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Publication Title : Spectrum of Behavioural Difficulties and Validation of the Hausa Version Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) among Almajiris: A Comparative Study
Author(s) : Aishatu Abubakar-Abdullateef, Abdulaziz Mohammed, Amina S. Kakangi, Hadiza D. Mohammed, Marufah D. Lasisi, Mustapha Abdullahi
Abstract : Background: 'Almajiris' are children who have been sent far away from their homes to study the Quran under the care of a Muslim scholar, also known as 'Mallam'. The Almajiri education system is a common route onto the streets in Northern Nigeria and other parts of West Africa. They face numerous situations which render them vulnerable to developing behavioural difficulties. The aim of this study was to compare behavioural difficulties among Almajiris and pupils of public primary schools in Zaria. The validity of a Hausa version of the self-rated Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) in screening for psychiatric morbidity was also assessed in the course of the study. Methods: A comparative cross-sectional design was employed. 401 participants were selected for inclusion, comprising 200 Almajiris (49.9%) and 201 (50.1%) public primary school pupils. All participants were administered a socio-demographic questionnaire, the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-aged Children Present and Lifetime Version (K-SADS-PL). Data were analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences Version 21 (SPSS-21). Results: Almajiri participants were noted from other parts of West Africa such as Niger Republic. Parents of Almajiris had less formal education than those of public primary school pupils. About 6 in 10 participants, 64.5% and 63.7% of Almajiris and public primary school pupils respectively screened positive for behavioural difficulties. Almajiris reported problems more often than public primary school pupils on the emotional problem, peer problems, hyperactivity and conduct problem scales of the SDQ. The Hausa-translated version of the self-rated SDQ demonstrated a cut-off point of 13 to best be suited for screening psychiatric morbidity. Conclusion: Emotional, conduct, hyperactivity and peer problems were higher among Almajiris than in a public primary school population. It is recommended that the Almajiri system of education in Nigeria be modified earnestly. Keywords: Almajiris, Public School, Northern Nigeria, Behavioural Difficulties
DOI : 10.51658/ABMS.202231.1
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