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The study examined family background as correlate of child socialization: a case study of selected schools in Mainland Local Government Area of Lagos State. Descriptive research survey design was adopted in assessing the opinions of the respondents with the use of questionnaire. Three hundred and fifty respondents were used as the representatives of the entire population of the study. Five null hypotheses were generated and tested with the use of the Pearson Product Moment Correlation for hypothesis one; One-way Analysis of Variance for hypothesis two, three and four while hypothesis five was tested with the application of the independent t-test statistical tool at 0.05 level of significance. At the end of the data analyses, the result shows that:

(1)         there is a significant relationship between home and children’s social adjustment.

(2)         there is a significant relationship between the parental socio-economic status and children’s social adjustment.

(3)         there is a significant relationship between parental ethnic backgrounds and children’s social adjustment.

(4)         there is a significant relationship between parents’ religious backgrounds and children’s social adjustment.

(5)         there is no significant gender difference in the academic performance of children due to home backgrounds.




Title Page                                                                                            i

Certification                                                                                       ii

Dedication                                                                                           iii

Acknowledgements                                                                              iv

Abstract                                                                                              v

Table of Contents                                                                                vi


CHAPTER ONE:    INTRODUCTION                                                   1

1.1         Background to the Study                                                             1

1.2         Statement of the Problem                                                           5

1.3         Purpose of the Study                                                                  6

1.4         Research Questions                                                                     7

1.5         Hypotheses                                                                                8

1.6         Significance of the Study                                                             9

1.7         Scope of the Study                                                                     10

1.8         Definition of Terms                                                                     11


CHAPTER TWO:    LITERATURE REVIEW                                          12

2.1     Concept and Nature of the Family                                                13

2.2     The Home and Children’s Socialization                                          16

2.3     A Review of the Effect of Family Conflict, Divorce and

Disorganisation on Adolescent Emotional Development                  20

2.4     The Meaning of Socialization                                                        21

2.5     Types of Socialization                                                                 24

2.6     The Aims of Socialization                                                             25

2.7     The Agencies of Socialization                                                       27

2.8     Unidirectional Models of Socialization                                           33

2.9     Other Models of Socialization                                                       38

2.10   Adolescents’ Adjustment and Parental Responsibility                      43

2.11   Adolescents in the School Environment: Relationship with Peers,

the School Authorities and Other                                                 46

2.12   Theories and Problems of Adolescent Development                        49

2.13   Summary of Review                                                                    51


CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY                                                    53

2.1         Design                                                                                      53

2.2         Population of the Study                                                               53

2.3         Sample Size and Sampling Method                                               53

2.4         Instrumentation                                                                         54

2.5         Validity of Instrument                                                                 54

2.6         Reliability of the Instrument                                                        54

2.7         Procedure for Data Collection                                                      55

2.8         Data Analysis                                                                             55


CHAPTER FOUR:  RESULTS                                                              56

4.1     Testing of Hypotheses                                                                56

4.2     Summary of Findings                                                                  60

4.3     Discussion of Findings                                                                 61



RECOMMENDATIONS                                           66

5.1         Summary of Study                                                                      66

5.2         Conclusions                                                                               67

5.3         Recommendations                                                                      68


References                                                                                 72

Appendix                                                                                   80




1.1       Background to the Study 

Socialization is a unique process to childhood. According to the socialization theory known as symbolic interactionism, socialization is required for each role an individual acquires over the life-course.

