This study examined perception of secondary school students in Ilorin metropolis on the causes of delinquent behaviours. The population of the study consisted of all secondary school students in Ilorin metropolis. 

Two hundred (200) respondents were randomly selected from the population, which include 100 J.S.S students and 100 S.S.S students. The instrument used for the study was a structured questionnaire with fifteen (15) items. 

The results of the study revealed that age, gender, class level and religion significantly influence secondary school students’ perception of the causes of delinquent behaviour. 

It was therefore recommended that, government should implement sanctions on students who engage in deviant behaviours by disrupting the peace of the school. Finally, more counsellors should be trained and posted to all secondary schools in Ilorin metropolis to help in controlling students with delinquent behaviours.


Title Pagei

Approval Page ii


Acknowledgements iv

Table of Contents vi

List of Tables ix

Abstract x


Background to the Study 1

Statement of the Problem 4

Research Questions 6

Research Hypotheses7

Purpose of the Study 8

Significance of the Study 8

Operational Definition of Terms 9

Scope of the Study 10


Preamble 11

Definition of Delinquent Behaviour 11

Types of Delinquent Behaviours 14

Causes of Delinquent Behaviour 36

Management of Delinquent Behaviours/Prevention 43

Summary of the Review of Related Literature 51


Preamble  54

Research Design 54

Sample and Sampling Procedure55


Reliability of the Instrument57

Procedure for Data Collection 57

Method of Data Analysis58



Demographic Data 59

Test of Hypotheses 63

Summary of the Findings68



Preamble 69

Discussions 69



Suggestions for Further Studies 74


Appendix 77


Table 1: Distribution of the Respondents by Gender 59

Table 2: Distribution of the Respondents by Religion 60

Table 3: Distribution of Respondents by Class Level 60

Table 4: Distribution of Respondents by Age 61

Table 5: Items Ranking on Perception of Causes 

of Delinquent Behaviour 62

Table 6: Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) on perception 

of secondary school students on causes 

of delinquent behaviour on the basis of age 63

Table 7: Duncan Multiple Range Test for Variable Age 64

Table 8: t-test Analysis on perception of secondary 

school students on causes of delinquent 

behaviour on the basis of class level 65

Table 9: t-test analysis on perception of secondary 

school students on causes of delinquent 

behaviour on the basis of gender 66

Table 10: t-test analysis on perception of secondary 

school students on causes of delinquent 

behaviour on the basis of religion 67



Background to the Study

Every society wants its members to be well behaved and crime free, but seems to elude most societies, irrespective of age, sex, class level etc. One type or the other crimes are being committed. However, the general belief is that crime rate is more among the adolescent. These types of crimes are referred to as delinquent acts. Therefore,

According to Helen (2001) delinquency means repeated act of a kind which when committed by a person beyond the statutory juvenile court age of eighteen is punishable as crimes. Viewed symptomatically delinquent behaviour, whatever specific form it may take, has common denominator of maladaptation of the individual to the demands of a social code, be it to the rules of family life, school life in the society which is protected by a system of laws. Delinquency as a concept is subject to many definitions. It is a concept that has a legal origin but it is presently used in other spheres like education, social welfare etc. Anusiem (1987) defines delinquency as a legal concept. The concept also is referred to as juvenile delinquency.

Juvenile delinquency, as pointed out by Anusiem (1987) is used to refer to young persons between 16 and 18 years of aged who exhibit behaviours which is not consistent with law that is punishable by law if committed by adults. Delinquency from all the definitions mentioned above refers to behaviour of non-adult individuals in the society which are judged by the society as bad juvenile delinquency on the other hand, refers to be any act on behaviour by individuals under the age of 18years which goes contrary to the law of the land. These delinquencies, if not checked, may get to unmanageable level and the society will be loosing and living in fears. There is need to attempt to identify forms of delinquent behaviours. To elaborate more on these, some delinquent behaviours include murder, drug abuse, assault aggression, vandalism, burglary, robbery, rape, sexual promiscuity, alcoholism, smoking truancy, examination malpractice, and cultism to mention a few.Some of the factors that contribute to student delinquent behaviours include family tension, broken homes, rejection and disciplinary approaches.

Delinquency brings about social exclusion such anti-social behaviour and nuisance behaviour causes harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not of the same hosehold. There is more turn outs of thugs in the society today, which made people to live in fear, and this affect people’s engagement with the society as a whole.

