Psychosocial Factors Contributing to Juvenile Delinquency: A Case of Pupils in Public Primary Schools in Starehe Sub-County, Nairobi County
WARUI, ZIPPORAH WANGUI
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In normal circumstances, juveniles are expected to negotiate their psychosocial developmental stages smoothly with no maladaptive behaviors. However, worldwide a lot of juveniles have been found to engage in delinquency leading them to behavior maladjustment. This study focused on psychosocial factors contributing to juvenile delinquency in public primary schools in Starehe Sub-county, Nairobi County. The objectives of the study were: to determine individual related factors contributing to juvenile delinquency in Starehe sub-county, to establish family related factors contributing to juvenile delinquency in Starehe sub-county, to establish school related factors contributing to juvenile delinquency in Starehe sub-county, to establish intervention strategies that would help juveniles deal with delinquent behaviors. The study adopted three theories; the Ecological System Theory, Social Learning Theory and General Strain Theory. The design of the study was descriptive. A sample size of four hundred respondents that included three hundred and fifty juveniles and fifty teachers and administrators was obtained by using purposive sampling technique. Questionnaires and interview schedule were used to collect data. Pilot study was administered to ascertain the validity and reliability of the instruments. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics such as mean, standard deviation and percentages and presented by use of frequency tables and bar graphs. Qualitative data was analyzed thematically in accordance with the objectives and presented in verbatim. The study findings revealed that parents’ demographic attributes such as unemployment, low education level and unstable marriages had great influence on juvenile delinquency. It was established that individual related factors such as anger, frustrations, threat from peers and worry from exams were leading factors contributing to delinquency. It was also established that low attachment to significant others, parental absence, lack of role models, lack of basic needs and neighborhood factors such as peer pressure contribute to juvenile delinquency. Further, it was established that curriculum related factors and peer influence in school contribute to juvenile delinquency. To address delinquency the participants recommended intervention such as guidance and counseling, family counseling, peer counseling and recreation park activities. To mitigate juvenile delinquency, the study recommended interventions such as provision of functional guidance and counseling in learning institutions and in the community, leisure activities spheres, material and financial support to the needy parents, provision of social and emotional support to juveniles, economic empowerment for parents and to embrace competence based curriculum. Further, recommendations to the researchers are made to find the relationship between effect of juvenile delinquency and academic performance and also to investigate psychosocial factors contributing to juvenile delinquency in other sub counties in Nairobi.