Assessment of Principals’ Leadership Styles on Student Discipline in Public Secondary Schools in Nakuru County, Kenya

Ann Wanja Njami, Hannah Bula


Student discipline in learning institutions has received high attention, not only in Kenya but all over the world. Indiscipline among students results into undesired outcomes such as destruction of school property, poor academic achievement among others. Education stakeholders have formulated policies and strategies to prevent and stop student indiscipline, but these efforts have not yielded fruits. This study assessed the effect of principals’ leadership styles on student discipline in public secondary schools in Nakuru County. More specifically, the study assessed the effect of Transformational Leadership Style, Transactional Leadership Style, Democratic Leadership Style and Autocratic Leadership Style on student discipline in public secondary schools in Nakuru County. The study adopted descriptive research design with a target population of 12,091 respondents. Stratified sampling, simple random sampling, and purposive sampling techniques were used to select a sample of 119 respondents to inform the study. This study obtained quantitative data from closed-ended questionnaires. The study data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 22. The study found out that that there is significant relationship between principals’ transformational style of leadership (r=0.868, p<0.05), principals’ transactional style of leadership (r=0.602, p<0.05), principals’ democratic style of leadership (r=0.782, p<0.05), principals’ autocratic style of leadership (r=-0.467, p<0.05) and students’ discipline in public secondary schools in Nakuru County. A multiple linear regression model; Y = 0.436 + 0.845 X1+ 0.304X2 + 0.678X3 - 0.586X4 + 0.13472, Where; Y= Student Discipline, X1 = Transformational Leadership Style, X2 = Transactional Leadership Style, X3 = Democratic Leadership Style and X4 = Autocratic Leadership Style with a R2 value of 0.731 and F-statistic of F (4, 105) = 38.992, p < 0.05 was obtained. This study concluded that Transformational Principal Leadership Style, Transactional Principal Leadership Style, Democratic Principal Leadership Style and Autocratic Principal Leadership Style affect student discipline in secondary schools in Nakuru County. This study recommended secondary school principals to use transformational leadership style complemented by transactional and democratic leadership styles. The study also recommended Teachers Service Commission to monitor leadership styles used by secondary school principals.

Keywords: Transformational Leadership, Transactional Leadership, Democratic Leadership, Autocratic Leadership, Students’ Discipline

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