INFLUENCE OF GENDER, LOCATION AND PARENTING STYLES ON ALTRUISTIC BEHAVIOUR AMONG ADOLESCENTS IN NDOKWA EAST L.G.A, DELTA STATE

INFLUENCE OF GENDER, LOCATION AND PARENTING STYLES ON ALTRUISTIC BEHAVIOUR AMONG ADOLESCENTS IN NDOKWA EAST L.G.A, DELTA STATE

INFLUENCE OF GENDER, LOCATION AND PARENTING STYLES ON ALTRUISTIC BEHAVIOUR AMONG ADOLESCENTS IN NDOKWA EAST L.G.A, DELTA STATE

Ebirim, Ethel Ihuarulam

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Department of Educational Psychology Guidance and Counselling, Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Port Harcourt

 

And

 

Abangowe, Temple

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Department of Educational Psychology Guidance and Counselling, University of Port Harcourt

ABSTRACT

The study investigated the influence of gender, locality and parenting styles on altruistic Behaviour among adolescent students in secondary schools in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State. To guide the study, three research questions were stated. Descriptive research design was adopted for the study. The sample size for the study was 200 students drawn from the population with simple random sampling technique. The instruments for the study were Parenting Styles and Altruistic Beheviour Questionnaire (PSABQ). The reliability of the instruments was tested with Cronbach Alpha at 0.75 alpha level. Data collected were analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 23. The hypotheses 1 and 2 postulated for the study were tested with independent sample t-test while hypothesis 3 was tested using multiple regression associated with ANOVA at 0.05 alpha level. The findings of the study show that gender, locality and parenting styles to high extent influence altruistic behaviour among adolescents in secondary schools in Ndokwa East L.G.A. Finally, recommendation and limitations were made for this study.

Key Words: Gender, Location, Parenting Styles, Altruistic Behaviour and Adolescents.

 

Introduction

Adolescence is a period in human growth and development that occurs after childhood and before adulthood, from ages ten to nineteen. Adolescence is characterized by marked physiological changes, development of sexual feelings, efforts towards the construction of identity, and a procession from concrete to abstract thought. It is the period of transition from dependent childhood to independent adulthood. According to Meyer (2016) adolescents are the most vulnerable to altruistic behaviour because they want socialization, good shape, good health and fame. Many female adolescents who are fat feel unhappy about their shape and in a bid to lose weight do strenuous exercises and also eat too little so as to become slim, and become frustrated when they do not get the desired results (Meyer, 2016). Many young and old people alike have altruistic behaviour.

Furthermore, adolescent period is marked with increased responsibilities at home and in the school context, opportunities for caregiving within the family, and mutuality in peer relationships (American Psychological Association, 2018). Moreover, society demands a greater level of altruistic maturity and expects greater adherence to social norms from adolescents compared to children. Therefore, adolescence presents itself as a time of major life transitions. In light of these myriad transitions, adolescents are further developing altruistic behaviours (Arnett, 2016).

Although the emergence of altruistic behaviours (e.g., expressed behaviours that are intended to benefit others) begins in early childhood, the developmental transitions described above allow adolescents to become active agents in their own developmental process. Behaviour that is motivated by adolescents’ concern for others is thought to reflect optimal social functioning or altruistic behaviours (American Psychological Association, 2018). While the early literature focused primarily on altruistic behaviours among young children. Finally, adolescents are afforded more opportunities to express helping behaviours in other social spheres beyond the family context, such as in schools, communities, and civic society.

Altruism refers to behaviour that benefits another individual at a cost to oneself. For example, giving your lunch away is altruistic because it helps someone who is hungry, but at a cost of being hungry yourself. Altruism is the principle and moral practice of concern for happiness of other human beings or other animals, resulting in a quality of life both material and spiritual. It is a traditional virtue in many cultures and a core aspect of various religious traditions and secular worldviews, though the concept of "others" toward whom concern should be directed can vary among cultures and religions. In an extreme case, altruism may become a synonym of selflessness, which is the opposite of selfishness.

