Maternal Employment and its Impact on Pre –adolescent Social Adjustment in Selected Primary Schools in Nairobi
Mugambi, Doyne Kageni
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The main purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of maternal employment on preadolescent social adjustment in Nairobi. It also investigated whether there was any gender difference in pre- adolescent social adjustment between children of employed and non employed mothers. In addition, the study investigated the differences in social adjustment between pre-adolescents who were taken care of by specific caregivers. An ex - post facto research design was used for the study. The subjects of the study were 549 respondents. Specifically, 195 were boys and 228 were girls. All of them were from six schools. One hundred and twenty (120) mothers were used for the study whereby 60 were employed and 60 were non - employed. Six (6) class-teachers were used from the selected schools. To obtain the impact of maternal employment on pre-adolescent social adjustment, data was obtained from: - the Peer Nomination Behavioral Assessment, Peer Rating scale, the Teachers' Social Competence Scale, a Teacher-Child Rating Scale and a questionnaire for the mothers. The responses were scored after which data was computer analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Kruskal-Wallis Non Parametric ANOVA at 0.05 level of significance was used in the analysis to establish whether there were differences or not in the variables under study. There was a significant relationship between pre-adolescent social adjustment and maternal employment status at 0.05 level of significance. There was no significant difference in mother-child interaction between children of employed and non-employed mothers at 0.05 level of significance. There were significant gender differences in preadolescent social adjustment between children of employed and non-employed mothers at 0.05 level of significance. The Post Hoc test revealed that boys of non-employed mothers contributed to the significant difference. There was no significant difference in pre-adolescent social adjustment among children who are left under specific caregivers at 0.05 level of significance. There was no significant difference in pre-adolescent social adjustment between children who are in boarding schools and day schools at 0.05 level of significance. There was a significant relationship between pre-adolescent social adjustment and educational level of the mother at 0.05 level of significance. The Post Hoc test showed that children whose mothers attained secondary school level of education contributed to the significant relationship. In relation to these findings, it was recommended to the policy makers that there is need for developing training programmes for caregivers (current and potential) in order to build -their capacity for improved pre - adolescent social adjustment. In addition, there is need to develop policies to support such training programmes. Parents were hereby recommended to at least obtain house helps from recognized institutions. Teachers on their part were recommended to assist in training pupils in social skills that will assist them to adjust well to their school environment, including home. Further research was recommended with regard to finding out whether similar results would be found in other provinces in Kenya.