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Assessing the Influence of Socio-Economic Factors on Youth Engagement in Conflicts in Machakos County, Kenya

Abstract: Youth comprises the highest segment of population in the developing nations and are considered the beacons of hope and future leaders. The purpose of the study was to examine the influence of socio-economic factors on youth engagement in conflicts in Machakos County, Kenya. The study was carried out to examine the nature of conflict incidences and the influence of income inequality on youth engagement in conflicts activities in Machakos County. Descriptive survey design using both probability and nonprobability sampling techniques were used. Simple random sampling was used to arrive at the sample of 234 youth respondents and 20 police officers while Purposive sampling was used to get probation officers and police officer commanding station.Data were collected using semi-structured questionnaires and interview schedule. The quantitative data was analysed quantitatively aided by Statistical Packages for Social Sciences Version 23(SPSS), while thematic approach was used to analyse qualitative data. To test for relationships between the variables, Chi-Square was applied. The analysed data was presented in frequencies, percentages, charts and graphs. From the study findings, results indicates that there is a statistical significant relationship between the income disparities and youth engagement in conflicts as illustrated by (P>0.05).The study recommends that counties to come up with income generation activities the youth in Machakos County and a similar study to be all counties in Kenya for comparison purposes. Key Words:Conflict, Development, Inequality, Youth

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