Psychology of Social Support on Individuals and Society

  • SK Balogun Department of Psychology, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.


The concept of social support cuts across all forms of barriers, it is present in all cultures languages and religions. Where there is any observable difference, it can only be in terms of the degree of the social support and not in the absence of it. In Africa for instance, the values, belief systems,, family systems, language and general ways of life are such that encourage, promote and depicts social support in all spheres of life. The Yorubas, an ethnic group in Nigeria from the West African sub-region value social support so much. In fact, it is deeply entrenched in their ways of life and they have various sayings encouraging and preaching social support e.g. “Eniyan laso mi, timo ba weyin timo reni mi, eniyan laso mi” meaning “people are my convering, when I look back and see my people, I know I am not naked”. Another one says, “Taja ba leni leyin, a pobo”, meaning “If the dog enjoys the backing/support of the people it will kill a baboon (a much bigger animal)”. These show the central nature of the concept of social support not only to the Yorubas but to most if not all societies. In other words, social support can been seen as a universal phenomenon. This cocept is what is expoused in the present paper with its relevance to the societal well being in general.
African Journal for the Psychological Study of Social Issues Vol.7(1) 2004: 131-139

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