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EFFECT OF COGNITIVE RESTRUCTURING ON DELINQUENT BEHAVIOUR AMONG ADOLESCENTS IN BORSTAL TRAINING INSTITUTE
This study investigated the effect of cognitive restructuring on Delinquent Behaviour among adolescents in Borstal training Institute, Barnawa, Kaduna State, Nigeria. The study employed a quasi experimental, non-equivalent control group, pre-test-post-test design. The population of the study was 364 inmates out of which 40 inmates were purposively sampled and used for the study. The instruments used for Data Collection was Conduct Disorder Scale (CDS) and Inmates Therapeutic Technique Questionnaire (ITTQ). Research question and hypotheses were analysed using mean, standard deviation and t-test. These hypotheses where drawn for this study and the findings reveal that significant difference exist between those in the experimental and control group in their aggressive (P=0.05, t=1.96), Hostility (P=0.30, t=1.96) and theft delinquent behaviour (P=0.000, t=1.96) after exposure to cognitive restructuring treatment technique respectively. It was recommended among others that psychologist and those in the helping profession be encouraged to use cognitive restructuring technique to serve as corrective measures for delinquent adolescents. The study will serve as a reference point for parents, teachers, owners of delinquent homes and the government.
1.1 Background to the Study
Delinquent behaviour is a serious problem that occurs in adolescence. Adolescents with this behaviour may display a pattern of disruptive and violent behaviour and have problems following rules (Hinshaw & Lee, 2003). It is not uncommon for adolescents to have delinquent-related problems at some time during their development. However, the behaviour is considered to be a delinquent when it is long-lasting and when it violates the rights of others, when it goes against accepted norms of behaviour and disrupts the child's or family's everyday life (Hinshaw & Lee, 2003; Goldberg, 2012)
It is also noted that an adolescent progresses through stages of biological development as well as changes in psychological and social functioning. Developing proper emotions and controlling them is very essential during adolescence. Meeting social demands as well as eliminating the damaging effects of the emotions on attitudes, habits, behaviour and physical well-being, as well as control of emotions, is essential. Control does not mean repression but learning to approach a social situation with a rational attitude and repression of those emotions which are socially unacceptable.
When an individual reaches adolescence, he/she knows what type of behaviour is expected of him or her and which behaviour are unacceptable. Adolescents however misbehave from time to time for a variety of reasons. Perhaps, they feel that they need to assert their own independence or they wish to test the limits imposed on them. Sometimes, adolescents misbehave because they are experiencing internal distress, anger, frustration, disappointment, anxiety, or hopelessness. There are also those whose
behaviour is consistently of concern to others. In such cases, the adolescents‗ behaviouris clearly outside the range of what is considered normal or acceptable. Perhaps, most alarming is that many of them show little remorse, guilt, or understanding of the damage and pain inflicted on people by their delinquent (Pruitt, 2000).
The future of any nation is largely determined by the well-being of adolescents. Dealing with adolescents has always been a challenge for both parents and helping professionals. Delinquent behaviours typically develop in childhood and adolescence. While some delinquent issues may be normal, those who have delinquent behaviours develop chronic patterns of aggression, defiance, open refusal to laws or regulations, disruption and hostility. Adolescents‗delinquents can cause problems at home or school and can interfere with relationships. Adolescents with behaviour problem may develop personality behaviours, depression, or bipolar behaviour as adults (Richard-Harrington, 2008).
Adolescents‗delinquent behaviour may include: lying, smoking, use of alcohol and or drugs, involvement in early sexual activity, skipping school and having higher than average risk of suicide. Adolescents may also have other mental, emotional or delinquent behaviours like attention-deficit hyperactivity behaviour (ADHD), oppositional defiant behaviour (ODD) among others (Hinshaw & Lee, 2003; American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2010).
