Correlates of Loneliness in Single Gender and Coeducational Boarding Schools in Murang’a County, Kenya
Loneliness remains a challenge among learners all over the world especially at adolescence stage. Major correlates of loneliness in schools have been identified as teacher-learner relationships, sense of belonging to school and learners’ peer relationships. The interplay of these factors has not been widely studied in the gendered context of schools. The purpose of this study was to establish power of determination of learners’ peer relationships, sense of belonging to school and teacher-learner relationships on loneliness, in single gender and coeducational sub county public secondary schools in Murang’a County of Kenya. The Krejecie and Morgan table was used to determine sample size of 435 participants from a population of 13,572 students in the sub county coeducational and single gender secondary schools in the county. Stratified random sampling method was used to select 231 boys and 204 girls, each type of school formed a stratum. A cross sectional survey research design was used in the study. Loneliness was measured using Perth aloneness loneliness scale while learners’ peer relationships, teacher-learner relationships and sense of belonging to school were measured using scales developed for this research, with reliability index (α) of 0.81, 0.68, 0.79 and 0.82 respectively. Descriptive statistics and regression analysis was done using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) program version 20. Lerner (1991) developmental contexualism theory was applied in interpreting the findings. The results indicated that girls were adversely affected by the presence of boys in all variables under observation except in learners’ peer relationships. Learners’ peer relationships, sense of belonging to school and teacher-learner relationships were protective against loneliness. Recommendations are that approaches to improve school climate and alleviate loneliness be anchored on peer relationships, teacher-learner relationship and sense of belonging to school.
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