Dr. Kihara, Michael

Associate Dean, School of Humanities and Social Sciences
mkihara@usiu.ac.ke    |     +254 730 116 658


Dr. Michael Kihara is an Associate Professor of Psychology and currently the Associate Dean in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. He holds a PhD degree in Cognitive Neuroscience from the Open University, Milton Keynes (UK) and a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from Kenyatta University (Kenya).

Dr Kihara has intensive local and international research experience of over 15 years. His research interests include:

  1. Conducting social research,
  2. Determining cognitive outcomes of children exposed to brain insults,
  3. Developing culture-fair tests and,
  4. Cognitive rehabilitation of at-risk populations,
  5. Psychosocial risks encountered by University students

Dr Kihara is a peer reviewer with the Commission for University Education (CUE) of Kenya. He has supervised several Masters and PhD degree students in their dissertation journey. He has trained on scientific writing by Oxford University, UK.

Academic Degrees:

  • 2008: PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience, Open University, United Kingdom
  • 1997: MEd. (Psychology), Kenyatta University
  • 1992: Bachelor of Education (Science), Double Maths major, Kenyatta University


    Journal Articles
    1. Gichimu WE, Rono CR & Kihara M. (2021). Influence of Age and Gender on Mental Health Help-Seeking Behavior among Mental Patients in Nyeri County: A Survey of Nyeri County Referral Hospital. African Journal of Education, Science and Technology, 6 (2), 268 – 277 (African Journal of Education,Science and Technology (ajest.info))
    2. Omungo R, Kihara M and Wachira T (2020). Efficacy of mindfulness-based cognitive behaviour therapy- self-help in managing depression in older clergy in Nairobi county, Kenya. International Journal of Current Research, 12(5), 11570-11575, May, 2020 (DOI: https://doi.org/10.24941/ijcr.38658.05.2020).
    3. Fernandes M, Stein A, Newton CR, Kihara M et al. (2020). The INTERGROWTH-21st Project International INTER-NDA standards for child development at two years of age: An International Prospective Population-based Study. BMJ Open, 10(6), x20: e035258 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2019-035258).
    4. Omungo R, Kihara M and Wachira T (2020). Prevalence of Depression Among Older Clergy from Selected Mainline Churches in Nairobi, Kenya. Journal of Social Science and Economic Research, 5(2), (Issue February 2020). http://ijsser.org/more2020.php?id=28
    5. Amissah BK, Githua O, Kihara M, Khasakhala L. (2018). Intimate Partner Violence and Social Demographic Characteristics as Correlates for the Development of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder among Female Survivors in a Nairobi Sub-County, Kenya. J Psychiatry Stu 1:107 http://www.scholarena.org/journals/journal-of-psychiatry-studies/articles.php?volume=1&issue=1
    6. Amissah BK, Githua O, Kihara M, Khasakhala L. (2018). Relationship between Level of Social Support and Symptoms of Depression among Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence in Sub-County, Nairobi Kenya. J Psychol Stu 1: 105 http://www.scholarena.org/journals/journal-of-psychiatry-studies/articles.php?volume=1&issue=1
    7. Muthuri RNDK, Kihara M. (2018). Factors affecting altruistic behavior among emerging adults: A case study of the United States International University – Africa. International Journal of Education and Research, 6(10), 167-174. https://www.ijern.com/October-2018.php
    8. Ngere AO, Kihara M. (2018). Effects of exclusive breastfeeding on neurocognitive development during the first year of life in Kahawa West ward, Nairobi, Kenya. Global Journal of Advanced Research, 5(9), 380-383. http://www.gjar.org/articles/Effects-Of-Exclusive-Breastfeeding-On-Neurocognitive-Development-During-First-Year-Of-Childhood-In-Kahawa-West-Ward--Nairobi--Kenya
    9. Ngere AO, Kihara M, Chege MG. (2018). Influence of socio-economic status on breastfeeding and cognitive development of a child in Kahawa west ward, Nairobi, Kenya. International Journal of Academic Research and Development, 3(4), 176-178 http://www.academicjournal.in/archives/2018/vol3/issue4
    10. Webbo RK, Kihara M, Do TTT, Tran TBN. (2018). Challenges facing the implementation of inclusive education: Kenyan and Vietnamese perspectives. HNUE Journal of Science, 63, 147-155.
    11. Webbo RK, Kihara M, Karume M. (2017). Effect of Age and Marriage Duration on Marital Satisfaction: A Case of Christian Marriages in Kenya. The International Journal of Humanities & Social Studies, 5(8), 9-13. http://www.internationaljournalcorner.com/index.php/theijhss/article/view/125759
    12. Webbo RK, Kihara M, Karume M. (2017). The influence of religiosity on marital satisfaction and stability amongst Christians in Kenya. Journal of Research in Humanities and Social Science, 5(8), 7-12. http://www.questjournals.org/jrhss/v5-i8.html
    13. Nyaga NN, Kihara M, Karume M. (2017). Economic, emotional and social hinderances to self-disclosure of extra-dyadic involvement (EDI) by men: An African study. Journal of Research in Humanities and Social Science, 5(9), 12-18. https://www.academia.edu/34780624/Psychological_Emotional_and_Social_Hindrances_to_Self-_Disclosure_of_Extra-Dyadic_Involvement_EDI_By_Men_An_African_Study
    14. Gona JK, Newton CR, Rimba KK, Mapenzi R, Kihara M, Vijver FV, Abubakar A. (2016). Challenges and coping strategies of parents of children with autism on the Kenyan coast. Rural and Remote Health; 16: 3517. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27098766
