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1.1 Background of the study

Family has been universally perceived as a small but powerful unit and the oldest institution in the history of human existence that helps in the character formation of the child and molding of behaviour of the individual in the society. This is because family is the fundamental and basic social unit for human development and also the primary agent for socialization of children. According to Macionis (2007) family is a social institution found in all societies that unites people in cooperative groups to care for one another including children. Family is a social unit made up of father, mother, children and blood relations (Okonkwo, 2005). Similarly, Ononuju(2005) opined that family is a unit of people tied together by bonds of marriage, birth or adoption, having in most cases a common abode. The author also maintained that man and woman as the
first members of the family have obligations towards the younger members as they arrive and that involves inculcating social norms such as love, care, cooperation and discipline among her members. Buttressing further, the author posited that when families fail in these basic functions, a
faulty foundation is laid which will result in faulty adult behaviours such as corruption and all kinds of indiscipline. In the context of this study, Family can also be seen as a kinship group of
two or more persons who live in the same household and are related by marriage or adoption.
Family also performs certain functions for their sustainability and wellbeing.
Family performs many functions such as reproduction or procreation, protection and care of young ones, educational functions and provision of shelter (home) (Sunil, 2011). Reproduction or
procreation is an essential function which the family performs in all societies. The family along with regulating the sexual behaviour in relation to the satisfaction of sexual needs secures a legitimate basis for procreation. This function of the family contributes to the continuity of family and ultimately perpetuates the human race.

Peer pressure can be seen as the influence exerted by peer group in encouraging a person to change his/her attitude, values or behaviours to conform to the group. A person affected by peer pressure may or may not want to belong to this group. They may also recognize dissociative groups that they do not wish to belong and therefore, adopt behavior in opposition to those of the group. In the same vein, Harris (1998) opined that peer pressure can cause people to do things they will not normally do, e.g. to take drugs, smoke, date, rude, fight, vandalise, cheat in examination, lie, walk out of teacher and so on. Adolescent peer pressure is particularly common because most youth are forced to spend large amount of time with their groups i.e. (schools and sub-group within them) regardless of the opinion of thosegroups. Again, they may lack the maturity to handle the peer pressure. Adolescent are also more willing to have negative behavior towards those who are not members of their own peer groups (Ungar, 2004). In consonance with Ungar, it is possible that if one is involved with a group of people who are ambitious and working to succeed, one might feel pressured to follow suit to avoid feeling excluded from the group. Adolescents may less likely to be heavily influenced by their friends and more likely to make their own decisions if they have high self-esteem, individual goals, a positive outlook on the future, good social skills, the ability to interact with people from different background and strong connections of family and community (Onwuamanam, 1998). Adams (1996) equally posited that adolescents are more likely to be heavily influenced by their peers and less likely to make decisions for themselves if they have no self-esteem and may be experiencing problems in their family such as absence of parents, drug, anger, verbal abuse, theft, fight and many more. It seems that the socialization experience of adolescents is focused on peer interaction. Adolescents are more likely to discuss their problems with their peers than with their parents and are more susceptible to their peer’s perception of right and wrong. Adolescent usually exhibit high emotional tension and it is often said that adolescent is a period of storm and stress-they are usually restless at this period because of their stage, as they always want to discover their world (Mohammed, 2012). But it seems, not all adolescence in our society may go through this acclaimed storm and stress, proper upbringing matters. Therefore, adolescent’s lives today are far more complex and demanding than yester years. Parents today rush their children into these obligations and doing that are appropriate for them, simply to satisfy themselves in the challenging world of work. Adolescence in this condition would seek the help of their peers to support their behavioral challenges, as it is often said, no man is an island‘.Kring, Davidson, Neale and Johnson (2007) observed that those delinquent behaviours exhibited by adolescents are in two categories. A pervasive pattern of disregard for the rights of others from the age of 15 such astruancy, running away from home, frequent lying, theft, arson and inconsistency, breaking rules, being irritable, physical aggressive, defaulting on debts, being reckless, impulsive, neglecting plan ahead, show little regard for truth and little remorse for their misdeeds.


The manifestation of delinquency among primary school pupils has remained an age long problem in the Nigerian primary school system. In a study carried out by Ajake, Etuk and Omori (2010) shows that there is a high rate of school complain about student’s delinquency. At this juncture, family has an enormous task of ensuring that the adolescent grows appropriately in this regard. The extent to which parents and other adults in the family make provision for the holistic growth of their wards, with the view of curbing societal ills has generated a lot of concern in our contemporary Nigeria as a whole and Awgu Education Zone of Enugu State in particular. Increased attention is being given to the ability of individual and family to successfully remedy the negative impact on delinquency.

The researcher having seen the unwholesome behaviour that emanated from children which causes burden to parents, school administrator/ teacher and the society, wade into the research of this nature to find out may be parenting styles like democratic, autocratic and laissez-faire have a way of causing delinquent behaviour and probably peer pressure as a social factor, makes primary school pupils to adopt certain behavior in order to fit in with others could influence delinquent behaviour.


