[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Past research provides strong evidence that adverse life events heighten the risk of delinquent behavior among adolescents. Urban informal (slum) settlements in sub-Saharan Africa are marked by extreme adversity. However, the prevalence and consequences of adverse life events as well as protective factors that can mitigate the effects of exposure to these events in slum settlements is largely understudied. We examine two research questions. First, are adverse life events experienced at the individual and household level associated with a higher likelihood of delinquent behavior among adolescents living in two slums in Nairobi, Kenya? Second, are parental monitoring, religiosity, and self-esteem protective against delinquency in a context of high adversity?
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 01/2014; 8:24.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This article draws on ethnographic and interview-based fieldwork to explore accounts of intimate relationships between widowed women and poor young men that emerged in the wake of economic crisis and a devastating HIV epidemic among the Luo ethnic group in western Kenya. I show how the co-optation of widow inheritance practices due to the presence of an overwhelming number of widows during a period of economic crisis has resulted in widows becoming providing women and poor young men becoming kept men. I illustrate how widows in this setting, by performing a set of practices central to what it meant to be a man in this society—pursuing and providing for their partners—were effectively doing masculinity. I also show how young men, rather than being feminized by being kept, deployed other sets of practices to prove their masculinity and live in a manner congruent with cultural ideals. I argue that, ultimately, women’s practice of masculinity in large part seemed to serve patriarchal ends. It not only facilitated the fulfillment of patriarchal expectations of femininity but also served, in the end, to provide a material base for young men’s deployment of legitimizing and culturally valued sets of masculine practices.
Signs Journal of Women in Culture and Society 01/2014; 39(2):341-363. · 0.46 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We explore the concerns, challenges, aspirations, and expectations of sub-Saharan African youth, and investigate how these youth cope with neighborhood constraints to aspiration achievement. We draw on cross-sectional survey data from 4033 12–22-year-olds (50.3% males) from two Kenyan urban slums and subsequent in-depth interviews conducted with a subset of 75 youth when they were 13–24 years old (45.3% males). We observe that despite the challenges characteristic of urban slums, some youth maintain high aspirations and try to achieve them through education, delinquency, residential mobility, and religion. We note that others adjust their aspirations to account for limited opportunities. Overall, our findings highlight positive youth agency and underscore the need to improve the quality of life in urban slums.
Journal of Research on Adolescence 03/2013; 23(1):81 - 94. · 1.99 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: STDs, including HIV, disproportionately affect individuals who have multiple minority identities. Understanding differences in STD risk factors across racial, ethnic and sexual minority groups, as well as genders, is important for tailoring public health interventions.
Data from Waves 3 (2001-2002) and 4 (2007-2008) of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health were used to develop population-based estimates of STD and HIV risk factors among 11,045 young adults (mean age, 29 at Wave 4), by gender, race and ethnicity, and sexual orientation (heterosexual, mixed-oriented, gay). Regression analyses were conducted to examine associations between risk factors and young adults' characteristics.
Overall, sexual-minority women in each racial or ethnic group had a higher prevalence of sexual risk behaviors-including a history of multiple partners, forced sex and incarceration-than their heterosexual counterparts. Mixed-oriented women in each racial or ethnic group were more likely than heterosexual white women to have received an STD diagnosis (odds ratios, 1.8-6.4). Black men and sexual-minority men also appeared to be at heightened risk. Gay men in all racial and ethnic groups were significantly more likely than heterosexual white men to report having received an STD diagnosis (2.3-8.3); compared with heterosexual white men, mixed-oriented black men had the highest odds of having received such a diagnosis (15.2).
Taking account of multiple minority identities should be an important part of future research and intervention efforts for STD and HIV prevention.
Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 06/2012; 44(2):125-33. · 1.41 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Why are orphaned girls at particular risk of acquiring HIV infection? Using a transition-to-adulthood framework, this study employs qualitative data from Nyanza Province, Kenya, to explore pathways to HIV risk among orphaned and nonorphaned high-school girls. It shows how simultaneous processes such as leaving their parental home, negotiating financial access, and relationship transitions interact to produce disproportionate risk for orphaned girls. The role of financial provision and parental love in modifying girls' trajectories to risk are also explored. A testable theoretical model is proposed based on the qualitative findings, and policy implications are suggested.
Studies in Family Planning 03/2011; 42(1):29-40. · 1.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper focuses on a neglected factor in literature on the HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa: the role of the eco-social environment in shaping HIV risk. I argue that the changing ecological environment of Lake Victoria, Africa's largest freshwater lake, mapping onto a gendered economy, shaped fisherfolk's sexual relationships and sexual mixing patterns in ways that were consequential for their HIV risk. Specifically, I show how disrupted lake and fish ecology had an impact on fishermen's sexual, domestic and economic partnerships, as well as how it contributed to the "sex for fish" economy in Nyanza Province, Kenya. I also show the consequences of fishermen's relative wealth on transactional relationships with school girls and women in lakeside communities. The paper is based on ethnographic fieldwork over a seven month period among the Luo ethnic group, which has the highest HIV rates in Kenya. The study included 74 individual and focus group interviews in communities around Lake Victoria, as well as 20 key informant interviews. Additionally, literature reviews on fishing and sexual economies as well as on ecological research in Lake Victoria are employed. Exploring linkages between these literatures and fieldwork findings forms the basis of this paper. I argue that solely focusing on individual level HIV prevention strategies is limited without taking into account the eco-social context of individual sexual decision making.
Social Science [?] Medicine 01/2011; 72(2):149-56. · 2.56 Impact Factor