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INFLUENCE OF PERSONALITY TYPE AND RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION ON FAMILY PLANNING
The study investigated the influence of personality type and religious affiliation on the use of family planning. Two hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. 100 participants were randomly sampled from Abakaliki metropolis in Ebonyi state. Data were gathered with the use of Religious Affiliation Scale (RAS) developed by Marsha and Frederick (1981) and validated by Omoluabi (1995) for Nigerian sample and the Eysenck’s Personality Inventory (EPI) adopted by Omoluabi (1999) for Nigeria sample. 2x2 factorial design was employed for the study. Anova statistics was used to analyze the data. The first hypothesis which predicted that there will be no statistically significant difference in personality type (Type A and Type B) behaviour on family planning with F (1, 98) = 191.5. P <0.05 were rejected, and the second hypothesis which states that there will be no statistically significant differences in religious practices (traditional and Christian religion) on family planning with F (1, 98) = 29.4 <0.05 were also rejected as the F calculated value are greater than the F-critical value of both the personality type and religious practices at P < 0.05. The funding of the study were discussed and recommendations made.
BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Whether or not to have children is often considered to be one of the most important decisions in life. With the modernization of societies, child bearing has become increasingly detached from biological necessities and social pressure of earlier times (Miller, 1992; Potts, 1997; Van de Kaa, 2001). Reliable birth control can be used to disconnect sex and reproduction and the main purpose of marriage is no longer considered to be bearing and raising children (Taylor, Funk and Clark, 2007). In response to weakening biological and social pressures, fertility decisions may become more dependent on individual preferences and dispositions, such as personality traits. These decisions and dispositions could also affect the degree of family planning. Although fertility behavior is often considered through theoretical frameworks postulating preferences and intentions less predictable determinants often affect child bearing. For instance, nearly one third of all births in the 1990’s inUnited Stateswere unplanned (Henshaw, 1998).
The individualization of fertility decision is connected with the broader themes of demographic transition and population dynamics, especially with the causes of declining fertility rates in developed countries over the last century (Borgerhoff Mulder, 1998, Hirschman, 1994; Kirk, 1996; Mace, 2000; Soares, 2005). One strand of theories has emphasized the role of individual choices is changing fertility patterns, while others have attributed a primary role to social and cultural changes (Newson, Postmes, Lea and Webley, 2005). Adding to the complexity of modern fertility patterns, the most recent evidence suggests that the previously observed fertility decline may be reversing in highly developed countries (Myrskyla, Kohler and Billari, 2009). Despite the potential importance of individual characteristics in influencing demographic fertility trends, the psychology of child bearing has remained largely an unstudied topic.
Abortion is the termination of an established pregnancy after implantation of a fertility egg in the uterus (womb). Implantation occurs at 5-7 days after ovulation (release of the egg) and fertilization (which typically occurs within the first 12 hours after ovulation). Actions before implantation that prevents pregnancy are “contraceptive” (National institutes of health protection of human subjects, 45 CFR sects 46.202, 2009).
Family planning is the planning of when to have children and the use of birth control and other techniques to implement such plans. Family planning services are defined as educational, comprehensive, medical or social activities which enable individuals including minor to determine freely the number and spacing of their children and to select the means by which this may be achieved (Mischell, 2007). However, the cost saving stem from a reduction in unintended fragment, and also causes reduction in transmission of sexually transmitted infections including HIV (Isui, Mc Donald, Burke 2010).
Family planning as used by Christian Connections for International Health (CCIH) means enabling individuals and couples to determine the frequency and timing of pregnancies, including the use of a variety of methods for voluntary prevention of pregnancy.
There are five primary ways family planning methods can work:
- Block sperm from reaching the egg
- Change the man’s sperm so they cannot fertilize the egg
- Prevent eggs from being released
- Thicken mucus in the cervix, preventing sperm passing
- Alter the living of the uterus (womb) so the fertilized egg does not attach or implant (pre-conceptional medicine inform health careUK, 2009).
Family planning is a powerful way to prevent abortion. Reducing unintended pregnancies and the need for abortion produces health benefits that are strongly embraced by both Christian and secular health organizations. A material death from any cause is a tragedy-but when a woman dies from a pregnancy she did not want, it is a double tragedy (Judith Brown, 2010).
Mishunki (1998), when planning a family, women who are over the age of 35 should be aware of the risk of having a child with autism and down’s syndrome, the chances of having multiple births increase which causes further late pregnancy risks, they have an increased chance of developing gestational diabetes, the need for a caesarian-section is greater, older women’s bodies are not as well suited for delivering a baby. The risk of prolonged labour is higher.
