr Nurs 2016;12:14-8.
Sharma S. Measuring life skills of adolescents in a secondary school of Kathmandu: An experience. Kathmandu Univ Med J 2003;1:170-6. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16388225
. [Last accessed on 2019 Mar 20].
[Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6]