FAMILY INFLUENCE ON CRIMINAL BEHAVIOUR (A STUDY OF ALADE IDANRE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, ONDO STATE)

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The family is human society’s basic building stone. The impact of family on criminal behaviour has much to be learned. There has been a lot of concern over the years in the criminology literature regarding the relative importance of family structure (mainly involvement or absence of parents) and family role (attachment between parent and child, family dispute, control, discipline, parental interest, etc.).

The family is also seen by politicians, educators, residents and scholars as a key factor in the resulting participation of a child in crime (Loeber & Loeber-Stouthammer, 2016). In order to better understand the relationship between different family factors and crime, researchers have carried out a number of investigations. For example, factors studied in criminological research include the role of maternal deprivation, whether a child has criminal parents, the severity of discipline administered to a child, parental neglect and abuse, inadequate parental supervision, domestic violence, age of parents at time of child’s birth, parental attitudes toward violence, parental drug use, parent history of mental illness, birth order, size of the family, parent education and socioeconomic status, and parent/child separation (Loeber and LoeberStouthammer, 2016).

As a potential factor for possible delinquency or criminality, a detrimental family trait such as inadequate parental control of children is also studied, and children who come from such families are assumed to be at higher risk or more likely to commit crimes than children who do not.When the reverse occurs, such as an infant growing up in a caring and nurturing family, scholars also point to these factors as “protective” factors, as they foster the durability of a child or have protective defences against the onset of criminal involvement, even in the face of unfavourable circumstances (Derzon, 2015). It is also likely that family factors interact with other factors in a complex relationship difficult for researchers to tease out (Derzon, 2015). There are a number of studies examining the role of the family and other social, psychological, genetic, and environmental factors on crime. For example, there are longitudinal studies in which large cohorts of children are followed for years, with some becoming criminal and others remaining law-abiding. Such studies provide a fertile ground for analyzing and comparing the factors that predict the onset of criminal behavior (Farrington, 2017). Another set of studies follows a group of already identified offenders who have been released from prison, or have completed their probation or parole term. In any set of already identified offenders, some will become recidivist and others will not. Again, it provides opportunity to analyze the factors that are most persuasive in these already identified offenders becoming recidivist or not (Gottfredson and Tonry, 2014).

Crime is an act of deviance from what society has construed as against the societal norms translated into a criminal code. An act involving intention at its core, the intention to deviate from socially accepted actions without any legal justification. The word “crime” has its origin from a Latin term “crimen” which means “to charge”. As per Blackstone, a crime is “an act committed or omitted in violation of a public law either forbidding or commanding it”. Crime has an umbrella effect on the society irrespective of the victim. Unlike any civil act, it poses great threat to the psychology of the people constituting society at large. Crime at the surface is considered as a single act but most of the time it involves a series of complex psychological decisions to which the criminal is often seems unaware of as it is influenced by the unconscious self. “Every criminal is such by reason of unconscious forces within him” (Greenwald & Roche, 2019).Criminal behaviour is any behaviour or act that is in violation of the criminal law, whereas crime is the particular action representing such behaviour (Kamaluddin, Shariff, Othman, Ismail, & Ayu, 2015). “It is not itself, or criminality that is innate; it is certain peculiarities of the central and autonomic nervous system that react with the environment, with upbringing, and many other environmental factors to increase the probability that a given person would act in a certain antisocial manner” (Eysenck & Gudjonsson, 2019) (Bartol & Bartol, 2015).

Most researchers, prompted by the work of Nye (2016) and Hirschi (2015), came to believe it was family function that was the important family factor in determining criminal behavior.Kierkus and Bauer (2012) stated that broken home, divorce, parental conflict, parental rejection and poor living conditions are on the increased such many children who find themselves in such situations had not learnt what behaviour is appropriate or not. Research findings have shown that children raised in single-parent family are more likely to display antisocial behaviour. Derzon and Lipsey (2012) noted that children living in single-parent families, who were strongly attached to their custodial parent were more likely to commit delinquent acts than children living in intact homes who were strongly attached to both parents. Their study also indicated that children from intact home who were strongly attached to just one of their parents were likely to commit delinquent acts. There is the general notion by scholars that children who have experienced early socio-economic hardship have been found to display aggressive and antisocial behaviours later in life, and to be less popular than other children among their peers. Hollin, Brown and Palmer (2012) opined that it is difficult to separate the simple fact of being poor from other risk factors such as large family size, single-parent families or broken homes or criminal behaviour. They are of the view that children from broken home such as those with divorced or separated parents have lasting problem into adulthood. They asserted that children from divorced parents enter into sexual relations earlier, make poor occupational choices, develop less stable long-term relationship, develop long-term problem behaviour and suffer from depression and over anxieties. They further stated that economic pressure does influence parent stress, depression and marital conflict which in turn influences parent-child, parent-adolescent relationships and eventually leads to antisocial behaviour by the young person. Sinclair (2015) however, found in her own study that criminal behaviour is present among children from rich and poor homes. She reported that children from rich homes, due to their privileged positions and opportunities open to them, are more involved in white collar crimes like bribery and corruption or the so called victimless crime. The lower class children, on the other hand, engage more in offences like theft, rape, prostitution, vandalism and other violent crimes.

