Influence of Preschool Pupils’ Aggressive Behavior on Learning Outcomes in Kajiado County, Kenya
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Early aggressive behaviour is defined as an act directed toward a specific other person or object with an intent to hurt or frighten. Aggression can be detrimental to the child who has these tendencies and to others who come into contact with him. Studies in Kenya point out the influence of aggressive behaviour on children‟s development, however despite efforts put in place to study aggression, the behaviour is still on the increase among young children. The purpose of this study therefore, was to investigate preschool children‟s aggressive behaviour and its effects on learning outcomes, in Kajiado North Constituency. The study was guided by four objectives that is to find out the forms of aggressive behaviour displayed by preschool children, the causes of the aggressive behaviour, how the children‟s aggressive behaviour affects learning, and how teachers deal with children who display aggressive behaviour. The study was based on applied behaviour analysis theory, social learning theory and ecological systems theory. Descriptive survey design was employed. Stratified random sampling method was used to select public and private schools to be included in the study. The targeted population were pupils, parents and teachers. A sample size of 495 respondents comprising of 234 parents, 234 preschool pupils and 27 teachers was used. The study used questionnaires and observation checklists as instruments for data collection. Reliability was tested by computing consistency of results using Cronbach‟s Alpha. Validity of the instruments was ensured through assistance of experts in early childhood education. Quantitative data were coded, cleaned and categorized manually, transferred to a computer sheet and processed by use of the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 21. The data were summarized by use of frequencies, distribution tables, and percentages. The presentation of data was done by use of pie charts, bar graphs and frequency tables. Findings showed that aggressive behaviours observed in preschool pupils were majorly physical including fighting, destructiveness, bullying and kicking others. Exposure to hostile environment of drug and alcohol abusing parents, and the media were the major factors leading to aggressive behaviour among pupils in preschools. Findings from parents also indicated that their children exhibited aggressive behaviours as a result of trauma related to deprivation of one parent. High scores of aggressive behaviour deteriorated the level of participation in classroom, class attendance and accomplishment of assignments, performance and reading skills among children. Various dimensions of learning in preschools including participation in the classroom, class attendance, and completion of assignments, academic performance and reading skills among children were significantly determined by the level of aggression. The study recommended that parents and guardians should monitor TV shows which their children watch and not readily allow their children to watch violent programmes or video shows. Schools need to educate parents on the effects of drug and alcohol abuse on children‟s behaviour and education.