One of the major effects is that, there is no peaceful atmosphere. Since the society is full of unsocialised, aggressive delinquents. Delinquent acts exposes adolescent to enter a period of aimless loafing and drifting and indiscriminate seeking for excitement and pleasure which invariably leads them to delinquent behaviours. It also leads to family disorganizations and ineffective socialization and this poor school adjustment. Another condition that gives rise to delinquent behaviour includes background of the family. When family fail to perform their duty it affects the child.

Socio-economic status of parents also contributes it child’s delinquency when what is required by the child can not be provided by parents due to financial problems. Peer group also is another contributor to delinquent behaviour. The type of friend a child moves with will have either negative or positive effects on the child.

Lastly mass media is another societal condition that contributes to high rate of delinquent behaviour. Some pornographic pictures, films and other reading materials that do not promote good morals.

Statement of the Problem

Every society has a dream of being peaceful. It wants its members to be well behaved and crime free. Today, delinquent behaviours have become the order of the day in secondary school. Although both young and old commit one type of crime or the other irrespective of sex but adolescent engage more avoidable crimes of various types and consequences. The crimes are emerging and the ugly situation has affected the academic performance of students in various level of educational system.

According to Bernneth and Dalton (2001) delinquency behaviour brings about frustration and depression which lead to poor academic performance and eventually drops out. The school is one of the social agencies that directly affect the child. The school therefore posses enormous time for influencing the behaviour of the child. 

However, it is an undisputable fact that delinquency behaviour is common in every larger society like Ilorin Kwara State. Therefore, there is need to investigate the causes of delinquent behaviour in Ilorin metropolis. There have been lots of crimes which have resulted in death of many innocent students (Okoh 2000). These have been as a result of delinquent behaviour. This study sought to identify the cause of delinquency behaviours of secondary school students in Ilorin Metropolis.

Research Questions

The following research questions were asked to guide the study

1. What is the perception of secondary school students on these causes of delinquent behaviour?

2. To what extent would age of the students influence their perception of causes of delinquent behaviour?

3. To what extent would students’ class level influence their perception of causes of delinquent behaviour?

4. To what extent does gender of the students influence their perception of causes of delinquent behaviour?

Research Hypothesis 

The following hypotheses are derived from the statement of the problem.

1. There is no significant difference in the perception of secondary school student on causes of delinquent behaviour on the basis of age.

2. There is no significant difference in the perception of secondary school student on causes of delinquent behaviour on the basis class lave.

3. There is no significant difference in the perception of secondary school student on causes of delinquent behaviour on the basis of gender.

4. There is no significant difference in the perception of secondary school student on causes of delinquent behaviour on the basis of religion.

Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to investigate secondary school students’ perception of the cause of delinquent behaviors in Ilorin metropolis. Specifically the study will find out the influence of age, class level and gender of secondary school students’ on their perception of causes of delinquent behaviour.

Significance of the Study

The significance of the study lies on the fact that this study will give more insight on delinquent behaviour of students in secondary school in Ilorin metropolis. The school administration, member of school community and government will able to understand the causes of this behaviour among students.

Parents and teachers will join the guidance counselor in monitoring their children to be good Nigerians. The study also attempts to reveal to students the implication of the delinquent behaviours and create the awareness of what the society requires from them as leaders of tomorrow. Parents and teacher should also learn to be good models.

Lastly, this study will be beneficial in confirming the asserters and in alerting parents, students, teachers and counselor on the damage posed by this delinquent behaviours.

Operational Definition of Terms

Behaviour: An action which is seen or observed in an objective ways.

Cultism: A horrifying activities in the secondary school or tertiary institutions.

Delinquency: Bad or Criminal behaviour usually of young people.

Examination Malpractice: An act of cheating during examination that is not conforms to the rule and regulation guiding the exams.

Juvenile Delinquency: Behaviour exhibits by young persons between 16-18years of age which is not consistent with law.

Robbery: An act of taken money or goods in possession of another person by force or intimidation.

Truancy: A person who is habitually absent from school without good reasons.

Scope of the Study

The study is limited to secondary school students perception of the cause of delinquent behaviours in Ilorin metropolis the study covered only five (5) selected public secondary schools in Ilorin metropolis, Kwara State. This limitation was considered because of logistics reason such as the logistic of handling large research population. A validated research designed questionnaire was used to collect necessary information.



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