Perceptions of multi-disciplinary team members regarding psycho-social factors contributing to juvenile delinquency in Oshakati, Namibia
Shatona, Albertina Pombili
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Child crime (juvenile delinquency) has become a norm in many societies and the world at large. Crime is prevalent in all age groups and is said to be on the increase among children under the age of eighteen. Juvenile delinquency also increases in Namibia. The study was informed by Bronfenbrenner's (1979) ecological systems theory as the factors contributing to the phenomenon are the social relationships and individual's environment. The research question asked by the researcher was: What are the psycho-social factors contributing to juvenile delinquency in Oshakati, Namibia? The research goal, based on the research question, was to achieve an in –depth understanding of the psycho-social factors contributing to juvenile delinquency in Oshakati, Namibia, from the perspectives of the multi-disciplinary team working with the involved youth in this area. The research objectives to attain the goal were: to explore the social factors and psychological factors contributing to juvenile delinquents and, to provide recommendations that could be included in treatment and prevention of the phenomenon. The study adopted an explanatory, descriptive, qualitative approach using the case study strategy of inquiry, where multiple data collection methods and sources were used. The population was the multi-disciplinary team working with the juvenile delinquents in Oshakati, Namibia and eight participants were purposefully selected, including teachers, police officers, social workers and youth workers. Data was gathered through in-depth interviews and document analysis was done in order to involve multiple sources of data. Six themes were identified, which the influence of the internal family environment with reference to lack of parental guidance; lack of parental control and supervision due to parents being absent; the external family environment and delinquency in relation to the social environment with special reference to the effects of bars and social clubs in informal settlements; lack of community support; the school factors; lack of recreational and educational facilities and poverty; adolescence and peer pressure/ peer acceptance and the influence of the media.