Relationship between Perceived Maternal Rejection and Delinquency Risk Traits among Female Juvenile Delinquents in Selected Rehabilitation Institutions in Kenya
Kibue, Stephen Wanjohi
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Juvenile delinquency has been a major problem in most parts of the world including Kenya due to its complexities attributed to its dynamic nature among different categories of children. Gender-based delinquency prevalence studies have identified female juvenile delinquency to be a developing key delinquency challenge as compared to male juvenile delinquency. In addition, research indicates that female juvenile delinquents are more prone to mental health problems attributed to incarceration experiences as compared to male juvenile delinquents. The need to focus more on female juvenile delinquency risk and protective factors studies is thus crucial so as to unravel the prevailing juvenile female delinquency complexities. The purpose of this study was therefore to examine the relationship between perceived maternal rejection and selected delinquency risk traits among female juvenile delinquents in selected rehabilitation institutions in Kenya. Interpersonal Acceptance-Rejection Theory (IPARTheory) was identified to be the key theory that provided the theoretical framework for this study. This study is a correlational study and employed a survey research design in data collection. The study involved 186 female juvenile delinquents incarcerated in selected rehabilitation institutions in Kenya. Purposive sampling was used to select the three government girls’ rehabilitation institutions in Kenya involved in this study. Maternal Acceptance-Rejection Questionnaire, Aggression Questionnaire and Neuroticism Questionnaire were used to collect data. The Statistical Package for Social Scientist (SPSS) version 25 aided in the analysis of quantitative data. To establish the levels of perceived maternal rejection, aggression and neuroticism, the data were subjected to descriptive statistics analysis for calculations of percentages, means and frequencies. The data was also subjected to inferential statistical analysis and employed Spearman's Rank correlation to establish the relationship between maternal rejection and aggression and also to establish the relationship between maternal rejection and neuroticism. The analyzed data was then presented in form of tables. The study findings indicated that the participants perceived more of maternal rejection than acceptance (M = 163.8), significantly high levels of aggression (M = 100.19) and significantly high levels of neuroticism (M = 28.33). The study found that there was a moderate positive correlation between the perceived maternal rejection and aggression [rs(186) = .616, p < .001] among its participants. The study also found that there was a moderate positive correlation between the perceived maternal rejection and neuroticism [rs(186) = .565, p < .001] among its participants. Understanding of these relationships and their moderators can help in designing accurate female juvenile delinquency prevention and treatment programs.