Assessment and Management of Psychosocial Problems of Adolescents in Correctional Centres in Lagos State, Nigeria.

This study investigated the relative effectiveness of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Social Learning Therapy in managing adolescents’ aggression, anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. The moderating effect of gender was also examined. A total of 154 adolescents with mean age of 14.5 years drawn from two special correctional centres in Lagos State constituted the sample. They were made up of 104 boys and 50 girls. The study utilized survey and experimental design using the pretest -posttest control group designs. Four research instruments were used to generate relevant data for the study. These were: Verbal Aggressiveness Scale (VAS) by Infante and Wigley 111 (1986) used to measure verbal aggressiveness as a trait that predisposes people to attack the self-concept of others instead of or in addition to their positions on topics of communication. Social Anxiety Thoughts Questionnaire (SATQ) by Hartman (1984), measured the frequency of cognitions that accompany social distress or anxiety. Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire (ATQ) by Kendell and Hollon (1980), measured the frequency of automatic negative statements about the self. The ATQ covers four aspects of these automatic thoughts: Personal maladjustment and desire for change (PMDC); Negative self-concept and negative expectations ( NSNE);Low self-esteem (LSE) and Helplessness and Index of Self-Esteem (ISE) by Hudson (1982), measured the degree of severity or magnitude of a problem the individual has with self-esteem. Five null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. Data generated for the study were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) was used to test all hypotheses while post hoc comparisons were performed utilizing Fisher’s Protected t-test. All tests of significance were performed at 0.05 alpha level. Results of the data analysis indicate that all the five null hypotheses tested were rejected. The findings revealed that: 1. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Social Learning Therapy were both efficacious in alleviating aggression in both male and female adolescents in correctional centres. 2. The level of anxiety among the participants improved using both the Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and the Social Learning Therapy. 3. Social Learning Therapy was more effective in the management of depression among both male and female adolescents in the correctional centres. 4. Low self esteem was significantly reduced by Social Learning Therapy among the participants in the correctional centres. 5. There was a significant gender difference in the participants’ post-test scores in aggression and anxiety but no significant gender difference was noticed in depression and self-esteem measures. 6. The number of males in correctional centres in Lagos State is twice the number of females for the past three years, 2007-2010. 7. Adolescents from the south-west top the list of all the inmates in the correctional centres. 8. Poverty, polygamy and parental neglect and hostile home environment were found to be factors that made the adolescents leave home for the street. In the light of these findings, a number of recommendations were made with the hope that if implemented, the manifestation of psychosocial problems would reduce. Among the recommendations is that functional correctional centre be established at at National, State and Local Government levels across the country to reduce incidences of placing juvenile offenders with adult offenders in prisons together because of lack of such centres. Aspects of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Social Learning Therapy should be incorporated in socializing children and adolescents while at the centres to avoid the cases of recidivism upon their release from the centres. Some suggestions for further research were also stated, implication of the findings for parents, caregivers as well as guidance counsellors were highlighted and conclusions drawn.
A Thesis Submitted to the School of Postgraduate Studies, University of Lagos.
Psychosocial Problems , Adolescents , Cognitive Behaviour , Social Learning Therapy , Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES::Social sciences::Education
Nwolisa, F.A (2012), Assessment and Management of Psychosocial Problems of Adolescents in Correctional Centres in Lagos State, Nigeria. A Thesis Submitted to University of Lagos School of Postgraduate Studies Phd Thesis and Dissertation, 252pp.