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According to Onyehalu (1986), the family is the adolescent model. The social learning theory provides a comprehensive picture of the role of parents in socializing children. Children can learn the patents' norms and value system through imitation and modeling (Imaobong, 2002). Onyehalu (1986) study on juvenile delinquency found that family background is directly associated to juvenile delinquency. It was striking that if parents do not appear to be living, loving, and empathetic, the child would always develop a negative opinion of himself, which may predispose the child to disciplinary difficulties. According to Okon (1994), teenagers raised in cold families are more prone to engage in vagrant and deviant behavior such as truancy, drinking, and drug use. Juvenile delinquency, antisocial behavior, and other antisocial vices are blamed on dysfunctional families. According to Christian (2005) and Kalu (2008) studies, teenage antisocial behavior derives from a family context. By extension, parental roles can either help or hinder an adolescent's socialization process, of which moral value instillation is a component. (Zimmermann, 1973; Power, 1988; Eyo, 2002; and Kalu, 2009).

According to Kalu (2008), there are numerous family kinds distinguishable in Nigeria.

There are monogamous and polygamous households, as well as many family arrangements that are both intact and broken. Parents' words, acts, and beliefs would have a significant impact on youths development, even in infancy (Hedenbro & Rydelius, 2019; Lamb et al., 2002). Involving parents in their youths lives not only raises accomplishment (Nevski & Siibak, 2016; Pineda et al., 2018), but also allows parents to better understand their children. The following are the advantages of parental involvement: Some researchers believed that parental involvement in youths  lives can promote youths social–emotional development (Hedenbro & Rydelius, 2019; Langevine, 2020); improve academic achievement (Daniel et al., 2016; Epstein, 2018; Otani, 2019; Puccioni, 2018), particularly linguistic achievement (Tan et al., 2019); and promote better grades, test scores, school attendance (Epstein, 2018; Mata et al (Epstein, 2018).

Single-parent households earn less than two-parent households on average, making it more difficult for them to provide the financial resources to meet their children's needs. Because single parents must balance job and child-rearing, it may be more difficult for them to offer and maintain a supportive environment for their children (OECD/UNESCO, 2003). Such families face the obstacles of reduced financial resources, the assumption of new duties and responsibilities, the formation of new patterns in intra-family contact, and the reorganization of routines and schedules (Agulanna, 1999). These circumstances do not lend itself to effective parenting. This is due to the fact that when a single parent is overburdened by responsibilities and their own emotional reaction to their position, they frequently become irritable, impatient, and oblivious to their children's needs, which can lead to the child’s involvement in ritualism.

Ritual killings or human sacrifice can simply be defined as the act of murdering (human) life to satisfy the deities or for spiritual and magical advantages. The deities are thus expected to provide solutions and succour to the perpetuators' yearnings and aspirations by providing advantages like as transformation, immortality, healing, and societal cleaning. However, criminologists and psychiatrists have stated that the causes for ritual killings can be interpreted from various angles. Of recent, this distasteful acts are committed by youths. Here, one wonders where the parents are or why they are not playing their roles effectively. It is against this backdrop that this study seeks to evaluate parental influence on youth involvement in ritualism.


These days, many parents shy away from being involved and using disciplinary measures as corrective instruments toward the remedying of children’s bad or unwanted behaviour in the society. Because of this, child’s negligence or avoidance of parental control through disciplinary actions (discipline), most children these days grow up to lack emotional adjustment (Epstein, 2018). Children nowadays, do not exhibit positive emotional adjustment, they do not feel bad whenever they do wrong or step upon the recommended norms or values stipulated in the society as laid down rules and regulations (Hedenbro & Rydelius, 2019). This kind of hardened behaviour by our youth, have caused negative effects in the society (Hedenbro & Rydelius, 2019). Most parents themselves engage in cultism thereby rubbing it on their children who grow up to believe that it is only right to join cultism (Hedenbro & Rydelius, 2019). For the fact that youth do not feel bad about the wrong attitude due to the actions they see their parents exhibit, this has resulted into wayward behaviour amongst which are: cultism, prostitution; armed robbery; lying, stealing; fraudulent activities; examination malpractices; raping; disrespect and disobedience to the authorities of the parents and significant others in the society. This study therefore, focuses on parental influence on youths involvement in ritualism.

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