Influence of Peer Domain Factors on Substance Use among Female Students at the Nairobi and Thika Campuses of KMTC
Keywords:Peer Domain Factors, Substance Use, Female Students, KMTC, Nairobi, Thika Campuses
World drug report indicates growing accessibility to substances as a major world trend among ages 15 to 65 years. Globally, the use of substances by college students of all genders is a challenge and a public health concern. However, many studies on substance use focus on male students. This study had the purpose of assessing the influence of peer domain factors on substance use among female students at Thika and Nairobi campuses of Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC). The study adopted the ecological systems theory. Explanatory sequential mixed methods design (two-phase model) was used to collect quantitative data from participants on the subject; this was followed by the collection of qualitative data through an interview guide to get in-depth insight to help in explaining and elaborating the information gathered from the survey. The study population was 2474 female students. The study used stratified random sampling to select a sample of 344 respondents. Data from female students were gathered using semi-structured questionnaires and an interview guide. The data from the questionnaire were analyzed using descriptive statistics (frequency distributions, means, and percentages). Additionally, inferential statistics, correlation, and regression analysis were used to test the relationships between the study variables, while data from interviews were subjected to thematic analysis. The emergent findings were used to reinforce the findings from questionnaires. The study results show that that peer domain factors had a significant negative influence on substance use among the female students at KMTC (β= 0.787; p = 0.000). In this regard, the similarity between peers is critical in influencing behavior. Therefore, having peers who do not use substances and having peers who disapprove of substance use is expected to lead to protecting female students from engaging in substance use. The study recommends that KMTC need to implement extensive substance prevention programs targeting female students to reduce risk factors associated with substance use. The preventive programs include guidance and counseling, peer counseling and mentorship programs and, advocacy campaigns. The interviews added that there was a need to establish and finance advocacy programs backed by social media to enhance the dissemination of information on the negative influence of substance use.
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