Influence of family socio-economic factors on drug abuse among girls in Laini Saba Village in Kibra Sub-County, Nairobi, Kenya
Gathungu, Rachel Wanjiru
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The drug and substance abuse menace pose a serious threat to the social and economic development of a country. The threat is even more serious in developing countries where risk factors of drug abuse such as unemployment are high. The situation is worse in slum dwellings where various socio-economic factors may encourage drug abuse especially among the youth, and particularly girls, who have been found to be more vulnerable. Low family income and financial problems may also lead to dropping out of school. Poor parenting practices such as lack of parental supervision, indulgence, and neglect, as well as family background challenges such as marital conflict, divorce, and dysfunctional parent-child relationships make girls vulnerable to drug abuse. This study sought to explore the link between family socio-economic factors and drug abuse among girls, with a focus on Laini Saba village in Kibra SubCounty in Nairobi County. Laini Saba was chosen because it is one of the largest locations in Kibra Sub-County. The specific objectives of the study were to determine the extent of drug abuse among girls aged between 13 and 24 years, and to explore the relationships between family income, parental characteristics, and drug abuse. The study was guided by the family systems theory and the attachment theory. The study adopted a descriptive research design and the target population was girls and parents in Laini Saba village. Respondents from 2 secondary schools and 2 tertiary colleges were selected for the study. The population was 254 respondents, where a sample of 173 was obtained based on Creswell recommendations. Data was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire and a focus group discussion schedule. Analysis of data was carried out using descriptive and inferential statistics for quantitative data, with the aid of SPSS version 26 software and content analysis for qualitative data with the aid of NVIVO version 12 software. In adherence to ethical standards of research, the study sought consent from the respondents, and the data was treated with utmost confidentiality and anonymity. All sources were acknowledged appropriately to avoid plagiarism. The results revealed that drug abuse is rampant among the girls aged between 13 and 24 years in Laini Saba village. Most of the families were found to be living in abject poverty and that this was a major contributing factor to drug abuse among girls. The study found that family income had a negative correlation with drug abuse, meaning that the lower the family income, the higher the tendency of girls engaging in drug abuse. The study also found that girls whose parents were neglectful, gave children too much freedom, absent, or failed to monitor and advise their children, were more likely to engage in drug abuse compared to girls whose parents were strict, present, served as good role models, supervised and gave guidance to their children. The study recommends the enactment of policies and implementation of strategies to improve the economic status of parents living in low income areas in order to create employment and improve the livelihoods of these parents so that they can provide all basic needs for their children in order to prevent them from being lured into vices such as drug abuse. Government and other stakeholders such as NGOs should also set up more vocational training centres and community empowerment centres in places such as Laini Saba in order to offer training that will enable the residents to acquire skills for employment as well as selfemployment opportunities. The Government should also enhance awareness creation in informal settlements on the dangers of drug abuse, responsible parenting, and good parenting skills.
Africa Nazarene University