The following are the ongoing research projects that I am involved in:
Project 1: Africa Long Life Study
The Africa Long Life Study: A longitudinal exploration of the psychological development of Young adults in 3 Countries
Swiss National Foundation and The University of Zurich
Duration: 2022- 2026.
Link to the Study:
Africa Long Life Study
This is a longitudinal collaborative study examining the psychological development of emerging adults with a focus on personality traits and mental disorders with data being collected over a period of 5 years. The work is spearheaded by psychologists from the University of Zurich, Switzerland; The Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Kenya; the University of Namibia and the University of the Free State, South Africa. The study is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the University of Zurich. The study has been approved by the Daystar University Ethical Review Board (DU-ERB-000617) and the National Commission for Science, Technology, and Innovation (NACOSTI). The Kenyan sample consists of eight hundred (800) 18-year-olds at the point of the first wave of data collection, of which 50% are men and 50% are women, from throughout Kenya and belonging to any ethnolinguistic group. Data is collected at intervals of six months for a period of 5 years. The Kenya research team is supported by a team of postgraduate students from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa working as research assistants. The goals of the study are to compare results to those from other contexts, in order to help differentiate more universal from culturally specific aspects of psychological phenomena among emerging adults. The findings will inform counselors, policymakers, and educators in different countries about the characteristics and needs of this generation of young adults.
The Research Team
Impact of Covid 19 Experiences on Emotional Regulation among Adolescents and the Mediating Role of Religiosity and Character Strengths in 6 Countries
The John Templeton Foundation and Society for Research on Adolescents
The onset of Covid 19 brought about disruption in almost every sector globally leading to travel restrictions, school, workplace, and worship place closure. Meaning making and religion have emerged as one means for developing coping skills to manage stress (Lorenz et al, 2019). When ability to use those tools is disrupted, adolescents are likely to revert to maladaptive attempts to cope which could translate to delinquency (Barendregt, et al, 2018). Thus, we care about the specific disruptions to meaning-making resources for young adults, in particular and the resultant emotional regulation strategies.
This study will examine the mediating role of religiosity and character strengths on emotional regulation among adolescents during the Covid 19 Pandemic period in 6 countries (Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Namibia, Philippines and Australia). The study conceptualizes the main variables shown in Figure 1 as informed by various theoretical literature: Covid 19 experiences (Grasso, Briggs-Gowan, Ford, & Carter, 2020), Religiosity and spirituality (Fetzer Institute and National Institute on Aging Working Group, 1999),character strengths based on the 5-C model (Lerner & Lerner, 2013) and emotional regulation (Garnefski, Karaij & Spinhoren ,2001). This study considers that prior to the pandemic, adolescents had a variety of emotional regulation mechanisms to choose from to manage stress but with the Covid 19 disruptions, coping mechanisms may have been disrupted too. This variation may be mediated by quality of character strengths and religiosity of the adolescents.
The Research Team
Covid 19 Pandemic-Related Impacts and Severity of Substance Use Disorder Symptoms among Patients in Selected Rehabilitation Centers in Nairobi, Kenya.
National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) and International Consortium of Universities on Drug Demand Reduction (ICUDDR)
June 2022- Dec 2022
The onset of Covid 19 brought about disruption in almost every sector globally. In an attempt to contain the spread of the virus many countries imposed travel restrictions, closed social places, and introduced working from home. Among the affected places in Kenya were rehabilitation centers where patients were discharged to avoid infection. This was accompanied by closure of bars and introduction of curfews among other measures. Data on the possible impact of these disruptions on substance use disorders is still scant. This study aims at examining the impact of Covid 19 pandemic on severity of substance use disorder symptoms in order to inform treatment programmes in the time of the ongoing pandemic. The study will be guided by the following objectives: To assess the addiction severity pre and during Covid pandemic among patients in selected rehabilitation centers; To examine the effect of the pandemic on patients in selected rehabilitation centers in Nairobi.; and To examine the relationship between Covid 19 containment measures and severity of addiction among patients in selected rehabilitation centers in Nairobi. The study targets 204 residential patients in selected rehabilitation centers in Nairobi who will be selected through simple random sampling with inclusion criteria being those who had started treatment before Covid 19. Data will be collected using a sociodemographic questionnaire, the Epidemic – Pandemic Impacts Inventory (EPII) and the Modified Addiction Severity Index. Data will be analyzed using univariate analysis, Pearson correlation analysis and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). The findings of this study are expected to inform the adjustment of treatment programmes during the Covid 19 pandemic.