Incidence Of Juvenile Delinquency Among Female Secondary School Students

Project and Seminar Material for Sociology

Incidence Of Juvenile Delinquency Among Female Secondary School Students


Abstract


This study is aimed at determining the prevalent delinquent behaviours among female students in secondary schools in Benin City in relation to social economic factors and religion factors and to determine the factors influencing them. A sample of 100 female students was randomly selected for this study which comprises of two private and two public girls schools with 50 students selected from each school giving a total o the 100 respondents which will serve as a representation of the entire population. The research revealed that factors such as status, environment, religious, family background, the kind of school one attends, the religious believe of one’s parents have influence on children’s behavior. Factors such as socioeconomic status of parents, the size of family, and the environment they live have a significant influence on female involvement in deviant acts.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of Study

The choice of this topic came just at the right time when female involvement in criminal acts and juvenile delinquency has reached an alarming rates. It is completely impossible to talk of a society free from juvenile delinquency. Juvenile delinquency has long been recognized and wide spread problem in the country. Children of under 18 years involving themselves in criminal activities together with the adult counterpart, but because these children have not attained maturity, which is 18 years in Nigeria, they cannot be regarded as criminal. But rather they are referred to as juvenile delinquents (Cohen, 1995).

As has been observed earlier, juvenile delinquency is a term demoting various offenses committed by children or youths under the age of 18. Children’s offenses typically include delinquent acts that would be considered crimes if committed by adults and status offenses, which are less serious misbehaviour such as truancy and parental disobedience. Both are within the jurisdiction of the juvenile count, more serious offenses committed by minors may be tried in criminal court and be subject to prison sentences (Igbinovia, Okonofua, Omoyibo, Osunde and Obaro, 2005). The recent increase in female involvement in deviant acts have reached unprecedented height that fear grips the populace of this country as to worth pointing out that in Nigeria where violet crimes by female are fast the delinquent is no longer desprised or seen as a deviant but is highly respected and advertised. They are the glamour girls. Juvenile delinquency cases are those referred to juvenile courts for acts defined in the status of the state as violation of status law.

Since ancient times enlightened legal system have distinguished between juvenile delinquents and adult criminals. The immature generally were not considered morally responsible for their behavior under the code Napoleon in France for example; limited responsibility was ascribed to children under the age of 16. Despite the apparent humanity of some early status, however, the punishment of juvenile offenders until the 19th century was often serve. In Nigeria like in the US, many child criminals were treated as adult criminals. In many instances, child offenders were processed through the adult courts, sentences for all offenders could be harsh and the death penalty was occasionally imposed. The first institution expressly for juvenile, the House of Refuge, was founded in New York city in 1824 so that institutionalized delinquents could be kept apart from adult criminals. By the mid-19th century other state institution for juvenile delinquents were established, and their population soon included not only young criminals but also less serious offenders and dependent children (Obaro, 2008).

The concept of study is as a result of the astonished effect of the problem of delinquency caused by juveniles coupled with its associated problems. I decided to carry out a detailed survey of delinquent female student in selected female secondary school in Oredo Local Government Area since our society has for long been plagued into social problems such as poverty, exploitation man by man, child base and neglect, problem of the aged, drug abuse, prostitution, truancy, rape incest, burglary, stealing and juvenile delinquency.

Juvenile delinquency has long been in existence with it wide spread problem in the country. These children engage themselves in arininal activities together with adult but because they have not reach maturity age which is 18 years, therefore, they are referred to as juvenile. These children are sometimes beyond parental control, they wonder about and become delinquency (Obaro, 2008). A juvenile is typically defined as some one between the age of 7 and 17 and three types of juvenile come under the courts youthful offenders are those who engage in behavior for which adults can be tried in a criminal court. All predatory crimes are included here. The second type is the status offender, these who violate the juvenile court code rather than the criminal code. Behavior such as truancy running away from home and breaking the curfew is included here. Finally, the court deals with minors in need of care those who are neglected or abused and in need of the court’s care. These juveniles do not fall into the juvenile court. The range of behavior defined as delinquent tends to be broad perhaps as many as percent of all young people have engage in behavior that would fall under the jurisdiction of juvenile court (Obaro, 2008).

Although juvenile comes in different ways, at different times and in different sector. So, for the purpose of this work, I will only consider and limit my study to female student in selected secondary school in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria as a developing country needs to look inward in issues like these so as to enable appropriate policies to be taken to reduce and control juvenile delinquencies because if not checked properly, these children will not be useful to themselves and the society at large.


1.2 Statement of Problem

Juvenile delinquency has reached an alarming rate. Juvenile delinquency has long been recognized and wide spiral problem, in the country. Hence this study is to determine the various factors that causes juvenile delinquency in the society and the negative effect it has on the child and the society at large. A situation were children of under 18 years involving themselves in criminal activities together with the adult counterpart, but because these children have not attained maturity which is 18 in Nigeria, they do not refer them as criminals.


