Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > Developmental Perceptions of Female Adolescents in Kenya: Influences and Relationships with Psychological Measures

Poverty is a complex entity that impinges upon all aspects of human functioning. While both children and adolescents are particularly susceptible to the detrimental risk factors that poverty creates, adolescents are faced with a unique set of social and emotional challenges as a result of the developmental processes that occur. Female adolescents in the Sub-Saharan region of Africa are presented with the universal experiences of adolescence as well as the distinct facets of cultural expectations and gender norms. This study investigated perceived well-being in female adolescents living in an impoverished informal urban settlement called Kibera, located in in Nairobi, Kenya. Self-reported positive and negative life experiences were explored to better understand life in Kibera as described by a population of adolescent females. In order to better understand developmental differences, age was divided into two subgroups, younger and older adolescents. Relationships between perceived well-being and performance on measures of psychological functioning across 3 domains (self-esteem, pro-social behavior and emotional stress) were then examined. Additionally, predictive relationships of variables on both well-being and self-esteem were explored. Results indicated that no significant differences exist between younger and older adolescents. A significant negative relationship was found between emotional stress and self-esteem. Further, no predictive relationships were indicated for well-being or self-esteem.