Influence Of Social Media On Deviant Behaviour Among Secondary School Students In Langata Sub-County, Nairobi County, Kenya.
Social media use by youth in secondary schools is on the raise with an increasing number of students accessing WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other social sites. While such social networking is beneficial to students, the way they are occasionally used, time spent, things learned and shared on the sites are shocking. Research has associated this to availability of many electronic types of equipment such as smart phones, computers, internet and lack of monitoring of their use by students. The research sought to determine the influence of social media on deviant behaviour among secondary school students in Langata Sub-County in Nairobi. The specific research objectives sought to; investigate the effects of social media on drug and substance abuse among secondary school students; assess the effects of social media on cyber bullying among secondary school students; establish the influence of social media on acts of violence among secondary school students and evaluate the influence of social media on sexual behaviour among secondary school students. The findings of this study will benefit secondary school administrators by highlighting the relationship between the use of social media and deviant behaviour among students and shall also offer secondary school administrators with knowledge and insights to guide in the formulation of policies and procedures to guide ethical usage of the social media. Educational practitioners too will find the study results useful in designing intervention strategies that are more holistic and inclusive of all stakeholders. The research was guided by a descriptive research design. The target population for the research was students in Form One and Form Three students in secondary schools within Langata sub-county. The total sample size for the research was 336 respondents comprising 168 Form One as well as 168 Form Three students. Data for the research was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire. The collected data was edited and coded into SPSS 22 for descriptive analysis in the form of frequencies and percentages. The findings were presented in tables, charts and bar graphs. Results from the research showed that use of social media among secondary school students was prevalent and especially WhatsApp with 90% and 98% usage among Form One and Form Three students respectively. The analysis from research data also indicated that social media strongly influenced sexual practices of secondary school students with 23.8% and 43.8% agreement among Form One and Form Three students respectively. Further data indicated a strong agreement that social media contributed to violence among students as well as on drug and substance abuse due to peer pressure with 63.2% and 64.4% agreement among Form One and Form Three students respectively. Results also revealed agreement among respondents that social media has increased cases of molestation and cyber bullying among Form Ones and Form Threes with 45.2% and 51.7% respectively. On the basis of the findings of this study, it can be concluded that social media usage should be regulated and/or monitored in order to counter negative social behaviours attributed to its use at tender age. Further research should investigate the extent to which teachers are aware of the influence of social media on deviant behaviour and/or the role of school curriculum in eradicating deviant behaviour among secondary school students.
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