Delinquent as one of the major constructs in this study is a problem characterised by a consistent pattern of harming others or their property, or breaking major accepted rules or standards of behaviour. Individuals must be developmentally able to understand and follow the standards of delinquent in order to be considered as having delinquent behaviour (Evans, 2012). According to APA (2000), delinquent behaviour is defined as a repetitive and persistent pattern of delinquent that violates the rights of others or in which
major age-appropriate societal norms or rules are violated. The symptoms of the behaviour fall into four main subscales or dimensions: aggression to people and animals, destruction of property, deceitfulness, and serious violation of rules (Frick & Nigg, 2012). Frick, Stickle, Dandreaux, Farrell & Kimonis (2005) are of the opinion that delinquent is an important psychiatric behaviour for a number of reasons which are closely related to criminal and violent delinquent that is associated with problems in adjustment across the lifespan.
Adolescents with delinquent often view the world as a hostile and threatening place (Evans, 2012). Friends and family members become upset with their misdelinquent and become more irritated when they do not show remorse or guilt over their actions (Evans, 2012). Based on the mentioned causes of delinquent behaviour, it is obvious that adolescents with delinquent behaviours will not just hurt themselves but also hurt others. Parents, caregivers and society at large report cases of adolescent delinquent or delinquent behaviour to juvenile courts, remand or correctional homes or centres but these measures are not sufficient in correcting delinquent behaviour. Different psychological interventions like cognitive restructuring, thought-stopping, self management, reinforcement, punishment, modelling and family therapy are some of the measures put in place by professional counsellors and psychologists to treat or correct delinquent (Obalowo, 2004; Edelson, 2004; Aderanti & Hassan, 2011).
In this study, cognitive restructuring is the treatment intervention to be used.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Many rapid and turbulent changes in contemporary living have brought adolescents face to face with problems and decisions, and conditions over which adolescents and their parents have little or no control and which have made growing up today vastly different from that of ancient times. Oniyama & Oniyama (2001) reported
that social, emotional and psychological problems plague the Nigerian adolescents due to neglect from parents or caregivers, coupled with the desire for independence by the adolescents which they hardly have access to. Inability of parents or caregivers to fit into the world of the adolescents gets the latter frustrated, unhappy and they eventually develop inappropriate behaviour which cause problems to themselves and the larger society. During childhood, children are dependent on their parents because of their lack of experience and submissive nature while parents protect and direct them, but when adolescence is reached, these roles change. Adolescents seek individuality, try to assert their independence while parents on the other hand resist the latter‗s autonomy. The struggle between parents and adolescents for these changes often leads to disobedience, arguments, conflicts and rebellion on the part of the adolescents especially when they are forcefully brought under adult control.
Nigerian students with delinquent behaviour engage in deviant behaviour such as aggression, peer cruelty, fighting, bullying or threatening others, rioting, stealing, truancy, substance abuse, raping, smoking, lateness, violation of rules and regulations, vandalization of school properties, among other things. It was also reported that the prevalence of delinquent behaviour among Nigerian adolescents has increased in the last three years in terms of frequency of recorded delinquent crimes and the number of adolescents involved.
Adolescents with delinquent behaviour not only affect themselves, their families and schools negatively but also the society at large. Increase in adolescents‗ delinquent behaviour has led to a leap in chaos, behaviourliness, destruction of lives and property, armed robbery, terrorist activities, kidnapping, oil bunkering, and many more evils. The Nigerian government established Remand Homes (now Special Correctional Centres), Approved Schools and Juvenile Courts to address these delinquent behaviours in
adolescents but mere admission of the latter is not sufficient to reduce or eradicate the delinquent behaviour. For adolescents with delinquent behaviour to be helped, there is, therefore, the need to expose them to counselling interventions in order for them to become responsible individuals to themselves and their parents, good students at school and worthy ambassadors of the nation as a whole. Various delinquent modification techniques like cognitive restructuring, self management and token economy among others have been used to treat rebelliousness, behaviourliness, depression, anxiety, gambling, attention deficit hyperactivity behaviour and other disruptive delinquents.
It is in the light of this persistence wrong doing of our adolescents that this studies therefore will investigate the ways in which cognitive restructuring is effective to reform and rehabilitate the adolescents remanded in custody
1.3 Objectives of the study
The main objectives of this study are:
1) To determine the effect of Cognitive restructuring on aggressive behaviour among adolescents exposed to the treatment and those in the control group.
