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Antisocial behaviour has been a problem among the university students in Enugu metropolis. This could be as a result of the existence of many tertiary institutions in the city and its environs. This study was designed to identify the key causative factors of some selected anti-social behaviours such as cigarettes smoking, alcohol consumption, drug abuse, involvement in illicit sex, fighting and stealing.  The factors include father’s highest education, mother’s highest education, family financial status, relationship with mother, relationship with father, relationship with friends, mother’s reaction about smoking, father’s reaction about smoking, satisfaction with personal financial status, satisfaction with own health. Survey research method was employed while simple random sampling technique was used in selecting the samples for the study. Sample of one hundred and ninety seven (197) students were drawn from among the third and final year university students of University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Godfrey Okoye University and Enugu State University of Technology. Data for the study were collected using questionnaires. Data collected for the study were analysed using linear regression and ANOVA. The following findings were made: majority of the students were engaging in all the selected anti-social behaviours irrespective of the classification of institution they are attending; More female students (49.74%) were involved in illicit sex while more males (80.2%) engage in all the other anti-social behaviours; students in the age group of 17-21 years are more involved in all selected anti-social behaviours. The most significant determining factors were father’s highest education as college or university and family financial status as poor among others. The study concludes that university students ought to be more knowledgeable about the longer-term outcomes of these antisocial behaviours in order for them to minimise them or to completely stop them on their own volition. The study suggests there should be activities such as awareness creation, sensitization, and antisocial-behaviours campaigns for the students especially for new entrants into the universities. Parents and guardians of the students should as much as possible try to check the kind of friends their wards keep. There should be forums for female university students to be properly addressed about the short and long term effects of involvement in illicit sex by the school authorities especially through the faculty of health sciences. Again, the university authorities should always address new entrants on the need to start from the first year to study hard in order to graduate with excellent academic results which could help focus their attention on their studies other than engage in antisocial behaviours.



1.1Background of the study

The prevalence of anti-social behaviour in young adults has increased [OMC1] dramatically over the past decades, along with their negative effects on development (Akpam, 2012). These have health-endangering phenomenon, as well as loss of self-esteem[OMC2]  (Chris, 2011). The anti - social behaviour such as drug abuse, smoking, stealing, alcohol abuse and prostitution have been accompanied by increase in levels of psychiatric admissions (Crawford, 2008) and out of school by some university students.

 According to Alejandra and Des (2012) and Obikeze and Obi (2013), other anti –social behaviour noted,   includes [OMC3] breach of school rules, delinquency, bad dressing and appearance, destruction of public properties, hooliganism, fighting and assault, fraud, fighting, sexual immorality, examination malpractice, misappropriation of fund, lying, impersonation, persistent lateness, absenteeism, disruptiveness, destructiveness and academic problems.[OMC4] 

Anti-social behaviour lacks consideration for others and may cause damage to the society, whether intentionally or through negligence (Rolf, 2013). It is labelled as such when it is deemed contrary to prevailing norms for social conduct. This is opposite of pro-social behaviour, which helps or benefits the society.

There are about 2 billion people between 10-24 years old in the world, close to 85% of these young men and women live in developing countries (World Bank Reproductive Health Action Plan, 2013). The youths in Nigeria accounts for 32.0% of Nigerian’s 140 million people and nearly half (48.6%) of adolescents aged 15-19 are sexually active (NPC, 2009), a common feature of young people in Nigeria is their potential vulnerability to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency syndrome ( HIV/AIDS) (NPC, 2009).

Economic backwardness remains the most defining feature of several economies globally. The major precursor of this development is represented in colonial experience and in other external infiltrations, which directly or indirectly alter the socio-structural arrangement of the affected nations such as Nigeria. Chronologically, local and external interventions aimed at correcting the imbalance in Nigeria and in several other African countries, for instance, have not yielded the expected results (Sobowale, 2014). The erosion of Nigerian cultural values occasioned by global pressure introduced through capitalism and its affiliates, democracy, borderless economy and information and communications technologies (ICTs) as regards to globalization revolution become incompatible with local realities and negatively plunged the country into socio-economic crises (Colgen, 2005 and  Aina, 2011). Statistics shows that there are approximately 120 million youths who are out of school and working full time in developing countries, while the rate of participation in the labour market is anticipated to grow from 345.1 million in 2003 to 363.9 million in 2015 (Elliot and Huizinga, 2007). The engrossment with employment takes the youth away from school decreases their opportunity to learn appropriates adult skills and alters the normal course of their development, thereby involving in some anti-social behaviour.

