Factors influencing adolescent drug use in secondary schools in Bahari Division, Kilifi District, Kenya
Ombima, Willis Ayub
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Drug use problem in Kenya is a near catastrophe, and researches done variously indicate an increase especially among the adolescent abusers, with boys generally tending to abuse it more than girls. In this study the researcher focussed on determining the peculiarity of the factors influencing adolescent drug use in a coastal setting in Kenya; an aspect that tends to be generalised together with factors from up-country Kenya. The study also assessed the impact of other factors such as the family and peer relations that might influence adolescent behaviour in an interactional social environment. The study was conducted among the secondary school going adolescents in Bahari division, with the form three students forming the target population of the study. Also the guidance and counselling teachers, drafted into the study sample, responded to the questionnaires, and their answers were intended to assist the researcher in verifying the contributions from among the student respondents as well as determining the extent of success of the interventive measures already in place in the secondary schools. These teachers were identified for the study because they are in constant touch with these adolescents over various institutional, developmental and societal issues. The research design for this study was a descriptive survey with a probability sample size of 213 composed of 207 students and 6 teachers in charge of the guidance and counselling departments in their respective schools. The researcher used stratified random sampling in identifying the 6 schools to be included in the study, and used both stratified and systematic sampling in identifying students to form part of the study. In order to ensure content validity and reliability of the research instruments used, the questionnaires were pre-tested using a sample from within Kilifi district but outside the sampled target population for the study, under the expert guidance of the supervisor. The answered questionnaires were analysed manually, using descriptive statistics including percentages, averages and frequencies, and employed different forms of data representation techniques such as tabulation, graphs and charts. The findings show that more boys use drugs than girls, with the family and the context being the major influences; and the father and the elder brother having the biggest influence towards the behaviour in the family with a strong gender relationship. Implications of the results were drawn and some recommendations were made to improve public policy and counselling practice as strategies for curbing students' abuse of drugs in the coastal region.