According to Peterson and Haan (1999), socialization is considered to be more general either enculturation or acculturation. Enculturation and transmitting a particular culture from one generation to another (e.g. minority members of the society teaching their children about minority issues, such as discrimination). Acculturation on the other hand, refers to the process of acquiring a new or different culture (e.g. as an immigrant to another country). Ross and Buriel (1998) described socialization as the process whereby an individual’s standards, skills, motives, attitudes and behaviours change to conform to those regarded as desirable and appropriate for his/her present and leaves open the possibility that adults, an addition to children, can be socialized into new roles and responsibilities. Thus, the late twentieth century conceptions of socialization, suggest that parents as well as children are socialized by others referred to as socialization agents (Pillemer and Mccartney, 1991). There are many theories that address both the transition to parenthood and parental involvement, as well as the socialization of children (e.g. social learning symbolic interactionism). There are however, relative theoretical models that focus on socialization of parents (Warpmer, 1993), despite the fact that parenthood has a powerful influence on the development of the adult, to say nothing on the child. Existing developmental models of parents’ socialization typically use conceptions or the birth of the child as the starting point in parental development. Furthermore, most approaches focus on parents-child relations in infancy, childhood or adolescence ignoring on-going parent-child relations across the life-course.

A popular adage says “Charity begins at home”. A child is first of all the product of his immediate environment, which is his/her home. The effect of home factor on the development of the child and most importantly, his/her social adjustment cannot be overemphasized (Mundi, 2000). This is because right from conception, when life begins the embryo develops in the mother’s womb until birth.

A child is affected positively or negatively by the hereditary qualities which are passed on to him from his parents at conception, as well as the environmental factor to which he is exposed before and after delivery. While such physical characteristics such as height, facial appearance, nose, skin colour etc are conspicuous traits in a child, other factors like intelligence and temperament qualities are regarded as being influenced by both heredity and environmental factors (Anyakoga, 1994).

Munonye (2001) observed that a child who is born into a warm environment as well as a peaceful loving home is more likely to grow up happily, showing love to others. Whereas, an unwanted or unloved child who starts to experience frustration and rejection at an early age is more likely to grow up as an unhappy child. By the time the child is fully grown or matures into an adolescent, the character is made up from his childhood experiences. However, it is merely at adolescent stage that when he/she fails to meet up to their expectation, without thinking of the background they have provided for the child’s development and socialization.

According to Arnolds (1994) and Adamson (2000), children who grow up in a hostile home environment, where there is a lot of nagging, quarelling and fighting are more likely to be unhappy, wanting to get out of such ugly home environment as quickly as possible. The adolescent child in such situation, would rather prefer to spend most of his/her day in the midst of peers where he would be happier and more relaxed.

Another type of home background is where parents seem to have no time for the upbringing of their children and their proper socialization in the society. In such homes, parents are more pre-occupied with the quest to get rich quickly by racing after money. They therefore, shift the responsibilities of training their children to the house maids who themselves had no training (Olayinka, 1987). Such parent always claim to be pursuing businesses for the upkeep of the children, without knowing the ugly effect of their deeds. This is because such children eventually end up creating more problems than the parents envisaged. It is quite surprising to note that some parents are afraid to talk to their children especially, the adolescent ones even among the enlightened parents even when they know that the child has gone wrong and needs to be corrected, just because they do not want the child to be angry with them (Onwuama, 1988). It is uncommon therefore to hear most parents comment that most children are bad these days. That it is better to leave them than to correct and become their enemies. More often than not, such parents would prefer to ask an outsider to discipline their children for them, this is rather sad. Onwuama contend that, although the young ones (adolescents) have the tendency to behave in a way that is contrary to adults expectation, it is the responsibility of the adults to put them right. Parents have to correct their children and point out to them the normal and expected roles to play in the society. Parents ought to direct their children to the expected societal values and norms that would make them good society members in their future (Ayo, 2000). This study intends to explore the home background as correlate of child socialization.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

These days, most parents do not know how to bring up their children properly and socialize them appropriately to the extent of inculcating in them the right values and norms expected of them in a decent society.

The type of home background in which a child is nurtured to a great extent, determines the overall attitude of the child in the larger society. Many parents adopt negative parenting styles in the upbringing and socialization of their children and these have affected the social life of the child. For instance, parents who are authoritarian in their style of bringing up the child, usually rear children who are wide apart from the conformity to the normal roles and norms/values for behaviour which are established by culture in a given society. The bad or inappropriate training given to a child makes him or her to become socially deformed and socially incompetent adult. When a child is of poor family upbringing, he/she is not able to interact effectively with other members of his/her society.

