Improving emotional health and self-esteem of Malaysian adolescents living in orphanages through Life Skills Education program: A multi-centre randomized control trial

Marjan Mohammadzadeh, Hamidin Awang, Suriani Ismail, Hayati Kadir Shahar - PLoS ONE


Generally speaking, institutionalised children and adolescents are at greatly increased risk of serious mental and behavioural problems, up to seven times more than their peers. Life skills- based interventions using peer enforcement have been introduced as effective program to improve adolescents’ emotional and behavioral health. Therefore, the current randomized control study aimed to determine, if a life skills-based intervention could improve the emotional health and self-esteem among Malaysian adolescents in orphanages. Overall, 271 male and female adolescents (13–18 years old) from 8 orphanages in Klang valley, Malaysia participated in the study. Comparing the intervention to control group within 3 points of time, the finding of the study showed that immediately after finishing the interventional sessions (post-test), the mean scores of depression (F = 33.80, P0.001). These results provide preliminary approve for LSE to enhance emotional health and self-esteem in orphanages.