LASAN ABDU SALAMATU
FACULTY OF EDUCATION, INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY BAMENDA (IUB), CAMEROON - AFRICA
Human behaviour vary among individuals within a culture, some of the variance may results from social class, racial background and place of residence. Personality of an individual is a dynamic thing in the relationship of that individual with other people. Children behaviour and attitude has affected their behaviour either negatively or positively as they advanced to maturity. Their negative behaviour has caused a lot of societal ills. The objective of the study is to look at the impact of social and personality development on growing children in Bauchi State metropolis of Nigeria. Two hundred (200) respondents were interviewed, questionnaire were administered. They involved parents, masters and mistresses of daycare centres and viewing centres. Published and unpublished material were also used. Hypothesis statement was formulated and tested to know whether parent child and peer relationship contribute significantly to the development of social skill and personality in childhood. The findings shows that a child’s personality has several components of genetically determined traits that determine the child’s approach to the world and how the child learns about the world. It was recommended that parents and caregivers should strive to help children in their development process in order to build a strong enviable personality.
Key words: personality, social, development, children. Parents, behaviour.
i. Background to the Study
The personality of an individual is a dynamic thing in the relationship of that individual with other people. Dynamic because it is not static, it can change because of one reason or another. The development of the personal characteristics of a child is greatly determined by the child’s parent, but funny enough, even the child personal characteristics too also influence the parent behavior. The personality of a person quality or attributes and the peoples general habitude behavior. Every child develops his personalities as he grows and interacts with his environment. This paper is interested in factors such as home, cultural factor, love and independence, crisis in the life of individuals; the school etc., all of which affect personality development and the impact these have on the development of the child.
ii. Statement of the Problem
It has been observed that children behaviour and attitude has affected their behaviour either negatively or positively as they advanced to maturity. Their negative behaviour has caused a lot of societal ills such as stealing, rudeness to parents and society among others.
iii. Objectives of the Study
The objective of the study is to examine the impact of social and personality development on growing children in Bauchi State, Nigeria.
iv. Literature Review
Perhaps there is no concept in psychology as important or as elusive as personality. Like intelligence, personality might be thought of as “hypothetical construct”, that is personality can be imagined rather than real and true. Psychologists observe an individual’s behavior and on the basis of this observation, they grow inferences about his personality; however, often times, personality is more than just a descriptive concept, it becomes explanatory.
A child stays away from other members of his class because he has an introverted personality, thus, the child behavior has been explained by assuming that it reflects his “basis nature” and by attaching a label on it. Furthermore, the child can be linked with other children who are introverts. His behavior has been elucidated, inferences are drawn from selected observation of behavior in which attention is focused on only one aspect or characteristics, the notion of personality, however, is thought to include all aspects of the individual so. Therefore in order to understand this child more fully necessitates rating him on many different bases, it is not enough to consider just his tendency to remain apart from others in a group situation; this neither explains his behavior nor describes his personality.
Attempts have been made by scholars to describe stages in personality development, it is not certain whether there are specific, inevitable, well-defined stages, but one assumption concerning their existence is worth attention; and the assumption is that, an individual can move on to be the next, more mature stages only after having successfully completed the demands of the previous stage and having satisfactory met its requirement.
Erikson (1950) described eight (8) stages in personality development, with each stage having its own distinctive goal normally to be attained within that period i.e.
Stage Normal goal to be attained
Infancy a basis sense of trust
Early childhood a sense of autonomy
Play age a sense of initiative
School age industry and competence
Adolescence personal identity
Young adult intimacy
Mature age integrity and acceptance
It is important to note that, the advanced stages of psychological maturity cannot be approached unless the goals of the preceding period have been met successfully; for instance, an infant has to attain a sense of trust before it feels sufficiently secure to strive for autonomy, i.e. it has to have trust in both the reliability of people, and satisfaction of basic physiological and psychological needs.
