Determinants of Psychosocial Well-Being of Children (10-17 Years) Affected by Hiv and Aids in Kiambu County, Kenya
Ashioya, Damaris Shihundu
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Children affected by HIV and AIDS (CAHA) are faced with psychological, social and economic challenges among others. HIV and AIDS has compounded the situation posing more suffering to children whose parents have died of the same. Children affected by HIV and AIDS have been supported in various ways by their extended families and many other organizations. While there are a number of programmes that address the material needs of CAHA, there is less emphasis in assisting these children cope with the distress associated with nursing or living with sick members of the family, witnessing deaths of their parents and suffering the consequences thereafter. The psychosocial well-being of CAHA may be affected as a result of illness and death of their parents, exploitation, stigma and separation from siblings as well as lack of adult support. The purpose of this study was to examine the determinants of psychosocial well-being of children affected by HIV and AIDS. This was a cross-sectional survey targeting 3780 children between 10-17 years affected by HIV and AIDS living in foster families from registered CBOs in Kiambu County. Multi-stage cluster sampling was used to select 345 children aged 10-17 years. First, Thika Sub County was purposively selected, in the second stage systematic random sampling was done for supporting families with CAHA and the third stage simple random sampling was carried out in foster families with more than one CAHA to select the participant for the study. Key informant interview guides, questionnaires, observation checklist and child drawings were used to collect data. Both quantitative and qualitative data were organized and categorized for analysis. Using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 20, quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics; frequencies, means and percentages. Chi-square and factor analysis were used to test the formulated hypotheses. Qualitative data was transcribed, coded and categorized into themes and words to allow for analysis and presentation. Results of the study established that there was a significant relationship between care provided by foster families and psychosocial well-being of CAHA based on results of factor analysis at 61.4% and chi-square results (χ2= 4.6607; df= 4; p=0.001). This study showed that there existed a significant relationship between the types of support available in the community and psychosocial well-being of children affected by HIV and AIDS (χ2=7.8207; df =6; p=0.012). In addition, this study identified a significant relationship between coping strategies adopted by children affected by HIV and AIDS and their psychosocial well-being (χ2 = 6.4420; df= 6; p=0.003). This study concluded that there were established relationships between care provided by foster families, type of support available by the community and coping strategies adopted by children affected by HIV and AIDS and their psychosocial well-being. The study recommended that the Kenya government should commit resources to promote the psychosocial well-being of CAHA at various levels through government mandated departments. Parents can be guided to develop permanency plans for their children and finally stakeholders; County governments, schools and non-governmental organizations can work together to ensure sustainability of families and communities so that children are retained in responsive environments.