The main purpose of this paper was to examine whether self-esteem would predict security consciousness among a large sample of youths in Abia and Anambra States of southeast Nigeria. Basically, this paper determined whether self-esteem would predict youths’ involvement in behaviors that are capable of causing harm to lives and properties. In addition, gender as a factor was assumed to influence youths’ security consciousness. The participants for the study were made up of 800 youths randomly selected from Abia and Anambra States in the southeast Nigeria. 400 youths were drawn from 4 local governments in Abia State (Umuahia South, Ohafia, Aba North and Obi Ngwa) while another 400 youths were drawn from 4 local governments in Anambra State (Awka North, Anyamelum, Aguata and Onitsha South) The sample included 476 males and 324 females whose age ranges from 18-36 years. The research instruments included the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (SES) and the Security Consciousness Inventory Scale (SCI). The study had a cross-sectional design and a 2x2 Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used for data analysis. The result revealed no significance influence of self-esteem on youth security consciousness but a significance influence of gender on youth security consciousness was established. Conclusions and recommendations were thereafter itemized.
Nigeria and the world in general are experiencing a disturbing trend of security challenges that are ruthlessly demonstrated by the rise in violent attacks on individuals, religious and government institutions mounted by a broad range of lawless persons who are motivated by ethnic, religious, tribal, political and personal interests. Among the security challenges facing Nigeria are ethnic militia activities, ethno-religious conflicts, vandalism, boundary and land disputes, armed banditry, bombing, kidnapping and political violence (Onokhuru, 2010).
The term ‘security’ has been assigned different meanings by many authors. Security has been seen as a situation where a person or thing is not exposed to any form of danger or risk of physical or moral aggression, accident, theft or deterioration (Anyadike, 2005). For Nwagboso, (2012) security is the act of being safe from harm or danger, the defense, protection and preservation of values, and the absence of threats to acquired values. Security is about survival and the condition of human existence.
Nigeria is currently caught in the web of crime dilemma, manifesting in the convulsive upsurge of both violent and non-violent crimes (Okechukwu, 2011). Researchers have studied the pace and dimension of violent crimes in Nigeria ranging from insurgency, kidnapping, armed robbery and violent protests (Attoh, 2012; Okafor, 2011; Adebayo, 2013; Ajufo, 2013; Azizi, 2012; Okonkwo, 2009; Eso, 2011; Walker, 2012; Awonyemi, 2012; Bassey and Dokubo, 2011; NDDC, 2004). Many states in Nigeria experience high incidence of violent crime. For instance, Abia and Anambra States have been characterized by prevalence of kidnapping, arm robbery and human insecurity (Nwadinobi, 2013; Oparaku, Nwaneri, &Egbe, 2017).
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