Patterns of Substance Use Among Street-Involved Children and Youth in Kenya: the Roles of Street-Exposure, Migratory Factors, Family Deprivation, and Geographic Sub-location

Michael L. Goodman, Sarah Seidel, Andrew Springer, Christine Markham, Aaron Godoy, Lauren Raimer-Goodman, Kelvin Munene, Stanley Gitari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Substance use among street-involved children and youth (SICY) in low- and middle-income countries is common. Using data abstracted from program intake forms (2016–2022) for an intervention to reintegrate SICY with their communities, we assess which individual, family, and geographic characteristics are predictive of substance use, and specifically inhalant use and non-inhalant use among a sample of 227 SICY in Meru County, Kenya. Assessed determinants include age, geographic location of home community, years on street, family deprivation prior to street-migrating, motivation for street migrating, abuse experiences on the street, and activities on the street. Number of years lived on the street, experiencing abuse on the street, and citing peer-self relations as the reason for street migration were all associated with significantly higher odds of reporting substance use, and inhalant use specifically. Inhalant use was also significantly associated with peer socialization and specific street activities. Further research should explore the role of peer-self dynamics in substance use among SICY and how it can inform approaches to reintegrating children from street situations and sustaining their development in non-street environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • Child abuse
  • Inhalant
  • Kenya
  • Street-involved children and youth
  • Substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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