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INFLUENCE OF PARENTING STYLES AND PARENTS’ EDUCATION ON SOCIAL ADJUSTMENT OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN NIGERIA
This study was aimed at investigating the influence of parenting styles and parents’ education on social adjustment of senior secondary school students in Kaduna State Nigeria. Ex-post facto research design was employed to collect the requisite data. The study was carried out on a sample of 368 senior secondary school students 2013/2014 session, drawn from 9,197 SSII students of ten (10) selected senior secondary schools, using stratified sampling technique. Parenting Style Questionnaire (P.S.Q) was used to assess the three (3) parenting styles. While Modified Social Adjustment Scale (M.S.A.S) was used to assess the social adjustment level of the students. Three (3) hypotheses were formulated and tested in the study. the results of data analysis using One-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and t-test indicate that parenting styles (Democratic Autocratic and Permissive) have significant influence on social adjustment of senior secondary school students. While parents’ education and gender have no significant influence on social adjustment of senior secondary school students. It is therefore recommended that parents should apply the democratic style of parenting which emphasizes the development of a cordial relationship with children. This could be done by treating them with high sense of responsibility, listening and responding positively to their demands and complains.
1.1 Background to the Study
Earlier researches posited that the influence of the home upon a child develops in him certain attitudes that are helped or hindered by his experiences in the school and that parents are responsible for the emotional and social adjustment of very young children. Parents and school people or teachers share the responsibility for the behaviour habits of the older child and adolescents. But, nowadays, most of the positive attitudes taught by the parents at home are hindered by some experience gathered by children in school and outside home. Therefore, these experiences gathered give rise to increase in children‟s difficulty in school and social adjustment.
Parental educational level is an important predictor of children‟s educational and behavioural outcomes (Dubow, Boxer,&Huesman, 2009: Davis-Kean, 2005, Dearing, Macartney, &Taylor, 2002; Duncan, Brooks-Gunn, &Klevanov, 1994; Haveman and Wolfe, 1995, Nagin&Tremblay, 2001; Smith, Brooks-Gunn, &Klebanov, 1997). Also on the parents‟ education, its measure usually designates whether or not the youth or students parents attended secondary schools or higher level of education.
Child-rearing practices are socializing processes in any social group that have tremendous influence on the individual child‟s moral judgment and social adjustment. In social climates that are conducive, affectionate, cordial lovely, and peaceful, children from such a home develop moral judgment quickly and behave morally in the process of their development. Danasabe as cited in Mustafa (2008), States that there is an increase of behavioural problem among youths such as delinquency or youth hooligan otherwise referred to as “Yan daba” in northern Nigeria. It is a display of kinds of behaivour which are in disharmony with the established pattern and expectations of the schools and which constitute a deterrent to the youth
progress, academic achievement, social adjustments and general development. This conduct is disturbing to others, interferes with the normal procedures of schools, the society and result in being nuisance to the society. Onyejiaku as cited in Obeh (2009) explains his finding of the causes of immoral behaviour among the Nigerian children. He states that most children who manifest deviant and anti-social behaviour come from bad homes where relationships are strained; there is no parental care and affection. He further states that there is hatred abuses and disrespect for one another or each other and overtly display criminal tendencies, children in such homes and society witness incessant squabbles, physical confrontations, violence and social norms and values receive little or no attention. All these problems might be because of ignorance of the parents or their low level of education which made them ill-equipped in training of their children for proper emotional and social development. But Obeh (2009) on his own view states that adults in Nigeria society must be aware of the fact that where mutual interest and understanding exist, where husband and wife are positively and peacefully related and where children receive high standards of training by modeling and imitation, there is likelihood that the society shall be free from insecurity and rancor. He further explains that, If the children who are “leaders of tomorrow” imbibe good moral standards right from home and the teachers are morally models for them to imitate and model their behaviour after them, it will be difficult for them to deviate from those moral standards over-night and therefore such children are going to experience less difficulty in social adjustment at home and at school. Adedipe as cited in Akiboh (2009) discovered similar problem in Nigeria situation where he says that the family in the current situation in Nigeria is becoming increasingly obsolete with some of its essential and traditional functions under attack because it is characterized by the stability of unlimited extra-marital activities, increase in single parenthood and downgrading of the parenting roles. And all these aforementioned factors affect the moral and social development of young children.
In the area of adjustment it‟s history of is as old as human race and the process starts from birth and terminate at death (Onyejiaku, 1991). Adjustment is a house hold word, and life is a continuous process of adjustment. In other words in life, one is either eating, drinking, sleeping, resting, seeking affection from parent or loved ones, striving to achieve social approach, working hard to satisfy an economic need, striving for independence or exerting effort to meet another private need, (Denga, 1988). According to Denga, there are needs that one tries to meet. Unmet needs create tension, and make one restless, aggressive, uncooperative, impudent, delinquent, unsocialized, compulsive, potentially cranky and repulsive. These traits constitute maladjustment. An individual who is struggling to meet his needs according to Denga (1988) is striving towards adjustment.
