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Determination of the Prevalence of Family Dysfunction among Male Children in Conflict

with the Law in the Manila Youth Reception Center: A Cross Sectional Study
Author: Wuisan, Jessica Febrina
ABSTRACT
This study describes the prevalence of family dysfunction among male children 6 to 18
years old in conflict with the law in the Manila Youth Reception Center (MYRC) through the use
of Family APGAR. Data collection from the 87 subjects selected via non-random convenience
sampling included Family APGAR surveys and corresponding interviews. There were 5
categories taken into account for the demographic profile of the selected subjects. Based on the
family APGAR score, it was found out that majority of the subjects or 54% emerged from highly
functional families, while 38% from moderately dysfunctional families and 8% from highly
dysfunctional families. Majority is aged 15 to 18 years old, a period prone to experimentation in
the social setting and influences that deviate from law and order. Surprisingly, most of the
participants belong to families earning above minimum wage. Majority of them are elementary
graduates. In terms of family types, 51% of the subjects are from nuclear families which are
considered as the most stable and manageable family type, 26% are from extended families, 18%
from single-parent families and 3.5% of the participants live solely with their siblings. Majority
of them stay in MYRC for less than 1-2 years. In contrast to other studies performed on similar
subject groups, this study indicates a high prevalence rate of highly functional families among
juvenile delinquents.
INTRODUCTION
Juvenile delinquency refers to
antisocial or illegal behavior by children or
adolescents. In the Philippine Law, youthful
offenders are defined as those who are 9
years but less than 21 years old at the time
of the commission of the offense. They are
exempted from criminal liability and shall
be committed to the care of his or her father
or mother, or nearest relative or family
friend in the discretion of the court and
subject to its supervision. Moreover, those
who were unable to furnish bail shall be
placed under the Department of Social
Welfares or any local rehabilitation centers
custody from the time of their arrest. Those
rehabilitations are responsible for the
appearances of youthful offenders in court.1
Those children who are rejected by
their parents, who grew up in homes with
considerable conflict, or who are
inadequately supervised are at the greatest
risk of becoming delinquent. The above
statement is because the family is considered

as the most natural environment for human


development.2 The
1987
Philippine
Constitution states that the state recognizes
the Filipino family as the foundation of the
nation (Article XV, Section 1). Accordingly,
it shall strengthen its solidarity and actively
promote its total development. In line with
this, the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights also states that, the family is the
natural and fundamental group unit of
society and is entitled to protection by
society and the State. Nature and nurture
contributes a lot on how the person will
grow-up or what personality he or she
acquires. One contributing factor, which
both links nature and nurture, is the family.
Manila Youth Reception Center
(MYRC) is one of those local rehabilitation
centers for youthful offenders and today, an
increasing number of children in conflict
with the law are brought to the Manila Youth
Reception Center.
This study would
determine if family dysfunction is associated
with delinquency.Nature and nurture

contributes a lot on how the person will


grow-up or what personality he or she
acquires. One contributing factor, which
both links nature and nurture, is the
family.This study aims to determine the
prevalence of family dysfunction among
children in conflict with the law 6-18 years
old inMYRC through the use of the family
APGAR.

C. Subjects and Sampling Technique


The study used a convenience nonrandom sampling which involved people
who were the most available or the most
easily selected for the research study.
The computed sample size is 87
using the prevalence rate of 0.65, a precision
of 0.10 and 1.96 for the level of confidence.
Samples were obtained from the
Manila Youth Rehabilitation Center. It
METHODOLOGY
houses children that have been in conflict
A. Study Design
with the law. These are children aged 6-18
This is a descriptive cross-sectional
who have committed crime at a young age.
study design.
The center was established in 1962 through
B. Scheme of the Study
the support of then Manila Mayor Arsenio
The study will follow the scheme
H. Lacson.
The youth home has 5
presented
dormitories; 1 for girls and 4 for boys. Each
Manila Youth
Reception
Center
has
about 30 occupants.
Collection of Samples
Intended 87 Samples

Inclusion Criteria:
Exclusion Criteria:
Male 6-18 years oldSamples with psychotic breaks or
Subjects should have committedmental derangementscriminal offenses against the law Those affected by c
(i.e. traumatized by robbery,
murder, alcohol or sexual abuse)

