The Conversation: Understanding Young Women’s Childhood and its Impact on Mental Health at the University Counselling Centre
Keywords:Childhood victimization, psychological maltreatment, women in India, patriarchal culture, mental health, gender bias
This article report findings on childhood psychological maltreatment among 50 young women from Delhi University seeking counselling services at the Mind Body Centre of Delhi University Women’s Association. This study reveals a powerful association between their emotional experiences as children and the subsequent impact on their adult psychological well-being. We provide a review of selected literature on the nature and extent of childhood maltreatment and place the issue within the societal context of India. Research methods included extensive semi-structured interviews during the counselling sessions ranging from 3-4 sessions. The findings are important and provide remarkable and critical insights into the influence of patriarchal familial structure and the extent to which women are at a disadvantage due to their gender. It also suggests how gender stereotypes still permeates within the family life in India and has a long-lasting impact on the lives of these women.