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Journal Article


Nyagwencha SK, Munene A, James N, Mewes R, Barke A. Am. J. Appl. Psychol. 2018; 7(2): e12.


(Copyright © 2018, Science Publishing Group)






Children living in institutions experience separation from their birth parents and other caregivers. Further, they also suffer from the effects of abuse and neglect which led to their institutionalization as well as effects of institutional care despite the fact that their physical needs like food, clothing and shelter are adequately met. The purpose of this study was to establish the prevalence of symptoms of anxiety disorder, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among adolescents with a history of abuse and neglect living in charitable children's institutions (CCIs) in Nairobi County, Kenya. Three purposely selected CCIs in Nairobi, Kenya, housing 341 adolescents aged between 13-18 years were studied. Of these, 232 adolescents provided informed consent or assent depending on age, reported sociodemographic data and answered questions about experiences of abuse and neglect. They also completed the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire (HTQ), Beck's Anxiety Inventory (BAI) and Beck's Depression Inventory II (BDI-II). Of the 232 respondents, 63.2% had experienced abuse and neglect. Analyses of mental health symptoms indicated that symptoms of anxiety had the highest point prevalence of 84.1%, followed by those of depression at 50.4% and PTSD at 21.6%. Due to the abuse experienced, adolescents living in CCIs represent a vulnerable group in terms of mental health and psychological support adapted to the needs of this group should be provided.

Language: en


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