The antecedents of personality include aspects such as maturation, learning, cultural factors, the home and family setting, including parental and sibling influences, the peer society and finally, aspects of community. However, it may be argued that, the influences that occur earliest in a life tend to have the broadest impact on the individual personality because they are the first to be incorporated into it and therefore, play a part determining the effects of subsequent experiences.
Because personality is conceived of as the product of interaction between hereditary and environmental factors (nature and nurture), Johnson&Medinnus (1974), say that, it is important to examine both areas of influences. Since from birth onward, hereditary and environment interact, it is not possible even at the age of two (2) years to say how much of a Childs personality attributable to one or the other. A child may inherit an irritable temperament from his father, but it is the mother who reacts to it with resulting consequences for the child personality.
As an infant they say, is an active system that affects its environment and in turn, the environment affects it. Flexible and resilient, the infant selects those aspects of the environment to which he responds.
Innate characteristics determine both his selectively and its initial responses to the environment.
According to Johnson&Medinnus (1974), malfunctioning of the endocrine glands produces deviant behavior in only few individuals and that there is a link between behavior and granular secretion, e.g. underactive thyroid causes a low rate of metabolism, resulting in sluggish behavior and lack of confidence, contrarily, too high a rate of thyroid secretion engenders restless and nervousness. The sex hormones influences a number of behavior and characteristics and the secondary sex manifestations, such as lower voice pitch , facial hair growth and grow in musculature appearing in boys at puberty, exert broad influences on personality and adjustment. Furthermore, the rate of sexual maturation, which is largely determined by hereditary forces, bears an important relation to certain personality tendencies at adolescence.
Janes&Bayley (1950), says that the girl who matures early and the boy who matures late, both encounter adjustment problems about that late matures persisted in childlike patterns of activity, eager and animated; in situations of this nature, their peers considered them restless, talkative, and attention seeking, while early matures are viewed as popular and having older friends, a sense of humor about themselves and good appearance.
M.C. Jones (1957), observed that, on a standard personality test administered at age 30, early matures described themselves as able to make a good impression, as poised, responsible, achieving in conformity to society’s expectations, and as relatively free from neurotic symptoms and by their late thirties, the late matures showed ability to cope with different situations, although, their adaptability was accompanied by some fearfulness and vulnerability to threat. The role of intelligence in the development of personality is not easy to determine, but evidence does exist that, there is a tie between intelligence and adjustment.
Cattell (1945), has shown that intelligence does correlate highly with self-control, reliability, industriousness, emotional independence, conscientiousness and perseverance, all of these are traits of character. Just as intelligence exerts broad and complex influences on personality development, aspects of personality affect intellectual functioning. Children who gained or lost in I.Q during elementary school years were seen to differ significantly in the following personality traits, independence, aggressiveness, self-initiative, problem solving, anticipation and competitiveness.
When we talk about a person’s personality we are talking about what make that person different from other people, perhaps even unique various facets of personality have been talked about, but the problem here is whether the pieces fit together and how? Which causes what? Whatever the situation, the personality psychologist is concerned about genetics and physiology, learning and development, social interaction and culture, pathology and therapy, all of which come together in the individual.
What a child brings to a situation helps to shape the responses of others to him in the situation, and it goes on to determine how he will approach future situations. Some social influences that bear on personality include social expectations for child behavior and personality. Anything that affects the individual willingness or ability to respond to his environment is certain to influences his view of himself and his reaction with others. Often times, physical handicap endangers resentment and frustration in the child, so also does parental non-acceptance of the Childs handicap and his person, is particularly damaging to the Childs sense of self-worth.
The difference among cultures is so strong and pervasive that model personality types are often noted by anthropologists. Adjective, “modal to signify common or fashionable is made use as in “a la mode”. It has been suggested that, there is a modal American personality which is changing largely as a result of technological, educational, and economic development within the culture.
