Relationship between self-concealment and attitudes toward seeking Voluntary Counselling and Testing among students: a case of Kenyatta University, Kenya
Mokua, Gilbert Osoro
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Self-concealment is a tendency of withholding personal, sensitive information that is perceived as negative and/or upsetting. It controls a person's perception of his/her environment. The effects of self-concealment on attitudes toward seeking Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) among university students has been understudied. The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which self-concealment predicts students' attitudes toward seeking VCT services at Kenyatta University. In spite of availability of VCT services at Kenyatta University, few students go for testing at the VCT centre. This unfolding scenario was seen to be exposing students at the university to HIV/AIDS infection and re-infection. If more students get tested, it would assist in developing HIV / AIDS interventions specific to students of Kenyatta University thereby reducing prevalence rates. The highlight of this study was focused on the relationship between self-concealment and university students' attitudes toward seeking VCT in the realization of the following objectives: establishing the extent to, which self-concealment predicts attitudes toward seeking VCT services; ascertaining the degree to which age, sex, marital status and prior VCT experience relate to attitudes toward seeking VCT services; verifying sex differences in self-concealment levels and determining the expanse to which differentiation of self relates to VCT seeking attitudes. The study was conducted at Kenyatta University. Three hundred and fourth seven undergraduate students were recruited in the sample. The researcher collected the information using the survey method where questionnaires were used. The data realized was analyzed using SPSS descriptive and inferential statistical methods. Results revealed that students' self-concealment had a relationship' with attitudes toward seeking VCT services and students who had low self-concealment had a higher probability of actually getting tested for HIV / AIDS than students with high self-concealment. It was revealed that there was no difference between a student's sex and hislher self-concealment level. This study also revealed that marital status was related to attitudes toward seeking VCT and getting actual HIV/AIDS testing. Married students had a more favourable attitude toward VCT services than students who were unmarried. The study further revealed that age had a relationship with a student's attitude toward VCT. Older students had more positive attitude toward seeking VCT services than younger students. The findings also indicated that students who had an HIV/AIDS test (prior VCT experience) had more favourable VCT seeking attitudes than those who had not. Findings also indicated that students with low self differentiation had more preference of seeking VCT services than highly differentiated students, Implications of these findings and recommendations are discussed.