Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder among Children Survivors of 2007/2008 Post-Election Violence in Nakuru County, Kenya

Jacinta Nduta King’ori, Peter Odera, Wycliffe A. Oboka


Recent advances in psychological research indicate that traumatic events can have effects on the victims, perpetrators and those who witness such events.  This is on the premise that no one who experiences a disaster is untouched by it. In the 2007/2008 post-election violence in Kenya, children were exposed to and witnessed various traumatic events.  Some may have developed behavioral and anxiety disorders. The study sought to assess levels Posttraumatic Stress Disorder severity among the children. The study was guided by Cognitive Behavioral Theory. The study target population was 77,768 children. A sample size of 460 respondents was derived from 10 divisions in Nakuru county which were hard hit by post-election violence.  The sample comprised of 400 children who included primary and secondary survivors of the violence and 20 deputy head teachers in the schools sampled and 40 parents who took part in focused group discussions. Expost facto comparative research design was utilized and multi-stage sampling approach was used to derive the sample. Data for the study was obtained using questionnaires, interview schedules and focused group discussions. A pilot study was conducted in Subukia division involving 80 children, four deputy head teachers and two focused group discussions. The hypotheses were tested at significance level of 0.05. The study found high PTSD levels children survivors of post- election violence. This study recommended psychological debriefing and trauma counseling as interventions needed for the survivors.

Keywords: Post-Traumatic Stress disorder traumatic experiences, post-election violence, secondary survivors, primary survivors

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