An Appraisal of family instability and juvenile delinquency among junior secondary school students in Nigeria

This study aims to examine family instability and juvenile delinquency. A total of 101 juvenile offenders, 86 at‐risk students, and 92 low‐risk students were involved in this study. Multinomial logistic regression was used to predict the likelihood of an adolescent being in a group of juvenile offenders or of being an at‐risk or low‐risk student, based on four predictor variables: family structure, family relationships, school relationships, and commitment to learning. The results show that family relations, school relations, and commitment to learning have different predictive effects on the likelihood of different levels of delinquent behavior. However, family structure is not found to be a significant predictor in the logistic regression in this study. The findings of the study suggest that keeping young people in school can serve as a strong protective factor that serves to prevent at‐risk students from moving along the trajectory of serious delinquent behaviors.

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