The pattern of deviant behaviour among urban primary school children

  • NC Ojimnaka
  • AN Ikefuna


Background: School children sometimes exhibit a range of deviant behaviour which could serve as a source of stress to the families and society.
Objective: To determine the prevalence and pattern of deviant behavour in urban school children in Enugu and factors that may be associated with it.
Methods: Two schools were randomly selected from the urban school population. Pupils with normal Intelligent Quotient (IQ) were selected by systematic sampling method. Rutter’s behavioural scale for teachers
(B) and parents (A2) were completed by their teachers .and parents (A2) respectively. Socio-demographic characteristics of the children were also obtained.Student t-test and Kruskal-Wallis test were used to determine
differences between means and Chi2 test for differences between proportions. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to ascertain the predictive determinants for deviance. p<0.05 was considered significant.
Result: The prevalence of deviant behaviour was 16.3% on the Teachers’ scale and and 13.9% on the Parents’ scale. The difference was statistically significant (p =0.001). Males were significantly more deviant, scoring
higher than the females on both scales. Antisocial behaviour was more common than neurotic on both scales  Gender and family size were significantly associated with high scoring on the teacher’s scale.
Conclusion: Significant number of schoolchidren in Enugu had deviant behaviour with predominance of antisocial behaviour for both sexes. This study serves as a baseline for a more recent study to monitor the
prevalence of deviant behaviour and associated factors in our  environment. Adequate attention should be given to this aspect of child health as teachers and parents could be experiencing difficulties in coping with such problems.

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eISSN: 1118-2601