The Influence of Parenting Styles on the Social Skills of Pupils in Lower Primary Classes

A study for Ibadan North Local Government Area in Nigeria

Term Paper, 2018

56 Pages, Grade: 2.1







1.1 Background to the Study
1.2 Statement of the Problem
1.3 Research Question
1.4 Significance of the Study
1.5 Scope of the Study
1.6 Operational Definition of Terms

2.1 Conceptual Review
2.1.1 Concept of parenting style
2.1.2 Concept of Social Skills
2.1.4 Parenting Style and Children’s Development
2.2 Empirical Review
2.2.1 Research Studies Related to Parenting style and the Development of Social Skills of Children in Lower Primary Classes
2.3 Appraisal of Literature

3.1 Research Design
3.2 Population
3.3 Sampling and Sampling Technique
3.4 Research Instruments
3.5 Validity and Reliability of Instruments
3.6 Procedure for Data Collection
3.7 Method of Data Analysis

4.1 Demographic Data Analysis
4.2 Analysis of the Research Questions
4.3 Summary of Findings

5.1 Discussion of Findings
5.2 Conclusion
5.3 Recommendations
5.4 Limitations of the Study
5.5 Suggestions for Further Studies




My profound gratitude goes to the God of all the earth for his love, mercy, and wisdom on which all men no matter their circumstance can rely.

I want to acknowledge my supervisor, Prof Esther Oduolowu for believing and directing this project work. I knew I was in safe hands when I was given the privilege of being under her supervision. I pray that Almighty God bestow upon her sound health and mind, and long life to soar higher the more.

I really appreciate the efforts of my parents, Mr and Mrs Oyedoyin for standing by me, investing in me and making me to stand on their shoulders to get to this point in life. May the Lord preserve their lives and keep them in good health to reap from their investments in me. Thank you so much.

I sincerely appreciate my siblings, Oluwatosin Oyedoyin, Timileyin Oyedoyin, Opeyemi Oyedoyin and the little twins, Taiwo and Kehinde Oyedoyin and my cousin, Precious Oyedoyin. They were sources of encouragement for me throughout this programme. I look forward to seeing you becoming greater than your dreams.

I also express a deep gratitude to Miss Eileen Oluwakemi Akintemi for her support, guidance and patience in the course of writing this project despite her own academic demands. May God lift you up in every good thing.

I sincerely appreciate the HOD of Early Childhood and Educational Foundations in person of Prof R.O. Akinbote for his fatherly love and care throughout this programme and also my fathers in the department in the person of Dr. I.A Salami and Dr M.D Amosun who were always there to support my classmates and I right from the start of this programme.

I also appreciate all my friends in the class especially Okoye Chukuwuebuka who is more than best of a friend a person can have, Akinbode Omolola, Akinboade Oluwaseun, Babalola Oluwasomi, Reverend Sister Edeh Nneka, Olutoye Temitope, Majayi Oluwakemi and every other person in the class.. I also thank my roommate of all time, Adesumibola Seyi. They are like my siblings I would like to keep seeing. May God bless you.

Finally, I appreciate deeply Deeper Life Campus Fellowship, University of Ibadan for being my family on the campus throughout this programme. I express my sincere gratitude to Dr P.A Amosun, Dr Abiodun Otunla and Pastor Faniran who are fathers indeed and to all the associate coordinators for DLCF. I also express sincere appreciation to every brother and sister in the fellowship who really made a mark in my life. My thanks goes to Ayoola Peter, Atayero Joseph, Obere Chuks and all the brethren especially the executives for 2016/2017 session in DLCF Kuti Centre. I also appreciate all the members of the Professional Colleagues Group 2016/2017 set for making yourselves my newly found family. May God bless and continue to be with you all.



