EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING OF ORPHANS AND VULNERABLE CHILDREN IN OGUN STATE ORPHANAGES NIGERIA: PREDICTORS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR POLICY

Previous research has found strong links between the emotional well-being of children and young people to their personal, social development and academic performance. This study examined stigmatisation, sexual involvement and school enrolment as predictors of emotional well-being of orphans and vulnerable children Ogun State orphanages, Nigeria. A survey design was used and convenience sampling technique was used to select participants for the study. A total of 100 respondents (59 males and 41 females) who had lost one or both parents to AIDS participated in the study by completing self-report questionnaires. A 2x2 analysis of variance (ANOVA) and independent sample T-test statistical analyses were utilized to analyze the data collected. Findings indicate that 46% of the OVC reported having scary dreams or nightmares, 44% often have trouble falling asleep, 65% often feel unhappy, 11% always feel happy, while 51% are sometimes happy. 68% often prefer being alone, 57% always feel worried while 49% often engage in fighting. However, 48% of the OVC are always hopeful. 35 participants -16 boys and 19 girls (35%) of the OVC have been involved in sexual intercourse. Of the OVC that have had sexual experience 11 (11%), 6 males and 7 females were involved in sexual intercourse against their will. OVC who were sexually involved experience more emotional distress than OVC who were not sexually involved. Also OVC who are high on stigmatization also experience more emotional distress than OVC who are low on stigmatization. The implications of these findings were discussed and recommendations made in the study. Key words: HIV/AIDS, Orphans and Vulnerable Children, Stigmatization, Sexual involvement, Emotional-well-being.

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