RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SELECTED FORMS OF BULLYING AND PSYCHOSOCIAL ADJUSTMENT AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN BUNGOMA COUNTY, KENYA
MISIGO, JANE INGADO
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Psychosocial health of many learners at both primary and secondary levels in the 21 st century has been adversely affected by various factors. Amongst many documented factors, the influence of bullying on psychosocial adjustment has not been established conclusively. In Bungoma County particularly,20% of patients aged 14 to 20 years that visit the County referral hospital are cases of mental health issues. This age group is school going learners both at Primary and Secondary level. There are efforts to improve the psychosocial adjustment in schools but given that there are varying factors, the crucial question for this study is “Is there a relationship between selected forms of bullying and psychosocial adjustment among the learners”. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between selected forms of bullying and psychosocial adjustment among students in secondary schools in Bungoma County, Kenya. The objectives of the study were to establish the relationship between forms of bullying and self-esteem, to examine the relationship between forms of bullying and aggression, to find out the relationship between forms of bullying and suicidal ideation and to find out the relationship between forms of bullying and social withdrawal. The study was anchored on two theories, the Social-ecological Theory by Bronfen brenner and Psychosocial Theory by Eric Erickson. The study was based on descriptive crosssectional survey and correlation designs. A total of 106,559 students in secondary schools in Bungoma County, 360 Guidance and Counselling teachers and 370Deputy Principals drawn from 360 schools were targeted. Krecjie and Morgan (1970) formula was used to derive a sample size of 399 students who were selected by means of simple random sampling techniques. The school sample of 36 was sampled from a population of 360 schools. The Guidance and Counselling teachers and Deputy Principals were drawn from each of the 36 sampled schools. The Form three students were purposively selected. Stratified random sampling and simple random sampling were used to sample schools and students respectively. The Instruments for data collection were questionnaires and interview schedule. Face, content and construct validity of instruments were ascertained through experts in the department. A pilot study of the instruments established test-retest reliability of coefficient indices of between r = 0.74 for students and inter-rater reliability of r = 0.72 for Deputy Principals and r = 0.76 for Guidance and Counselling teachers. Face, content and construct validity was ascertained. Quantitative data was analysed using percentages, means, Pearson Products correlation and multiple regression analysis. Qualitative data was transcribed, organised into themes and reported in narrative. All analysis was done using the statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 25. The findings revealed that there was a significant negative relationship between forms of bullying and self-esteem r = - 0.34; there was a significant positive relationship between forms of bullying and depression r = 0.38; there was a significant positive relationship between forms of bullying and aggression r = 0.44; there was a significant positive relationship between forms of bullying and suicidal ideation r = 0.42 and there was a significant positive relationship between forms of bullying and social withdrawal r = 0.35.The null hypotheses were all rejected. The study concludes that there was a significant relationship between forms of bullying and student psycho-social adjustment. The study recommends that, Guidance and Counselling department should be strengthened to offer psychological services to students. The findings give an empirical backing to policy makers in addressing bullying as an important variable among contributors to student psychosocial adjustment.