INFLUENCE OF FAMILY PROCESSES ON SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL BEHAVIOUR OF SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN PLATEAU STATE, NIGERIA
The study titled Influence of Family Processes on Social and Emotional behaviour of Senior Secondary School students in Plateau State, Nigeria. Six (6) specific objectives, six research questions and six (6) null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. Among the objectives were: to assess the influence of parent-child interaction on social behaviour of Senior Secondary School Students, to establish the influence of parent-child interaction on emotional behaviour of Senior Secondary School Students. The null hypotheses include among others: there is no significant influence of parent-child social interaction on social behaviour of Senior Secondary School Students. Proportionate sampling technique was used to select 384 samples from the population of 91,703 students. Questionnaire and Archival records of students‘ social and emotional behaviour from the teachers were equally used for the collection of data from the students. A 4-Point rating scale of Very high extent (VHE), High extent (HE), Low extent (LE) and Very low extent (VLE) were used for data collection. Mean and Standard Deviation was used to answer the research questions while Regression analysis was used for null hypotheses. All null hypotheses were tested at 0.05% level of significance. Results indicated that, significant influence exists between parent-child social interaction and social behaviour of Senior Secondary School students in Plateau State (P< 0.05=0.000 at r value .754). It was also found that significant influence exists between parent child interaction and emotional behaviour of Senior Secondary School students in Plateau State (P<0.05=0.000 at r value .699). The researcher concluded that significant influence exists between parent child social and emotional interaction, parental social and emotional conflicts and siblings‘ social and emotional interaction on social and emotional behaviours of Senior Secondary Schools Students in Plateau State, Nigeria. The researcher therefore recommended among other
1.1 Background to the Study
Everybody has a role and a relationship with everyone else in the family. How everyone is treated, and how everyone behaves in the family makes up the family processes. The term ―Family Processes‖ refers to the function and relationships of members in a family. Martin, Park, and Sutton (2002) stated that a family is the fundamental group and the natural environment for growth and development of the behaviour of its members. The members are the ones who provide most of the environmental stimuli for the family. It is also the basic unit of every society. Individuals live in an environment where adequate social relations and emotional adjustments of its members are decisive for happiness and achievement. Family according to James in Census Bureau (2001) is a group of persons united by ties of marriage, blood or adoption characterized by common residence and economic cooperation. He further stated that each family carries functions as a group, and each member assumes specific responsibilities.
A Senior Secondary School student is in adolescence stage that is more independent than childhood stage, these people are better able to care for themselves and are more capable of contributing to chores and other household responsibilities. Adolescence according to Russel (2005) is the transition stage of development between childhood and adulthood, representing a period in life time during which a person experiences a variety of biological changes and encounters a number of emotional issues. The ages which are considered to be part of adolescence vary by culture, and ranges from preteens to 19 years. World Health Organisation (WHO), defined adolescence as a period that covers lives between 13 and 20 years of age. Adolescence is noted as one of the ―Storm and Stress‖ time in a human life, conflict at this developmental stage is normal and not unusual (Russel, 2005).
On the other hand, adolescents encounters numerous problems from all areas of their growth, development and behaviour such as physical, social, mental, psychological, cultural, emotional and spiritual as part of the difficulties that transform or emerging adolescence into adulthood (Russel, 2005). Eventually, this period varies from environment to environment and from society to society as a result of modernization, socialization and industrialization. Generally, the influence of family processes at the time a child enters Senior Secondary School is very crucial. This is because families play tremendous roles in adolescent transition to adult age, as well as their academic performance. The indices used of family Processes includes: Parent-child interactions, parental conflict, sibling-siblings interactions, communication patterns, time spent together, family satisfaction, agreement and disagreement over household work, social and political discussions and family meal together These agreed with Campbell (2010) who discussed that the quality of parent-child interactions, over time, has a direct correlation to child‘s behaviour. He is also of the view that secure attachment with Senior Secondary School student in a family is very vital for the healthy behaviour development and psychological health of the student. Parental conflict such as pro-longed arguments and long term disagreement can make a difference in a young child‘s behaviour. At this crucial age, a Senior Secondary School student that is exposed to conflict in the family on a regular basis may be at risk of developing mood and anxiety disorder in the future along with experiencing poor academic performance in school. Poor parenting skills can equally affect the student when parents lack the skills to give their children instruction; such children would experience early neglect and also have trauma as a result of poor parenting skills. Lastly good interactions within the family are extremely important because it enables members to express their needs, wants and concerns to each other. Bengtson (2001) opines that parents who believe that their children have turned out well tend to feel good about them. Poor communication in the family is a common complaint of families who are having difficulties. Wise (2003) defined family processes as the interaction by which families relate and maintain their unity, manage conflicts, achieve socioeconomic integration, and model social and emotional personalities of members. Family processes such as the parent-child interactions, parental conflicts and sibling-sibling variables such as family communication pattern, family influence and decision making vary across families.