The provision of family planning as well as health services may impact long-term female health through improved reproductive health, reduced morbidity and /or improved nutrition, and longer intervals between later births. Such impacts of policy interventions are, how ever, rarely confirmed because of the lack of social experiments and long term follow-up evaluation studies or reproductive health programs (an exception is Frankenberg and Thomas 2001). Moreover, there is no agreement on how to measure adult health status at reasonable cost in a household survey (Rahman et al, 2004; Kuhn et al, 2004; Thomas and Strauss 2008).
Planning can help assure that resources are available, the purpose of family planning is to make sure that any couple, man or woman who has the desire to have a child has the resources that are needed in order to complete this goal. According to the world health organization (WHO, 2001), family planning is choosing the number of children in a family and length of time between their births. Family planning is sometimes used as a synonym for birth control, however, it often includes control, it is most usually applied to a female-male who wish to limit the number of children they have and /or to control the timing of pregnancy (also known as spacing children) (Mischell, 2007). In cases were couple may not want to have children just yet and plan with time, family programmes helps a lot. Federal family planning programs reduced child bearing among poor women by as much as 29percent according to a universityMichiganstudy, (Mischell, 2007).
Family Planning Methods
Every month there are times when a woman is fertile and can become pregnant, and times when she is not fertile and cannot become pregnant. Most women produce one egg month. The egg is released from the woman’s ovary. If the egg lives up to 2 days inside the woman’s body she can become pregnant.
The various methods of planning includes:
- Barrier methods stops a man’s sperm from reaching the woman’s egg by the use of condoms for men, condom for women, diaphragm, cervical cap, sponge and spermicide
- Intrauterine devices (IUD, ICUD, IUS, Copper T, The Loop). This method prevents a man’s sperm from fertilizing the woman’s egg.
- Hormonal methods involve the use of pills, injections, implants. It works by keeping the woman’s ovary from releasing an egg. Some also affect the womb or the mucus in the cervix so sperm cannot fertilize an egg there.
- Natural methods. These methods help a woman know when she is fertile (the time in a woman’s cycle when she can get pregnant), so she avoids having sex during that time.
- Permanent methods (sterilization). These are operations that stop a man from releasing sperm, or prevent a woman’s eggs from reaching her womb (source; www.hesperian.org).
McSweeny (1990) introduced a method called “billings method” which helps the husband and wife to achieve or avoid pregnancy with intelligence and freedom as they desire. Billing method is an entirely new method of natural family planning. It is not the old safe period or rhythm method and does not make use of a thermometer or calendar, neither does it involve the use of a pill, coil, condom or withdrawal, all of which are artificial methods (McSweeny, 1992).
Billing method teaches a woman to recognize in her body one sign which tells her clearly and without doubt, that her ovulation is coming soon. Once a woman is able to identify the time of ovulation and understand its significance, she knows how to control her fertility (McSweeny, 1990).
Religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems and world views that relate humanity to the supernatural and spirituality. Tylor (1871) defined religion as the belief in spiritual beings. He narrowed this definition to mean the belief in a supreme deity or judgment after death or idolatry and soon, would exclude many people from the category of religion and thus, has the fault of identifying religion rather with particular developments than with the deeper motive which underlies them, he also assert that the belief in spiritual beings exists in all known societies.
Geertz (1993) define religion as a system of symbols which acts to established powerful, pervasive and long lasting moods and motivations in men by formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and clothing this conceptions with such an aura of factuality that the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic. The theologian, Vergote (1996) also emphasized the “cultural reality” of religion, which he defined as the “entirely of the linguistic expression, emotions and actions and signs that refer to “supernatural beings”, whatever transcends the power of nature or human agency.
Durkheim (1915) a sociologist, defined religion as a unified systems of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things. By sacred things he meant things “set apart and forbidden-beliefs and practices which unite into one single moral community called a church, all those who adhere to them”. Sacred things are not however limited to gods or spirits, a pebble, a piece of wood, a house, in a word, anything can be sacred.
However, James (1902) a psychologist defined religion as the “feelings, acts and experiences of individual men in their solitude, so far as they apprehend themselves to stand in relation to what ever they may consider the divine”. By the term “divine” James meant any object that is good like, whether it be a concrete deity or not to which the individual feels impelled to respond with solemnity and gravity. Ferre (1969) further defined religion as one’s way of valuing most comprehensive and intensively similar, for the theologian.
Tellish (1957), faith is the state of being ultimately concerned which is itself religion. Religion is the substance, the ground, and the depth of man’s spiritual life.
