AN ANALYSIS ON THE INFLUENCE OF PARENT-CHILD BONDING ON ADOLESCENT SOCIAL ORIENTATION
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Humans are sociable organisms that like to live with others of their species. Humans gradually learn the behaviors and concepts that prepare them for social life, beginning in infancy. According to Harlows, this process of socialization occurs naturally when parents and others steer their children toward the behaviors, beliefs, objectives, and reasons that society deems proper (2020). Young animals, including humans, acquire deep bonds to their parents soon after birth, according to Levine (2018). The relationship ensures that offspring remain close to be fed, safeguarded, and trained to act adaptively.
Parents from various cultures, subcultures, and socioeconomic strata have varying values, concerns, and ideas about life, which impact their birthing habits. The contact between the caregiver and the child is viewed as critical to all psychological maturation in current developmental psychology theories. A child’s parents and the emotional climate of the house have a significant impact on the type of person the newborn will become. Parental attitudes toward the newborn are essential during the early years. Face-to-face play is a ubiquitous element of the early connection between caregivers (parents) and newborns throughout cultures. The frequency, duration, and purpose of these episodes, however, varied between cultures. For example, mothers in the United States use more social overtures (such as tickling) to stimulate and excite their babies; mothers in Kenya are more soothing and quieting in their initiatives (Vine et al, 2016); and Japanese mothers typically focus on establishing mutual intimacy by maintaining eye contact with their infants as well as kissing and hugging (Vine et al, 2016). (Bornstein and Lambs, 2021). In many non-western cultures, fathers appear to be active partners, while older siblings and other people also take an active role in newborn care and social play with babies (Thonick, 2019).
When a basic attachment is developed, the parent is more likely to engage in more chatting, rocking, and holding. This responsive social stimulation improves the infant’s eye contact, chattering, and smiling, further cementing the bond between parent and child. However, genuine maturity may be measured in part by an individual’s developing awareness of and interest in other people, as well as a respect of their rights and interests and a readiness to sacrifice personal desires for the greater benefit of the larger number (Yarrow, 2018). A significant training issue is expanding the child’s social sense as he matures. The difference between a “spoiled, unhappy, poorly adjusted child and a lovable youngster who is making appropriate social changes” is represented by the outcome. Bowlby (2020) proposed that attachment is the loving tie formed between a newborn and his or her caretakers and is a necessary component of optimal functioning. Bowlby (2020) thinks that every kid, like the young of other animal species, is gifted with a set of built-in behaviors (e.g., smiling, grabbing, sobbing, staring) that serve to keep the parent nearby and hence boost the child’s chances of survival. Contact with the parent also ensures that the infant is nourished, although Bowlby was keen to emphasize that food is not the basis for attachment. Instead, the attachment relationship has deep biological foundations and is best understood within an evolutionary context in which species survival is paramount.
Surprisingly, a kid born into a warm atmosphere with serene and loving parents is more likely to grow up happily, giving affection to others, particularly his or her classmates at school or at home. An undesired kid who begins to feel dissatisfaction and rejection at a young age as a result of the attitudes of his or her parents and other people in his or her surroundings is more likely to grow up to be an unhappy child. By the time the child reaches adolescence, his character is formed by his early experiences. This is because most children do not get along with their parents because of their parents’ negative and irritating attitudes. Most parents abuse their children, and their actions do not foster a positive bond between them and their children. However, it is mostly at the adolescent period that parents begin to notice aberrant behavior in their kid when he or she fails to fulfill their expectations, without considering the context in which the child was raised (Adindu, 2018).
Bernhardt (2020) believes that a lack of good and healthy relationships between parents and their children causes social awkwardness, which causes him (the adolescent) to be loud and noisy, to show off, to swing quickly from one mood to another, to occasionally revert to childish behavior, and to have periods of rebellion to authorities of both parents and adult members of society. All of these and other related patterns of teenage behavior may be difficult for parents to comprehend and accept. Constant criticism, nagging, or punishment, according to Adamson (2020), are more likely to make the child’s behavior worse. Children with nagging and punishing parents have children that are aggressive, wicked, disobedient, and have a bad adjustment to the norms and values of their community. As a result of being raised in an unfavorable family setting, these adolescents grow up to be aggressive against other children in their environment or at school.
