The Association of Family Functions Among Juvenile Delinquent Children in Rehabilitation Centres in Nairobi and Kiambu Counties-Kenya

Ruth Kioko, Teresia Mutavi


Background: Juvenile delinquency is a serious problem in Kenya. There is a great concern with the growing numbers of children who are in the rehabilitation centres in Kenya. Previous studies in this field has mostly dwelt on the rehabilitation process of the juvenile delinquent children, and not much on the cause. This study sought to find out if family functions may contribute or lead to juvenile delinquency among children in Nairobi and Kiambu Counties.Objective: To identify the prevalent family functions among juvenile delinquent children in rehabilitation centres in Nairobi and Kiambu counties. Methodology: A cross-sectional descriptive design was used, involving purposive sampling technique. Face to face interview was used to collect data from a total number of 113 participants, 60 from Getathuru rehabilitation centre and 53 from Kirigiti rehabilitation centre. A socio demographic data questionnaire, Family Assessment Device and Brief Family Relationship Scale was used. The study was done for a period of 12 weeks.Results: The study established that among the respondents, the majority (95.6%) were from families which were unstable compared to mere 4.4% who were from families that were functional.Conclusion: The family is a system in which each member has a significant influence on all other members. Hence, family functions may determine if a child will be delinquent or not. A family that is dysfunctional is more likely to lead to juvenile delinquency than a family that is functional. New strategies in the rehabilitation process focusing on the family and its functions is important instead of dealing with the child as the only source of the problem. Involvement of professional counsellors and therapist to facilitate the rehabilitation of the children instead of using criminal justice personnel is highly recommended in order to deal with the root cause of juvenile delinquency.

Keywords: Juvenile delinquency, family functions

DOI: 10.7176/RHSS/10-21-06

Publication date: November 30th 2020

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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