Causes and effects of deviant behaviour among secondary school students: a case study of Gatanga Division, Thika District
Njoroge, Samuel Maina
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the types, causes and effects of deviant behaviour among students in secondary schools in Gatanga division. Gatanga division was chosen as the location of the study because a number of incidences behaviour and regular disturbances have been witnessed. These incidences have been reported in the print and electronic media and have caused concern among parents, teachers and Ministry of Education officials and other education stakeholders. The survey method was used in the study. Ten secondary schools were selected for the study. These were the ones notorious for deviance and regular disturbances. The researcher used purposive sampling technique to get a representative sample of schools from each of the four locations making up Gatanga division. From the schools, 206 students, 30 parents, 10 principals and 10 guidance and counselling teaching who were randomly selected participated in the study. The Area Education Officer was purposively sampled and also participated in the study. The study was guided by the Anomic or Strain Theories of Merton (1938 and 1957), which explain the basis for deviance like delinquency, disorder and conflict in the contemporary society. Merton's argument was relevant to this study of deviant behaviour secondary schools in the modern times. The justification for this study is that in spite of the many efforts expended in dealing with deviant behaviours among students in secondary schools, they continue to increase. The increase was leading to a great deal of wastage of material resources, man power, time, and even human life. It was imperative therefore that types, causes and effects of deviant be established and solutions found in order to arrest the situation. This was survey study and therefore questionnaires, interview guides and observation schedules were used as research instruments to collect data on types, causes, effects and solutions to deviant behaviour among secondary school students. The data collected were analyzed using basic descriptive statistics specifically, the percentages and frequencies. The study reveals that the common causes of deviant behaviour are negative peer influence, influence dangerous drugs, volatile adolescence stage. The effects of deviant behaviour are dropping out of school, poor academic performance, bad influence on others, tarnishing the reputation of school and evolving of a negative tradition in the school. The study reveals that deviance can be controlled and the measures recommended for this were:- guidance and counselling, involving parents, punishing deviant students, proper management of schools, open fora and teachers, principals to be role models to the students and scrutinizing and controlling visitors to schools. These measures could be used to stem out deviant behaviour in secondary schools. The study was organized into five chapters. Chapter one starts with background to the study, statement of the problem, purpose and objectives of the study, research questions, significance of the study, scope and limitations of the study, theoretical framework, conceptual framework and operational definitions of terms. Chapter two deals with review of literature that is related to the study. Chapter three discusses methods of research and analysis of data while chapter four presents data analysis and discussion of the research findings. Chapter five comprises the conclusions, general recommendations and suggestion for further research. Data analysis revealed an increase in the trend of deviant behaviours. The common cases of deviant behaviour in Gatanga were irresponsible sexual behaviour, drug abuse, among others.