Factors contributing to bullying among students in public secondary schools in Kiambu district, Kenya
Mwangi, Joseph Kahunga
MetadataShow full item record
In spite of the fact that incidences of bullying are widespread in schools, bullying in Kenyan secondary schools has not been given much attention by researchers. The only Kenyan policy addressing bullying in schools is contained in the Safety Standards Manual for Schools in Kenya. However, this policy document does not adequately address the issue of bullying, instead grouping it together in the broad content of child abuse.Bullying has many negative effects including psychological harm, physical injuries, poor academic performance, and even loss of life. It was for this reason that the researcher proposed to carry out a study on the factors contributing to bullying in secondary schools in Kiambu District. The objectives of the study were to: determine the various forms of bullying experienced in secondary schools in Kiambu District; to examine how students' age, gender and academic performance influence bullying; to find out how school management structures influence bullying among secondary school students in Kiambu District; to examine the strategies employed by secondary school administrators to control bullying, and to establish possible ways through which bullying in schools can be eradicated. The study used an ex-post facto research design targeting 19 principals, 19 teacher counsellors, 386 teachers and 10,193 students from the nineteen public secondary schools in Kiambu District. Stratified random sampling was employed to select 10 schools, from which 200 students (20 per school) were selected to take part in the study. The headteachers or deputy headteachers of the selected schools were also selected for the study. Data was collected using questionnaires and interview schedules. The reliability index for the students' questionnaire was established at 0.7257. Data was both qualitative and quantitative. Quantitative data collected was coded and entered into an SPSS programme for analysis. Qualitative data was put under themes consistent with the research objectives. The study established that bullying incidents were experienced in secondary schools in Kiambu district. The major factors contributing to bullying among students were; peer pressure, indiscipline, drug/substance abuse among students, harsh punishment from teachers and unclear defined procedure in the administration of students' discipline. It was established that disciplinary measures such as denying students rights to meals and physical punishment (beating) were other factors that negatively influenced students to engage in bullying. The study recommends that the Ministry of education should provide staff development training in prevention of bullying and cultivate acceptance and understanding in all students to develop a safe and healthy learning environment; effective guidance and counseling programs should be put as essential part for schools by the school administrators to promote students discipline; among other recommendations.