Hanley (2000) saw family processes as the functions and relationships of members in a family. Georgas (2003) stated that family processes are variables of the family that contribute to the member‘s behaviours and well-being as well as development as a whole. Family processes influences Senior Secondary School students behaviour and well-being. A family process that is important for students in this study is the quality of the interactions that exist between parents and children, between siblings and parent conflict. Theory which favours the family process perspective argued that if children have good family processes, such as high quality parent-child interaction and low parental conflict, then their behaviour and well-being will be high regardless of their family type. This can also lead to numerous family problems such as weak social and emotional bonding
Social behaviour is an interaction of an individual with others and acquisition of the ability to behave in accordance with social expectations. Chao and Tseng (2002) opined that families have vested interest in the positive social behaviour and academic performance of their children. Social behaviour is also seen as the acquisition of the ability to behave in accordance with special expectations. How individuals act in social situations and how they are influenced by social processes are termed ―social psychology‖ (All port, 2000). Social influence can include direct influences like imagining how friends would react to a particular situation, because from the moment of birth, humans are social creatures made to have social interactions with the people and environment they find themselves even when children become capable of living independently, nobody will want to live in isolation, human beings generally, welcome social interactions and no study of behaviour would be complete without considering these interactions.
According to Drake (2006), emotions are associated with mood, temperament, personality and disposition. People often behave in certain ways as a direct result of their anxiety. Kauffman (2005) opined that family factors such as domestic violence are considered to be strong contributing factor to emotional disturbance. However, it is a grave mistake to believe that children with emotional disorder that result primarily in internalizing behaviour have only mild and transient problems. The severe anxiety and mood disorders experienced by some children can cause behaviours that societies frown at; it may also threaten their very existence. Indeed, without identification and effective treatment, the extreme emotional disorder of some children can lead to self- inflicted injury or even death from substance abuse, starvation or suicidal behaviour. In fact, no child can achieve success in life without the involvement of parents or caregivers. The Trustees of Proton (2014) concluded that the provision of safe, stable and nurturing homes for the children may lessen the harmful effects of their experiences by exposing them to protective factors like good relationship and spending quality time with every member of the family in order to promote good behaviour.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Years ago, fathers were considered the economic providers for the families; they were involved primarily in guiding behaviour and disciplining children (Hildebrand, 2003) while the mothers stayed at home and cared for the children and the household (Linden, 2010). Today these roles have change due to increase in the number of family issues which motivated women to take up employed jobs to end income so as to support the men. Unfortunately, these women are the once who are shouldered with the responsibilities of providing for the needs of the families and at the same time cared for the children. This may be a contributory factor to family conflicts.
The researcher observed in Plateau State that most families have conflicts and poor interactions because of family need (Dike, 2010). Children have poor behaviour and poor communication skills. This was personally observed by the researcher where parents argued about finance of the family with the mothers and also experience role conflicts at home because of the demands of their family members. This may simply be because some male parents do not care about their roles while to some parent it might be because of poverty or loss of job. The bulk of family needs are vested on the woman‘s shoulder alone. This is the reason why some fathers do not have the right to monitor their children‘s behaviour, especially at the adolescent‘s stage where adolescents need quality attention. These might be the reason why some mothers come back home late and sometimes sleep out all in the name of trying to make the family ends meet (Hott, Buckley and Whelan, 2008) .Furthermore, some of the male parents are fully into drinking alcohol, and such parents come home very late and drunk, in this situation, every member live and behave anyhow. Adolescents who come from such families, most of the time behaves irrationally to people, situations and even to their parents because of the kind of family they came from. Because of these also many children indulge in disorderly activities as a result of ineffective relationship between husband and wife, between parents and children or between siblings, siblings, because members do not understand each other.
Similarly, families are seen breaking up, adolescent children are suffering while some of them are involves in rioting, robbery and juvenile delinquency. Those who manage to stay together do so in the midst of ‗I do not care attitude,‘ fighting and quarrelling. Some of these children drop out of school and become delinquents involving themselves in using alcohol, hard drugs, stealing and becoming highway killers (Dinero,2008) .Good loving families make time for their children in spite of the busy and crowded schedules. There is no amount of success at family activities that can complement, replace or substitute for failure at home. Children need to be loved and making available the necessities of life.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of the study is to determine the influence of family processes on social and emotional behaviour of Senior Secondary School Students in Plateau State while the specific objectives are to;
- assess the influence of parent-child interaction on social behaviour of Senior Secondary School students in Plateau State, Nigeria
- establish the influence of parent-child interaction on emotional behaviour of Senior Secondary School students in Plateau State, Nigeria
- assess the influence of parental conflict on social behaviour of Senior Secondary School students in Plateau State, Nigeria
- assess the influence of parental conflict on emotional behaviour of Senior Secondary Schools students in Plateau State, Nigeria
- determine the influence of siblings‘ interaction on social behaviour of Senior Secondary Schools students in Plateau State, Nigeria
- determine the influence of siblings‘ interaction on emotional behaviour of Senior Secondary School students in Plateau State, Nigeria
1.4 Research Questions
In line with the specific objectives, the following research questions were raised:
- What is the extent to which parent-child interaction influence social behaviour of Senior Secondary School Students in Plateau State?
