The study investigated the claim that parenting styles influences deviant behaviour of secondary school students in Obollo-Afor Education Zone. A purposive sampling method was adopted using four hundred deviant students from twenty selected schools in the Education Zone. Data collected were analysed using frequency counts and mean to answer research questions raised in the study. The hypotheses were tested using analysis of variance. 

Based on the analysis, the following findings were made:

1. Deviancy in behaviour has negative influence on secondary school students’ relationship and their academic performance.

2. The result revealed three types of parenting style, authoritarian, authoritative and permissive parenting style. Parenting styles influence students’ deviant behaviours. Although the rate at which each parenting styles influences varies. 

3. Gender influences students’ deviant behaviour. However, the rate of involvement in deviant behaviour is higher for male than female. 

4. School location also influences students’ deviant behaviour. Respondents from urban locations are more involved in deviant behaviour than respondents from rural areas.

Finally, it was recommended among others that since the parenting style adopted by the parents influence deviant behaviour of students, there is need for the parents to adopt authoritative parenting style. This will reduce deviant behaviour among students and ensure, peaceful co-existence. 


Title page i 

Approval page ii

Certification iii 

Dedication iv 

Acknowledgments v

Abstract vi 

Table of content vii 


Background of the Study 1 

Statement of the Problem 9

Purpose of the Study 9

Significance of the Study 10  

Scope of the Study 12

Research Question 12

Hypotheses 13   


Conceptual Framework: 15 

Concept of Parenting 15

Concept of Parenting Styles 17

Concept of Behaviour 23  

Concepts of Deviant Behaviour 27

Concepts of Gender 33  

Concepts of Location 36

Theoretical Framework: 38 

Parenting Theory (Baumrind, 1991) 38 

Labeling Theory (Frank, Tannebaum and Becker, 1963) 42

Empirical Review: 43 

Studies on Parenting Style 43

Studies on School Location 47

Studies on Gender 49 Summary of Literature Review 50


Design of the Study 52

Area of the Study 53 

Population of the Study 53

Sample and Sampling Techniques 53 

Instrument for Data Collection 54 

Validation of the Instrument 54 

Reliability of the Instrument 55   

Method of Data Collection 55 

Method of Data Analysis 55


Research Question 1 56  

Research Question 2 57

Research Question 3 58

Research Question 4 59 

Summary of Findings 64


Discussions 65

Conclusion 69

Implications 70

Limitation 71            

Recommendations 71 

Suggestions for Further Studies 72  

References 73

Appendices 78

i Instrument: parenting styles and deviant behaviour questionnaire 79 

ii. Reliability of the Instrument 82

iii. Students population statistics 83

iv. Validation of the instrument 84 

v. Result of data analysis for parenting styles and deviant behaviour of 

secondary school students 92 



Background of the Study 

The out-cry of the police and the general public on recent involvement of adolescents in deviant behaviours is an indication that all is not well. There has been increasing concern of the police and the general public on the seriousness of adolescent’s crime and conduct problems (Wu, Chia, lee and lee 1998). They reported that juvenile delinquency rate rose from 367 to 538 per 100,000 between 1986 and 1996. They claimed that most of the juveniles arrested in 1996 were arrested for petty crimes such as theft, 38 percent were arrested for shoplifting and 18 percent for simple theft. The outcome of their research also showed that most serious crimes such as rioting, robbery and extortion accounted for 15 percent. 


Deviant behaviours among Nigeria citizen in general and Nigeria students in particular pose a big threat to the smooth running of educational and other related institutions. For quite a longtime deviant behaviours has been a national problems. This was why one time Head of State, Major General, Bulari on attempt to rescue the nation from this social malady in 1984 declared a total war against indiscipline (WAI). The aim of which was to bring back deviant behaviours to normalcy. Inspite of this, deviant behaviours among secondary schools students still abound. 

