Families are one of the strongest socializing forces in life. They teach children to control unacceptable behaviour, to delay gratification, and to respect the rights of others. Conversely, families can teach children aggressive, antisocial, and violent behaviour. The study aimed at determining the influence of parenting styles on delinquency among juveniles in rehabilitation centres in Nakuru town, Kenya. The ex post facto research design was applied since the Juveniles have already left their homes. The study was conducted in the Juvenile Institutions in Nakuru town, Kenya. Nakuru town has three juvenile delinquent institutions composed of 209 juveniles. The sample size of 161 juveniles aged between ten to nineteen years was drawn from the three institutions. Purposive sampling method was used in selecting these Juvenile Institutions. The researcher administered questionnaire to the juvenile delinquents in order to collect information on their previous parental experiences. Validity of the instruments was verified using expert opinion while the reliability was measured using a pilot study at Molo Probation and Aftercare Centre. Cronbach’s Alpha method was applied to test internal consistency of the instrument. A reliability coefficient of 0.707 was realised. Descriptive statistics frequency tables and percentages were used to analyse data with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 16 for windows. Results revealed that parenting styles influence juvenile delinquency. Parents need to adopt authoritative parenting style, high in warmth and high in control, in order to reduce juvenile delinquency trends. Parents need to spend more time with their children and encourage interpersonal communication. The findings from the researcher suggest further research on the influence of modern society on juvenile delinquency.

Background of the Study
Many Parents struggle on how to appropriately raise their child in the best manner in a contemporary society. Baumrind (1993) asserts that a parenting style is a psychological construct representing standard strategies that parents use in their child rearing. There are various differing theories and opinions on the best ways to rear children, as well as differing levels of time and effort that parents are willing to invest. Parental investment starts soon after birth. This includes the process of birth, breast-feeding, affirming the value of the baby’s cry as the parent. O’Connor (2002), argues that many parents create their own style from a combination of factors, and these may evolve over time as the children develop their own personalities and move through life's stages. Parenting style is affected by both the parents' and children's temperaments, and is largely based on the influence of one’s own parents and culture. Most parents learn parenting practices from their own parents — some they accept, some they discard depending on how the parents related to their children.

According to Brown and Brown (2006), in England 70% of juveniles in state operated institutions came from fatherless homes. This pattern of juvenile crime ranges from robbery, assault, rape and homicide. Prevalence rates show a sharp rise from the mid 80’s and 90’s about 50% to the year 2000 85% of crime (McLeod, 2012). In America legislative laws govern the parental responsibility; this includes the physical supervision, preventing the child from hurting themselves and others; the media supervision that protects the child from violent and pornographic imagery which may challenge their value system. For instance internet has content control software that censors obscene materials from juvenile consumption. A child found in the street is picked up by police or other citizen and followed up to their home to establish the real cause of being in the street. Heaven and Newbury (2004) assert that in Europe the process of divorce and separation is clearly spelt out by the couples conceding to a consent decree where they provide adequate financial support, child custody for one partner and visiting rights for the other where separation is imminent all these cushion the child against the effects of marital turbulence. Besides, there are various state run organisations and civil society groups that deal with marital and children rights. All these efforts are aimed at ensuring that children are not left to suffer indignation due to parental differences. Amazingly, in Japan, juvenile offender cases can be dismissed without hearing and the matter handled at family level. Suffice to say, delinquency is a global problem but with proper family structures this situation can be alleviated

In Africa, the rate of juvenile delinquency is quite evident. Baumrind (1993) argues that the main contributing factor to delinquency in Africa is poverty and domestic violence. However, this can be challenged as some parents who are poor have managed to raise up functional families while some children from rich families end up as delinquents. In a violent society such as South Africa children learn that violence is an acceptable solution for problems. Together with an adverse economic situation, including unemployment, poverty and availability of guns, this resulted in South Africa being increasingly confronted with youthful criminals. The idealised image of the ‘happy family’ is also a social myth. Research shows that domestic violence is on the increase and that annually nearly three million children experience domestic violence (Fleisher, 1995). By a process of socializing with violence the child identifies with his or her violent parent and the child learns that violence provides an acceptable solution to problems.

In Kenya, there are 12 Children’s Remand Homes all under the department of Children’s services. According to Nakuru Probation Centre 2012 annual report, the remand homes in Kenya handled 1490, 3224 and 3340 children in 2005, 2006 and 2007 respectively. On the other hand, the children rehabilitation schools handled 2362, 1164 and 2490 children in 2005, 2006 and 2007 respectively (GoK, 2009). According to country response to Children Rescue Committee 44th session, 5113 children were involved in crime in 2005. Out of these, only 3,500 were handled by the remand institutions due to capacity constraints (GoK and UNICEF, 2006). An increasing trend is that children are being remanded in children remand homes in Kenya. Delinquency in children is as a result of various factors namely: poverty, broken homes, lack of education and employment opportunities, migration, drug or substance misuse, peer pressure, lack of parental guidance, violence, abuse and exploitation.

