Online Program

Cash transfers and psychological well-being among orphaned and vulnerable adolescents: A longitudinal study in western Kenya

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 5:22 p.m. - 5:35 p.m.

Sylvia Shangani, Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Brown University, Providence, RI
Don Operario, PhD, Lifespan/Tufts/Brown Center for AIDS Research, Brown University, School of Public Health, Providence, RI
Becky Genberg, PhD, Brown University, Providence, RI
Omar Galarraga, PhD, Brown University, Providence
Presenter: Student from a developing country (Kenya)

Background: Orphaned and vulnerable adolescents (OVA) in sub-Saharan Africa experience greater risk for psychological problems compared with their non-OVA peers. Social interventions that provide cash Transfers (CT) have been shown to improve health outcomes among young people, yet little is known about their impact on the psychological wellbeing of OVA. We assessed differences in psychological wellbeing among OVA in households receiving CT versus non-CT households in western Kenya.

Methods: We did a prospective study involving two years of observational data from 655 OVA ages 10 to 18 years living in 300 randomly selected households from western Kenya. Outcome variables included validated measures of depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and future outlook. We used generalized estimating equations (GEE) with a logistic link function to test associations of CT versus non-CT on outcome measures over time.

Results: Mean age was 14 years (SD 2.40); 329(50.23%) were female, 190 (29.01%) were double orphans and 465 (70.99%) were single orphans. In GEE analysis, OVA in CT households had higher positive future outlook (odds ratio [OR] 1.71, 95% CI 1.07-2.44, p=0.01), lower depression (OR 0.70, 95% CI 0.49-1.00, p=0.03), lower anxiety (OR 0.56, 95% CI 0.37- 0.85; p=0.01), and lower PTSS (OR 0.50, 95% CI=0.34-0.74, p<0.001), adjusting for socio-demographic and caregiver characteristics.

Conclusions: OVA in CT households reported better psychological wellbeing over two years of observation compared to those in households not receiving CT. Findings suggest a need to expand CT programs as a strategy to improve the well-being of OVA in poor households.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate the impact of economic incentives on the psychological wellbeing of orphaned and vulnerable adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa.

Keyword(s): Child/Adolescent Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I designed the study and analyzed the data of this study and also I have worked with orphaned and vulnerable children and adolescents in western Kenya. My research interest include; Social determinants of Health and psychological wellbeing of those living or affected with HIV/AIDS, social inequalities and HIV risk among vulnerable populations. My research goals include developing and testing culturally acceptable interventions for vulnerable populations in sub-Saharan Africa.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.