Deviancy in a sociological context describes actions or behaviours that violate cultural norms including formally enacted rules as well as informal violations of social norms of a group Kring, Davison, Neale and Johnson (2007:31) indicated that the diagnostic criteria for antisocial personality disorder (ADP) includes two major components, namely; 

A pervasive pattern for the rights of others since the age of 15 and the presence of a conduct disorder before age 15, such as truancy, running away from home, frequent lying, theft, arson and deliberate destruction of property, working only inconsistently, breaking laws, being irritable, physical aggressive, defaulting on debt, being reckless, impulsive, neglecting to plan ahead, showing, little regard for truth and little remorse for their misdeeds.  

Bringham, Shope and Raclumathen (2006) refer to such behaviours which are socially proscribed and prohibited as problem behaviour. Any behaviour that falls short of societal norms, values, beliefs and expectations are undesirable behaviours (Okorodudu Okorodudu, 2003). Onyechi and Okere (2007) in their study identified the following as deviant behaviours exhibited frequently and persistently in the classrooms: walking  out  on  teacher, noise making, sleeping in class,  pinching,  aggression, vandalism, pilfering,  lies,  truancy,  tardiness,  irresponsibility,  cheating,  immorality,  alcoholism, use  of drugs,  cultism,  examination malpractice, among others. In the context of this study, deviant behaviours are  those behaviours or actions  that are different in moral and social standard from what is considered normal and acceptable by society or institution. Some examples of these deviant behaviours as they exist in the schools are truancy, noise making, sleeping in class, walking out on the teacher, pilfering, cultism, examination malpractice, immorality among others.  

Problem behaviour among students has become a major issue in secondary schools in Nigeria. There are revised rules and regulations laid down in post primary schools of Enugu State to be observed by both staff and students so as to provide conducive atmosphere for teaching and learning Ndidi (2007). The problem is that students fail to go along with these rules and regulations thereby constituting a stumbling block to the noble ideals of teaching and learning.

Many researchers agree that the foundation of deviant behaviour is rooted in the kind of home the adolescent is brought up (Odebumi, 2007; Otudah, 2008; Okpako, 2004; Utii 2006). The relationship between a student and his or her parents has been noted to have an influential impact on not only the student’s behaviour in school but also in his or her life generally (Mandara, 2006). Numerous studies such as Baumrind, 1991; Maccoby and Martin, 1992; Mandara, 2006; and Micki, 2008, have shown that the parenting style experienced by children, contribute in no small measure to the moulding of the behavioural pattern generally. The basis for good behaviour orientation and good adolescent attitude development is founded on positive parenting (Utti, 2006). Okpoko (2004) stated that parents should be blamed and be made to take responsibility for the misfortune that befalls the adolescents. Hence, this study wishes to examine how deviant behaivours are influenced by parenting styles.

Parenting seems to play crucial roles in adolescent’s transition to adulthood. It is a major vehicle in socializing the child (Utti, 2006). Parenting according to Okpako, (2004) Utti, (2006) is the act of child upbringing, training and rearing or child education. In this study, parenting is a great responsibility and life long activity which involves caring and bringing up of children by parents or guardians. Odebunmi (2007) and Okpako (2006) identified some factors which will make for positive parenting as provision of children’s need, goods, shelter, water, love, warmth, affection, education, control, monitoring, dialogue, supervision among others. However, factors which constitute negative parenting (poor parenting) were equally identified as lack of care, inadequate monitoring and supervision. These and a lot of other conditions may prong secondary school students into deviant behaviours. 

Parenting styles are categorized into three major forms. The authoritarian, authoritative or democratic and the permissive or laissez-faire parenting style (Baumind, 1991). The authoritarian parenting style constitute of parents who are strict, harsh (Aug & Groh, 2006). In authoritarian parenting style, children are exposed to a kind of master servant relationship with their parents where overly hash, punitive with no freedom to the children takes places. Parents in authoritarian parenting style are always aggressive. Psychologists like Utti, 2006 Mandera 2006; & Okpako, 2004 showed that authoritarian parenting style has negative connotation in literature because of the negative behavioural outcomes on adolescents and children. Adolescent under this style are always aggressive, and irresponsible (Utti 2006). Authoritative parents according to Ang and Groh, (2006) are flexible and responsive to the child’s needs but still enforce reasonable standards of conduct. Some researchers found that authoritative parenting style has more positive effects on the adolescent behaviours. In authoritative parenting style, adolescents are given the freedom to explore and are in good communication with their parents. Permissive or laissez-faire parents are those who impose few restrictions, rules or limits on their children (Ang & Grol, 2006). According to Ang and Groh laissez-faire parenting is a kind of parenting without well defined or clear cut goals and such parents play a passive role in rearing of children. 

