Drawing on recorded interviews and focus group discussions with shopkeepers, and junior and senior high school children respectively in Accra Central, this study explores the public’s perceptions of the phenomenon of street children in Accra, Ghana. A semi-structured interview guide was used. Qualitative analyses of the data indicated that both sho...
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... this perspective the child is viewed as developing within an intricate system of relationships affected by many levels of the surrounding environment (Berk, 2006). Bronfenbrenner sees the environment as a series of nested structures which include, but transcends, home, school, and the neighbourhood settings within which children spend their daily lives (see figure 1.0). ...
Child-begging is a phenomenon that sends the school going age children on the street and begs for alms, as they attend a local Islamic (almjirii) school in most part of northern Nigeria. The menace of child-begging in has assumed an alarming rate. The institution of the state does not do much to curtail this menace. This study adopted a thematic ap...
... There is also sparse literature on age and gender differences regarding substance use among homeless children and youth in Ghana. Previous studies conducted among homeless children and young adults in Ghana, have focused primarily on economic, social and cultural causes of homelessness, their engagement in risky sexual behaviours and the prevalence of STI including HIV and AIDS [5,20,. ...
Research on street children and youth has shown that this population is at high risk for substance use. Though risky sexual behaviours have been investigated and widely reported among street youth in resource constrained-settings, few studies have explored the relationship between substance use and other risk behaviours. This study was therefore conducted to examine the association between substance use and risky sexual behaviours among homeless youth in Ghana. A cross-sectional survey of a convenient sample of 227 (122 male and 105 female) street connected children and youth was conducted in Ghana in 2012. Using self-report measures, the relationship between substance use and risky sexual behaviours was examined using logistic regression. Substance use was relatively high as 12% and 16.2% reported daily use of alcohol and marijuana respectively. There were age and sex differences in substance use among the sample. As compared to males, more females had smoked cigarettes, used alcohol and marijuana. While alcohol use decrease with age, marijuana use on the other hand increases with age. Results from multivariate analysis revealed that having ever drunk alcohol and alcohol use in the past one month were independently associated with all the four indices of risky sexual behaviour (ever had sex, non-condom use, multiple sexual partners and survival sex). Both marijuana use and smoking of cigarettes were associated with having ever had sex, multiple sexual partners and survival sex. Other drug use was independently associated with non-condom use. Substance use seems to serve as a possible risk factor for sexual risk behaviours among homeless youth. Harm reduction interventions are needed to prevent street children and youth from engaging in substance use and risky sexual behaviours. Such programmes should pay special attention to females and younger children who are highly susceptible to the adverse conditions on the street.
In Ghana, incest is considered sinful, taboo, and illegal. However, recent media reports show that incest has become a daily reality in Ghana. This study is a situational analysis of the pattern of incest in Ghana as reported in the media from January 2008 through July 2015. Qualitative content analysis was conducted on 48 incest news reports in Ghana. The findings showed that father–daughter incest was most frequent across the study period. Forty-seven females aged 3 to 25 years and a male aged 3 years were identified as victims. Generally, the incest lasted between 1 day and 13 years before disclosure. Perpetrators employed psychological and/or physical methods to coerce their victims. Marital difficulties, diabolical control, and seduction by victim featured prominently as alleged motives behind the abuse. The study observes that the recent increase in father–daughter incest warrants an immediate shift of research attention onto men’s mental health in Ghana.
This study describes the findings from quantitative examination of age and gender differences in psychological problems and health risk behaviour among 227 homeless youth. The findings indicated significant variations on health risk behaviours by gender. As compared to males, females were more likely to engage in survival sex, been victims of violence-rated sex, and more likely to have made a plan to commit suicide. While alcohol use decrease with age, marijuana use and having multiple sexual partners, on the other hand, increases with age. Approximately 87% of the participant’s exhibit moderate-to-severe psychological problems, with males having significantly higher scores on the overall psychological well-being, emotional and hyperactivity problems than females. Age-group differences were also observed on overall psychological well-being, emotional problems, conduct problems and hyperactivity. These findings from the study are discussed with reference to previous research and implications for interventions are provided.
This study was conducted to understand the lived experiences of street children and adolescents. Using a qualitative approach, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 16 purposively selected homeless children and youth (with a mean age of 14 years) from the Central Business District of Accra, Ghana. Thematic analysis showed that disorganised and broken homes, following family members to the city and the desires for freedom from parents were identified as the factors that push children to the street. Notwithstanding the main reasons for being homeless, participants’ behaviours on the street expose them to severe behavioural and health risks problems including substance and alcohol use, sexual harassment and rape, violence and violent-related behaviours and perceived public stigma. These findings underscore the need for an effective community parenting programme that focuses on parental and proactive family reconciliation skills, and the provision of supportive structures to help youth access health and mental risk service from providers.
Background: Research on homeless youth has shown that this population is at high risk for various mental health problems. Previous studies conducted among homeless young adults in Ghana have focused primarily on economic, social and cultural causes of homelessness, their engagement in risky sexual behaviours and the prevalence of STI including HIV/AIDS. We are therefore not fully informed of the prevalence of psychological symptoms and their associated factors. The aim of the study was to determine the association between psychological functioning and social and health risk behaviours among a sample of homeless youth in Ghana. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of a convenience sample of 227 (122 male and 105 female) homeless youth was conducted in Ghana in 2013. An interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to collect data due to low level of literacy among the study population. Pearson-moment correlation coefficient (r) and multiple standard regression models were fitted to analyse the data. Results: Approximately 87% of the participants in this study exhibited moderate to severe psychosocial symptoms. Specifically, emotional, conduct, hyperactivity and peer relationship problems among the participants were 69%, 74%, 54% and 89% respectively. Overall psychosocial functioning was predicted by stigma (self-stigma and experienced stigma), violent behaviours and suicidal ideation. Substance use and perceived resilience were significantly associated with emotional problems. Conclusion:There is a need for holistic interventions to help improve the psychological and social functioning of homeless youth. Such programmes should strengthen socio-emotional coping strategies in street youth as well as address contextual risk factors such as stigma and discrimination by the public.