oa Journal of Psychology in Africa - Effects of traditional and western patterns of child-rearing on behaviour manifestations of Nigerian children



The present study attempts to determine (I) whether there are differences among nursery school children in Nigeria which could be attributed to their mode of child-rearing experiences and (2) whether there are differences in levels of impulsivity, and reactions to distracting and frustrating situations. Three forms of child-rearing practices are used in the study - traditional, Western and a combination of both Western and traditional. The sample consists of 444 boys and girls in four nursery schools in Nigeria. The results indicate that there are significant differences among these children in the two major areas investigated. The teachers attributed traits of aggression and self-assertiveness to the traditional children while the children whose mothers reported using Western methods of child-rearing are descriptionbed as dependent, immature, cowardly, complaining and self-pitying. The teachers descriptionbe the third group (traditional/western) more positively. In their response to frustrating situations, the traditional group, the ""western"" group and the ""western/traditional"" group are impulsive, rigid and flexible respectively. It is concluded that the Nigerian mother should strive to retain those positive aspects of the traditional child rearing methods while assimilating positive new modes and modifying the less desirable traditional ones to produce individuals who are neither alienated from their roots nor subjected to undue psychological stress due to acculturation but who is well able to adapt to the dynamic Nigerian socio-cultural environment.


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