Privatization is as a result of globalization but this reduces access of the poor to quality welfare services and lead to the growing gap between the affluent and the poor, which pushes the young ones into anti-social behaviour in order to adapt in new trend of the society. Researchers on anti-social behaviour problems of tertiary school students point to the crucial role of the family (Biyi and Ogwumike, 2007). This is not surprising as the family is the primary institutions that socializes the young and provide surveillance over their behaviour. The family lays the psycho-social, moral and spiritual foundations in the overall development of the students.

Self concepts of pre-adolescent male school success, gender role development in both males and females have been closely associated with the presence of the parents’ income.

The economic crises manifested fully in the late 1970s in Nigeria, generated monumental socio-cultural consequences for young people. This brought about acute poverty, stealing, malnutrition, moral confusion, alcohol and substance abuse which affect the well-being of the youth. The intensity of poverty in Nigeria can be determined through international comparisons. The standard of $1 a day and $2 a day, measured in 2012 international prices and adjusted to local currency using  purchasing power parity conversion factors was used to calculate the “depth of poverty as well as its prevalence” in Nigeria. Poverty gap at $1 a day and $2 a day are calculated as the mean shortfall below the poverty line. On this score, at $1 a day 70.2% of Nigerians live below the poverty line while at $2 a day 90.8% of the population lived below the poverty line in the 1992-93 survey years (World Bank, 2014). In the same year, the poverty gap at $1 a day was 34.9% while that for the $2 a day was 59.0% (World Bank, 2014).[OMC5] 

The clearest Index of African’s underdevelopment is that, if not, all African countries have very low per capita income. Many developed countries have high per capita income, up to $39,000 and above, with less anti-anti social behaviour, while in most African countries per capita income is low, as low as $1,500 for some countries as Ethiopia, Chad etc., Nigeria has per capita income of $2,748 ( World Bank, 2014). [OMC6] 

Placing Nigeria within this international poverty context, it is possible to understand the extent of poverty and how much of problem it poses for the country. Some people who are threatened by poverty often engage in various illegal activities that constitute anti-social behaviour that retards development. It is on this note that this study wanted to find out the determinants of selected anti-social behaviour among students from selected universities in Enugu Metropolis.

1.2  Statement of the problem

In Nigeria, as in many other nations, anti-social behaviours observed among the youth are many and varied. These range from examination malpractice, persistent lateness to school, and absenteeism to cigarettes smoking, drug, and substance; alcohol abuse, illicit sex, fighting among others. Having significant energy and less strenuous responsibilities, these anti-social behaviours are most pronounced among youths in their late teens and early twenties. At this point, a number of youths are in tertiary institutions, where the influence of a concentrated number of other youths in their prime is most pressing. Consequently, the agglomeration of institutions of higher learning also translates to higher tendencies, if not altogether higher prevalence, of anti-social behaviours. According to Biyi and Ogwumike (2007), youths are involved in anti-social behaviour when they are together as groups. Age and peer group influence may therefore be necessary factors influencing these anti-social behaviours (Fosudo, 2010). And interestingly, Enugu metropolis is home to a concentration of tertiary institutions which bring a large number of youths together as students.

Other studies show that poverty could be a contributor to the anti-social behaviour observed among the university students (Elliot and Huizinga, 2007 and Shannon, 2013). It is therefore consistent to imagine that income of parents could be a factor contributing to the anti-social behaviour of a student or youth. But it is not clear that the relationship is either linear or unidirectional. For example, while poverty and the search for means of survival could lead a student to anti-social behaviours such as violence and prostitution, too many resources could be the main reason why others maintain lavish lifestyle, engage in substance abuse or alcoholism or get led to friends who introduce them to cultism. Thus, it is not clear in what ways income contributes to specific individuals and in specific environments.

While antisocial behaviours have negative outcomes, the gender of the one involved could have significant impact in the sort of outcome expected. Anti-social behaviours by young females could affect their persons; leading to health problems especially when they are related to prostitution and drug or substance abuse. Where abortion is involved, the situation can be life-threatening with the possibility that reproductive organs can be destroyed and even death can occur. There is even the bigger challenge that women with anti-social behaviour may transfer the traits to their children through poor training or wrong orientations, implying inter-generational transfer of negative traits. By contrast, anti-social behaviour by the male folk do affect the individual involved, but often not the same way as those of ladies. Severally, involvement in such anti-social behaviours like violence by males results in injury to others while they are unhurt. More so, with the exception of substance abuse and alcoholism, many males later get out of teenage years without any permanent scar emanating from their youth-induced anti-social behaviours. They often constitute insecurity as well as loss of lives and property to others.