Personality is defined as the combination of stable physical and mental characteristics or traits, including how one looks, act, and feels are the products of interacting genetic and environmental influence (Afolabi, 2011).
Personality is the particular combination of emotional, attitudinal and behavioural response patterns of an individual (Engler B, 2007). Personality is a complex hypothetical construct that has been defined in a variety of ways. Personality refers to an individual’s unique constellation of consistent behavioural traits (Simpson Lee, 2009). Personality is considered to be formed as a result of combined hereditary (genetic) and environmental factors, moderated by situational conditions and has a big impact on how people are motivated (Murphy, 2008; Robbins, Odendaal and Roodt, 2003).
In the view of George (1992), it is the enduring ways a person has of feeling, thinking, and behaving, it is the first determinant of how people feel about their job and its satisfaction personality is typically descried in terms of traits or types, personality traits are characteristics exhibited in a large number of situations and are used to describe peoples behaviour in different situations (Robbins et al; 2003). Traits are relatively stable and enduring aspects of individuals that distinguish them from other people (Martin, 2005).
Personality type on the other hand, refers to a combination of various personality traits and preferences (Myers, 1998). Personality types, in terms of Jungian theory (1971) refers to the mental functions involved in gathering information.
Jung (1971) concludes that differences in behaviour result from people’s in-born tendencies to use their minds in different ways. As people act on these tendencies they develop predictable patterns of behaviour (McCaulley, 1998).When people differ systematically in what they perceive and how they reach conclusion, this contributes to different interests, reactions, values, motivations and skills (Bayne, 2004).
The myer Briggs type indicator, one of the most widely used personality assessment instruments used worldwide, has been designed in accordance with Jung’s Thusen and 1998, Reinhold, 2008). However, Bernstern Clarke-Stewart and Roy (2008) defined personality types as the psychological classification of different types of individual. Personality types are sometimes distinguished from personality traits, with the later embodying a smaller grouping or behavioural tendencies. Personality types are sometimes people where as tract might be construed as quantitative differences.
According to the type theory for example, introversion and extroverts are two fundamentally different categories of people. According to trait theories introversion and extroversion are part of a continuous dimension with many people in the middle. According to the type theory, there are two types of personality, type A and type B. Type A/B behaviour patter is a behavioural trait (spector & O Connell, 1994) referring to how one responds to environmental challenges and threats (Ivancerich &Matterson, 1984).
Type A individuals respond in ways characterized as aggressive, achievement oriented, dynamic, hard driving, assertive, fast paced (in eating, walking and talking), impatient, competitive, ambitious, irritated, angry, hostile, and under time pressures (Cooper, Kirkcaldy, & Brown, 1994) Friedman, 1967) Jarmal, 1990) Rosenman & Chesney, 1985). other characteristics includes rigidly organized, high status conscious, can be sensitive, care for other people, are truthful, impatient, always try to help others, takes on more than they can handle, want people to get to the point, proactive and obsessed with time management. People with type A personalities are often high achieving “workaholics” who multitask, push themselves with deadlines and hate both delays an ambivalence (Friedman 1996).
They have poor impulse control and feel that they always need to be active in all things. When it comes to emotions, they express their anger with outburst and verbal comments, display strong emotional reactions, can be unpredictable with emotional inconsistency, and experience negative emotions.
Type A’s always watches others and can react in a hostile manner towards others. They like to have control over every thing so they tend to be team leaders but are difficult to please. Type A personalities are risk takers, rigid and inflexible, and according to Irikefe (2006), Mc shane and Von Glinow (2000) this contributed to their low level of job satisfaction. Type A’s develop coronary heart disease (Friedman, 1967, Schaubroeck, Ganster & Kemmerer, 1994) and experience more stressors and Strains (Jamal, 1999), Sharpley, Due, Reynolds, & Acosta 1995) than type B’s.
Friedman (1996) also described type B individual as a contrast to those with type A personalities. People with type B personality by definition generally live at lower stress level and typically work steadily, enjoying achievement but not becoming stressed when they are not achieved when faced with competition, they do not mind losing and either enjoy exploring ideas and concepts. They are often reflective, thinking about the outer and inner worlds.
According to the study ofDouglasthe usefulness of the type A personality construct has come under serious examination as it relates to stress. Many authors suggest that type A personality is too global a definition and that there are more related to stress than other traits (Mathews, Glass, Rosenman, & Bortner, 1977, Mathews, 1988). The hostility and irritability components of type A behaviour (reflecting anger, and an obsession with time) have been most often linked to stress related illness. Pred, Spence, & Helmreich (1987) found that impatience and irritability, but not achievement strivings, were positively correlated with somatic-complaints. They argue that it is highly unlikely that the same component of type A behaviour pattern are responsible for both vocational excellence and stress-related health problems. Addition studies (Bluer, 1990; Mattews, 1988, Robbins et al, 1991) show that certain type A trait like anger, impatience, and irritability are more likely to lead to stress-related health problems than achievement strivings.
