Youth Restiveness and Education: a Sociological Study of the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria

Utuama, T (2010-07)

A Thesis Submitted to the School of Postgraduate Studies, University of Lagos

Thesis

The primary purpose of this study was to examine the factors that predispose youth of the Niger Delta to restiveness and find out how education in the form of skills acquisition and a general social education can help solve or reduce this social menace. Faulty socialization was identified as the basic reason for this malady. Other reasons include unemployment, poverty, marginalization, the problems in the Nigerian educational system, negative national values, lack of parental guidance, long viewing hours of violent films and the easy availability of guns and small arms in the hands of the youth. The study drew upon two research designs, namely the descriptive-survey and the quasi-experimental pre-test, post-test designs involving 1339 respondents made up of 682 males and 657 females whose ages ranged between 18 – 30 years. They were drawn from the four States of Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers. The 1st treatment group was exposed to skills acquisition only. The 2nd treatment group was exposed to a general social education and skills acquisition. The control group received neither skills acquisition nor general social education. Five hypotheses were tested and five instruments were used to generate relevant data for the study. The data generated were analyzed using ANOVA, multiple regression, Pearson product correlation statistics and independent t-test comparison as well as descriptive statistics of simple percentages, mean and standard deviation. All the five hypotheses tested at 0.05 level of significance were rejected. The findings of the study indicated that skills acquisition alone was not sufficient to reduce violent behaviour among the youth. A combination of skills acquisition and a general social education was found to be most efficacious in reducing attraction of the youth to violence. The findings also revealed that the youth in the middle socio-economic class were most favourably disposed to violence followed by those in low socio-economic background. The findings also indicated that youth who have strong religious affiliations were less prone to violence. A general social education should, therefore, be included in skills acquisition training for youth.

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