Nonetheless, whether male or female, anti-social behaviours usually have long term effects; that affect the society as well as individuals involved. For example, at the individual level, the student’s graduation period from the university may be prolonged, thereby incurring costs to parents and whittling away his years in idleness. It may increase personal frustration while in turn could lead to more anti-social behaviours that put the society at large to more danger and prolonged insecurity. These affect development, often very negatively. Some of these actions may lead the involved university students to psychiatric case at their youthful age. It has been observed from literature that this anti-social behaviour emanates from greed, get rich quick syndrome and loss of self esteem induced by poverty (Crawford, 2008).The anti-social behaviours may lead to conflict among students as well as among communities when the students get into the communities with these problems, crimes such as shooting in drinking spots, raping of innocent female students, kidnapping and abduction of innocent students and citizens, hence making people to live in fear in the society.

Despite these noted influences on development, not much has gone into critical research on factors affecting anti-social behaviours among youths in Nigeria. Some studies like (Bakare, 2012, Ewhrudjakpor, 2009) have looked into the outcomes from anti-social behaviours, but there is not so much on factors leading to it in the first place. It is on this note that the study intended to find out the determinants of selected anti-social behaviour among the university students in the Enugu metropolis.

1.3 Objectives of the study

The main goal of the study was to analyze the determinants of anti-social behaviour among selected university students in Enugu Metropolis.

 The Specific objectives of the study were:

1.      To determine the relative important factors affecting such anti-social behaviour among the selected university students

2.      To determine the gender differences in anti-social behaviour among the selected university students in Enugu Metropolis.

1.3  Research questions

1.      What are the relative factors affecting anti- social behaviour in the selected university students in Enugu Metropolis?

2.      What are the gender differences in anti-social behaviour among selected university students in Enugu Metropolis?

1.4  Hypotheses

The following hypotheses will guide the study:

HO1: There is no significant relationship between the relative important factors and anti-social behaviour among students in the selected universities in Enugu Metropolis.

HO2: There is no significant difference in the level of anti-social behaviour of male students from female students in Enugu Metropolis.

1.5 Justification for the study

This study will be of a great importance to the policy makers. It will enable the policy makers to know the effect of the anti- social behaviour on productivity and development, since the students are the population that will sustain the economy through their effective contribution to the labour market upon graduation. The study will also be beneficial to authorities of tertiary institutions as it will provide them with the necessary data to put in place counter measures against the menace of such anti-social behaviours. The study will be of benefit to the students of tertiary institutions and their parents. This will enable them to understand the extent to which some factors affect the students’ anti-social behaviours. It will expose the undergraduates to the negative effects of anti-

social behaviours; and it is expected that this will make them develop positive life style. The study will also be beneficial to the academia that could refer to the study in terms of existing literature.

1.6 Scope of the study

The study intended to cover the determinants of anti-social behaviour among the students in the selected universities in Enugu Metropolis. The selected students are the final year students of the three selected universities in Enugu Metropolis. The income in this study is the money given to these students as their pocket money. The anti-social behaviour that would be looked at includes, cigarettes smoking in public places, alcohol consumption, drug abuse, illicit sex, stealing and fighting.

The determinants the researcher looked at included father’s highest education, mother’s highest education, family financial status, relationship with mother, relationship with father, relationship with friends, mother’s reaction about smoking, father’s reaction about smoking, satisfaction with financial situation, satisfaction with health and amount the students spent in a week without their parents’ control.

The universities the researcher used include University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Enugu State University of Technology and Godfery Okoye University Enugu. This selection is based on the nature of the establishment, that is, Federal, state and faith based universities   in Enugu metropolis.

1.7 Limitations of the study

In the course of this study, the researcher was faced with the constraints of collecting responses from the respondents who were not very keen. They were not sure that their responses would not expose them to the school authority. However, the researcher convinced them that it was for academic purposes before they accepted to respond to the questions in the questionnaire.

 [OMC1]How did you get to know this. Acknowledge source.

 [OMC2]How did you get to know. Acknowledge source.

 [OMC3]Cite source or sources.

 [OMC4]When you make such valid, highly definitive statement, tell us by which authority you are saying what you are saying.

 [OMC5]Work with a recent report. This report is too old for this study. 2014 World Bank report is available.

 [OMC6]Check the worldbank website the current figure from the 2014 Annual Report.

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