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Parental Absenteeism: Child Nurturance and Socialization Impedes in Bibirioni ward, Kiambu County, Kenya

Abstract:Undoubtedly, the changing dynamics of the families from heterogeneous to homogeneous structure, the effects of globalization, technology, economy and social changes have adversely affected parenting. Parents have consequently become absent in their children’s lives in order to fit to these dynamics. The consequences of this parental absenteeism is massive juvenile delinquencies both at home and in the institutions in which their children are enrolled. Juvenile delinquency in many parts of the world is rising alarmingly. This then begs the question whether some systems within the society are not working properly. With the family being central, parental absenteeism is therefore put on perspective. The main objective of this study was to establish whether parental absenteeism impedes nurturance and socialization of children.This was scrutinized by use of two relevant and complimentary theories namely: parenting styles theory and Social control theory. Parenting styles theory has authoritative, authoritarian and permissive styles as the main tenets while the Social control theory captures the social bonds of the ‘significant other’ of an individual. The family is such an institution in which a child is to be nurtured and socialized.This study was done in Bibirioni Ward of Kiambu County.The study adopted mixed research design which embraced both qualitative and quantitative methods. The target population was children of between 10 and 17 years of age, parents, caregivers to the children, area children’s officers, religious leaders and local administrators. Using Glen sample table with ±10% precision levels and 95% confidence level P=0.5, I used a sample size of 100 respondents from a total population of 21,000 residents of Bibirioni Ward. Random sampling was employed to select the parents and children respondents. Purposive sampling was used to select key informants who included children’s officers, teachers, religious leaders, caregivers and area administration officers. Data was collected through interviews, content analysis and key informants methods. It was then coded and classified on the basis of common characteristics or attributes. Themes were generated and explained through statistics attributes and thematically presented for qualitative method. Descriptive statistics was used to analyze quantitative data and presented in graphs, charts and tables.The findings revealed that parental absenteeism impedes nurturance and socialization of children consequently leading to juvenile delinquencies and other externalizing and internalizing behavior problems like low school performance, stress and withdrawal. Key Words: Parental Absenteeism,Child,Nurturance,Socialization, Juvenile Delinquency

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