Academic journal article Journal of Pan African Studies

Dimensions of Challenging Parenting Practices: Nigerian Immigrants in the United States

Academic journal article Journal of Pan African Studies

Dimensions of Challenging Parenting Practices: Nigerian Immigrants in the United States

Article excerpt


The central theme of this qualitative study was focused on sixteen Nigerian immigrant families on their parenting practices. The data collected indicated that they demonstrated proactive inclinations in preparing their children for college education right from elementary school. Some of the other features of Nigerian immigrant parents (NIPS) proactive parenting practices included strong cultural orientation; peculiar immigrant experience; strategies for surviving in the united states; strong parental background; early childhood education; early emphasis on education; close interest in children; regular supervision of children; preservation of indigenous culture; supportive family collaboration; and strong involvement in school activities.

Literature Review

African and Nigerian Immigrants in the United States

In a global context, immigration of people has continually been changing the composition of populations in Africa, Asia, Europe and America. "The immigration experience in itself is inherently a journey of hope for the immigrant belief that the future cannot be worse than the past" (Etta, 2005). Immigrants with relevant and appropriate skills are able to integrate socially, economically, culturally, and politically into their communities of abode. Political, social and economic reasons are the most crucial factors that account for African immigrant parents' decisions to leave their countries. An important purpose of their migration is to search for qualitatively better educational opportunities that may have eluded their children in Africa (Kennedy, 1964; Suarez-Orozco, 2001; Suarez-Orozco, 2001; Njubi, 2001; & Achebe, 1994).

Some of the Nigerian immigrants probably came to the United States through student and diversity visa programs (Okoli, 2002; Njubi, 2001; & Akerele, 2003). African (Nigerian) immigrants always go through dynamic phases in the adjustment processes of integration. African immigrant parents move through a tough process of acculturation into the mainstream of American society. They have to educate and retrain themselves for available jobs (Chapman & Bernstein, 2002; Hirschman, DeWind & Kasinitz, 1999).

The diversification of countries on the European and American continents became more noticeable after the Second World War (1939-1945). People started to migrate from African countries to fulfill their educational, political, economic and religious needs (Banks, 2004; Morrison, 2000; Caspe, 2003; & Epstein, 2004).

However, from 1990 to 2000, there was a dramatic increase of African immigrants in Europe and America especially as a result of the economic recessions in most African countries. As a result of these incessant immigrations from Arabian, Latin American, African and European countries to the United States, public schools are much more ethnically complex and diverse in the 21st century than in any former period of educational history. Therefore, teachers are prompted to be sensitive to the cultural identities of their students, so that students will be able to meaningfully integrate, engage and benefit from educational experiences (Baker, 2005; Banks, 2004; & Will, 2003).

Immigrants are often subjected to complex stressful situations as they integrate into the dominant culture. Suarez-Orozco identified some of the dynamics of the stressful processes of immigration and acculturation into the global world. It was reiterated that:

... for many immigrants families, migration results in substantial gains. It provides many challenges to the individual involved. It removes individuals from many of their relationships and predictable context--extended families and friends, community ties, jobs, living situations, customs, and often languages. Immigrants are stripped of many of their social relationships as well as of the social roles that provide them with culturally scripted notions of how they fit into the world resultingin acculturative stress (Suarez-Orozco, 2003, p. …

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