The influence of primary socialization units on drug abuse among secondary school students in Island Division, Mombasa District, Coast Province, Kenya
Bunguswa, Jael K
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The study was about the influence of primary socialization on drug abuse among secondary school students in Mombasa Island. Drug-related problems such as demonstrations, strikes, poor performance in schools, dropping out of school and other vices are on the increase. Therefore, this study set out to investigate the problem based on assumptions that a poor family socialization process, negative peer influence and the school environment predisposed students to abuse drugs. To achieve this, a psycho-social theoretical model that postulates that deviant behaviours result from socialization institutions guided the study. Quantitative and qualitative research methods, that is, the survey and focus group discussions, were used to collect the data. Questionnaires were administered to a total of 240 respondents and 6 focus groups were conducted. Quantitative data were analysed using the SPSS computer software programme. The presentation of data was then done in the form of graphs and frequency tables. Qualitative analysis involved a description of the opinions, views and attitudes of students in relation to the study objectives. The results of the study show that basic socialization units play a key role in promoting the abuse of drugs among secondary school students. This is because most families have abdicated their duties of monitoring, supervision, guidance and counselling. Children were left on their own, with househeIps, relatives and neighbours who in most circumstances did not instill right moral values in the children. Also, peer influence was found to be very strong in leading students to abuse drugs. Finally, the school was not playing its role to adequately alleviate the problem of drug abuse. The study concluded that the three primary socialization units played a significant role in influencing students to abuse drugs. The study, therefore, recommends urgent and deliberate measures to be put in place by parents, school administrations, peers and the Ministry of Education in order to stem out the problem from schools. The study also proposes similar studies to be conducted in other parts of the country since this study focused on Mombasa District yet the problem is rampant in the entire country. Such studies could give more insights into the drug abuse problem so that solutions can be arrived at.