Psychosocial outcomes among children following defilement and the caregivers responses to the Children’s Trauma: A qualitative study from Nairobi Suburbs, Kenya
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Defilement is traumatic and often associated with psychosocial problems in children, parental distress and significant social strain on family relationships and well-being. This study aimed at examining psychosocial outcomes in defiled children and their caregivers’ perceptions of the children’s trauma after defilement. The study was carried out between June 2015 and July 2016 at Kenyatta National Hospital and Nairobi Women’s Hospital. It adopted a qualitative descriptive design using interviews to obtain information from six purposely selected caregivers comprising of four mothers, one father and one grandmother. All the perpetrators were adult males and two of the defiled children were male and 5 were female. Two of the children were siblings; a brother and his sister. Five of the perpetrators were known to the children and one of these was the child’s biological father. The defiled children had negative outcomes in terms of poor academic performance, low self esteem, depression and poor social relationships. In addition one of the children contracted HIV/AIDS, two became pregnant, one was used to traffic drugs, and another had mental retardation. The caregivers felt significant psychosocial distress. There is therefore, need to routinely screen for psychological, social and physical outcomes of children exposed to defilement trauma and to always consider caregiver distress when treating these children.
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