1.1 Background to the Study

The early years is a very crucial period in the life of individuals. It is also the period where the success or otherwise of individuals are largely determined. It is estimated that 7.5 million children under the age of 5 worldwide die each year while over 200 million children survive but do not reach their full potential (UNICEF, 2013). The implication of this is that the early years is a very crucial period of human development. This assertion has led almost every developed country in the world to set up some form of early childhood education for children below the age of compulsory schooling (Melhuish, 2014). The first few years of life are seen as a particularly sensitive period in the process of development, laying a foundation for cognitive functioning; behavioural, social, and self-regulatory capacities; and physical health in childhood and beyond (Karoly, Kilburn and Cannon, 2005). The early years of children can therefore be seen as the time where the exploits of every other period in their lives are determined.

The experiences of the early years also have a significant influence on the all-round development and later lives of any child (Ajayi, 2008). It thus becomes imperative that children be helped to have the best early childhood experiences in order to have an all-round development. This early experience makes a child more apt to learn in the primary level as the confidence in his learning capabilities which he acquired from the nursery school is taken to the primary school (Osakwe, 2009). According to Nakpodia (2011) the foundation of the education of the child is the preschool education which may be formal or informal. This educational level provides for the physical, motor, health, nutritional, intellectual, aesthetic, emotional and social development of the child (Nakpodia, 2011). It is in recognition of this that the Federal Government of Nigeria through its National Policy on Education (FRN, 2013) purposed early childhood education to; effect a smooth transition from the home to the school; prepare the child for the primary level of education; provide adequate care, supervision and security for the children while their parents are at work; inculcate social, moral norms and values; inculcate in the child the spirit of enquiry and creativity through the exploration of nature, the environment, art, music and the use of toys, etc; develop a sense of co-operation and team-spirit; stimulate in the child good habits; including good health habits; and teach the rudiments of numbers, letters, colours, shapes, forms, etc. through play. Melhuish (2014) summarized the benefits of Early Childhood Education to be a means of advancing school readiness and later attainment of children, and supporting their subsequent social, economic and occupational success as adults in later life. Hence, to ensure future competence, coping skills, health, success in the labour market and consequently the social and economic health of the nation, early childhood education must be given adequate attention.

Apart from its undisputable benefits to individual children, Early Childhood Care and Education is becoming pivotal in the development of every modern society in recent times. UNICEF (2013) reports that countries where children in large numbers are unable to reach their full potential have an estimated 20 per cent loss in adult productivity. Despite the growing interest in early childhood education however, there are still controversies on early years’ educational programmes among scholars. Robinson & Robinson (1986) as cited by Ejieh (2006) noted that some early writers on this issue hold the view that young children are not mature enough to learn complex skills demanded by preschool educational programmes and that the warmth of mother’s love and the fostering of children’s emotional security are more important than any form of educational programme. In Nigeria, Early Childhood Education is a largely post-colonial development (Ejieh 2006). Hence, State and Federal government are working on several policies to ensure that Early Childhood Education is given priority in Nigeria’s educational system

Primary education in Nigeria, is described in the National Policy on Education (FRN, 2013) as the education given in an educational institution for children aged six to eleven plus. Primary education as stated in the National Policy on Education covers the most basic aspect of overall education. Hence, it has the following general objectives; the inculcation of permanent literacy and numeracy; the laying of a sound basis for scientific and reflective thinking; citizenship education that makes for effective participation and contribution to the society; character and moral development of the child; developing in the child the ability to adapt to his environment; providing the child with the opportunities to develop manipulative skills and providing the child with basic tools for further educational advancement. Thus the primary level provides the foundation of subsequent educational attainment any child can receive.

Children at the primary level are expected to be between the age of 6-11 years plus according to the National Policy on Education (FRN, 2013). According to Bastable and Dart (2007) children between the age range of 6-11 years plus have gross and fine-motor skills which are increasingly more coordinated so that they are able to control their movements with much greater dexterity than before. The primary school stage is also characterized by cognitive development in terms of logical, rational thought processes and the ability to reason inductively and deductively. This stage according to Paiget’s developmental theory is labelled the middle of concrete operations (Bastable & Dart, 2007). Like other aspects of children’s development, the affective domain of development which include emotional and social development also develops rapidly at this stage. This is because, the period of primary education for children is a period where children begin self-awareness and establish their self-concept as members of the social group larger than their own nuclear families. In the social development of the children, social skills determine the success or otherwise of interactions between children and their peers or adults as the children participate more in daily activities with people outside their homes.