Acquired Samples
Collection of Data using Family A.P.G.A.R. scoring

Data Analysis

D. Data Collection Methods


a. Family APGAR surveys.
i. A family APGAR developed
by Smilkstein is an assessment
tool used for screening of
family members perception
of family functioning by
examining the members
satisfaction with familial
relationship. It is a rating
system which consists of five
parameters
of
family
functioning
such
as:
Adaptability,
Partnership,
Growth,
Affection
and
Resolve. Each family member
indicates
a
degree
of
satisfaction in each of the five
categories on a 3-point scale
ranging from 0 as hardly ever
to 2 as almost always. The
scale is scored by summing
the values for the five items
for a total score that can range
from 0 to 10. A higher score
indicates a greater degree of
satisfaction
with
family
functioning.
b. Corresponding interview for
clarification of the APGAR
survey to subjects.
c. Questionnaire Administration
i. The questionnaire was used to
provide quantitative data in
relation to the subjects overall
mentality about his or her
family life.
The
design
of
the
questionnaires was obtained
from the Disease Prevention
and Control in the Family and
the
Community.
4th
Edition.Department
of
Preventive and Community
Medicine.UERMMC. 20092010. A preliminary testing for

the questionnaire is not


required since the Family
A.P.G.A.R. questionnaires are
already
validated.
The
questionnaires were given to
the subjects during the
implementation phase.
E. Operational Definition of Variables
a. APGAR Scores Indication of
extent of family dysfunction
derived from computed scores
according to subject responses to
Family APGAR survey. Family
dysfunction is defined as the
subject consistently indicating
lack of satisfaction of family life,
minimal or wounding familial
conversations, inability of the
family to accept or support the
subject, lack of expression of
affection in the family, and
minimal or lack of family time.
i. Scores from 0 to 3
indicate high family
dysfunction.
ii. Scores from 4 to 6
indicate
moderate
family dysfunction.
iii. Scores from 7 to 10
indicate a highly
functional family.
RESULTS
Table 1.Demographic Profile of Selected
Subjects at the Manila Youth
Reception Center

Number of Participant
Age upon entering the MYRC
6 - 10 years old
11 - 14 years old
15 - 18 years old
Family Monthly Income

3
14
70

<8,400 Php
8,400 Php
>8,400 Php

38
8
41

Educational Attainment of Subject


Elementary
Elementary Graduate
High School
High School Graduate
Uneducated

Type of Family
Nuclear Family
Extended Family
Single Parent Family
Siblings Only
Years of Stay in MYRC
<1 2
<3 - 4
<5 6
Table 1 shows the mode of each
category. Ages 15 to 18 years old comprise
most of the subjects in MYRC and majority
of them are elementary graduates. Most of
them have nuclear families and have an
income range of more than 8400 in a month.
Majority of them stay in MYRC for less
than 1-2 years.
The distribution of
participants classified according to Monthly
Income of the Family. According to National
Statistics Board (2006), a Filipino family of
five who resides in Manila should get an
average income of Php 8300 to be able to
sustain the family needs.

Table 2. Family Assessment Results


of the Selected Subjects based
on Family APGAR
Total

Prevalence
Rate

Highly Functional

47

54%

Moderately
Dysfunctional

33

38%

Highly
Dysfunctional

7
8%
36
8
Table 2 shows that majority of
33
subjects
in MYRC have a highly functional
6
4 family with 54% (over half of the
participants) indicating relatively high
45 satisfaction with their home and family
23 lives.
16
3 DISCUSSION
The study indicates the various
demographic
profiles of the subjects
81
participating
in
the survey and the
4
prevalence of family dysfunction within the
2
same participants.
According to the study of Warr, et
al., delinquency escalates rapidly as
individuals enter their teen years and then
declines almost as rapidly as they enter their
late teens and early twenties. In addition, an
empirical evidence study of Mears & Field
suggests that increased exposure to
delinquent peers exerts a unique impact on
the inclination of older youths to engage in
drug offending using marijuana, getting
drunk, selling illegal drugs, and using
prescription drugs. This appears to be true as
the majority of the participants interviewed
were found to have already reached puberty
and ranged from 15-18 years in age. This is
around the time period that children become
more independent from their families and
participate in social functions that are
influenced by parties outside the familial
hierarchy. Since this age period is prone to
experimentation in a social setting,
influences that deviate from law and order
may aid in an increase in prevalence
ofjuvenile delinquency within this age
group.
Considering
the
participants
educational levels, most of the participants
interviewedwere
elementary
undergraduates. A study by Sabates says that
increase in educational attainment is

