Original Research

Perspectives of teachers on causes of children’s maladaptive behaviour in the upper primary school level: A case of Hhohho Region, Eswatini

Racheal Mafumbate, Nompendulo Mkhatjwa
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 10, No 1 | a713 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v10i1.713 | © 2020 Racheal Mafumbate, Nompendulo Mkhatjwa | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 October 2018 | Published: 19 August 2020

About the author(s)

Racheal Mafumbate, Department of Educational Foundations and Management, University of Eswatini, Kwaluseni, Eswatini
Nompendulo Mkhatjwa, Department of Educational Foundations and Management, University of Eswatini, Kwaluseni, Eswatini

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Background: The background which led to the researchers embarking in this research study was that they had noticed that teachers in schools in Eswatini, though they are always trying to ensure good behaviour of learners through positive discipline, maladaptive behaviour is still on the rise in most schools. This status has resulted in compromised teaching and learning since most of the time is now spent in trying to deal with maladaptive behaviour issues. If the behaviour of learners is not dealt with, they face a greater risk of becoming violent and chronic juvenile offenders.

Aim: The aim of the study was to explore the factors contributing to children’s maladaptive behaviours in the upper primary school level.

Setting: The study was conducted in the Hhohho region in Eswatini.

Methods: The study employed a qualitative research design and in-depth interviews and focus group discussions were used as data gathering instruments. Note taking and audio recordings were used to ensure that details the discussions were captured.

Results: The study revealed that a lack of proper parenting skills is a major factor, and that family dysfunctionality, family socioeconomic status as well as peer influence being contributors to maladaptive behaviour among children in Hhohho region.

Conclusion: Based on the literature and findings in this study, it is evident that maladaptive behaviour among children in primary schools is persistent and a serious problem worldwide. This study revealed that currently there are no intervention strategies in the school to enhance proper behaviour among learners. Teachers also struggle to implement positive discipline because they lack the know-how.


home factors; school factors; maladaptive behaviour; children


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