Determinants of juvenile delinquency development among pupils in Machakos rehabilitation school, Kenya
Kikuvi, Nzioka Robert
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Children with behavioural problems experience school related problems and end up engaging in delinquent behaviour. This study investigated the determinants of juvenile delinquency development in Machakos Rehabilitation School by looking at how academic, social, emotional and economic factors contributed to development of juvenile delinquency. The study traced the boys' former schools and inquired into their past records by associating school academic, social, emotional economic aspects with development of juvenile delinquency. Descriptive design was used to establish the determinants of juvenile delinquency.The study was carried out at Machakos Rehabilitation School based on the premise that it has children with similar characteristics as other rehabilitation schools in the country. 130 boys in the school including those who had been reintegrated in the previous 4 years were the target population. Teachers in their former schools were the informants. Purposive sampling technique was used to get the required sample. Some 25 boys were selected for this study. Questionnaires were constructed and document analysis done to help gather information from the teachers and the schools respectively. Piloting of the study was done at Wamumu Rehabilitation School in Kinnyaga District which also admits juvenile delinquents.Content related validity was used to assess what concept the instruments tried to measure and determine the representation accuracy while split-half technique of assessing reliability by use of Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient was used to ensure reliability of the instruments. Designed questionnaires were delivered by hand to respondents accompanied with a cover letter that explained what was required of them. Data collected were organized, coded and analysed using Microsoft Excel, and then interpretations were done. Respondents were assured of information anonymity to avoid any stigmatization especially of boys. Majority of the teachers had taught for 15-19 years. 52% of the boys sampled were between 15-19 years in class 6 and 5. These boys had general academic deficits that included problems with reading and comprehension Most of the schools had no records of punishment given to boys despite the fact that majority of the schools had kept records of juvenile delinquency behaviour. The boys displayed characteristics of general disobedience and rudeness to authority as well as temperamental behaviour. Others were said to be introvert and kept to themselves. Juvenile delinquency was found to be associated with low economic status. Most boys referred for rehabilitation were in adolescence and were generally below average in academic work something that may have led them to truancy and drug abuse. Problems leading to delinquent behaviour were mainly social oriented as a result of peer influence in school. Emotional problems affect the child's relationship with others leading to fights and then the consequences that follow. Children from low economic status are more likely to porform poorly due to their continued absence from school to collect levies. Teachers and parents should encourage and support juvenile delinquents in academic work. Ministry of Education and, youth and sports affairs should initiate programmes with physical involvement since they like sporting activities.Also the Ministry of Education should de, elop practical curriculum geared towards equipping learners with necessary independcat living skills. School administration should introduce suitable behaviour modification techniques that are not punitive to boys to help reduce truancy and disobedience.