associated with reductions in conviction


rates for most offenses, but not for violent
crimes. Also, an increased time away from
school is associated with higher conviction
rates for theft. Thus, one could infer that the
educational attainment of these offenders
might have been a factor to the
commissionof a crime. Lack of education,
and or guidance from a superior or person of
authority aside from their parents may have
contributed to their actions and choices in
life, and their decision making. This could
also mean that the more a person spends
time in school, the less they are likely to
commit a crime because they are kept an eye
on by teachers and are more disciplined than
those who spent less time in school.
Sabates study also states that
decrease in poverty is associated with
decreasing conviction rates for violent
crimes, criminal damage, and drug-related
offenses. This does not correlate with this
studys data wherein most of the participants
interviewed belong to families earning
above the minimum wage (minimum wage
is Php8400 within the Philippines).
However,the definition of poverty in the
Philippines is not definitive and monetary
income alone may not suffice to determine
whether a participant is constitutively in
poverty or not. In a study of Rodman et
al.,the review indicates the major cultural
and structural statements on the relationship
of poverty and delinquency. The value
perspective stemming from the research on
family values and on aspirations points out
for further clarification.
According to the study of Murryet al.
on Juvenile Deliquency and Family
Structure: Links to Severity and Frequency
of Offending, the research indicates that
proportionately more juvenile offenders
come from family arrangements other than
the two-parent family home.However, this
study indicates that most of the participants

are from a nuclear family with two-parents


and possible siblings.
Gary B. Schreiner et. al., made a
study that focused on determining etiologies
of juvenile delinquency. The study showed
that children who have poorer family
functioning have more referrals for assault,
more infractions in the residential facility,
fewer intangible family resources, and
attendance at fewer than two family therapy
sessions. In line with this, the recent study
of Demuth and Brown(2004) showed that
having a broken family is significantly
associated with juvenile delinquency. But in
contrast to those past studies, this research
showed that majority of those children in
Manila Youth Rehabilitation Center has a
highly functional family.
In summary, the study indicates that
nuclear families and participants with postpuberty ages were the most prevalent
variables in the interviewees.
Poverty
prevalence was split between below
minimum wage and above minimum wage
with slightly more participants being in
families with incomes higher than the
minimum wage. Educational attainment was
also divided between two majority profiles:
those with only elementary education and
those with high school education.
Additionally, most participants self-reported
that they were in highly functional families
in contrast with other cited studies that
indicated family dysfunction having a high
prevalence in their subject populations.
CONCLUSION
Based on the study done by the
researcher, it is possible to find a number of
important points regarding the relationship
between children in conflict with the law
and the functionality of the family. Out of
the 87 samples who participated in the study,
the researcher were able to derive some
unexpected findings. Based on Family

APGAR score, it was found out that


majority of the children registered in MYRC
(with a prevalence rate of 54%) emerged
from highly functional families and 38%
from moderately dysfunctional families;
while only the minority of the children (8%)
emerged from highly dysfunctional families.
It was also surprising to see that 51% of the
children emerged from nuclear families,
which is often considered as the most stable
and manageable type of family; as compared
to those from single-parent families, with a
prevalence rate of 18%, and those who
stayed solely with their siblings, amounting
to only 3.5% of the children. Meanwhile,
those who emerged from extended families
constituted about 26% of the children. The
data concerning family income shows no
specific income as having a high prevalence
within the group studied. Most of the
participants interviewed either only had
grade-school level or high school level
educational attainment. As a result, in
contrast to other studies performed on
similar subject groups, this study indicates

the prevalence of highly functional families


in juvenile delinquents.
RECOMMENDATION
This study uses the Family APGAR
to measure the dysfunctions present in the
family of the juvenile subjects. This research
is purely descriptive and one of the
recommendations for future study is to
correlate the measured family dysfunctions
to the alleged criminal offense of the
juvenile subjects. Urban-rural differences
can be done in a nationwide comprehensive
comparative study that may help understand
the differences of family dysfunctions
among youths living in the metropolitan and
those in the province. Furthermore, the other
measures can be utilized to measure family
dysfunctions among youth in conflict with
law like incidence of abuse, family neglect,
conflict and parenting styles.

