Effects of emotionally absent parents on the behaviour of adolescents in selected secondary schools in Machakos county, kenya.
Mutie, Joseph M.
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Students’ indiscipline is a problem that has become common in most of Kenyan secondary schools. However, discipline of the adolescents in secondary schools is not an aspect of the school systems alone. Parents have a role to play in shaping behavior of children through the process of nurturing. However, many parents remain emotionally absent from their children as they engage in other activities. Using the attachment theory as proposed by John Bowlby, the study explored the relationship between emotionally absent parents and the indiscipline of adolescents in secondary schools in Machakos County-Kenya. The study used the correlational study design and the target population was all adolescent students with a record of indiscipline in Machakos County. The sample population was obtained by stratified random sampling whereby, 200 students were selected from ten secondary schools in different classes in the County. The researcher used a questionnaire as a tool for data collection. Both descriptive and inferential methods of data analysis were used to analyze data. The findings of the study show that younger participants in forms one and two were affected by the emotional absence of their parents more than those in forms three and four. Majority of participants as represented by 35.7% who expressed emotional parental neglect also expressed hatred for school rules and elders, and reported having engaged in different forms of indiscipline while in school. The study found strong positive correlation coefficients of 0.853 with a p-value of 0.013 which is less than 0.05 at 95% confidence level between parental emotional absence and the challenges faced by the respondents. It was expected that the findings of this study would be useful in making parents understand the need to accord their children more quality time while at home. Based on the findings, it was recommended that, employers, social organizations and churches should educate parents on the need to create more quality time by being emotionally present to their children.