Effects of Parental Abandonment and Strife on Youth Drug Use


  • Stephen Ndegwa Daystar University,
  • Winnie Waiyaki


Parenting, abandonment, strife, youth drug use


Parenting behaviour is a major contributor to youth behaviour, and has been shown to precipitate maladaptive behaviours among the youth. Parents have been shown to play a major role in the way children turn out to be later in life. When parents behave negatively, children are likely to behave the same ending up with problematic behaviours. Studies have shown that negative parental practices have produced young people involved in sexual promiscuity, poor academic performance and substance abuse. However, little has been studied on the effects of parental abandonment and strife between parents on youth negative behaviours in Kenya. This study therefore aimed to investigate the effects of parental abandonment and strife on drug use among youth at a Kenyan University. Using the descriptive research design (cross-sectional) the sample size of 407 respondents was selected at 80% power and 10% effect size using stratified random sampling techniques. The Alcohol Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST) and researcher-generated socio-demographic questionnaire were used to collect data from the respondents. Inferential statistics using ANOVA analysed the data on the Statistical Package for Social and Sciences (SPSS) version 23. The results indicated that respondents who felt rejected at home (p=0.0001), those with parents who did not spend much time with them (p=0.048) and those who felt displeased with their parents’ behaviour (p=0.0001) were statistically associated with substance use. It is concluded that parental behaviour may have a negative influence on youth drug use. The study recommends that parents be made aware of the effect of their actions in abandoning children and in poor conflict management so as to forestall problematic behaviours in their children’s later life.

Author Biography

  • Stephen Ndegwa, Daystar University,

    Department of Psychology and Counselling,






Research article

How to Cite

Effects of Parental Abandonment and Strife on Youth Drug Use. (2020). African Journal of Alcohol and Drug Abuse (AJADA), 3(2), 1-17. https://ajada.nacada.go.ke/index.php/ajada/article/view/13

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