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FAMILY BACKGROUND, SCHOOL LOCATION AND PEER GROUP AS PREDICTORS OF JUVENILE DELINQUENCY AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS
1.1 Background of the study
Socio-criminologists overtime have been engaged in analyzing juvenile delinquency as a concept, as well as establishing causal factors with the aim of prescribing effective measures of control. An overview of juvenile delinquency in Nigeria points towards several casual factors such as the family background, school environment, peer group influence, home location and even the negative messages derived from the mass media.
Studies have revealed that family is a major predictor of delinquency (Breivik, Olweus, Endersen, 2009; Mandara and Murray, 2006). According to Simons, Simons and Wallace (2004) children in single-parent homes are more likely to be delinquent. there is evidence to suggest that single-parent families, especially single-mothers, expect less of their children, spend less time monitoring them and use less effective techniques to discipline them. This means that children have greater opportunities and motivation to participate in delinquent acts than do those living in a two-parent family. Hence, the absence of one parent is a major predictor for juvenile delinquency (Mack et al., 2006).
Also, the idea that many schools are delinquency-producing agencies is fundamentally based on two types of accusations:(1) the school’s failure as a socialization agency- this refers to the school’s inability to inculcate upon students the necessary social skills that enable them to interact especially with peers and adults and (2) failure in academic subject may produce a situation in which students are frustrated and they (pupils) may turn into delinquent conduct.
The peer group may be viewed as an informal network of individuals of approximately the same age. Peers are thus individuals with whom a youth shares common problems and experiences. The peer group is a convenient structure which is suitable for needs of emotionally disturbed children who are unable to meet the demands required for participation in normal groups. The peer group is a crime predisposing factor as it creates opportunities outside family situation for children to commit crime.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Although, scholars have identified the correlation between psycho-social factors and delinquency among children, it must be noted that secondary school students are different from the typical elementary-aged children and therefore reacts differently to direct parent involvement in their lives. The focus and indeed the intent of this study concern the relationship between psychosocial factors and delinquency among adolescents in Abuja.
1.3 Research Objectives
The purpose of this study is to investigate psycho-social factors that influence adolescent behaviour. Specifically, the goal of this study is to determine whether the psychosocial variables of family background, parents’ socio-economic status, peer influence and the adolescents’ self concept have direct effect on their delinquencys. Hence, the general aim is expressed in the following specific objectives which are to:
Examine the correlation between family background and delinquency among adolescents in secondary school;
Find out whether parents’ socio-economic status have any effect on delinquency among adolescents in secondary school
Investigate the effects of peer group influence on delinquency among adolescents in secondary school;
Examine the whether self-concept have significant effect on delinquency among adolescents in secondary school
1.4 Research Questions
Is there any correlation between family background and delinquency among in-school adolescents in Nigeria?
Would parents’ socio-economic status have any effect on delinquency among adolescents in secondary school?
Does peer group influence have any effect on delinquency among adolescents in secondary school?
Does self-concept have significant effect on delinquency among adolescents in secondary school?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
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1.6 Scope and Limitations of the Study
This study examines the effects of psychosocial variables of family background, parents’ socio-economic status, peer influence and self concept on delinquencys among adolescents in secondary schools using some selected schools in Abuja as case study.
The study will be delimited by a convenience sample of approximately 20 (twenty) students from five secondary schools and 20 (twenty) parents from Abuja.
Apart from the shortage of fund and time frame, the following limits are expected to be encounter in the study:
1. It is recognized that not every parent will fit neatly into a particular parenting style. These parent-child pairs will be discarded from the sample.
2. Some adolescents will rate their parents as fair when in actuality they are not, therefore there will be some bias in the parents nominations.
3. It is recognized that many adolescents may not give factual information as regards their delinquencys
4. The accuracy of the data was limited by the skills of the researcher and validity of the tests administered.
1.7 Significance of the Study
This study will be useful to many people who may want to know the factors that could make or mar students’ during adolescence. Therefore, the study is significant in the following regards:
It has provide empirical evidence to schools, parents, and students about the nature of development adolescents may encounter and how it affects their behavior.
It offers a reference for future research that might investigate the same variables.
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