Family structures in today’s world are coming in diverse forms and shapes. Single-headed families are on the rise as was perceived in the American Indian Community, Mexican Americans and Cuban Americans (Moore, 2010). The causes of other family structures to come into existences have been identified. Parks (2013) concurs by stating that, in America; family constructions are varied today not merely because of high divorce rates, but also due to cumulative rates of non-marital childbearing, cohabitation and the escalation of multidimensional stepfamilies. In support to the above, Kierkus, Johnson and Hewitt, (2010) also find out that family structures in the United States have also changed dramatically over the last century, becoming very diverse in today’s society.
African countries are also experiencing the same. In countries such as South Africa, Kenya, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Botswana, to mention just but a few, have many ethnic groups with multiple practices which present different family structures. This does not leave Namibia in exceptions. Namibia has its own different set up altogether. People can even stay together without being married and yet childbearing will be happening, and can quit any time one feels like (Legal Assistant Centre, 2008). It is in these different family structures where children are raised and nurtured. As an entity, the family has a strong influence on character development of their children. Character development is a very crucial aspect of education. Leiber, Mack, & Featherstone (2009) and Petts, (2009) pronounce that the family is the most important social unit which provides social and economic security to its members such as children is under threat due to rising cases of divorce and separation. Wallman, (2010) shares the same sentiment stating that families in which children are brought up in can have major effects on their well-being. For this reason, most schools are likely to have a lot of children coming from families whose parents have been divorced or separated.
Due to the shaken of family structures, misbehavior among high school children is becoming very dominant in today’s society (Parks 2013; Puzzanchera, Adams, ; Sickmund, 2010). Research has also proven that the involvement of teenagers in criminal acts is on the increase creating glitches for their parents, schools, communities, and their counterparts. A school is also social entity where children from these different construct with diverse behaviors are enrolled. The different experiences these children get from home may have an impact on their relations, performance, and well-being at school. Teenagers of all age groups live in many various kinds of households, which can be a single, step, married, and cohabiting parents. The school has to find out means and ways to make sure that the individual child’s social, emotional, physical and psychological needs are fulfilled.
Namibia has a population of 2.1 million and more than 11 ethnical groups. Progressively, a lot of changes in terms of family structures have been noted especially in the capital city, Windhoek. The problem of antisocial behavior among high school learners has been on the increase with many undesired consequences (Victor, 2011 & Beukes, 2017). Raising children in different family structures has been a challenge especially in Windhoek.
Therefore, there is an urgent need to investigate the influence of family structures on high school learners’ behavior before the worst happens since there is insignificant or non –existent research that was carried on this issue. It is irrational to adopt conclusions drawn from international research and apply them to the Namibian context. What is considered as an abnormal act in Namibia may be of no great deal in the Western and European Countries due to different cultural standards. For instance, matters concerning marriage, divorce, cohabitation, respect for adults to just mention but a few had a different weight in Namibia before the cultures were westernized.
It was therefore, the purpose of this research to find out justly the influence of family structures on high school learners’ behavior within the Namibian context. Consequently, this study plays a vital role in establishing the correlation between the Windhoek- Katutura family structures and high school learners’ behavior. The major research question which directed this study was: What is the influence of family structures on High School Learners’ behavior in Katutura public schools? Katutura is one of the low-density suburbs in Windhoek where most issues occur such as; alcohol abuse, theft, fighting, killings and many others. It is a location of diversity in terms of ethnic groups; therefore, results obtained from the study represent most cultures in Namibia. The research question led the following aims and objectives of the study.
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The aim of this study was to understand the correlation between family structures and behavior among High School learners in Windhoek.
The objectives of the current investigation were to:
1. Determine the influence of Intact Family Structures (Nuclear family) on the behavior of high school learners in Katutura public schools.
2. Assess the impact of single-parent family structures on behavior in Katutura public high school learners.
3. To investigate if there is a relationship between cohabitation family structures and behavior among Katutura public high school learners.
4. To examine the extent to which stepfamily structures contribute to behavior on learners in public high schools in Katutura.
1. The intact Family structure (Nuclear family) has no influence on the behavior of High School Learners in Katutura public schools.
2. Broken family structures (single parent family, Cohabitation and step family’s structures) have no influence on the behavior of High School Learners in Katutura public schools.
The alternative hypotheses
1. The intact Family structure (Nuclear family) has an influence on the behavior of High School Learners in Katutura public schools.
2. Broken family structures (single parent family, Cohabitation and step family’s structures) have an influence on the behavior of High School Learners in Katutura public schools