I have just completed my Masters in Clinical Psychology at the age of 36 yrs at the University of Nairobi and I am presenting my Ph.D. proposal concept this month. Hopefully, I shall be admitted for the same next month as I wait for graduation on the 21st of December. I intend to publish this study and another one that I did on the safety of mental patients at Kenyatta National Hospital. I have been working as a counselor and research consultant


Mental health and HIV/AIDS have been closely interlinked; this is with regards to the attribution of mental disorders to the increase in the prevalence of HIV infections and HIV infections being associated with the increase in the prevalence of mental disorders. Some of the neurological or mental disorders that are commonly linked to HIV/AIDS globally are depression and anxiety and their comorbidity. This comorbidity which is more prevalent among women can consequently impact the relationship between a mother and her child especially with regards to the social-emotional development of the child which is linked to general well being and adaptive adjustment in adulthood. Unfortunately, studies looking into the impact of this comorbidity, particularly, in HIV- infected mothers, on children’s socio-emotional development are scarce. Hence this study assessed the prevalence of comorbid depression and anxiety disorder in HIV- positive mothers and its implication on the child’s socio-emotional development.

The study design was cross-sectional. HIV positive mothers with children between the age of 24 and 36 months were the targeted study population. Systematic random sampling was used to get 185 respondents.

A researcher-designed socio-demographic questionnaire, the BDI, BAI were used to assess for depression and anxiety in mothers while and the Brief Infant and Toddler Social Emotional Assessment were used to identifying the children with emotional and social difficulties. Data analysis was done using SPSS version 23. 

The study found that the prevalence of Comorbid depression and anxiety among HIV -positive mothers was 38.4%. The prevalence of socio-emotional development problems among children was also 38.9%. There was no association between comorbid depression and anxiety in mothers and child’s emotional development problems at a p=0.672. However, there was a negative linear relationship between the competence deficit component of socio-emotional development and BDI scores (depression) { r = -.154, p =. 0.037}. Meaning that as the severity of depression increased, the child was more likely to have competence delays or deficits.