1.2Statement of Problem
It is a general notion that a child who is birthed into a warm atmosphere with tranquil and loving parents is more likely to grow up happy, expressing affection to others, particularly his or her classmates at school or at home. On the other hand Onyeoma (2021) opined that an undesired child who begins to feel dissatisfaction and rejection at a young age as a result of the attitudes of his or her parents and other people in his or her surroundings is more likely to grow up to be an unhappy child. By the time the child reaches adolescence, his character is formed by his early experiences. This is because, according to Ekpenyong (2021), most children do not have good relationships with their parents because of their parents’ negative and frustrated attitudes. Most parents abuse their children, and their actions do not foster a positive bond between them and their children. However, according to Duyile (2022), it is mostly at the teenage period that parents begin to notice deviant behaviors in their kid when he or she fails to fulfill their expectations, without considering the backdrop they have supplied for the child’s growth.
In contrast, a lack of good and healthy relationships between parents and their children causes social awkwardness, which causes him (the adolescent) to be loud and noisy at times, tending to show off, swinging quickly from one mood to another, occasionally reverting to childish behavior, and having periods of rebellion to authorities of both parents and adult members of society. All of these and other related patterns of teenage behavior may be difficult for parents to comprehend and accept. Upon this backdrop the researcher seeks to analyze the influence of parent-child bonding on adolescent social orientation.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The broad objectives of this study is to analyze the influence of parent-child bonding on adolescent social orientation. The specific objectives of this study include:
- To determine if parent-child bonding effects children’s community social orientation.
- To explore whether parents’ socioeconomic situation influences how they bond with their children regarding sexual orientation.
- To investigate if parental opinions regarding morality influence adolescent social orientation.
- To see if parents’ cognitive and emotional control influence their children’s social orientation.
The following research questions were raised in this study:
- Does parent-child bonding effects children’s community social orientation?
- Does parents’ socioeconomic situation influences how they bond with their children regarding sexual orientation?
- Does parental opinions regarding morality influence adolescent social orientation?
- Does parents’ cognitive and emotional control influence their children’s social orientation?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
` This study will be beneficial to the parent, adolescents, society and to academic field. Parents would benefit from the study, because the recommendations and the findings will be an eye-opener to their previous perceptions of the way they rear their children in the community. Adolescents would also benefit from this study because it will enable them to understand the best way to be attached to their parents. This study will help adolescents to understand that they should relate well with their parents, and should always ensure that they remain attached to their parents. Not only that, this study will expose all the styles parents have been using to rear their children in the family and how they are faired in the proper up-bringing of the child in the home. The society, the up-coming researchers, the students etc, would, through this study, be abreast with the fact that there is need for parent-child relationship which augurs well for the social orientation of the child in the society.Empirically, the study will add to the general body of knowledge and serve as reference material for student and scholars who wishes to conduct further studies on this topic.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study borders on the influence of parent-child bonding on adolescent social orientation. The study is however delimited to selected secondary school in Abuja Municipal.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Like in every human endeavor, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject, owing that it is a new discourse. The researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size, covering only secondary school in Abuja Municipal. Thus, the findings of this study cannot be used for generalization for primary schools in other states within Nigeria. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work, which will impede maximum devotion to the research. However, despite the constraints encountered during the research, all factors were downplayed in order to give the best and make the research successful.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Operational terms were defined in this study in the following ways:
Parent-Child Bonding: This is a term which expresses the relationship or attachment between parents and their children. Often times, parents do not have the closeness or good relationship between them and their children. Children with good or positive parent-child attachment, are usually good members of a given society, while those with without good or positive parent-child attachment are usually children with negative social adjustment in the society.
Social Orientation: This is a term that refers the social behaviour or character of a particular individual child in a community. This is the totality of an individuals attitude or behaviour in his/her society.
Adolescence: This is a period of life from puberty to adulthood (roughly ages between 12 – 20) characterized by marked physiological changes, development of sexual feelings, efforts towards the construction of identity, and a progression from concrete to abstract thought. It is a transitional state during which youths begin to separate themselves from their parents.