2) To determine the effect of cognitive restructuring on hostility behaviour and those in the control group
3) To determine the effect of cognitive restructuring on theft behaviour among adolescents exposed to the treatment and those in the control group.
1.4 Research Questions
In the light of the above, the following research questions were raised:
- What is the effect of cognitive restructuring on aggressive behaviour among adolescents exposed to the treatment and those in the control group?
- What is the effect of cognitive restructuring on hostility behaviour among
adolescents exposed to the treatment and those in the control group?
- What is the effect of cognitive restructuring on theft behaviour among adolescents exposed to the treatment and those in the control group?
1.5 Research Hypotheses.
From the above questions, the following null hypotheses will be tested.
- There is no significant difference in the effect of cognitive restructuring on aggressive behaviour among adolescents exposed to the treatment and those in the control group.
- There is no significant difference in the effect of cognitive restructuring on hostility behaviour among adolescents exposed to the treatment and those in the control group.
- There is no significant difference in the effect of cognitive restructuring on theft behaviour among adolescents exposed to the treatment and those in the control group.
1.6 Basic Assumptions
- It is assumed that cognitive restructuring would be effective in the treatment of delinquent behaviour in Borstal training institute Barnawa, Kaduna.
- It is assumed that there is difference in the effect of cognitive restructuring in aggression behaviour, hostility behabiour and theft behaviour.
1.7 Significance of the Study
The knowledge and research on cognitive restructuring can serve as a useful tool to clinicians, teachers, and the community in that it will enable them to understand the origin and spread of delinquent in order to provide preventions, interventions and treatment programmes. This study will benefit practicing and upcoming counselling professionals those in the helping profession in the following ways:
For best practices, psychologists and counsellors through this study will be more enlightened on the most effective intervention for treating delinquent. For instance, if cognitive restructuring is effective, it will assist psychologists and counsellors to use the intervention on any of their clients exhibiting delinquent. Professional counsellors, psychologist, parents and people in other related fields will also be enlightened on the likely factors that can cause delinquent in human being especially in adolescents and proffer solutions to combat delinquent behaviour for the nation at large to have glorious future leaders. The findings from this study are expected to enable counsellors to help adolescents to build self-esteem, teach them new skills and healthy ways to behave.
Psychologists can develop preventive measures for parents or caregivers on how to reduce and probably eradicate deviant delinquents among adolescents in our communities. Through counselling, campaigns, seminars, presentations and workshop, psychologists and counsellors can expose the dangers of delinquent to the general public, encourage caregivers and parents to adopt good rearing styles, serve as good models, establish a good rapport with their children most especially as they approach the stage of stress and storm (adolescence), and promptly check any maladaptive delinquent shown by their children.
Teachers in various educational levels will also benefit from this study. It will enhance their understanding on how to inculcate discipline in the students, serve as model, and report case(s) of aggression, truancy, violation of rules, disturbances of affect, and significant distress which are pointers to delinquent. Social workers can also leverage on the findings of the study by offering qualitative help to individuals, parents and family members that come for assistance.
Government at various levels will also benefit from this study because it will enable her to promulgate laws that will promote good delinquent in the society, provide necessary facilities or amenities for the people and put necessary sanctions in place when laws are behaviour.
The study would impact on adolescents in custody to understand their delinquent behaviours and consciously reconstruct their thinking pattern towards good delinquent pattern to correct their delinquent behaviour which will enable them to be useful to themselves, their families and the society thereby reducing the rate of atrocities committed in the society. The study is also significant for future participants with delinquent that will be exposed to the intervention techniques.
1.8 Scope and Delimitation
This study focuses mainly on the adolescents in detention in borstal training school in Barnawa, Kaduna. The variables investigated are juvenile delinquents kept in the school by which it is meant, children who have committed various criminal offences, but cannot for reasons of their ages are send to normal prisons as adults.