Behavior and personality vary among individuals within a culture, some of this variance results from social class, occupation, racial background, and place of residence. These sociological variables have considerable bearing in the creation of individual differences in personality and behavior. The family setting also contributes to the shaping of an individual’s web of responses. The biological forces on one side and the social forces on the other fix the limits within which parents influences the development of dependence or independence of activity level, and ability for the child to resist stress.
This theoretical theory is based on a model of reality that helps people to understand, explain, predict and control that reality. Personality theorists are just interested in the commonalities among people, structure of the individual, and the essence of being a person. It is a guide to action, which is a little like a map, but not the same as the country side it describes, it does not give you every detail and may not even be accurate, but it does provide a guide to action, it gives us something to correct when it fails.
Psychoanalysis involves both a method of psychotherapy and a theory of personality. Psychoanalysis as a method and as a theory of personality has been the most influential and therefore deserves more space than the others. According to the Freud (1953) psychoanalytic theory has three main themes:-
a) A theory of personality structure
b) A theory of personality development
c) A system of personality dynamics
In the personality structure, Freud considered personality as having a three structure part, the id, the ego and the superego. The “id” functions as the storehouse of motives and “instinctual” reactions for satisfying motives. The “ego” consists of elaborate ways of behaving and thinking that learned for dealing effectively with the world. The “superego” consists of restraints, acquired in the course of personality development, on the activity of “the ego” and “the id”. The “superego” corresponds closely with what we call conscience and may condemn as wrong. Those things which “the ego” might do toward satisfying “the id” motives. Freud (1953) also conceived of personality development as developing from infancy to adulthood through four overlapping stages:-
i. The oral stage
ii. The anal stage
iii. The phallic stage
iv. And the genital stage
According to freud, anxiety is an outcome between “the id” and “the ego”. Another theorist Karan Horney makes basic anxiety as the central concept of her theory. In her own submission, she considers anxiety to arise from social influences in the development of the child, rather than from the conflict between biological motives and “the ego” or “superego”.
Horneys theory, just like Freuds and most others, has a place in it for conflict, to her; the major conflict is between needs, because some needs are incompatible. If a person develops both a need to have someone to depend on, for instance, and a need to be self-sufficient and independent, these needs will often conflict.
This is a multi-factor by Abraham Maslow, which posits five levels of need and arranged in a hierarchy, from lower to higher levels thus:-
a) Physiological needs such as hunger, thirst and sex
b) Safety needs such as security, stability, and order
c) Belongingness and love needs, such as needs for affection, affiliation, and identification
d) Need for self-actualization.
Allport, (1973) says, trait gives no finite list of needs or traits. It only assumes a multiplicity of needs that are never quite the same form one individual to the next. It may be distinguished from other theories in two ways.
i. The concept of the uniqueness of personality where each person, with his unique background of childhood experiences, develops a set of traits that is unique to him.
- The concept of functional autonomy of motives in the course of human development, each person acquires motives as a part of satisfying other motives. These motives according to Allpots (1973) concept of functional autonomy continue to function autonomously without further reinforcement of the physiological conditions originally concerned in their acquisition.
Learning Theory of Personality
Learning plays a major role in the development of the characteristics which differentiate personalities. Complex motives are learned and that such motives are important characteristics of personality, in addition, abilities, attitudes and interest are shaped by reinforcements.
According to the learning theory, many of the modes of adjustment, and the defense mechanism are examples of learned habits, (after all, the defense mechanisms are techniques for reducing anxiety and the reduction of anxiety is reinforcing), thus, particular responses, the defense mechanisms, which reduce anxiety are increased in strength, this way, some of the terms and dynamics Freudian psychoanalysis can be translated into the terms of experimental psychology.