- What are the influences of parent-child interaction on emotional behaviour of Senior Secondary School students in Plateau State?
- What is the extent to which parental conflict influence social behaviour of Senior Secondary School in Plateau State?
- What is the extent to which parental conflict influence emotional behaviour of Senior Secondary School students in Plateau State?
- What is the influence of siblings‘ interaction on social behaviour of Senior Secondary School students in Plateau State?
- What is the influence of siblings‘ interaction on emotional behaviour of Senior Secondary Schools students in Plateau State?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following null hypotheses are generated for the study:
- There is no significant influence of parent-child interaction on social behaviour of Senior Secondary School students in Plateau State
- There is no significant influence of parent-child interaction on emotional behaviour of Senior Secondary School students in Plateau State
- There is no significant influence of parental conflicts on social behaviour of Senior Secondary School students in Plateau State
- There is no significant influence of parental conflict on emotional behaviour of Senior Secondary Schools students in Plateau State
- There is no significant influence of siblings‘ interaction on social behaviour of Senior Secondary School students in Plateau State
- There is no significant influence of siblings emotional interaction on emotional behaviour of Senior Secondary School Students in Plateau State
1.6 Significance of the Study
The research study when published, the outcome will be beneficial to policy makers, researchers, Families, Ministry of Women Affairs, School Administrators, Parents, Students and the community. How each could benefit is discussed below
The research will be useful to policy makers in formulation of policies that will meet the current challenges faced by Adolescents. It will also be useful to researchers in the field of family and child development for further studies, as a source of empirical studies for effective research study and references in making sure that repetition of same work is not done but to cover the gaps left by this study.
It will be useful to families with the knowledge that every child from age13-19 years is still in the developmental process which requires total attention and unconditional love from its parents and family members to allow them benefit from experiences designed to help them in other aspects of behaviour.
This research work will be useful to Ministry of Women Affairs in making sure that the right and responsibilities of every family member is duly protected and also help the children and parents adjust to change in behaviour
This research work will also be beneficial to students and the community in general for adolescents to be properly guided and equipped with the necessary life styles they require to be self-sufficient anywhere they find themselves. The outcome of the study will educate parents, siblings, caregivers and those charged with the responsibilities of raising children to understand that each child has a genetic potential to behave well and this can only be achieved by the involvement, care and encouragement adults give their family members.
It will equally assist the school administrators and counsellors in the various aspects of the student‘s lives; they need to organize workshops and symposia in order to address the rising rate of children‘s conduct problems.
The result of this study will be of great importance to the ministry of Women Affairs (MWA) who serve as the vehicle to bring about speedy and healthy development of Nigerian Women and Children.
The implementation of its recommendations by the concerned persons could lead to the growth of well behaved, dedicated, respectful families and acceptable future leaders because once social and emotional behaviour of children in families conformed to the norms of the society, the better for everyone as it would encourage good parent child interactions and reduced conflicts.
1.7 Basic Assumption of the Study
The study was based on the assumptions that:
- Parent-child interaction can influence social behaviour of Senior Secondary School students in Plateau State
- Parent-child interaction can influence emotional behaviour of Senior Secondary School students in Plateau State.
- Parental conflict can influence social behaviour of Senior Secondary School students in Plateau State
- Parental conflict can influence emotional behaviour of Senior Secondary School students in Plateau State.
- Siblings‘ interaction can influence social behaviour of Senior Secondary School students in Plateau State.
- Siblings‘ interaction can influence emotional behaviour of Senior Secondary School students in Plateau State.
1.8 Delimitation of the Study
The study is delimited to the influence of family processes on social and emotional behaviour of Senior Secondary Schools students in Plateau State. The work is delimited to day Senior Secondary School students who go to school and come back to the house, in all the seventeen (17) local government areas in Plateau State, The study is delimited to the following indices: parent-child interaction, parental conflict and siblings‘ interaction. Reason being that children at Senior Secondary School levels are matured enough to say the kind of interactions found in their homes. The study is delimited to only government owned schools because a large population of students from different kinds of families and different environments with different attitudes are found there.