Altruism is a prosocial behaviour that involves voluntary action that benefits another person. Altruistic behaviour can include; comforting, helping, rescuing sharing and co-operating with other persons. An altruism is perceived as the belief that in the well-being of others is equally, if not more, important than the well-being or survival of the self. Further, altruism involves selfless acts or undertakings that put the welfare of others before one's own. Altruistic people do not practice seemingly selfless acts for their own benefit; they do not have ulterior motives, such as a desire to gain recognition, a reward, or even make themselves feel better. These actions may be motivated by empathy and by concern about the welfare and rights of others, as well as for egoistic or practical concerns, such as one's social status or reputation, hope for direct or indirect reciprocity, or adherence to one's perceived system of fairness. It may also be motivated by altruism, though the existence of pure altruism is somewhat disputed, and some have argued that this falls into philosophical rather than psychological realm of debate. Evidence suggests that pro sociality is central to the well-being of social groups across a range of groups, including schools. Altruistic behaviour in the classroom can have a significant impact on a student's motivation for learning and contributions to the classroom and larger community. Empathy is a strong motive in eliciting altruistic behaviour, and has deep evolutionary roots.

Altruism is often selfish motivated, specifically, we may help other people for two major selfish reasons: We want to avoid the personal pain of seeing someone suffer or else the guilt of not helping someone in distress, we want to share vicariously the joy that someone feels when his or her life improves (Moely, 2011).

The two different kinds selflessness, the first avoids personal pain and the second seeks out personal pleasure. Batson primary contribution is the research in altruism is that he has demonstrated how people can be altruistic when their empathy is roused, even when neither the “avoiding personal pain” nor the “seeking vicarious joy hypothesis can operate (Rosehem, 2012).”

Parent-adolescent relationship is one of the most influential factors by which adolescents adopt social interactions, education, nutrition and also problem behaviours (Hair,Jager & Garrett, 2018). Parent adolescent relationship is directly correlated with self-confidence, empathy and cooperative personality (Barber & Erickson, 2017). Due to rapidly changing social scenario, parents and their adolescent children experience a huge gulf in their style of thinking, believes and outlooks. Media regularly portrays the problems of adolescence like, gang violence, school shootings, alcohol-related accidents, drug abuse, and suicides. While this can accelerate with tactless parental behaviour and it can also be dissipated by the right sort of parenting. So, there has always been a debate regarding what exactly a “good parenting” approach is. Healthy parental behaviour is a valuable gift that a child can receive and a parent can give. It is imperative that parents can nurture the adolescent to become humane citizens, especially to build up a peaceful and non-violent society as envisaged by Gandhiji (2015). For that reason the most valuable social issues that parent usually tries to teach their children are sharing, caring, helping as a whole try to foster altruistic behaviour that make their children kind and generous.

Altruistic people are likely to come from families who encourage their children to think how their own action would have consequences for other people. This focus seems likely to encourage compassion the parents themselves also served as model of altruistic behaviours. They encourage their children to ignore social class, race, and religion in choosing their friends. As a result, these same children grow into adult who could appreciate the similarities that bind all humans to one another. They are less likely to emphasize the kind of boundaries that separate “as” from “them”. In view of the above, the study investigate the influence of gender and locality on altruistic behaviour among adolescents in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State.

Statement of the Problem

The implication that altruism is an external social mechanism is called social subjectivism, the notion that truth and morality are creations of the mind of a collective (a group) of people. It means that we as a group have managed to create an intangible ideal like altruism and placed a high value on it. People see those who make personal sacrifices for the common good (or for the good of another person) as noble and admirable. To individualists (or egoists), the concept of altruism as a social fabrication is a dangerous thing. It defies true human nature in the egoists' opinion. Each man takes responsibility for his own life and happiness and lets others do the same. No one sacrifices himself to others, nor sacrifices others to himself. In the eyes of an egoist, altruistic behaviour allows people to be exploited by totalitarian governments. Let us remember that under totalitarianism and state terror no one is accorded the moral right to exist as an end in himself, but must exclusively for particular others or for a particular vision of society.

Often times, it perturbs me why we should not be our brother’s keeper. However, I noticed that some individuals find it difficult to render help to others while very few see it as a way of life. Whenever I travel to the village, I noticed high degree of love from rural dwellers which I find difficult to see in the urban areas. This gives me worry in addition to this, there is always an argument that males renders prosocial help more than female. In other to give answers to this opinion and also to know how much we help ourselves, the present study was born. It came to the pick when I asked why people find it difficult to help strangers, accident victims etc. Therefore, the following problems would be addressed in this study.    

