Influence of Psychosocial Well-Being on Alcohol Abuse among Public School Teachers in Nyeri County, Kenya
Maingi, Beatrice Muthoni
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Psychosocial wellbeing is important for effective functioning and plays a key role in individuals behaviour including alcohol abuse. There are few empirical studies that have examined the influence of psychosocial wellbeing on alcohol abuse. The purpose of the current study was to assess the influence of psychosocial well-being on alcohol abuse among public school teachers in Nyeri County. The objectives of the study were to establish the prevalence of alcohol abuse as well as determine the influence of environmental mastery, personal growth, self-esteem and social integration on alcohol abuse among the teachers.The study further aimed at identifying the intervention measures put in place to address alcohol abuse among teachers in Nyeri County. The study was guided by the Modified Social Stress Model (MSSM), a Theory developed by Rhodes and Jason and modified by the World Health Organisation/Programme on Substance Abuse (WHO/PSA). A mixed method approach employing correlational and phenomenological approach was used in this study. The target population consisted of teachers employed by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) in public primary and secondary schools in Nyeri County, Kenya. The study utilized a multistage approach to obtain the sample required. The region was clustered into Sub-County and type of school (primary/secondary) after which a random sample was used to select the schools that participated in the research. In the schools, convenience sampling was used to obtain a sample of 386 respondents from a population of 6264 teachers. A self-administered questionnaire and in-depth interviews were used to collect data. An interview schedule was conducted with the TSC County Director and teachers to capture the views concerning the alcohol situation in the county and specific school. Data were coded and analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Qualitative data were analysed thematically. The results from the questionnaire and interview schedules were triangulated to provide enriched data to address the concerns of the study. Results on the prevalence of alcohol use revealed that 59% of teachers consumed alcohol while 32.7% fell under the category of hazardous use as per AUDIT Scale. Chi-square test and t-test for the independence of means were used for inferential analysis. T-test results with a degree of freedom (df) of 384 showed that in the different facets of environmental mastery, there was significantly better financial resources (p=0.016), opportunities for acquiring new skills/information (p=0.002), participation and opportunities for recreation (p=0.002), and health and social care (p=0.039) among the teachers who were not abusing alcohol as compared to those who were abusing alcohol. Level of education, as well as responsibility in school, were noted to have a significant effect on alcohol abuse with teachers having lower levels of education noted to have higher levels of alcohol abuse. Self-esteem also had a significant influence on alcohol p=0.001). The spirituality (p=0.012), bodily image/appearance (p=0.021), and negative feelings (p<0.01) facets of self-esteem had a significant effect on alcohol abuse levels of the teachers. The findings were corroborated with qualitative data in which teachers who lacked social support, social responsibility and had lower educational qualifications were found to have higher levels of alcohol use than their counterparts. Overall, both the quantitative and qualitative data showed that psychosocial factors such as environmental mastery, personal growth, self-esteem and social integration may increase or decrease teachers vulnerability to alcohol abuse. The study recommends urgent interventional strategies targeting the enhancement of psychosocial wellbeing in the management of alcohol abuse among teachers.