Nakuru Town, situated in Nakuru County of Kenya has two probation centres and one Juvenile Remand Home. Many puzzling questions have lingered on whom to blame on this rising trend. Can anything be done to arrest this sombre situation? Most of the studies that have been done have focused on theories of delinquency and the criminal justice system. They have proposed curative measures as opposed to preventive interventions. A survey done seven years ago by Mugo, Kang’ethe and Musembi (2006) recommended that there is need for a paradigm shift from curative to preventive measures or interventions. If the causes of juvenile delinquency were established, it can contribute greatly towards contributing to prevention of delinquency if the right awareness is created. Family dysfunction could impede development as well as bringing in a lot of stress to the same family members. If the above trend continues, then we may end up having economic stagnation as well as wiping out the family unit, which is the foundation of protection, care and training of children. To prevent delinquency, the family needs to be preserved.

This study therefore aimed at establishing the influence of parenting styles on juvenile delinquency in Nakuru town. It focuses on how a dysfunctional family contributes to juvenile delinquency. The ability of a family to hold together in times of adversity helps in cushioning the children against delinquency trends. Henslin (1994) maintains that a significant consequence of broken homes is that children from them are more likely to become involved in delinquency and crime. The delinquency and crime of these children make them to be removed from their homes and local schools for residential treatment since their behaviour is considered criminal in nature.

Statement of the Problem.
The perennial problem of juvenile delinquency has deeply affected the normal functioning of the society. Today, Parents, who bear the greatest responsibility in mentoring and raising their children, are not prepared for parenting obligations and they are not fully committed to their parenting roles. This is due to economic hardships that deprive them of quality family time and the cosmopolitan nature of modern society where people are unconcerned with others. When parents fail in their parenting responsibility then a family of delinquents is born that will engage in crime and disturb social order in order to survive. If this trend continues the society becomes an unsafe place to live in. Therefore, there is need to establish the influence of parenting styles on the juvenile delinquency.

Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of parenting styles on delinquency among juveniles in rehabilitation centres in Nakuru town, Kenya

Objectives of the study
The objectives of the study were:

i. To establish the influence of Authoritarian Parenting Style experienced by juvenile delinquents in Rehabilitation Centres of Nakuru town.

ii. To determine the influence of Authoritative Parenting Style experienced by juvenile delinquents in Rehabilitation Centres of Nakuru town.

iii. To determine the influence of Permissive Parenting Style experienced by juvenile delinquents in Rehabilitation Centres of Nakuru town.

iv. To establish the influence of Neglectful Parenting Style experienced by juvenile delinquents in Rehabilitation Centres of Nakuru town.

Research Questions
This study was aimed at answering the following research questions:

i. What is the influence of Authoritative Parenting Style to the juvenile delinquents in Rehabilitation Centres of Nakuru town?

ii. What is the influence of Authoritarian Parenting Style to the juvenile delinquents in Rehabilitation Centres of Nakuru town?

iii. What is the influence of Permissive Parenting Style to the juvenile delinquents in Rehabilitation Centres of Nakuru town?

iv. What is the influence of Authoritative Parenting Style to the juvenile delinquents in Rehabilitation Centres of Nakuru town?

Significance of the Study
The study is significant since it may add insight to the existing body of knowledge on the extent to which parenting styles contribute of juvenile delinquency. It may also provide useful information to the policy makers in the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Home Affairs in the development of appropriate interventions to address juvenile delinquency. It may be useful to the service providers within the criminal justice system such as the police, children officers, probation officers as well as social workers, parents and the larger community on the proper parenting and disciplining of the children.

Scope of the Study
The study was carried out to examine the influence of parenting styles on juvenile delinquency in Nakuru town. It targeted both male and female genders in the juvenile institutions. These are Nakuru Juvenile Remand Home, Nakuru Girls Probation Hostel and Nakuru District Probation Centre. These institutions were appropriate for the study as they are a home to a large number of juvenile delinquents in Nakuru town.

Limitations of the Study
i. Some of the respondents were afraid to disclose what happened and were nostalgic of their home situation. The researcher dealt with this limitation by assuring the respondents orally before administering the research instrument the anonymity and confidentiality of their shared information. The research instrument introduction also emphasized confidentiality, anonymity and the purpose of the study.

ii. The study did not manage to get information from other family members, managers of these schools and teachers of these children. The findings of this study should be generalized with caution

Assumptions of the Study
This study was based on the assumption that;

i. All the respondents will give accurate and honest responses.

ii. The findings and suggested solutions can contribute to effective parenting, planning and implementations of parenting programmes.

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Item Type: Kenyan Topic  |  Size: 56 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.


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