Utti (2006) in a research conducted on relationship between parenting style and student’s academic achievement found that laissez-faire parenting had more negative effects to the student’s academic achievement. Chao (1994) and Mandara (2006) on the study conducted on the influence of parenting styles on student’s performance found that children from authoritative parenting style are associated with higher achievement among Europe Americans while those form Hispanic and African Americans win parenting style is authoritarian or uninvolving are on the average lower in achievement compared to their European Americans. Another study conducted on the influence of parenting styles on risk behaviour of adolescents showed that adolescents from authoritarian and permissive parenting style are more involved in risk behaviour than adolescents from authoritative parenting style (Akimola, Yisuf & Okesola 2009). The purpose of this study is to find out the influence of parenting styles on deviant behaviours of secondary school students in Obollo-Afor Education zone. 

The issue of deviant behaviour appears to be linked to gender too. According to Bauimann (2000) gender is culturally and socially constructed difference between men and women (as indicated by terms such as gender affairs and gender politics) that varies from place to place and time to time. Gender is a sociological concept used commonly among scholars in the social sciences to refer to the socio-cultural distinction between males and female (Terry and Hogg, 1996). In this study, gender is a distinction between male and female in the society based on their roles and privileges assigned to them by the culture. Notably, human activities throughout the world are organized according to social differentiation that people make between men and woman. 

Bringham (2006) generally observed that men are more involved in deviant behaviours than women. The outcome of their behaviours also shows that men had low parental monitoring and greater parental permissiveness, less parental oriented and had more substance use than women. The greater parental permissiveness and less parental monitor tend to increase men’s deviant behaviours. Some researchers had shown that gender is not a significant factor in adolescent deviant behaviours and subsequent effect on academic achievement (Onyechi & Okere, 2007). Given this inconclusive evidence, the study also sets out to investigate the deviant behviours of male and female.

There is also the general notion that school location many predict adolescent’s deviant behaviour. Location according to Gersmehl (2008) generally implies a higher degree of certainty than place which often has an ambiguous boundary relying more on human and social attributes of place identity and sense of place than on geometry. Natthen (2001) described location as a term used to notice and identify a point or an area on the earth’s surface or elsewhere. In this study location describers position or place on the earth surface. Location provides a definite reference to locate urban or rural place. 

The adolescents in the urban and rural areas behave in the same manner because of availability of computer and internet services (Omelenyi, 2004). The environment influences the behaviour of the adolescents (Eke, 2004). The implication of the above is that the students from rural schools would behave differently from students in urban location. It is again for this inconclusive evidence given that the researcher is interested in the deviant behaviours of urban and rural students. 

Behaviour is the range of actions and mannerisms made by organisms, system or artificial entities in conjuction with their environment, which includes the other systems or organisms around as well as the physical environment (David, 2009). According to David, it is the response of the system or organism to various stimuli or input, whether internal or external, conscious or sub conscious, overt or covert and voluntary or involuntary. Behaviour can be regarded as any action of an organism that changes its relationship to its environment Dusenbery, (2009). David (2009) also reported that behaviour can be common, unusual, acceptable or unacceptable. Humans evaluate the acceptability of behaviour using social norms and regulate behaviour by means of social control. In the context of this study, behaviour is the way in which one conducts self or behaves towards other people. Acceptable behaviour by adolescents will absolutely eliminate deviant behaviours in secondary schools’. 

Statement of the Problem 

Considerable concerns have been expressed by the police and general public on recent increase in the involvement of adolescents in deviant behaviours. This has posed a major problem in educational institutions and the society at large. These behaviours are manifested in form of truancy, walking out on the teacher, fighting pilfering, cultism, examination malpractice immorality among others. 

Parenting generally, has been recognized as a major vehicle in the socialization of the child. It plays crucial role in effective transition of adolescents to adulthood. This means that parenting styles contributes a lot in making the adolescents what they are. With the ever increasing rate of deviant behaviour among secondary students, it stands to reason that parenting may have a link. Therefore with adolescent’s deviant behaviour it is in view of this concern that the study ask, how does parenting styles influence deviant behaviours of secondary school students?

Purpose of the Study 

The main purpose of this study was to find out the influence of parenting styles on deviant behaviours in secondary schools students in Obollo-Afor Education zone. Specifically, the purpose of this study was: 

1. To identify different parenting styles in Obollo-Afor Education zone. 

2. To identify different deviant behaviour that are predominant in Obollo-Afor Education zone. 

3. To find out the influence of parenting styles on deviant behaviour of secondary school student in Obollo-Afor Education zone. 

4. To find out the influence of gender on deviant behaviours of secondary school students.

5. To find out the influence of school location on deviant behaviour of secondary school students in Obollo-Afor education zone. 

Significance of the Study 

The researcher, aware of the importance of good behaviour among the citizens of a nation especially the adolescent, has undertaken to study this problem extensively and contribute towards its gradual eliminations and subsequently, effective solution. It is hoped that this study will be beneficial to counselors, principals, teachers and students. The result of the study would reveal different parenting styles, numerous deviant behaviours and which of the parenting style is more prone to bring about deviant behaviours in adolescents. Based on this, counselors will be in position to counsel parents and students who will be future-parents on which parenting is more beneficial and hence would reduce deviant behaviours among secondary school students. The students will be in position to identify different parenting styles and their consequences, deviant behaviours and problems it creates in schools. Based on this, the students will desist from deviant behaviours and would have in mind to adopt the parenting style that will not lead their own children to deviant behaviours. 

Teachers will also benefit from this study as they would understand that student’s deviant behaviour is linked to parenting styles. As result of this, the teachers will be position to invite parents of deviant students and deviant students to school guidance counselors for counseling. The teachers also being parents will adjust their parenting style so that their parenting style will not prone their children to deviant behaviours. Based on this, deviant behaviours among students will be drastically reduced and their will be conducive environment for teaching and learning to occur and good relationship among teachers and students. Principals being the administrator in the school, acknowledging that deviant behaviour among students has a link with parenting styles will be in position to caution parents during student’s parent’s association meeting to adjust their parenting style. Principals will advice parents to always come for counseling whenever they are called upon as this will ameliorate deviant behaviours among students. The principals also urge teachers to send deviant students for counseling and encourage the school guidance counselors to be effective in their duties. All this will ensure an atmosphere for smooth and effective running of educational institutions.

Scope of the Study 

This study was limited to Obollo-Afor Education zone. This includes Udenu Local Government Area. Igbo-Eze South Local Government Area and Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area. Students presently schooling in this Education zone will be used. This study investigated different parenting styles and their consequences and how it influences deviant behaviours of secondary school students. The present study also identified different deviant behaviours that are predominant in this education zone and possible way of ameliorating them through parenting styles. 

Research Question 

The following research question guided the study: 

1. What is the influence of deviant behaviour on secondary school students? 

2. What is the influence of parenting styles on deviant behaviours of secondary school students?

3. What is the influence of gender on deviant behaviours of secondary school students? 

4. What is the influence of school location on deviant behaviors of secondary school students? 


The following null hypotheses was tested in the study at P< 0.05 level of significance. 

1. Parenting styles will not have significant influence in deviant behaviour of secondary school students. 

2. Gender will not have significant influence in deviant behaviour of secondary school students. 

3. School location will not have significant influence in deviant behaviours of secondary school students. 




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