Influence of Parental Separation Anxiety-Induced Traumatic Stress on Substance Use among the Youth in Private and Public Universities in Lang’ata Constituency, Nairobi County


  • Caroline Mary Mwendwa Onyango Africa Nazarene University
  • Susan Gitau Africa Nazarene University



Separation Anxiety, Substance Use, Youths in Private and Public Universities, Lang’ata Constituency, Nairobi County


Substance use among the youth has been on the rise in Kenya; leading to a lot of psychosocial problems. In spite of varied initiatives by the Kenya Government, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) as well as the local and international community to control substance use, very little, less progress has been achieved hence, the need to study in detail the psychosocial factors associated with substance use among the youths in private and public Universities. The study investigated the influence of separation anxiety on substance use among the youths in private and public universities in Lang’ata Constituency, Nairobi County specifically, the  Co-operative University of Kenya and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT, Karen Campus), The Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) and Tangaza University College (TUC). The research employed descriptive survey design and the target population of 140 comprising: students, counsellors, and deans of students. A sample size of 104 participants was selected using stratified random sampling followed by Simple random sampling and Purposive sampling. The research instruments for data collection were pre-tested using Spearman’s rank-order formula for test-retest to compute the correlation coefficient to establish reliability. A correlation coefficient of + 0.65 and above was considered high enough for reliability. The study had a correlation coefficient of + 0.7 and hence, determined the reliability of the instruments, and the validity was perfected by experts. Data were collected using questionnaires, interview schedules, and the PTSD checklist to access trauma among the students. A pilot study was conducted in a neighboring public university of 14% target population participants to correct the instruments and for triangulation purposes. Descriptive statistics including mean, frequency tables, percentages, and ratios as well as inferential statistics including Pearson’s correlation was used to analyze the data with the help of the Advanced Microsoft Excel Package for Data Analysis. The study established that the interaction between parental separation anxiety significantly influenced university students on substance use (dependent variable) (r=0.570). Based on the study findings, it is recommended that there should be strong therapeutic interventions for students suffering from separation anxiety. This can be done by the universities as well as civil society organizations through guidance and counselling as well as social support interventions. The government, through security agencies, should provide strong bulwarks against physical violence targeted at students.


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How to Cite

Onyango , C. M. M., & Gitau, S. (2022). Influence of Parental Separation Anxiety-Induced Traumatic Stress on Substance Use among the Youth in Private and Public Universities in Lang’ata Constituency, Nairobi County. African Journal of Empirical Research, 3(1), 140–149.