APPENDIX A
Name:_________________________________________Age:______Birthday:____________
Family Type:____________________________________Monthly Income:_______________
Educational Background:________________________________Yearof Admittance:_______
ALMOST
ALWAYS
A
P
G
A
R

SOME OF
THE TIME

HARDLY
EVER

I am satisfied that I can turn to my family for


help when something is troubling me.
I am satisfied with the way my family talks
on things with me and shares problems with
me.
I am satisfied that my family accepts and
supports my wishes to take on new activities
or directions.
I am satisfied with the way my family
expresses affection and responds to my
emotions, such as anger, sorrow, and love.
I am satisfied with the way my family and I
share time together.

Who lives in your home?


Relationship
1.
2.

Age

Sex

How do you get along?


Well
Fairly

Poor

3.
If you do not live with your own family, list the person/s to
whom you turn to for help.
Relationship
Age
Sex
1.
2.
3.

How do you get along?


Well

Fairly

Poor

Translated Version (Tagalog)


Pangalan:________________________________________Edad:_____Kaarawan:___________
Kasama sa Bahay:_________________________________Buwanang Kita:________________
Natapos sa Pag-aaral:___________________________Taon ng Pamamalagi sa MYRC:______
PALAGI

PAMINSANMINSAN

HINDI
HALOS

A Ako ay nasisiyahan dahil nakakaasa ako


ng tulong sa aking pamilya sa oras o
panahon ng problema.
P Ako ay nasisiyahan sa paraang nakikipagtalakayan sa akin ang aking pamilya
tungkol sa aking problema.
G Ako ay nasisiyahan at ang aking pamilya
ay tintatanggap at sinusuportahan ang
aking mga nais na gawin patungo sa mga
bagong landas para sa aking ikauunlad.
A Ako ay nasisiyahan sa paraang
ipinadadama ng aking pamilya ang
kanilang pagmamahal at nauunawaan ang
aking damdamin katulad ng galit, lungkot,
at pag-ibig.
R Ako ay nasisiyahan na ang aking pamilya
at ako ay nagkakaroon ng panahon sa
isat-isa.
Sino sino ang nakatira sa inyong tahanan?
RELASYON
EDAD

KASARIA
N

Paano ang iyong relasyon?


MABUTI
HINDI
HINDI
GAANON MABUTI
G MABUTI

1.
2.
3.
Kung hindi ka nakakahingi ng tulong sa iyong sariling
pamilya, kani-kanino ka humihingi ng tulong?
RELASYON
EDAD KASARIA
N

Paano ang iyong relasyon?


MABUTI

HINDI
GAANON
G MABUTI

HINDI
MABUTI

1.
2.
3.
Scoring System:
2 points ALMOST ALWAYS
1 point SOME OF THE TIME
0 points HARDLY EVER
These tables were obtained from Disease Prevention and Control in the Family and the
Community. 4th Edition. Department of Preventive and
2009-2010.

Community Medicine. UERMMCI

APPENDIX C
Tables of Results
Age upon entering
MYRC
6 to
11 to
15 to
10
14
18
Number of
Participants
Total

14
87

Family income (Php)


8400
>8400

<8400
Number of
Participants
Total

70

38

41

87

Educational attainment
Element Elem.
High
HS
Uneducat
ary
graduate
school
graduate ed
Number of
Participants
Total

36

33

87

Type of Family
Nucle Extend Single
Sibling
ar
ed
parent
only
Number of
Participants
Total

45

23

16
87

Stay in MYRC (years)


<1-2
<3-4
<5-6
Number of
Participants
Total

81

87

Family APGAR score


Highly
Mod.
Highly
fxnal
Dysfxnal
dysfxnal
Number of
Participants
Total

47

33
87

APPENDIX D
Sample Size Estimation
Computation for the sample size:
Equation:
N= (Z)2 x P(1-P)
d2
where N= sample size,
Z = Z statistic for a level of confidence,
P = expected prevalence, and
d = precision
N= (1.96)2 x 0.65 (1.0-0.65)
(0.10)2
N= 3.8416 x 0.65 (0.35)
(0.10)2
N = 87 subjects

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