Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Psychological Well-Being: The Contributions of Perceived Prevalence of Financial Crime, Socioeconomic Status and Gender among Unemployed Youth in Southeastern Nigeria

Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Psychological Well-Being: The Contributions of Perceived Prevalence of Financial Crime, Socioeconomic Status and Gender among Unemployed Youth in Southeastern Nigeria

Article excerpt


The study examined the contributions of perceived prevalence of financial crime, socioeconomic status and gender on psychological well-being among unemployed. The cross-sectional survey research design was employed. Participants were 288 unemployed graduates sampled in Enugu, southeastern Nigeria. They were aged 24-35 years, with a mean age of 28.6 years. The General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) developed by Goldberg (1972) was administered on the participants to assess their psychological well-being. A three-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) results showed that participants differed significantly in their psychological well-being with participants high in perception of prevalence of financial crime reporting poorer health than those with low perception of prevalence of financial crime. Participants high in socioeconomic status reported poorer health than those low in socioeconomic status. Female participants reported higher GHQ-12 scores indicating poorer health than their male counterparts. The results suggested that once prevalence of financial crime is highly perceived it can be deleterious to health.

Keywords: Psychological Well-being, Financial crime, Unemployed, Socioeconomic status, Gender


In Nigeria like in every other country of the world, crime has become a subject of worry to government and its agencies. No nation, no matter how developed, is immune to the menace of criminal activities. They have assumed threatening dimensions and have become more organised and sophisticated to meet the challenges of the 21st Century crime control mechanisms usually set up by the state to combat it, hence the name Organised white collar crimes' or 'financial crimes.'

The classical sociologists define crime as those activities that break the law of the land and are subject to official punishment. For example, Abort and Clinard (1973) define crime and delinquency as the obvious forms of social deviance. Durkheim (1951), Cohen (1955) and Murray (1994) argue that crime is akin to every society and in fact a normal aspect of human life; it only become dysfunctional when social contracts or institutional arrangements for human interaction begins to malfunction. Based on that, they argue that an explanation of crime should, out of necessity, provide a full social account, respect the authenticity, purposefulness of action and avoid value-laden concepts of individual pathology. To Curzon (1973), crime is any act or omission resulting from human conduct which is considered in itself or in its outcome to be injurious and which the state wishes to prevent, which attracts some form of punishment to the person responsible as the result of the proceedings which are usually initiated on behalf of the state and which are designed to ascertain the nature, extent and the legal consequence of that person's responsibility. Longe, Ngwa, Wada, Mbarika and Kvasny (2009) define crime as social actions and activities that are disapproved of by most members of the society which may or may not have been codified by the state legal apparatus. It could be observed however that in all the definitions of crime one thing seems to remain clear; no activity constitute a crime unless it violates the criminal law of the state or go contrary to established norms of the society.

Financial crime on the other hand, is a term commonly used to describe offences which are securities related and involves the movement, transfer or use of monetary instruments in circumstances which render such acts unlawful (Oguma, 1998). According to Augie (1998), the word financial is defined as fiscal, relating to finances. Fiscal on itself is defined as having to do with financial matters, money, taxes, public or private revenues and so forth. Augie further stated that crime means an act committed or omitted in violation of a law forbidding or commanding it, and to which is annexed upon conviction, either, or a combination of the following punishments: death, imprisonment, fine, removal from office, or disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honour, trust or profit. …

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