Changes in the traditional family system, poverty and associated parenting challenges on adolescent behavioural outcomes

Grace A. Adejuwon, University of Ibadan

This study reports the result of a qualitative investigation of the changes from extended to nuclear family system, the parenting challenges facing such nuclear families and the influence of such challenges on the behavioural outcomes of adolescents. The study is based on interviews and focus group discussions with 130 participants which include literate and non-literate parents, in-school and out-of school adolescents. Findings reveal that the changes in family composition, family relationships, clans and other kin groups are bringing about declining influence and effectiveness of parents. These changes are producing movement toward nuclear-family systems, eroding extended-family forms and other types of kinship groups. The respondents also reported modernization, economic and social pressures, poverty, polygamy and increased divorce rates as some of the challenges to parenting. These challenges were also associated with negative behavioural outcomes of the children. Suggestions for improvement were made by the respondents for the modern nuclear family parents.

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Presented in Session 44: Households’ and communities’ coping mechanisms to multiple shocks