1.3 Purpose / Objectives of the Study

The objectives of this study is to determine the prevalent delinquent behaviours among female secondary school students – in relation to social economic factors and religion factors and to determine the factors influencing them.

The specific objectives of the study are:

  1. To determine whether socio-economic status of the parents influence juvenile delinquency of female students.
  2. To determine whether religious affiliation influences delinquent behaviours.
  3. To determine whether living environment influence delinquency of female student.
  4. To determine whether family background influence the behavior of female juvenile delinquents.
  5. To prevent juvenile delinquency/prefer solutions to the problem of juvenile delinquency among females.

1.4 Scope of Study

This study covers female juvenile students in secondary schools in Benin City the female students within the age bracket of 12 to 17 years of age.


1.5 Significance of Study

The study will be of benefit to children’s parents, policy makers and government

It will also be of benefit to children and caregivers as they will be exposed to factors necessitating delinquency among female students or children and taking measures to avoid it.

Government and policy makers will also benefit as the contribution from this study will help introduce new measures of presenting and eradicating delinquency among female student

Couples will benefit from this study in that it will give them the knowledge on how to socialize their children and make them have regards for social norms.


1.6 Hypotheses

  • Socio economic status of parents will not influence juvenile delinquency of female students
  • Religious affiliation will not influence juvenile delinquency of female students
  • Family background will not influence juvenile delinquency of female student
  • Living environment will not influence juvenile delinquency of female students.

1.7 Operational Definition of Terms

Deviant Behaviour

Is socially defined and varies by time, place and social group. Behavior that is defined as deviant violate strongly held social norms. However, what is seen as a deviant behavior in one society, may be regarded as a behavior that is acceptable in another society.

Juvenile

A juvenile is a young person that falls under the age of 18, whose attitude/behavior is seen as a delinquent act. But, if such behavior is exhibited by an adult is seen as a crime.

Juvenile Delinquency

These are the behavior of young people showing the tendency to commit crime. In other word, juvenile delinquency are behavior exhibited by children under the age of 18 that does not conform to societal norms, and if committed by an adult is crime and attract several punishment as stated by the law.

Female

This is a woman/girl that can give births to another child.

Student

This is any person who is studying at a school for the purpose of acquiring knowledge for the betterment of higher future and that of the society.

Female Student

A woman/girl that is studying at a school for the purpose of gaining knowledge to herself and to better the society.

Delinquency

Bad/criminal behavior that is usually associated with young people. Delinquency is a behavior of a person under the age of 18 that does not conform to society accepted norms of the society.

Socio Economic Status

Socio economic status shows that various strata/level that an individual is located in the society. In other word, it is the class position of a person which can either be upper class, middle class and lower class.

Religion Affiliation

These is the belief that is perculiar to a religion that is the doctrine that guides the affairs of members in a particular type of religion.

Living Environment

This is the area in which an individual, group live which can either be urban, rural or city. That is, a place where people live and get their basic needs.

Family Background

These is the units in which an individual is born into which can either be nuclear family, polygamous etc. activities of family background can be traced by generation.


Chapter Five


Summary, Findings, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary

This research has attempted to throw more light on the concept of female involvement in juvenile delinquency and various certain social class characteristics. This was done in an effort to identify certain social class conditions and the social structural variables that encourage delinquency in female children.

Four schools in Benin City which comprise of two public and two private schools were used to provide the empirical data for the analysis.

The literature review covered the causation of juvenile delinquency, nature, trend, suggestion on how to curs unacceptable behaviours of juvenile in society theoretical framework.


5.2 Findings

The major objectives were achieved by the findings of the study. It was found that secondary school female students are involved in delinquent behaviours. The research revealed that factors such as status, environment, religious, family background, the kind of school one attends, the religious believe of one’s parents have influence on children’s behavior.

The following hypothesis were drawn:

  1. Female involvement in juvenile delinquency is influenced by the status of parents
  2. Female involvement in juvenile delinquency is influenced by the size of family
  3. Female involvement in juvenile delinquency is influenced by the environment they live.

5.3 Conclusion and Recommendation

Based on the findings outlined above, the researcher wished to make recommendations.

First of all, it was evident that there is moral laxity in the lower class schools as was observed by the researcher when he visited the schools. In this regard, it is recommended that the people concerned with discipline in these school should seat up so as to curb the excess of young students. Secondly, parents should have time for their children and the friends they keep.

Thirdly, government should try and control the films and home video that are shown on our television screens.

Finally, parents should set good example to their children. This will go a long way to checking juvenile delinquency in our society.


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