Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

Gender: A Predictor of Adolescent-Parent Relationship in Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

Gender: A Predictor of Adolescent-Parent Relationship in Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Article excerpt

This study examined the effects of gender (male /female) on the perception of the quality of relationship between adolescents and their parents. 289 adolescents drawn from four secondary schools in Port Harcourt, Rivers state Nigeria, were used as participants for the study. They comprised 145 male and 144 females. A-14 item questionnaire designed by the researcher was the instrument used to access adolescent parent relationship. The cronbach Alpha reliability coefficient for the 14-item questionnaire was 0.79. Data was analysed with chi-square statistics. Result showed that there is a statistically significant difference in males and females' perception of their relationship with their parents, X^sub 2^ cal =21.26; X^sub 2^ critical 7.815, df 3.

Individuals progress from one period to another in an orderly series of stages throughout their existence. Adolescence is one of these periods. It is a stage of human development which occurs between puberty and adulthood. There is usually a surge of hormones during puberty which causes most of the physical changes in adolescence like the development of secondary sex characteristics in both sexes. In a twinkle of an eye, your little baby girl begins to develop the features of a woman and your baby boy begins to develop features of a man. These changes in the physical appearance of these children have psychological implication in the way they address issues generally. With these changes also, the feelings of both parents and children are usually mixed. Adolescence is indeed a period of adjustment for both parents and their children.

Hall, (1904) defined this period to begin at puberty at about 12 or 13 years and end between 22 years and 25 years of age. He also described adolescence as a period of storm and stress. Sigmund Freud was the next scholar to work on adolescence after Hall. His views on adolescent development did not differ from that of Hall. Freud added that adolescence is a universal phenomenon and that behavioural, social and emotional changes are part of it. He went further to state that the physiological changes especially increase in negative emotions such as moodiness, anxiety, loathing, tension etc, are to be expected in youngsters during this period of development (Muss, 1975). Both Freud and Hall are of the opinion that adolescence is a period of emotional upheaval, behavioural contradictions and vulnerability to regression.

Erik Erikson, viewed adolescence as a period of identity development. Erikson (1950) believes that the identity crisis is the most essential characteristics of adolescence. He described adolescence as the period during which the individual must establish a sense of personal identity and avoid the dangers of role diffusion and identity confusion (Erikson, 1950). He believes that each individual must search for his or her own identity; no society will do that for any person. Unwillingness to work on one's own identity formation may result in a sense of isolation and confusion. The rapid social change which characterizes the adolescence period according to Erikson makes it difficult for the older generation (parents inclusive) to serve as and to provide adequate role models for their children. As a result, peer group becomes more important in the adolescent's life than parents. They seem to chose musicians, actors and actresses, football stars etc, as their models and tiy to dress and act like them accordingly. According to Erikson, (1950), youths rarely identifies with parents at this stage. They rebel against their dominance, value system and their intrusion into their private life in their bid to separate their identity from that of their family (Muss, 1975). This more or less could strain adolescent parent relationship. Most adolescents disagree with their parents in the bid to be independent especially daughters and their mothers (Laursen, 1995). Collins & Lauren (2004) posited that with time, parents adjust to the adolescents search for identity and grant them more autonomy. …

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