• An exploratory study of family structure and drug trafficking among 11-17 year old public housing residents

      Okundaye, Joshua Nosakhare; Crymes, Joseph T. (1996)
      This exploratory study generated hypotheses about why some urban African American adolescents (ages 11-17) become involved trafficking (selling, holding, delivering) drugs when most of their peers do not. In their communities, drug trafficking rather than illicit drug use appears to be the first exposure of many youths to the "drug scene". This study describes neighborhood drug trafficking activities and uses Structural Family Theory concepts to explore the nature of the relationships and communication patterns within their families. Using qualitative research methods and an interview guide, the study interviewed twenty youths and it is upon their words that twenty-two hypotheses were derived. Research regarding adolescent involvement in drug trafficking has been limited and is in a very early stage of development. Importantly, while many of the available studies report the early involvement of these youths in drug trafficking, many also indicate that most of the youths are not directly involved. The scientific literature and popular media also suggest that variations in family structure (specifically households headed by single females) influence risk behaviors among these youths. However, the role that many of these female heads of households and other family factors play with regards to why many youths do not become involved in drug trafficking has not been adequately explored. The findings suggest that structural factors and family processes are not the only or even the predominant cause of drug trafficking among these youths. The review of family structure and delinquency literature, and responses from the youths suggest that family structural factors are likely to provide some of the explanation. However, it appears that the way the single parent home has been conceptualized and organized as a sociological variable will lead to limited definitive conclusions if subjected to rigorous and sophisticated research. The findings also suggest that although family factors are extremely important, the etiology of this problem appears to be extremely complex and multifaceted. As some of the studies reviewed indicate, this study proposes that no single causative factor can provide an explanation for drug trafficking among youths. Implications of these ideas for social work are considered and discussed.
    • Socio-demographic Factors, Social Supports, and Quality of Life among People Living with HIV/AIDS in Ghana

      Abrefa-Gyan, Tina; Cornelius, Llewellyn Joseph, 1959-; Okundaye, Joshua Nosakhare (2014)
      This study aimed to determine whether quality of life and social support differ by socio-demographic factors and whether socio-demographic characteristics and social support are associated with quality of life in individuals diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in Ghana. This study utilized concepts from the intersection domains of social capital, social network, and social support theories. Using a cross sectional design, survey data were collected from 300 participants selected because they attend support groups meetings, are a convenient sample, and also have experience in participating in research studies. The Medical Outcome Studies (MOS) HIV Health Survey and the MOS Social Support Survey (MOS-SSS) instruments were used to assess quality of life and social support respectively. A demographic questionnaire developed by this researcher was also used to gather demographic information about the respondents. The study used independent sample t-tests to determine possible differences in quality of life and social supports among individuals across socio-demographic factors, Multiple regression was used to determine if socio-demographic factors moderated the relationship between social support and quality of life, and to also identify factors associated with quality of life. Social support was higher for men, married individuals, and those with more than 12 years of education while the reports on quality of life was higher for men. There was a positive association between overall social support and overall quality of life (r = .51). Sex contributed most to quality of life. Males reported poorer quality of life at low social support but better quality of life at higher social support. Females, on the other hand reported lower quality of life compared to the males but their reports of quality of life were approximately the same at both low and high social support. Similarly, those who have children reported slightly better quality of life than those who do not have children but these two groups reported about the same quality of life at high social support. Overall, the findings from this study indicate that the combination of socio-demographic factors and social support related to quality of life. Implications of the findings for practice, research, and policy in Ghana were discussed.