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Factors Associated with Elevated Depression Scores among Children and Adolescents: A Study of Selected Children’s Homes in Kajiado County, Kenya 

Mary Chege, Ph.D., Alice Munene, Psy.D., and Rebecca Oladipo, Ph.D., Daystar University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of behavioural activation (BA) in reducing depression symptoms. Depression is a common mental health problem associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Children entering foster care have a higher prevalence of clinically significant depression than children reared at home. This study examined the factors associated with elevated depression scores among children and adolescents in seven selected children’s homes in Kajiado County. A quasiexperimental study was conducted with 186 participants aged 9-17 years. The participants (male and female) with a mean age of 13 years were purposively sampled. Data collection tools included Child Depression Inventory (CDI) for assessment of depression and a demographic questionnaire to gather socio-demographic data. Logistic regression revealed three predictors that were significantly associated with elevated CDI scores, namely using Kiswahili as the primary language of communication, death of father, and age/class. The study reveals that the overall level of depression was 18.6 (±5.6SD). Recommendations were made for routine and frequent mental check-ups to be provided in those homes in an effort to help identify depression symptoms and intervene appropriately and timely.

Keywords: depression, children depression inventory, predictors.

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