Type B’s are open to criticism and they try to make others feel accepted and at ease and so they are more satisfied with their jobs. When they are angry, they use humour subtly to make their point, but they are angry about the issue not the person. They can be more accepting of emotions and tend to go with the mood at the moment. They are supportive of others and are more likely to express positive feelings and be more satisfied with their jobs (KirkCaldy et al, 2002). Type B individual are casual, easy going, and never in a rush to get things done (Bortner, 1969).
People’s values, attitudes abilities and emotions vary. This is probably because of the differences in personality. Types A is one of the few personality characteristics that has been previously studied in relation to work-family conflicts (WFC) individuals who exhibit type A behaviour are characterized as being ambitious, competitive, impatient, and aggressive or hostile. Individuals lacking these characteristics are relaxed and patient, and are referred to as the type B (Spence Helmreich, & Pred, 1987). Type A individuals experience a keen sense of time urgency, are more likely to be involved in conflict with coworkers, more overloaded at work, more likely to be over committed than type B individuals (Baron 1989, Jamal & Baba, 1991, Strube (1991). According to the study of Bruk et al, type A behaviour would be more likely to relate to work-family conflict than wound the achievement striving dimension.
Religious activities, communities and beliefs frame the daily behaviour and attitude of many Ebonyians towards family planning. Having explored the in-depth meaning of the concepts on family planning. However, research have shown that despite the economic hardship bedeviling our society today, there are scarcity of the physiological needs, yet population of our country increase by 50% every year and yet there are measures to control child birth, one could easily ask, if the measures are not effective enough to control birth rate that will in turn help the economic situation of our society?
What does it mean to say that some one has an optimistic personality? This assertion indicates that the person has a cheerful, hopeful, enthusiastic way of looking at the bright side of things, across a wide variety of situations. Although no one is entirely consistent in behaviour, this quality of consistency across situations lies at the core of the concept of personality.
Distinctiveness is also central to the concept of personality. Personality is used to explain why no everyone acts the same way in similar situations. If you were stuck in an elevator with three persons, each might react differently-one might crack jokes to receive the tension. Another might make ominous predictions that “we will never get out of here”. The third might calmly think about how to escape. These varied reactions to the same situation occur because each person has a different personality. Each person has trains that are seen in other people, but each individual has his or her own distinctive set of personality traits or types.
Two main concepts in understanding personality are consistency and distinctiveness. In other words, the concept of personality is used to explain; the stability in a person’s behaviour overtime and across situations (consistency) and the behavioural differences among people reacting to the same situation (distinctiveness) (Simpson Lee 2009).
Traditionally personality has been viewed as stable and enduring set of characteristics that affects one’s perceptions of oneself, others and the world. The DSM-IV defines personality traits as “enduring patterns of perceiving, relating to, and thinking about the environment and oneself that are exhibited in a wide range of social and personal context (American Psychiatric Association, 2000, P.630).
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In view of these dislocation on the economic stability, employment etc, one wonders if the difference in personality types and religious affiliations have an influence on family planning.
(1) Would couples religious practice have any influence on family planning?
(2) Would there be influence of personality type on family planning?
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study is to investigate the role personality type play on family planning as well as the role of religious affiliation on family planning.
(1) The study aim to know if personality type aid the use of family planning or militate against it.
(2) The study also intends to know if religion has any impact on family planning.
PERSONALITY TYPE: This refers to the psychological classification of different type of individual, which is measurable by Eysenck’s personality scale adopted inNigeria for use by Omoluabi in 1999.
RELIGION: This is an organized collection of belief system, cultural systems and world view that relate humanity to spirituality and sometime to moral values, which can be measured by religiosity scale developed by Marsha and Federick in 1981.
RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: This is the self-identified association if a person with a religion, denomination or sub-denominational religious group.
FAMILY PLANNING: The practice of controlling the number of children one has and the intervals between their births through the use of some techniques.
TYPE A PERSONALITY: These are individuals who are ambitious, competitive, rigidly organized, highly status conscious, time conscious, workaholics, impatient, aggressive fast talking.
TYPE B PERSONALITY: These are individuals who are relaxed, reflective, And Tolerant, live at lower stress levels, experience lower level of anxiety, and typically work steadily.