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Gender Differences in Self-Esteem and Perceived Social Support among Street Children in Ibadan, Nigeria

AM Lawal

Abstract


The study examined gender differences in self esteem and perceived social support of street children in Ibadan, Nigeria. A survey research design was employed where the participants were purposively sampled in the study. One hundred and forty eight (N=148) children of the street comprising of 129 males and 19 females were purposively sampled in four major locations in Ibadan, Oyo State of Nigeria. The street children’s ages ranged from 12 to 26 years old with mean age of 18. 25 years old (SD= 2.72). The street children completed English and Yoruba versions of Self Esteem and Social Support scales in the study. Independent t-test results show gender difference in level of self esteem of children of the street (t=6.12; df=146; P<.05). However, there is no gender difference in level of perceived social support received by the children (t=0.29; df=146; P>.05). It is concluded that male street children give regard to themselves than their female counterparts. Also, the kind of social support available for the street children is not gender biased. Therefore, both males and female street children require support in the area of rehabilitation for practical skills that can make them survive in this depressed economy and enhance their self esteem (especially, the female ones).

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