           

Aim and Objectives of the Study

The aim of this study is to investigate the influence of gender, location and parenting styles on altruistic behaviour among secondary school students in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State. In specific terms, this study investigated:

  1. To find out the extent to which gender influence altruistic behaviour among adolescents in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State.
  2. To find out the extent to which location (Urban and rural) influence altruistic behaviour among adolescents in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State.
  3. To examine the influence of parenting styles on altruistic behaviour among adolescents in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State.

Research Questions

The following research questions will guide the study:

  1. To what extent does gender influence altruistic behaviour among adolescent students in secondary schools in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State?
  2. To what extent does location (urban and rural) influence altruistic behaviour among adolescent students in secondary schools in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State?
  3. To what extent do parenting styles influence altruistic behaviour among adolescent students in secondary schools in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State?

Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses were raised to guide this study:

  1. There is no significant influence of male students in the rural on altruistic behaviour among adolescent students in secondary schools in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State.
  2. There is no significant influence of location (urban and rural) on altruistic behaviour among adolescent students in secondary schools in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State.
  3. Parenting styles does not significantly influence altruistic behaviour among adolescent students in secondary schools in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State.

 

Significance of the Study

This study was undertaken to expand the existing knowledge, especially in the educational sector where how to better and reduce negative effect altruistic behaviour. Thus, the study will be of significant value to various educational stakeholders such as school counsellors, academic advisors, school administrators, teachers, parents, students, governmental agencies, and future researchers.

The study will help students to reduce the prevalent rate of altruistic behaviour and damages associated with such acts.

It will help teachers and school administrators basically understand the consequences of social influence on altruistic behaviour.

Academic advisers and school counsellors will through this study find current information about student altruistic behaviour and its effect. This would better enable them to identify the students who engage into altruistic behaviour and see how to help them.

The wealth of knowledge derived from this study will enhance teachers’ ability of providing needed motivation to students, through the employment of teaching them the consequences of altruistic behaviour that are more in sync with their academic performance. This will in turn help teachers maximize their learning potential develop self-confidence, as well as understanding how best to study.

Students and parents would find this study useful as it will provide understanding of the causes of altruistic behaviour and thy will take appropriate approaches to utilize this knowledge and promote their academic success.

Future researchers would find this study useful as it would provide them resource to conduct future researches. Similarly it would provide a framework for them to make recommendations regarding both student’s motivation and negative aspect of altruistic behaviour. The findings of the study would contribute to knowledge. It would also add to the existing literature on effect of gender and locality on altruistic behaviour.

 

 

 

 

 

METHODS

Research Design The design of this study is descriptive survey intended to find out the influence of gender, locality and parenting on altruism behaviour among adolescents in Delta State..

Population for the study

The population consisted of six thousand forty-five (6,045) public senior secondary schools students Ndokwa East Local Government Areas of Delta State.

Sample and Sampling Technique

The sample for the study was 200 adolescents in public senior secondary schools in Ndokwa East Local Government Area Delta State. The sample size was drawn using simple random sampling techniques.

Instrumentation

A self-structured instrument named Parenting styles and Altruistic Beheviour Questionnaire (PSABQ) containing 30 items was used to collect data from adolescents. The instrument were responded to on a Likert-type four scale of Strongly Agree (SA) = 4; Agree (A) = 3; Disagree (D) = 2, and Strongly Disagree (D) = 1. The instruments was subjected to reliability testing using the test-retest method. Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient was used to analyze the result and a reliability index of 0.73. The instruments were, therefore, regarded as reliable and used for the study.

Data Analysis

Data collected were analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 23. The hypotheses 1 and 2 postulated for the study were tested with independent sample t-test while hypothesis 3 was tested using multiple regression associated with ANOVA at 0.05 alpha level.

Results and Discussion

Research question one: To what extent does gender influence altruistic behaviour among adolescent students in secondary schools in Delta State?

Hypothesis One: Gender does not significantly influence altruistic behaviour among adolescents in Delta State.