More so Adjustment is a dynamic concept and applies to everyone. Adjustment as a goal is a state which one strives to be effective or contented. That being the case one could be adjusted to his friends, love relationships; job, school and oneself (Bernard, 1972). Social adjustment therefore has many components such as ability to interact with others, ability to participate in social activities as well as conforming with social norm, values and disciplines. Parents are in position to provide the child‟s first social setting in which mutual liking; love and affection are nurtured either between the child and themselves or other relations. The child development of trust, self confidence and personal expression is dependent on the prevailing air of social interaction and the level of emotional stability in the home. Children require home where there are warmth, attention and helping bahaviour for optimum social development. Every child whose home environment allow for the development of trust and self confidence is the one who will trust teachers and the peers (Isangedighi, 2007). Children nurtured under parents who are hostile and quarrelsome will normally need additional and special attention at school, if they have to cope with social and intellectual demands of school life (Isangedighi, 2007).
There are a lot of researches on influence of home on other behaviours and general performance of children in schools, but less is been done on influence of parenting styles and parents education on social adjustment of senior secondary school students in Kaduna State, Nigeria . Therefore there is need for the above research topic.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Education is considered to be not only a means of improving one‟s own life but also that of others around one. There lies the importance of wholesome education in child‟s life. In today‟s multicultural world, example Nigeria with more than one hundred cultures, education necessitates adjustment. Children with different abilities, different skills, and different parental level of education and different cultures, get educated together, providing them an opportunity to hone their adjustment skills thus acting as a training ground for the rest of their lives. During school life, a child has to learn to co-exist and co-operate with other students and teachers of different religious, different cultures, different opinions and different outlook towards life.
The students need healthy and purposeful relationship with parents and important others for their wholesome social adjustment. Some parents do not program their day to day activities which allow for enough time to interact with their children. In recent time, most fathers and mothers are out there struggling for money under the current hard economic condition, and hardly create time to interact with their sons and daughters. This has a deleterious effect on positive social development of the children. In the children development process, the quality of interaction he has with parents and other adult matters a great deal. The child needs stimulating interaction with parent on a daily basis for proper social adjustment. Denga (1983) asserts that there is a high incidence of juvenile delinquency among children of polygamous families because the father tends to remove himself socially from mother-child unit to avoid being
accused of partiality. His attention and quality of interaction with his children become strained. The children in that circumstance will grow to be socially maladjusted because of lack of involvement and attention by the parent. Denga (1988) later on observed that if an adolescent grows up under good parenting, he will likely develop a congruent personality and a healthy social adjustment.
The students enrolled in Senior Secondary classes are experiencing the last part of their period of “storm and stress” of adolescent (Mukherjee, 2002) a very critical stage of their lives. During this period, they keep vacillating between being children and being adult. Though adjustment is major concern at all life stages, it becomes especially critical at the stage of late adolescence. Being a phase of rapid growth and development, adjustment problems generally are at their peak during this period. Most adolescent students experience adjustment difficulty in emotional, social and educational aspects of their lives. Adjusting to constant changes in their internal as well as external environment becomes a major challenge for the students.
The genetic make-up time and rate of late maturity vary for boys and girls especially during adolescence. Societal norms and perceptions are also different for boys and girls resulting in significant differences in level of social adjustments of boys and girls ( Jain&Jandu, 1998; Mikuliner, 2004; Mythili et al 2004; Hampel&Petermann, 2006; Kuruvilla, 2006; Shalu&Audichya, 2006; Raju&Rahmatulla, 2007; Jaikumar and Mathumanickam, 2012). Family interactions and relationships between family members play a pivotal role in the adjustment issues of adolescents (Jaikumar&Mathumanickam, 2012; Werner et al 2003; Rowchowdhary&Basu, 1998; Dratar, 1997; Conger et al, 1997; Scott &Scott, 1959; Varni, 1986; Srivastava, 1984). The type of schools and the medium of instruction also influence the adjustment level of the adolescent (Raju & Rahamatulla, 2007; Pradhan, 1992; Sharma & Gakkar 1991).
In secondary schools system some students appear to be socially adjusted while others are not. Reports as reflected in Ekpo, (1997) and Balogun (1997) and those discovered by the researcher through physical visits and interview with some school discipline masters indicate serious manifestation of unhealthy or maladjusted behavior of adolescent students in institution of learning. Among the behavior commonly discovered and reported are unfriendliness, fighting among themselves and even with teachers, indiscipline conduct like assault, rape, destruction of school property, classroom disturbance, minor stealing, examination malpractice, and secret cult activities involving lost of lives. Most of the other problems centering adolescent students also include physical appearance, health and physical development, mark scored, relationship with members of their families, their teachers, their peer group members of both sexes and or family adjustment. This maladjustment may lead to absenteeism, truancy, low achievement and other unworthy habits of students. (Subramanyam, 1986). The displays of these social maladaptive behaviours have become an issue of great concern to well meaning citizens of Kaduna State including researchers. It seems over the years; very limited research has been done on social adjustment problem of adolescent students in senior secondary school in the state. This study was undertaken to find out the relationship between quality of parenting styles andparents education and the student‟s social adjustment within the senior secondary schools environment in the state. Therefore, in a nutshell the problem of this research is to investigate the influenceof parenting styles and parent‟s education on social adjustment of Senior Secondary School students in Kaduna State.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The study is designed to achieve the following objectives;
- To find out the influence of parenting styles (Autocratic, Democratic and Permissive) on social adjustment of students.
