Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Impact of Socio-Economic Status of Parents and Family Location on Truant Behaviour of Secondary School Students in the North-West Senatorial District of Benue State

Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Impact of Socio-Economic Status of Parents and Family Location on Truant Behaviour of Secondary School Students in the North-West Senatorial District of Benue State

Article excerpt

Abstract

This study investigated the impact of socio-economic status of parents and family location on truant behaviour of secondary school students in the North-West Senatorial District of Benue State. The survey design was used to carry out the study using a sample of 400 respondents selected from different schools within the senatorial district. Student Truant Behaviour Questionnaire (STBQ) was used as instrument for data collection. Chi-square statistics was used to test the two hypotheses at .05 level of significance. It was found that family location and socio-economic status of parents has significant impact on truant behaviour of secondary school students (P>.05 df2 x^sup 2^ Cal. 5.97, x^sup 2^ tab. 3.841; P>.05 df2 x^sup 2^ Cal. 14.20 x^sup 2^ tab. 5.99 respectively). The researchers recommended that parents from whatever location and socio-economic status should have enough time to check their children's attendance at school from time to time and that school counsellors should render necessary counselling services to truant students in their various schools in order to improve on their school attendance. It is also recommended that school counselors should engage teachers in seminars on effective behavior modification strategies and techniques so as to instill discipline in the students.

Keywords: social- economic status, parents, students, truant behaviour, secondary school.

Introduction

The rate of truancy being witnessed in secondary schools particularly in Benue North West senatorial district is becoming quite alarming. This issue is quite topical in the minds of education service providers particularly teachers and counselors. This is because it is capable of negatively affecting the students who are in the critical period of their development popularly referred to as adolescence. Truancy refers to the act of absenting oneself from school without a legitimate cause and without the permission of one's parents or the school authorities. Truant behaviour contributes a lot to poor education achievement of students and poor interaction among staff and students at school. OTCeefe and Stoll (1989) defined truancy as remaining away from school without parental knowledge or consent. They divided truancy into two types "Blanket" truancy, where the child stays completely away from school and "post-registration" truancy where the child is marked officially present at school but is subsequently absent from some or all lessons.

According to Good (1986), truancy is one of the behaviour problems of young people whose causes can be traced from their homes and families. He stated that over protection of children by their parents such as delayed breakfast and lack of parents' interest in their children's progress at school could lead the children to truancy. From this exposition, it is clear that the family can therefore be responsible for truant behaviour of students.

Several factors have been suggested as being responsible for truant behaviours. Skinner (1990) maintains that truant behaviours may arise as a result of psychological problems such as hostilities in homes, frustrations, unmet needs and worries. It could be as a result of scarcity of social amenities such as housing, feeding and other family needs. Denga (1991) said "unmet needs create tension, make us restless, aggressive, uncooperative, impudent, delinquent, unsocialized, compulsive, potentially violent and repulsive."

In families where proper supervision of children's behaviour is lacking, truant behaviours could be expected. Denga (1986) stated that lack of parental supervision, control and effective home training makes children behave badly and in the process multiply their personal problems. For instance, some families have neglected the needs of their children and engaged in the pursuit of money and fame. According to Augusta (1987), children born into criminallyoriented homes naturally grow with crime and could pull other children into crime. …

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