Social skills is also one of the most important prerequisites needed to fulfil the objectives of primary education laid down by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the National Policy on Education (FRN, 2013). Social skills are described as a set of skills that allow individuals to communicate, relate and socialize with others (Rashid, 2005). Social skills development as described by Berk (2006) has to do with self-understanding, and knowledge about other people, interpersonal skills, friendship, intimate relationships, moral reasoning and behaviour. Social skills which involves interpersonal relationship was categorized by Spence (1985) cited by Tsang and Lak (2010) into three key elements: non-verbal, verbal and conversational skills. It is commonly agreed that social skills is the ability to interact with other people in a way that is both appropriate and effective (Segrin 1992; Segrin 2000; Spitzberg 1985; Spitzberg 1989) cited by Tsang and Lak (2010). While making assertion on social skills development, Huitt and Dawson (2011) suggested that while people may initially learn something independently, eventually that learning will be modified in interaction with others. This statement gives social development a central point in the development of children. The benefits as stated by The State of developing social skills in children as stated by The State of Texas Education (1999) includes; tendency to demonstrate better social adjustment and less likelihood to exhibit later delinquency and antisocial behaviour.

According to Tsang (2010) poor social skills can lead to children being less popular among their peers compared with those who have better social skills and this can have long term effects on the social interactions and functioning of the children. Lynch and Simpson (2010) also asserted that social skills like showing empathy, participating in group activities, generosity, helpfulness, negotiating and communicating with others are very crucial for the survival of the growing child in the demanding environment. Lynch and Simpson (2010) further stated that children learn these skills from adults and children in their environment. However, learning social skills from adults is mostly unconscious for children because children picked up behaviours based on their interactions with adults around them as evidenced by Bandura’s social learning theory.

While factors like low family income and parents’ unemployment can be associated with strong social skills gaps which ultimately leads to social disadvantage (Goodman 2015), parenting style is another major factor which apart from the parents’ socio-economic factors can determine the development of children’s social skills. The development of an individual in the childhood stage can easily predict their general development of life especially as it regards their interaction with others.

Social skills are components of behaviours (rather than a behaviour) that help an individual understand and adapt across a variety of social settings. (Steedly, Schwartz, Levin, Stephen and Luke, 2008). Hence, Walker (1983) in Steedly et al (2008) defines social skills as a set of competencies that allow an individual to initiate and maintain positive social relationships; contribute to peer acceptance and to a satisfactory school adjustment and; allow an individual to cope effectively with the larger environment. Social skills according to Lynch and Simpson (2010) are behaviours that promote positive interaction with others and the environment. Caldarella and Merrell (1997) cited in Rashid (2005) derived taxonomy from their review that included five broad dimensions of social skills; peer relations skills, self-management skills, academic skills, compliance skills and assertion skills. All these elements are critical to successful functioning in life as they enable the individual to know what to say, how to make good choices, and how to behave in diverse situations (Rashid, 2005).

Defining social skills can also be within the context of social and emotional learning (Steedly et al 2008). These have to do with the ability to recognize and manage our emotions, developing caring and concern for others, establishing positive relationships, making responsible decisions, and handling challenging situations constructively and ethically (Zins, Weissbert, Wang & Walberg, 2004). Social skills overall are those skills that we use in every environment that includes two or more people. Social skills allow people to succeed not only in their social lives, but also in their academic, personal, and future professional activities (Huitt and Dawson 2011). The essence of social skills development thus cut across every endeavour of the holistically developed child. Goodman, Joshi, Nasim & Tyler (2015) also describes social skills as a child’s ability and tendency to interact with others, forge and maintain relationships, and avoid socially unacceptable responses.