- To investigate the influence of parents‟ education on social adjustment of students.
- To determine whether there is gender difference in thesocial adjustment of male and female students.
1.4 Research Questions
The researcher puts forwards the following research questions;-
- To what extent do parenting styles (Autocratic, democratic and permissive) influence the social adjustment of students?
- To what extent does parents‟educational level influence the social adjustment of students?
- What is thedifference between the mean scores on social adjustment test of male and female students?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
For the research to be successful and educationally accepted, the following hypotheses are going to be subjected to testing and statistically analyzed;-
- There is no significant difference between the mean scores of students brought up under either Autocratic democratic, or permissive parenting style in a social adjustment test.
- There is no significant difference between the mean scores of students from parents with high and low educational level in social adjustment test.
- There is no significant difference between the mean score of male and female students in social adjustment test.
1.6 Basic Assumptions
In this study, it is assumed that:
Parents‟ style of discipline is a factor in shaping students‟ behavior both at home and at schools. Some parents are strict while other are moderately warm in dealing with their children.
But others parents show no concern about disciplining their children up to the extent that their children always decide what to do for themselves. Therefore, students from democratic parents may score higher in social adjustment test than those from Autocratic and permissive parents. Indicating the influence of parenting styles on students‟ social adjustment in senior secondary schools
Students come to schools from different educational background also with different way of adjusting socially in their various schools. Highly educated parents always emphasize the important of education to their children. Therefore students fromparents with high educational level will score higher in social adjustment test than those form parents with low educational level. Indicating that parents‟ education influences students‟ social adjustment in secondary school.
Male students will have higher mean scores in social adjustment test in senior secondary school than their female counter part indicating gender difference in students‟ social adjustment in senior secondary schools.
1.7 Significance of the Study
There have been several researches conducted on influence of behavior on social relationship in and outside school environment. Sociologists, social psychologists and guidance counselors have carried out a lot of investigations on how human beings relate to one another, and how, parents use their knowledge (experiences and skills) in training their children (young one) to learn and relate well and the reasons and importance of such relationships.
Since parents/ home is believed to be the first social contact of the child, it has a very important functions towards enhancing the social behavior and general adjustment in and outside school. Parenting styles or parent-childinteractions also appear to influence children‟s social problem – solving orientations by teaching children strategies for initiating interactions (Petit,
1992). But the extent of the influence of parenting styles and parents‟ education on student‟s
social adjustment is not clearly and specifically known. The finding of this research will help the parents, teachers and students to know clearly the extent of influence of parenting styles and parents education on social adjustment of senior secondary school students in Kaduna State.
The research findings will help the parents in knowing which type of parenting style influence social adjustment most and apply it in dealing with their children for better children social adjustment.
The research findings will help the teachers to choose the best leadership style (i.e the autocratic, democratic or permissive} and apply it in their classroom management so as to help students in their process of social adjustment.
The findings of this study help the students or children to bear with the type of parenting style use by their parents and adjust properly in their daily home and school activities.
The recommendations that emerged from this study will also go a long way in helping the government to use teachers and school guidance counselors on minimizing students‟ social adjustments problem in our senior secondary schools and society in general.
1.8 Scope and Delimitation
The research focused specifically on influence of parenting styles and parents‟ education on social adjustment of senior secondary school students. The study is limited to three (3) types of parenting styles usually practiced in Nigeria that is autocratic, democratic and permissive. Parents‟ education judged by the highest educational qualification attained by the students‟ parents is also focused here.
The study covered only the SS II students of senior secondary schools Sabon-Tasha Zonal Inspectorate Division of State Ministry of Education Kaduna State. The zone comprises of six local government Areas. These include, Kachia, Kagarko, Kajuru, Chikun, Kaduna South and Igabi local government areas. The zone is located at a little bit southern part of the state.
The study covers the SS II students only because they are in their second year of study. They must have spent more than a year in their senior secondary education. They are familiar with the senior secondary school system. Their social adjustment can be easily studied and predicted without much difficulty.
The research is delimited to SS II students because, if the whole of the arms are to be used or covered, it will require more time, money and other resources. The study is also delimited to address four (4) variables. These are: Parenting styles (autocratic, democratic, & Permissive), parents education, social adjustment and gender difference.