Social Context of Bullying in Public Secondary Schools in Kisumu-East Sub-County, Kisumu County, Kenya
ALOO, Pamella Amondi
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Bullying is a global problem that has negative consequences on school environment and lives of students. Research indicates that the prevalence of bullying is high ranging from 27% in developed countries to as high as 70% in developing countries. In Kenya, the Ministry of Education declared bullying illegal. Despite this, there are still cases of bullying being reported in public secondary schools in Kisumu-East sub-county, Kisumu County. This therefore prompted this study. Hence, the purpose of this study was to examine the social context of bullying in public secondary schools in Kisumu East sub-county. Specifically, this study sought to examine prevalence of bullying in public secondary schools in Kisumu-East sub-county; explore social factors associated with bullying among the students; and determine the social implications of bullying in public secondary schools in Kisumu-East sub-county. The study was guided by the social dominance theory which was proposed by Sidanius in 2006. The study used a descriptive survey research design. The study population was 3520 students out of which 10% (352) were sampled using simple random sampling. The target population also included secondary school principals and guidance and counseling teachers. Purposive sampling was used to select 5 principals and 5 guidance and counseling teachers. The study utilized 352 questionnaires administered to the students and 10 interview guides for the 5 principles and 5 guidance and counseling teachers. Quantitative data was analysed through descriptive statistics by the aid of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 22 and presented in frequencies, percentages and tables. Qualitative data was analyzed by identifying emerging themes and was presented through textual descriptions. The prevalence of bullying in public secondary schools in Kisumu-East sub-county was 75.6 % with only 24.4% of the students not involved in bullying. In addition, the findings showed .that majority of students strongly agreed, that they were involved in bullying due to social factors such as coping with their parents aggressive behaviors and watching violent movies. Findings also showed that the social implications of bullying included poor academic performance, lo.w self-esteem and psychological harm. In conclusion, bullying among students in Kenya is still a challenge and results into students' problems including; truancy, dropout and poor academic performance. Most bullying is influenced by poor parenting styles hence there is need for government to enlighten parents on best parenting methods. There is need to provide support to students who have been bullied to promote effective coping and to prevent the development of behavioral or mental health concerns. Moreover, involve families and communities in bullying prevention as well as adopting school policies that recognize and prohibit bullying. The findings to this study may be significant to policy makers and principals in terms of formulation of policy guidelines and their implementation in the management of student discipline in secondary schools.