The answer to research question sis independent sample t-test was deployed to find out the influence of gender on the altruistic behaviour of students. The result obtained is displayed in Table 1 below

Table 1: Independent sample t-test of the influence of gender on the altruistic behaviour of students

Gender 

Mean

SD

N

t

P-Value

Alpha

df

Decision

Male

65.71

13.92

123

2.53

0.000

0.05

198

Reject Ho1

 

Female

65.61

13.69

77

From the result presented in table 1 on the influence of gender on altruistic behaviour among secondary school students in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State, male student are (n=123) and had a mean score of 65.71 (SD =13.92) while female students are (n= 77) had a mean score of 65.25 (SD=13.70) this is to say that male students slightly had more altruistic behaviour than female students based on the mean score gotten. When the scores obtained from male and female students on altruistic behaviour was tested using independent sample t-test the score obtained was 2.053. Further testing of the associated hypothesis yielded a p-value of 0.000, which was less than the chosen alpha level of 0.05. This result showed that there is a significant difference on the influence of gender on altruistic behaviour among secondary school students in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State. The null hypothesis was therefore rejected.

Research Question Two: To what extent does location influence altruistic behaviour among secondary school students in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State?

Hypothesis Two: Location does not significantly influence altruistic behaviour among secondary school students in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State.

 

Table 2: Independent sample t-test of the influence of home location on the altruistic behaviour of students

Location  

Mean

SD

N

t

P-Value

Alpha

Df

Decision

Rural

68.42

12.91

148

2.813

0.000

0.05

198

Reject Ho2

Urban   

63.12

14.56

52

 

The result of the data analysis as shown in table 1 indicates that the total number of students who are from rural areas are 148 and they had a mean value of 68.42 (SD 12.91), while the total number of those from urban are 82 and they had a mean score of 63.12 (SD = 14.56). This shows that students who are from rural developed more on altruistic behaviour than those from urban area. When the scores obtained for rural and urban on altruistic behaviour was tested using independent sample t-test the score obtained was 2.813. Further testing of the associated hypothesis yielded a p-value of 0.000, which was less than the chosen alpha level of 0.05. This result showed that there is a significant difference on the influence of location on altruistic behaviour among secondary school students in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State. The null hypothesis was therefore rejected.

Research Question Three: To what extent does parenting styles influence altruistic behaviour among secondary school students in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State?

Hypothesis Three: There is no significant influence of parenting styles on altruistic behaviour among secondary school students in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State.

To answer research question three, the respondents were classified into the various parenting styles based on the specific parenting style they had the highest score on. The scores of the students on the various parenting styles were then used to classify the extent to which they determine altruistic behaviour among the students. The result obtained is presented in Table 3 below.

Table 3: Influence of parenting styles on altruistic behaviour among secondary school students

R = 0.531

R2 = 0.301

Adj R2 = 0.461

 

 

 

Model

Sum of Squares

Df

Mean Square

F

Sig

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regression

872.257

4

290.752

8.79

0.000

Residual

6973.864

195

33.051

Total

7846.121

199

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to the result displayed in table 3, a multiple regression coefficient of 0.531 was gotten from the joint contribution of parenting styles (authoritative, authoritarian, permissive and uninvolved) on altruistic behaviour From the same table, it was shown that an R2 of 0.301 was gotten, with a corresponding Adj R2 of 0.461. On the basis of the Adj R2, it therefore implies that 46.1% of altruistic behaviour among secondary school adolescents in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State can be explained by the joint contribution parenting styles (authoritative, authoritarian, permissive and uninvolved). The remaining 53.9% can be attributed to other factors. Furthermore, when this value was subjected to an analysis of variance associated with multiple regression, an F-value of 8.79 was obtained at 4 and 195 degrees of freedom with an associated p-value of 0.000. From the result obtained, it can be seen that the p-value was less than 0.05, which was the chosen alpha guiding the study. This result therefore indicates that parenting styles has a significant influence on altruistic behaviour among secondary school students. On the basis of this result, a multiple post hoc test was conducted as shown in Table 4

Table 4: Post hoc test of the influence of parenting styles on the altruistic behaviour

(I) Parenting

(J) Parenting

Mean Difference (I-J)

Sig.

