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Analysis of parenting styles and sexual attitudes of youths from two ethnic groups in Nigeria and Cameroon

Esther Foluke Akinsola


This study examined and analysed the parenting styles and attitudes toward sexuality related behaviours of some secondary school students from Yoruba ethnic group in Nigeria and Nso ethnic group in Cameroon. A cross-sectional design was used and five hypotheses were tested. Participants consisted of five hundred and eleven (511) secondary school students out of which three hundred and fifty-five (355) were from Nigeria and one hundred and fifty-six (156) were from Cameroon. Two hundred and twenty-one (221) of them are males and two hundred and ninety (290) are females and their ages ranged between 13years and 27years. Yoruba participants (355) comprised of one hundred and eighty-two (182) males and one hundred and seventy-three (173) females. They were selected from some secondary schools in Lagos and Ibadan cities located in the Western part of Nigeria. Nso participants (156) consisted of thirty-nine (39) males and one hundred and seventeen (117) females and were selected from some secondary schools (also called colleges) in Bamenda the provincial capital in the North -West Province of Cameroon. Data were collected using measures of parenting style and sexual attitude in a questionnaire format. Hypotheses were tested using chi-square (x2), t-test, correlation and regression analysis statistics. Results obtained indicated that: (i) Yoruba participants reported their parents’parenting styles as authoritative and authoritarian/authoritative hybrid while Nso participants reported that their parents adopt permissive and permissive/authoritarian hybrid as parenting styles. (ii) Attitudes of Yoruba participants toward sexuality related behaviour were more permissive and liberal while attitudes of Nso participants toward sexuality related behaviours were more condemning and less permissive. (iii) Attitudes of male participants were more permissive and liberal than attitudes of female participants. (iv) Authoritarian and permissive parenting styles correlated positively with condemning sexual attitude and negatively with authoritative parenting style, permissive and liberal sexual attitudes. (v)Permissive and liberal attitudes were predicted by ethnic group while condemning attitude was predicted by ethnic group and parenting style. It was concluded that parents of each ethnic group emphasized different aspects of Baumurind’s parenting styles and their hybrids. The two ethnic groups also differ in their attitudes toward sexuality related behaviours.

Keywords: Parenting-style, sexual-attitudes, Ethnic groups Nigeria, Cameroon,

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