Predictors of Symptoms of PTSD, Depression and Anxiety Disorders Among Abused and Neglected Adolescents Living in Charitable Children’s Institutions in Nairobi County, Kenya

Stella Kemuma Nyagwencha, PhD., United States International University; Alice Munene, Psy.D., and Naomi James, PhD., Daystar University


Research shows that people exposed to traumatic events are relatively more prone to developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which tends to co-exist with depression and anxiety disorders. This study sought to establish the predictors of symptoms of PTSD, depression and anxiety disorders among abused and neglected adolescents living in charitable children’s institutions in Nairobi County, Kenya. The sample was 115 adolescents aged 13-18 years, presenting with symptoms of mild and moderate anxiety disorder comorbid with PTSD and depression and living in 3 purposely selected charitable children’s institutions. Participants who met the inclusion criteria were included in the study. Participants were administered a Socio Demographic Questionnaire, Becks Anxiety Inventory, Becks Depression Inventory-II and Harvard trauma questionnaire. Results of a multiple hierarchical regressions showed that symptoms of PTSD were statistically significantly predicted by age (F (2, 87) = 2.479, p<.05) and sexual abuse in the second model (F (6, 83) = 2.689, p<.05) and third model (F (8, 81) = 2.182, p<.05). Depression was statistically significantly predicted by emotional abuse seen in the second (F (6, 83) = 3.005, p<.05) and third model (F (8, 81) = 2.364, p<.05). Symptoms of anxiety disorder were predicted by the first (F (2, 87) =.669, p<.05), second (F (6, 83) =1.729, p<.05) and third (F (8, 81) =1.416, p<.05) model collectively. Abuse and neglect could lead to adolescents developing symptoms of PTSD, depression and anxiety disorders.

Keywords: predictors, anxiety, depression, PTSD, abuse, neglect, charitable children’s institution

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