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Types of Abuse Experienced by Adolescents Living in Charitable Children’s Institutions in Nairobi County, Kenya 

Stella Nyagwencha, Ph.D;, Alice Munene, Psy.D., Naomi James, Ph.D., Daystar University

Abstract

Adolescents are at a high risk of exposure to possible abuse due to their vulnerability and dependence on caregivers. The objective of this study was to establish the types of abuse experienced by adolescents with mild and moderate symptoms of anxiety disorder and living in charitable children’s institutions (CCIs). Data was collected from three CCIs in Nairobi County, Kenya. The sample size was made up of 115 adolescents who gave informed consent and met the inclusion criteria. The respondents were administered a socio-demographic questionnaire, which was asking questions about socio-demographic characteristics and previous experiences of abuse. The respondents also completed Beck’s Anxiety Inventory (BAI) to be able to establish the presence and severity of symptoms of anxiety disorder. Respondents who experienced neglect were 60.9% while 42.1% experienced emotional abuse. Those who experienced physical abuse were 26.1% while 13.0% experienced sexual abuse. Males had a higher mean in physical abuse and neglect while females had a higher mean in sexual abuse and emotional abuse. These study findings are important because they would inform policy makers on the types of abuse adolescents living in CCIs have experienced and add to the existing body of knowledge on abuse among adolescents. Further, this information would enable policy makers to integrate treatment and prevention programs for abused adolescents living in CCIs. It is such abuses which were responsible for these adolescents ending up in CCIs in the first place.

Keywords: adolescents; abuse; neglect; Charitable Children’s Institutions Kenya

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