 
 

Authoritative PS

Authoritarian PS

-.32435

.739

 

Permissive

-3.95851*

.001

 

Uninvolved

-4.73091*

.000

 

Authoritarian PS

Authoritative PS

.32435

.739

 

Permissive

-3.63416*

.002

 

Uninvolved

-4.40656*

.000

 

Permissive PS

Authoritative PS

3.95851*

.001

 

Authoritarian PS

3.63416*

.002

 

Uninvolved

-.77240

.561

 

 

From the result shown in Table 3, it is shown that there is no significant difference between authoritative and authoritarian parenting style (mean difference = 0.32, p = 0.739>0.05), and between uninvolved and permissive parenting styles (mean difference – 0.77, p = 0.561>0.05) on their influence on altruistic behaviour among secondary school students in Ndokwa East Local Government Area. Conversely, the result revealed that a significant difference between authoritative parenting style and permissive parenting style (mean difference = 3.95, p = 0.001<0.05), between authoritative and uninvolved parenting styles (mean difference = 4.73, p = 0.000<0.05), and between authoritarian and permissive parenting styles (mean difference = 3.63, p = 0.002<0.05). Finally, the result revealed that there was a significant difference in the extent to which authoritarian parenting style and uninvolved parenting style influence altruistic behaviour among adolescents (mean difference = 4.40, p = 0.000<0.05).

Discussion of Findings

Research question one revealed that there is a significant difference in the influence of gender on altruistic behaviour among secondary school adolescents in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta. This result implies that male adolescents show more altruistic behaviour than female students. This finding also showed that this difference in the influence was statistically significant. This result is not surprising to this researcher because researches have shown that male students are more companionate than female students. This finding is similar to that obtained by Laura (2016) who found out that gender has influence on altruistic behaviour among secondary school students. The differences in the finding obtained may be attributed to the sample used.

Research question two revealed that there is a significant difference in the influence of gender on altruistic behaviour among secondary school adolescents in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta. This influence that was observed was statistically significant. Based on this result it was observed that rural students have better altruistic behaviour than urban students. This result is not surprise because those at the rural area have the culture of sharing things in common and help one another. It could be that the children emulate this from their parents. This study is similar to the findings of Uzor (2010) who found out that peer group locality, and self-esteem significantly influences altruistic behaviour among undergraduate students. The difference in this study can be derived from the variables used.

The first result of the study showed parenting styles has a significant influence on altruistic behaviour among secondary school students. This result implies that the different parenting styles have different influence on altruistic behaviour. Meaning that students who are not giving proper parenting are at the danger of low altruistic behaviour. This result is not surprising to the researcher because when students gets satisfaction from his parents, that student is likely enjoy interaction with parents and he will feel welcomed and love and will extend the love to others. Also majority of the children today who have low altruistic behaviour are as a result of poor upbringing and poor home background. This could be the probable explanation to the findings. This result is similar to that obtained by Flora and Stalikas (2013) who found out that parenting styles has a strong influence on altruistic behaviour. The differences in the result obtained may be attributed to the sample used and methodology used.

Conclusion and Recommendation

Education is about all-round development. In order to provide a well- rounded education, parent must create opportunities for children to develop their emotional intelligence, helps children to acquire the knowledge and skills to control and manage the emotion, demonstrate concern for others, establish positive relationships and constructively handle challenging social situation that helps to enhance psychosocial competence among the children and adolescents. This study puts the ball in the parents’ court in the quest for all round education of the adolescent. It shows that, just sending children to school cannot ensure complete future citizens. Parents must understand that being overly protective of children’s feelings gets in the way of their emotional growth, their styles of nurturance contribute on children’s altruistic behaviour and various psycho social aspects of development. It is believed that there are some roles that are better performed by parents which children tend to accept most readily than any other person in their life. Adolescence is a time when a person is torn by conflicting feelings. On the one hand, he is eager to be free, and on the other hand, he wants that there is always someone behind him who supports and takes care of him. Also parents in the rural areas should as well give their children the opportunity of rendering help to others despite the nature of the society today because this will help us to have a better loving nation.

This study puts light on the fact that the healthy home environment especially parents can be a strong source of support for developing adolescents. This study is an eye-opener for parents so that they may resolve their own conflicts. They have to sit together and give proper time to their children’s activities. They may learn to cooperate with each other and combine various elements of their unique parenting styles. It has been assured that, children are more altruistic when they have formed more secure attachment relationships with their parents, when parents use reasoning and provide explanations; when they are sensitive to their children’s needs and are warm with their children; and when they support their children’s experience and regulation of emotions. Altruism or prosocial aspects are sympathetic, helpful and considerate behaviours towards other people with the intension of actively establishing and maintaining positive relationships among members of a social group. Therefore, there is every need for parents to be aware of their actions and attitudes as parents so that the future citizens can build a happy, peaceful and prosperous Nigeria.

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