Psychosocial support and marginalization of youth-headed households in Rwanda

Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
AIDS Care (Impact Factor: 1.6). 05/2006; 18(3):220-9. DOI: 10.1080/09540120500456656
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This research aims to characterize the psychosocial aspects of well-being among youth-headed households (YHH) in Gikongoro, Rwanda, through examination of social support and marginalization. Data is presented on perceived availability of support from relatives, an unidentified adult, peers, and other community members and an index of social marginalization. A total of 692 interviews were completed with YHH age 13-24 who are beneficiaries of a basic needs program. Sixteen percent of youth reported there was no one they felt they could go to with a problem. In times of need, only 24% felt relatives would help them, while 57% felt neighbors would offer assistance. Most youth reported significant caring relationships: 73% reported access to trusted adult who offers them advice and guidance, and most indicated close peer relationships. However, many youth also perceived a lack of community support, with 86% feeling rejected by the community and 57% feeling the community would rather hurt them than help them. Social support is a low-cost critical resource for the care of vulnerable youth and an understanding of existing social support networks would enhance the design and implementation of psychosocial and community-based care initiatives.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The emergence of child-headed households (CHH) is considered an indicator of the erosion of the traditional safety nets in sub-Saharan African countries and a direct consequence of the increasing number of orphans in the region. Using four available waves of the Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Surveys (1988, 1994, 1999, 2005/2006), we find that the proportion of households with no adults remained stable in the last years, although the number of orphans increased significantly. In fact, a large number of children living in CHH are nonorphans, which suggests that this kind of living arrangement is not always a direct consequence of parental death. Moreover, our analysis shows that children living in CHH and young adult households are less likely to have unmet basic needs than children in households headed by working-age adults and in other vulnerable households.
    AIDS Care 03/2012; 24(10):1211-8. DOI:10.1080/09540121.2012.661839 · 1.60 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Studies show elevated levels of psychological distress among acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)-orphaned children. Caregiving factors are critical in child mental health, but little is known about their effects among AIDS-orphaned children. This study aimed to explore whether caregiving factors (e.g. caregiver illness, monitoring and abuse) mediated between orphanhood status and psycho-logical problems. A total of 1025 children and adolescents (aged 10–19 years), liv-ing in South African urban informal settlements, were interviewed using sociodemographic questionnaires and standardized psychological scales of depres-sion, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, peer problems, delinquency and con-duct problems. AIDS-orphaned children (n = 425) were compared to control groups of other-orphans (n = 241) and non-orphans (n = 278). Results showed that child abuse, domestic violence, sibling dispersion and changes of caregiver were associated with psychological problems for all children, but did not mediate between orphanhood and psychological distress. AIDS-orphaned children reported more caregiver illness and excessive housework, and these two factors mediated the strong associations between psychological distress and AIDS-orphanhood. These findings suggest that interventions addressing caregiver ill-health and sup-porting young carers may have potential to ameliorate psychological distress among AIDS-orphaned children.
    Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies 10/2009; 4(1):1-29. DOI:10.1080/17450120902730196
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Research shows that AIDS-orphaned children are more likely to experience clinical-range psychological problems. Little is known about possible interactions between factors mediating these high distress levels. We assessed how food insecurity, bullying, and AIDS-related stigma interacted with each other and with likelihood of experiencing clinical-range disorder. In South Africa, 1025 adolescents completed standardised measures of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress. 52 potential mediators were measured, including AIDS-orphanhood status. Logistic regressions and hierarchical log-linear modelling were used to identify interactions among significant risk factors. Food insecurity, stigma and bullying all independently increased likelihood of disorder. Poverty and stigma were found to interact strongly, and with both present, likelihood of disorder rose from 19% to 83%. Similarly, bullying interacted with AIDS-orphanhood status, and with both present, likelihood of disorder rose from 12% to 76%. Approaches to alleviating psychological distress amongst AIDS-affected children must address cumulative risk effects.
    Social Science [?] Medicine 09/2009; 69(8):1186-93. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2009.07.033 · 2.56 Impact Factor