Bleeding Bodies Untrustworthy Bodies: A Social Constructionist Approach to Health and Wellbeing of Young People in Kenya
The Sustainable Development Goals provide a global development agenda that is meant to be inclusive of all people. However the development needs for vulnerable populations such as youth are not reflected within the policy agenda of some developing countries. One of the reasons for this is that research that explores health and wellbeing concerns for young people are sparse in the region and where they exist the focus has been on marginalized subgroups.
this cross-sectional study explored the health and wellbeing of youth in Kenya
this cross-sectional study explored the health and wellbeing of youth in Kenya. We conductedrn10 focus group discussions and 14 in-depth interviews with youth ages 15 to 24 years. A thematicrnanalysis of the data
A thematicrnanalysis of the data revealed that structural factors are important influencers of youth perceptionsrnand their social constructions of health and wellbeing. Kenyan youth are concerned about the healthrnstatus and healthcare services in their communities as well as issues of community trust of youthsrnand perceived risks of political misuse and emotional suffering.
Understanding the aspects of health and wellbeing that matter most to the youth is a critical step toward the creation of a localized development agenda. This is because young adults are not a homogenous group as their concerns about health and wellbeing are diverse and vary by region social class ethnicity and gender. We suggest that an understanding of situated discoursesincluding the socioeconomic characteristics of placesuch as availability of income-generating activities social cohesion neighborhood characteristics and historical and political discourses are essential in the development of policies and interventions that aim to improve the quality of life and wellbeing for young adults. It is against this backdrop that our study demonstrates that female youth in poor communities experience feelings of embarrassment loneliness fear and trauma as they perceive themselves at risk for early pregnancy and as bleeding bodies at risk of soiling themselves. Additionally girls experience a lack of personal autonomy due to the over-vigilance of parents who see female bodies as delicate and at risk of early pregnancy. Male youth however are viewed as untrustworthy and are often associated with criminal acts and violence. With limited employment opportunities and the experience of lack of trust male adolescent Kenyans are frustrated thus depicting poor economic and psychosocial health and wellbeing outcomes. As the world works toward securing healthy peaceful and prosperous life for all understanding these pertinent areas of health and wellbeing that matter to young people is important if we are to alleviate human suffering today and into the future.
Publication Information
Focus County(s):
Programme Area(s):
Public Health & Health Research Systems
Research Priority Area(s):
Disease Domain(s):
Adolescent Health
Document History:
Publication Date: 09.Oct.2020
Conference Title: