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The Prevalence of Conduct Disorder among Juvenile Delinquents in Selected Rehabilitation Schools in Kenya. 

Naomi James, PhD., Oasis Africa Counselling Centre; Alice Munene, PsyD., (Daystar University)

Abstract

Previous studies on conduct disorder in rehabilitation schools have indicated high prevalence and this disorder is associated with criminal activities. Some underlying factors have been associated with the development of conduct disorder among juvenile delinquents. This study sought to establish the prevalence of conduct disorder among juvenile delinquents in rehabilitation schools. A total of 167 adolescents from two selected rehabilitation schools (Nairobi and Kirinyaga) participated in this cross-sectional study. A prevalence rate of 36.4% was found among the adolescents. In the aspect of marital status, the highest prevalence was among children who came from families where the parents were widowed (51.4%), whereas the prevalence among children from married or cohabiting parents was 34.0%. Children who were 17 years old had 52.5% prevalence of conduct disorder and the 16 year olds had 34.4% prevalence whereas, children who committed truancy had a prevalence rate of 64.0%. Significant associations were found between religiosity of parents, types of crime committed, marital status of parents and occurrence of conduct disorder. The prevalence of conduct disorder was high among juvenile delinquents in rehabilitation schools, which makes it a matter of major concern. Moreover, the association of conduct disorder with older adolescents is an issue that requires quick intervention before these children advance into serious criminal activities.

Key words: conduct disorder, juvenile delinquents, crime, adolescents, aggression, rehabilitation schools.

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