Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

Correlation between Parenting Styles and Sexual Attitudes of Young People in Nigeria: Comparison of Two Ethnic Groups

Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

Correlation between Parenting Styles and Sexual Attitudes of Young People in Nigeria: Comparison of Two Ethnic Groups

Article excerpt

The relationship between parenting styles and sexual attitudes of young people in Nigeria was assessed in this study. In doing this, 852 secondary school students selected from two ethnic groups and two states (Yoruba- Oy o state, & Efik - Cross River state), with ages ranging between 11 and 24 yrs responded to parenting styles and sexual attitudes questionnaires.

It was hypothesized that:

1. Authoritative and the hybrid authoritative/ authoritarian parenting styles would be more characteristic of Yoruba Parents than the Efik Parents

2. The young people of Yoruba decent would report more restraint sexual attitudes while those from Efik decent would report more liberal and permissive sexual attitudes.

3. Males would have more liberal and permissive sexual attitudes while females would have more restraint sexual attitudes

4. There would be positive and significant correlation between the parenting styles and the sexual attitudes of young people in Nigeria

Results obtained confirmed three of the hypotheses fully and the fourth partially. In addition authoritarian and permissive parenting styles predicted liberal, permissive, promiscuous, and loose attitudes to sexuality issues, while authoritative parenting style predicted restraint attitude.

Introduction

Parenting styles and their behavioural outcomes have been severally studied across ethnic groups in the USA, and some European countries ( e.g. Collins 8c Steinberg, 2006; Chao, 2001; Keller, Voelker, 8c Yovsi, 2005), and in different societies (e.g. Chao 8c Tseng, 2002; Chao, 1994; Adejuwon, 2005a, 2005b) Furthermore available research evidences on parenting styles across ethnic groups and in societies focused on consequences of parenting styles( e.g. Chao, 2001), personality correlates of parenting styles (e.g. Adejuwon, 2005a; Akinsola, 2007), cultural conceptions of parenting (e.g. Keller, Voelker, 8c Yovsi, 2005), and the relationship between parenting styles and scholastic achievement (e.g. Seyed Mohammad Assadi et. al. 2007, Akinsola, 2007). However there seems to be very scanty if any research evidence on parenting styles across ethnic groups in West Africa and especially in Nigeria. Nigeria being a multiethnic nation with more than 250 different ethnic groups has embedded in it many subcultures with variations in value orientations and traditional practices. It is suspected that these subcultures would differ in value orientations and traditional practices to the extent to which their sub -cultural orientations differ. Attitude on the other hand being a stable and enduring behavioural response is assumed to reflect individual and societal values which are learned through parental and traditional practices. The current study therefore examines the relationship between parenting styles and sexual attitudes of young people from two ethnic groups in Nigeria.

Parenting Styles and Nigerian Traditional Practices

Baumrind (1971), distinguished between three parenting styles, which are authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive. Of recent the permissive style was differentiated into neglectful and indulgent styles (Maccoby & Martin, 1983). Authoritarian parenting is characterized by harsh disciplinary attitudes and rigid boundaries. Authoritarian parents demand obethence, discourage open communication and exert a high level of restrictive psychological control that is more adult centred than child centred, (Maccoby 8c Martin, 1983). Authoritarian parenting style is associated with social incompetence and poor communication skills. Authoritative parenting also puts limits and controls on children's actions but it allows extensive verbal dialogue. The dialogue promotes parental responsiveness and encourages independence, social and cognitive competence, self reliance and social responsibility. Authoritative parents emphasize children's autonomy within structured family settings. Authoritative parents use behavioural and monitoring controls over their children by being aware of where they are, whom they are with, and what they are doing. …

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