PERCEIVED INFLUENCE OF SELECTED PSYCHOSOCIAL FACTORS ON RISKY SEXUAL BEHAVIOURS AMONG UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS: A CASE OF EGERTON AND KABARAK MAIN CAMPUSES IN NAKURU COUNTY, KENYA
KIPRONO, LANG’AT JULIUS
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Psychosocial factors may shape sexual attitudes and behaviours of young people either positively or negatively. Risky sexual behaviours have become a challenge all over the world and may have major negative impact on the undergraduate students‘ experiences such as sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancies, abortions, negative academic performance, inability to progress through the university academic years, decision to remain at university and overall psychological well-being. Therefore, the purpose of this research mainly dwelt on the perceived influence of selected psychosocial factors on risky sexual behaviours among undergraduate students of Egerton and Kabarak main campuses in Nakuru County. The objectives of this study were; to determine the perceived influence of self-efficacy on risky sexual behaviours, to examine the perceived influence of sexual norms on risky sexual behaviours, to establish the perceived influence of socio-economic status on risky sexual behaviours, to assess the perceived influence of social media on risky sexual behaviours, to explore the perceived influence of substance abuse on risky sexual behaviours and to identify the mediating role of counselling services in mitigating risky sexual behaviours. Social Learning Theory by Albert Bandura, Social Exchange Theory by George Homans and Person-Centred Theory by Carl Rogers guided the study. The study was carried out among 3 vii rd and 4 th year undergraduate students from main campuses in Nakuru County. The study adopted a correlational research design. The target population was 18570 undergraduate students. The accessible population was 8456 3 rd and 4 th year undergraduate students whose sample was 367. Simple random sampling technique was used to select the respondents. The sample included 10 peer counsellors and 2 student counsellors from the Egerton University and Kabarak University main campuses who were selected through purposive sampling. The total number of respondents was 379. Data were obtained using questionnaire, focus group discussions guide and interview schedule. Validation of research instruments was done through peer and expert review and through pilot testing which was done in Mount Kenya University (MKU)- Nakuru Campus that was not among the main campuses studied. The pilot sample consisted of 15 undergraduate students, 5 peer counsellors and 1 student counsellor. Cronbach Alpha Coefficient was used to establish reliability coefficient, which was 0.79, and was based on the threshold of 0.7. Descriptive statistics of frequencies and percentages were used, and inferential statistics of chi-square statistics was also used to analyse quantitative data using SPSS Version 25. The analysed data was presented in tables, graphs, and narratives. The researcher considered ethics of confidentiality and informed consent. The outcome indicated that most of the sampled students and staffs jointly agreed that self-efficacy, sexual norms, socio-economic status, social media, and substance abuse influence risky sexual behaviours among undergraduate students. Further findings indicated that counselling services have mediating role in mitigating risky sexual behaviours. The study concluded that the selected psychosocial factors have statistically significant perceived influence on risky sexual behaviours among undergraduate students. Therefore, the study recommends inclusion of human sexuality as a subject in the curriculum from primary school to university level. The study also recommends the enhancement of regulations on use of social media in order to curb exchange of pornographic messages and videos hence reduce risky sexual behaviours among undergraduate students.