According to Achilles (1990), parental role is essential in child’s socialization. Many children who are wrongly brought up, end up having inferiority complex, feeling of quilt, confused; isolated; being moody and despair and lack the ability to socialize well among their peers in the community. The above perceived problems motivated the examination of the family background as a correlate of child socialization in secondary schools.

1.3       Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study included among others:

(1)         To assess whether there is a relationship between home and children’s socialization.

(2)         To examine whether parental socio-economic status has relationship with the social adjustment of children in school.

(3)         To investigate whether there is a relationship between parental academic background and children’s social adjustment.

(4)         To find out whether there is a relationship between parental religious backgrounds and children social adjustment.

(5)         To examine whether there is a relationship between parental ethnic background and children’s social adjustment.

(6)         To find out whether there is gender difference in academic performance of children due to home background.

1.4       Research Questions

The following research questions were raised to guide the conduct of this study:

(1)         Is there any relationship between home and social adjustment of children?

(2)         To what extent will the socio-economic status of parents associate with their children’s social adjustment?

(3)         Is there any relationship between parental religious background and children’s social adjustment?

(4)         Is there any relationship between parental academic backgrounds and children’s social adjustment?

(5)         To what extent will there be any relationship between parental ethnic background and children’s social adjustment?

(6)         To what extent will there be a gender difference in academic performance of children due to their home backgrounds?

1.5       Hypotheses

These hypotheses were tested in this study:

(1)         There will be no significant relationship between home and children’s social adjustment.

(2)         There will be no significant relationship between parental socio-economic status and children’s social adjustment.

(3)         There will be no significant relationship between parental ethic backgrounds and children’s social adjustment.

(4)         There will be no significant relationship between parents’ religious backgrounds and children’s social adjustment.

(5)         There will be no significant gender difference in the academic performance of children due to the home they come from.


1.6       Significance of the Study

This study will be beneficial to the following individuals:

(1)         Parents would be able to benefit from the recommendations and the findings of this study for the fact that parental role is important to the upbringing of the child especially, his or her socialization. This study will be an eye opener to parents who would learn that they need to properly act as socializing agents in the social life of the children including their academic performance.

(2)         Children would be able to understand that they need the help of their parents to get properly socialized. Without the parents, the socialization of the child will be impossible therefore, this study will play the role of educating and informing the child especially, the adolescent on the essence of being properly nurtured by the parents. Adolescents or students, would find the recommendations and findings of this study useful as they will help make the child have an emotional attachment to his/her parent, because the study will explore all that is to be known about the home and its role in child’s socialization and home and the school.

(3)         The society will be able to understand the essence of socialization through this study, this is because, the recommendations and findings of this study will provide relevant knowledge to the public on the relationship between home and social adjustment of children in the society.

(4)         Also, this study will serve as a reference material to scholars, new researchers and even old ones, because this study will be relevant to the matters bothering on home and socialization of the children.

(5)         Equally, the teachers and school authorities would see this study as being valuable because it exposes the school as a socialization agents with the home and mass media. People working in the newspaper, television and radio would find this study very interesting and informing because they remain important stakeholders in this study.

1.7       Scope of the Study

The study covered selected secondary schools in Mainland Local Government Area of Lagos State.


1.8       Definition of Terms

Operational definitions of terms were carried out in this study in the following dimension:

(1)         Socialization – This is a term which means, the process through which children develops an awareness of and conformity to the roles and norms for behaviour established by their culture, which the end product of the awareness and conformity is a socially competent adult in a community.

(2)         Parental Socio-Economic Status – This refers to level of income and quality of life or living of children’s parents. Socio-economic status of parents is often measured by the level of the income, education, material possessions, their occupations, position etc.

(3)         Social Adjustment – This refers to the level of socialization of child. It is the way a child or an individual conforms or lives in disagreement with the usual and expected values and norms in a given social setting.

(4)         Academic Performance - This means the level or rate at which a child or student performs after a period of learning through examinations or tests given to him or her at the end of a learning process.

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