The study intend to examine the  influence of student background on deviant behaviour in schools as well as examine the possible influence of the school environment teachers, parent, society, peer group ups behaviour in promoting deviant behaviour among student. 

However, this study is concern to sets out and achieves the following.

i)             To investigate whether parents in some ways, either knowing or unknowingly contribute to the deviant behaviour of students in secondary school.

ii)           To determine whether the nature of the school administration has influence whether the socio-economic factors in Awgu Education Zone of Enugu State have any influence on deviant behaviour among primary school students.

iii)          To assess the influence of democratic parenting styles on delinquent behaviour among primary school pupils.

iv)         To assess the influence of autocratic parenting styles on delinquent behaviour among primary school pupils.


The following hypotheses will be tested

H0:There is no significant relationship between autocratic parenting style and delinquent behaviour among primary school students

H1: There is a significant relationship between autocratic parenting style and delinquent behaviour among primary school students

H0:There is no significant relationship between democratic parenting styles and delinquent behaviour among primary school students.

H2:There is a significant relationship between democratic parenting styles and delinquent behaviour among primary school students.


The end result of this study was intended to enable parents, individuals, policy-makers, curriculum planners and the government to make adequate plan on how to ensure that the high level deviant behaviour among our children is reduced to minimal levels and or eliminated. A research of this nature is more relevant to Parents who would find it useful to evaluate different parenting styles and their influence on their ward’s behaviour then may choose the one that is appropriate for the upbringing of their children. Principals, and Teachers, will also find this research work useful because it will afford them the opportunity to see how parenting styles and peer pressure may influence delinquent behavior so that they will understand how to handle delinquent behavior among students. School psychologists or counsellors handling delinquent problems of student would also be able to identify various behaviours exhibited by children and to advise students on the right peer group to move with that would be of benefit to them academically, socially and morally. The study would be relevant to policy makers and government, for example, ministry of education and juvenile remand home for junior offenders like; boaster home, an arm of the Nigeria Prison Service. That is concern with the policy that guide the day-to-day running of school system. This will help them to formulate policy that would help in the smooth running of the schools. Non-Governmental Organizations like; United Nations Children‘s Fund (UNICEF) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) dealing with adolescents will find this useful to bring about better ways of addressing delinquent behaviours in our society. The study will also contribute to other literatures in the area of parenting styles, peer pressure and delinquent behaviours. It will assist other student’s researchers who would want to carry out research in the area of parenting, peer pressure and deviant behaviour among primary school pupils.


The research was delimited to primary school pupils in Awgu Education Zone of Enugu State. It is assumed that the delinquent‘s behaviours are common among primary school pupils. Obviously, the primary schools are made up of children and teenagers. Emphasis was basically on this because it is assumed that teenagers are found at this level of education school. In this case, the research was limited to teenagers male and female students within the age range of 10-16 years. This study was limited to family factors, parenting style, peer pressure and delinquent behaviours among primary school pupils in Awgu Education Zone of Enugu State.

The researcher encounters some constraints which limited the scope of the study;

FINANCE: Due to the nature of office and business within the scope, the researcher spends a lot of money on visiting, traveling from one location to another, from one office to the other and even had to repeat a visit more than three times to seek for information, all these involves money considering the financial constraint of the researcher and limited resources available to her.

SOURCES OF INFORMATION: Many registered and non-registered teaching and non-teaching staffs of primary schools in Awgu Education Zone of Enugu State were reluctant to give out or provide information about the research, since they believe that tax payment is something very confidential and therefore could not open up to the researcher.

INADEQUATE RECORD KEEPING: Some of the respondents visited were unable to present complete and comprehensive records of their business .while some were not keeping proper records of their business activities and as such could not give adequate and correct information on the effect of vat on their businesses rippling on the economy of Nigeria.

TIME: Time constraint has been another vital limitation and obstacle towards effective realization of the main objectives of this study. Time was really not on my side since I have to combine the little time left with my academic work and preparation.


Family factors: Family Factors. Certain life situations such as single parenting, domestic violence, and other stressful events can contribute to the likelihood of maltreatment, particularly when parents are isolated socially or lack sufficient emotional or financial support.

Deviant behaviour:Deviant behavior may refer to. Deviance (sociology), actions or behaviors that violate social norms. Deviant Behavior (journal), an interdisciplinary journal which focuses on social deviance. Deviant Behavior (book), a textbook by American sociologist Erich Goode.

Peer Group: People who are similar in development level such as age, education and other qualifications.

School Administration: It is a formalized system which, plan, coordinate, organize, staff, reporting and evaluating of all matters of the entire school affairs.

Heritage: A valued thing or culture that is been passed down from previous generations.

Nuisance: An annoying person             

Organization: An organized group with a particular purpose e.g. school

Primary school:A primary school (or elementary school in American English and often in Canadian English) is a school in which children receive primary or elementary education from the age of about five to twelve, coming after preschool and before secondary school.


This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.  Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.

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