ICNC Abstracts, ICNC 2018

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All work and no play: The relationship of leisure time activities and psychological disorders in school children
Pallavi Bhad, Gouri Rao Passi

Last modified: 2018-09-09



In the last half century, children’s free time has been steadily declining. In this study we aimed to assess the current levels of leisure time available to school children and its relation to levels of psychological distress.

Materials and methods:

This was an observational questionnaire based study conducted in an urban school in central India. Children studying in class 8 to 10 were given a questionnaire about basic information, time spent in school, leisure activities and ten questions of the Kessler Psychological Distress (K 10) Scale.  Scores 10-19 meant low; 20-24 mild ; 25-29 moderate and a score >29 meant severe psychological distress. The relationship of leisure time activities with degree of psychological distress was analyzed.

Results: 400 children (227 boys) were studied. The prevalence of mild, moderate and severe psychological distress was 27.25, 14.25 and 9.5 % respectively. Severe psychological distress was significantly more common in girls (12.7%) than boys (7%) [OR 1.92, 95% CI 0.97-3.7, p= 0.058].  The prevalence of severe distress in children with daily, alternate day or once weekly free time was 8.6%, 9.6% and 11.7% respectively. There was a statistically significant inverse correlation between prevalence of severe psychological distress in children versus time spent with parents (OR 2.7 [CI 1.14-6.4, p=0.023])


The prevalence of severe psychological distress in school children was 9.5%. There is increasing psychological distress with decreasing leisure. There is an inverse relationship between prevalence of psychological distress and time spent with parents.


leisure time, school children, psychological distress, K 10 scale

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