Family is one of the most important grounds of crime and crime victimization development. The experts, welfare workers, lawyers and sociologists argue that the factor or factors should be identified that provide the kind of conditions under which the individuals abuse, tolerate or accept the crime in order to secure the society, reduce the social harms and finally propose the procedures to reform it. The purpose of this study was to investigate how family related factors influences criminal behaviour of people in Alade Idanre Local Government Area, Ondo State.

1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

The adolescents and youth’s crime has always been a part of communities problem, but it never has been too cute as a social problem but the rise of adolescents and youth’s crime after the nineteenth century especially the violent and atrocity crimes has been considered as one of the great social problems that has raised concerns of world public opinions. In this respect, the recent reports of United Nations indicate that the rate of crime is growing throughout the world and the crime rate increases more than the population growth.

A negative family characteristic such as poor parental supervision of children is often studied as a risk factor for future delinquency or crime, and children who come from such homes are believed to be at greater risk or are more likely to commit offenses than children who do not. When the reverse occurs such as a child growing up in a loving and supportive home researchers often refer to these variables as “protective” factors, as they promote a child’s resiliency or provide protective barriers against the onset of criminal involvement even in the light of adverse conditions. It is also likely that family factors interact with other factors in a complex relationship difficult for researchers to tease out. The impact of the interaction of these factors has been found in a few studies; however this remains an area that requires more research. The influence of family on criminal behaviour has been focused upon.

1.3           OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The general objective of this study is to examine family influence on criminal behaviour. The specific objectives include the following:

  1. To examine how child rearing practices influences criminal behaviour in Alade Idanre Local Government Area, Ondo State.

  2. To examine how family type influence criminal behaviour in Alade Idanre Local Government Area, Ondo State.

  3. To examine the extent to which parents socio-economic status encourages the child involvement in criminal activities in Alade Idanre Local Government Area, Ondo State

  4. To examine the relationship between family and criminal behaviour of people in Alade Idanre Local Government Area, Ondo State.

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

  1. To examine how child rearing practices influences criminal behaviour in Alade Idanre Local Government Area, Ondo State.

  2. To examine how family type influence criminal behaviour in Alade Idanre Local Government Area, Ondo State.

  3. To examine the extent to which parents socio-economic status encourages the child involvement in criminal activities in Alade Idanre Local Government Area, Ondo State

  4. To examine the relationship between family and criminal behaviour of people in Alade Idanre Local Government Area, Ondo State.

1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS



Family related factors do not influence the criminal behviour of people in Alade Idanre Local Government Area, Ondo State.
Family related factors do influence the criminal behviour of people in Alade Idanre Local Government Area, Ondo State.

1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This study will be a resource material on how family-related variables influence criminal behaviour; it will ultimately contribute to closing the gap that exists in studies on criminal behaviour. In addition, this study will increase the knowledge base in criminology. Practically, the findings of this study will be very useful to guidance counsellors, social workers and other professionals responsible for the rehabilitation of juvenile with antisocial behaviours.

1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The study is restricted to the influence of family on criminal behaviour, a case study of Alade Idanre Local Government Area, Ondo State.

1.8 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)

Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS

Family: Family is defined as a specific group of people that may be made up of partners, children, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents or one or more other persons living in the same household who are related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption.

Crime:Crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term crime does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accepted definition, though statutory definitions have been provided for certain purposes.

Behaviour: Behaviour is the actions and mannerisms made by individuals, organisms, systems or artificial entities in conjunction with themselves or their environment, which includes the other systems or organisms around as well as the physical environment.

Criminal Behaviour: Criminal behaviour refers to conduct of an offender that leads to and including the commission of an unlawful act.


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