    15. Gona JK, Newton CR, Rimba K, Mapenzi R, Kihara M, et al. (2015). Parents’ and Professionals’ Perceptions on Causes and Treatment Options for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in a Multicultural Context on the Kenyan Coast. PLoS ONE 10(8): e0132729. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0132729 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4534101
    16. Fernandes M, Stein A, Newton CR, Cheikh-Ismail L, Kihara M, et al. (2014). The INTERGROWTH-21st Project Neurodevelopment Package: A Novel Method for the Multi-Dimensional Assessment of Neurodevelopment in Pre-School Age Children. PLoS ONE 9(11): e113360. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0113360 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4244160
    17. Muriungi S, Kipturgo KM, Kihara M. Matheka M, & Ndetei DM. (2014). Co-morbidity of anxiety, alcohol and drug abuse among students at the Kenya Medical Training Colleges in Kenya. International Journal of current research, Vol 6(12), 11082-11088. http://www.journalcra.com/article/co-morbidity-anxiety-alcohol-and-drug-abuse-among-students-kenya-medical-training-colleges
    18. Kariuki SM, Abubakar A, Newton CR, Kihara M. (2014). Impairment of executive function in Kenyan children exposed to severe falciparum malaria with neurological involvement. Malaria Journal Sep 16; 13:365. doi: 10.1186/1475-2875-13-365. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/1475-2875-13-365
    19. Gwer, SA., Idro, RI., Fegan, G., Chengo, EM., Mpoya, A., Kivaya, E., Crawley, J., Muchohi, SN., Kihara, M., Ogutu, BR., Kirkham, FJ., & Newton, CR. (2013). Fosphenytoin for seizure prevention in childhood coma in Africa: A randomized clinical trial. Journal of Critical Care, 28(6), 1086-1092. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0883944113003171
    20. Kihara M, de Haan M, Were EO, Garashi HH, Neville BR, Newton CR. (2012). Cognitive deficits following exposure to Pneumococcal Meningitis: An Event-Related Potential study. BMC infectious diseases 12: 79. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/1471-2334-12-79
    21. Kariuki SM, Abubakar A, Holding PA, Mung’ala-Odera V, Chengo E, Kihara M, Neville BG, Newton CR. (2012). Behavioral problems in children with epilepsy in rural Kenya. Epilepsy & Behavior 23 (1): 41-46. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1525505011006159
    22. Kihara M, de Haan M, Garrashi HH, Neville BR, Newton CR. (2010). Atypical brain response to novelty in rural African children with a history of severe falciparum malaria. Journal of Neurological Sciences 296: 88-95. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022510X10002194
    23. Kihara M, Hogan AM, Newton CR, Garrashi HH, Neville BR, de Haan M (2010). Auditory and visual novelty processing in normally-developing Kenyan children. Clinical Neurophysiology 121: 564-576. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1388245709007500
    24. Kihara M, Carter JA, Holding PA, Idro R, de Haan M, Vargha-Khadhem F, Newton CR (2009). Impaired everyday memory associated with encephalopathy of severe malaria: the role of seizures and hippocampal damage. Malaria Journal 8: 273. https://malariajournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2875-8-273
    25. Kihara M, de Haan M, Garrashi HH, Neville BR, Newton CR. (2008). Cognitive deficits following exposure to malaria with neurological involvement: An event-related potentials study. BMC Proceedings, P30. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/1753-6561-2-s1-p30
    26. Kihara M, Carter JA, Newton CR. (2006). The effect of plasmodium falciparum on cognition: A systematic review. Tropical Medicine & International Health, 11: 386-397. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1365-3156.2006.01579.x
    Book Chapters
    1. Kihara M. (2013). Measurement of Cognitive outcomes of at-risk Children using Novelty Processing in rural Kenyan Children. In, Neuropsychology of Africa: Perspectives on Risk and Resilience, Michael J. Boivin and Bruno Giordani (Eds). New York, Springer https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4614-6834-9_14
    2. Kihara M, Abubakar AA, Newton CR. (2014). Cognitive Impairment and Behavioural disturbances following Malaria or HIV infection in Childhood. In, Neglected Tropical Diseases and Conditions of the Nervous System M. Bentivoglio, E. A., Cavalheiro, K. Kristensson, & N. B. Patel (Eds.). New York: Springer https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4614-8100-3_21

    Areas of interest/specialization:

    • Research Methods,
    • Research Design,
    • Data Analysis,
    • SPSS software,
    • Cognitive Neuroscience,
    • Developmental Psychology

    Courses Teaching

    • PSY 1101: Introduction to Psychology
    • PSY 1105: Developmental Psychology
    • PSY 1111: Writing in Psychology
    • PSY 2125: Human Sexuality
    • PSY 3105: History and Systems of Psychology
    • PSY 3110: Psychology of Personality
    • PSY 4140: Psychology of Work
    • PSY 4109: Tests and Measurements
    • PSY 4110: Research Methods
    • PSY 4105: Introduction to Statistics for Psychologists
    • PSY 6002: Methods of Research
    • PSY 6003: Statistics for Behavioral Scientists
    • PSY 6110: Personality and Affect
    • PSY 6114: Lifespan Development
    • PSY 6216: Research Practicum
    • PSY 7726: Quantitative Data Analysis