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School Maladjustment and Family Disruption as Determinants of Youth Criminality: A Study of Male Inmates in a Nigerian Prison

Ordu , Gilbert Enyidah-Okey; Nnam, Macpherson U

Jaishankar, K

Youth criminality has been a source of concern for criminologists and scholars of social problems. In Nigeria, empirical studies on youth criminality are largely focused on economic and socio-demographic characteristics of offenders. There is a dearth of research linking school maladjustment and family disruption to youth criminality, and this spurred us to embark on this study. A cross-sectional survey research design was adopted. Male inmates detained for the various offences of violent crime in Abakalike prisons constituted the target population. A Questionnaire was used in the data collection and descriptive statistical analysis was done. Using the prison records as a guide, we employed simple random sampling technique in the selection of 212 respondents. The findings show that there is a positive relationship between maladjusted behaviour and youth criminality. Also, chi-square values of 59.002 and p >0.001 show a positive connection between family problems and youth offending behaviour. There is thus an urgent call for a proactive and sustainable youth empowerment; the teeming unemployed youth should be engaged in meaningful national reorientation and income-yielding activities to discourage them from contemplating crime.  

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