Components of Personality in Children
Considerable research has been carried out on particular components of personality that seem to be central in the personality fabric of childhood, yet relatively independent of one another; these are dependent- independence; aggression, anxiety, conscience development, dominance-submission and social acceptability. According to Heathers (1955), the condition of the human infant is dependency, he is dependent on the mother, this is so because the infant associates the mother with the satisfaction of his basic biological needs, he also develops a rewarding emotional dependence on her, heathers went on to say that, as the child grows older, these is an increase in independent behavior; while in the nursery school, children exhibits less behavior reflecting reliance on adults and as shift towards a more active, assertive dependence on peers.
Mccard and others (1961), also posit that among pre-school children, a negative connection has been shown between dependence on adults and popularity among peers. The question here is; is independent or dependent behavior related to other aspects of behavior? Actually, those children depending most on adults participate least with peers that is to say that, dependence on adults presumably hinder a Childs interaction with his peers. Independence relates to achievement and motivation for achieving, dependent children to reinforcement from adults, particularly if it involves social approval, children who rated high in emotional independence from parents showed in I.Q. during their pre-school years.
Our culture seems uncertain as to how aggressive behavior should be regarded. During childhood aggression is discouraged, attitudes toward it are highly restrictive, yet aggressiveness carries a premium in adult society. Peterson (1971) observes that, boys who are low in aggression have been found to exhibit aggression when retaliation is expected than when it is not. Most people experience frustration in the course of a day’s event, goals are blocked, rewards not received desires remain unfulfilled. Dollard et al (1939) developed the frustration aggression hypothesis, which olds that “aggressive behavior is the typical response to frustration”.
Generally, adults set examples for children. Logically, it would seem that the more aggressiveness the adults behavior, the more aggressive the Childs many studies have supported this view, for instance, Bandura et al (1961) say that pre-school children imitated or reproduced the behavior of the person who conducted the experiment, as he was their model; an aggressive model elicited a greater amount of aggressive behavior than the non-aggressive model. Conditions promoting aggressive behavior e.g. frustration and modeling, are often found in combination in the Childs environment.
v. Research Methodology
A survey research was conducted, two hundred (200) respondents were sampled which comprised of parents, form masters, children, mistresses and some gathering places like viewing centres in Bauchi State metropolis of Nigeria. Questionnaire were administered, interview was conducted and observation made. Internet facilities, published and unpublished materials were also used.
vi. Data Analysis and Research Findings
The data gathering were analyzed using simple percentage. The hypothesis statement formulated was tested. The findings revealed that parent child and peer relationships contribute significantly to the development of social skill and personality in childhood.
vii. Conclusion and Recommendations
In conclusion, personality is what makes person a unique person and it is recognizable soon after birth. A Childs personality has several components of genetically determined traits that determine the Childs approach to the world and how the child learns about the world. There are no genes that specify personality traits but some genes do control the development of the nervous system which in turn controls behavior.
Social and personality development continues through adolescences and adult years, and it is influenced by some social, biological and representation influences. Changing social relationship and representational and roles and how the individual represents experience and self, continue to form the basis for development throughout life, when an adult looks forward rather retrospectively to ask “what kind of person am I”? A festination, complex, multifaceted interaction of developmental process lies dead.
This study hereby proffer the following recommendations
Conscience development expands as young children begin to represent moral values and think of themselves as moral beings, they think of themselves as people who want to do right thing, who feel badly after misbehaving and who feel uncomfortable when others misbehave. Parents and caregivers should strive to help children in this developmental process in order to build a strong, enviable personality.
Peer relationships are particularly important to children, they can be supportive but challenging, peer rejection can lead to behavior problems later in life. Parents are advised to monitor peer relationship of their children.
Centtell, R.B (1945). Personality traits associated with abilities, in with intelligence and drawing abilities education &psychological measurement.
Dollard, J. (1939). Frustration and Aggression. New Haven, Conn: Yale University
Erikson, E.H. (1950). Childhood & society. New York: Nortorn.
Johnson, R.C & Medinnus, G.R. (1974). Child psychology; behavior &development; john Wiley & Sons, New York.
Mccord, W. et al (1962). Familial & behavioural correlates of education, 3rd year book.