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Bleeding Bodies, Untrustworthy Bodies: A Social Constructionist Approach to Health and Wellbeing of Young People in Kenya

Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2N 1N2, Canada
School of Nursing and Midwifery, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Kakamega 50100, Kenya
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(20), 7555;
Received: 23 September 2020 / Revised: 5 October 2020 / Accepted: 9 October 2020 / Published: 17 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health of Child and Young People)
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. To address this gap, this cross-sectional study explored the health and wellbeing of youth in Kenya. We conducted 10 focus group discussions and 14 in-depth interviews with youth ages 15 to 24 years. A thematic analysis of the data revealed that structural factors are important influencers of youth perceptions and their social constructions of health and wellbeing. Kenyan youth are concerned about the health status and healthcare services in their communities, as well as issues of community trust of youths and perceived risks of political misuse and emotional suffering. Our findings suggest that youth transitioning into adulthood in resource-constrained areas experience feelings of powerlessness and inability to take charge over their own life. This impacts how they perceive and socially construct health and wellbeing. View Full-Text
Keywords: wellbeing; health; young people; LMICs; Kenya wellbeing; health; young people; LMICs; Kenya
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Onyango, E.O.; Elliott, S.J. Bleeding Bodies, Untrustworthy Bodies: A Social Constructionist Approach to Health and Wellbeing of Young People in Kenya. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 7555.

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