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Child Abuse Negl. 2017 Jan;63:51-60. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2016.10.018. Epub 2016 Nov 28.

Why do Kenyan children live on the streets? Evidence from a cross-section of semi-rural maternal caregivers.

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University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77551, United States; Sodzo International, Houston, TX 77002, United States. Electronic address:
University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77551, United States.
Maua Methodist Hospital, Meru County, Kenya.
Sodzo International, Houston, TX 77002, United States; University of Texas School of Public Health, Austin, TX 78701, United States.


Globally, study of factors contributing to the street-migration of the tens of millions of street-involved children focus almost exclusively on children's perspectives. In this study, we assess household and maternal factors associated with street-migration of children through self-report of 1974 randomly selected women in semi-rural Kenya. Contributing new perspectives on this global phenomenon, data show a statistically significant association between increased maternal childhood adversities and street-migration of children (p<0.001). Higher household wealth (p<0.01) and maternal education (p<0.05) were associated with lower odds of street-migration of children. Social support, reporting HIV+, school enrollment of biologically-related children, overall health, reported alcohol use, and functional literacy significantly mediated these pathways. Protecting children from street-migration in the next generation requires reducing childhood adversities in the present generation.


Adverse childhood experiences; Intergenerational transmission of risk; Kenya; Maternal education; Street-involved children; Street-migration

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