The Role of Household Environment on Adolescent Health

Andrew Muriuki, University of Missouri at Columbia

Chronic illnesses have a profoundly negative impact on the welfare of households in Kenya and this is true for HIV/AIDS that is affecting so many prime aged adults such that households are increasingly being headed by adolescents and the elderly. The purpose of this research is to examine the health status of one of the most vulnerable groups in Kenyan society, female adolescents, and to explore how the type of household head impacts their health status. Using data from the 2003 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) a score of illness signs was used as the dependent variable for health status. Significant differences were found in the health status of female adolescents in households headed by adolescents, prime-aged adults, and the elderly. The female adolescents in adult headed households had fewer signs of illness than in the other household types.

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Presented in Poster Session 3: Children and Youth, Adolescence, Parenting, Transition to Adulthood, Life Course