In the same vein, social skills development can be seen to involve the acquisition of a set of skills which include; the ability to identify and understand one’s own feelings, accurately read and comprehend emotional state in others, manage strong emotions and their expressions in a constructive manner, regulate one’s behaviour, develop empathy for others, establish and sustain relationships. (Boyd, Barnett, Bodrova, Leong and Gomby 2012). Thus Huitt and Dawson (2011) concluded that an effective social development program will include elements of developing the foundational competencies in other domains that support and enrich it and it will do so in a way that the child or has high social self-esteem in a variety of social situations. The development of the social skills of an individual plays a very prominent role in the overall development. Hence, Goodman, Joshi, Nasim & Tyler (2015) stated that social skills have been found to be important primarily as predictors of non-labour market outcomes, mental health and well-being, health behaviours and partnerships in later life. This gives social skills a pivot and important role in the development of children. Social skills as an aspect of development is necessary for maintaining social, psychological and occupational well-being (Tsang & Lak, 2010). What this implies for children at the primary level of education is the essentiality of social skills for the children to perform optimally in all aspects of development in the school environment.

According to Boyd, Barnett, Bodrova, Leong and Gomby 2012, problems that can arise as a result of poorly developed social skills of children include; persistent physical aggression, high-school dropout rates, adolescent delinquency and antisocial behaviour. These problems as listed by Boyd, Barnett, Bodrova, Leong and Gomby 2012 makes learning irrelevant if learning will only promote the cognitive skills of children. Murphy (2005) cited in Rashid (2010) found out that underdeveloped social skills could lead to isolation, loneliness, and frustration while Rashid (2005) also stated that failure to develop adequate social skills can lead to negative feelings, self-doubt, and low self-esteem. Rashid (2005) stated further that, behavioural difficulties in school such as delinquency, inattentiveness, peer rejection, emotional difficulties, bullying, difficulty in making friends, aggressiveness, problems in interpersonal relationships, poor self-concept, academic failures, concentration difficulties, isolation from peers and depression were all associated with lack of social skills.

Bornstein and Ziontnik (2010) described parenting style as consisting of several elements that combine to create the emotional climate in which parents communicate their attitudes and practices about child upbringing with their children. Parenting styles conveys parents’ overall feelings about the child through body language, tone of voice, emotional displays, and quality of attention (Bornstein and Ziontnik, 2012). All these factors are what build up the social and emotional development of a child. Hence, the influence of parenting style on the acquisition of social skills with which children can thrive well in the society and the school, becomes powerful.

The majority of published studies on parenting styles have used some variation of the parenting style construct delineated by Baumrind (1966, 1997) cited by Turner, Chandler and Heffer (2009). Baumrind (1966) identified three types of parenting styles which according to Turner et al (2012) has become a model which majority of published works use to make other variation in parenting style. Baumrind’s typology of parenting style are; authoritarian, authoritative and permissive. According to Baumrind (1966), the authoritarian parent attempts to shape, control, and evaluate the behaviour of the child in accordance with a set of standard of conduct, usually an absolute standard, theologically motivated and formulated by a higher authority. He/she values obedience as a virtue and favours punitive, forceful measures to curb self-will at points where the child’s actions or beliefs conflict with what he/she thinks is right conduct.

The authoritarian parent believes in keeping the child in his/her place, in restricting his/her autonomy, and in assigning household responsibilities in order to inculcate respect for work. He/she regards the preservation of order and traditional structure as a highly value end in itself. He/she does not encourage verbal give and take, believing that the child should accept her word for what is right. Authoritarian parenting is also characterized by parents talking to their children rather than with their children and they do not consult with their children while making decisions even when the children are mostly affected by the decision. (Alegre, 2011; Baumrind, 1971; Grolnick & Pomerantz, 2009) cited by Roshi (2014). The effects of authoritarian parenting in children includes; depression, lack of self-esteem, high delinquent behaviour and unsatisfied life later as adults (Rosli, 2014). Effects of authoritarian parenting on children’s social skills include; frequent withdrawal from social contacts, lack of self-assertion, intellectual curiosity and spontaneity (Rosli, 2014)

In direct contrast to the authoritarian parenting style using Baumrind’s (1966) typology is the permissive parenting style. According to Baumrind (1966), the permissive parent attempts to behave in a non-punitive, acceptant, and affirmative manner toward the child’s impulses, desires, and actions. He/she makes few demands for household responsibility and orderly behaviour. A permissive parent allows the child to regulate his/her own activities as much as possible, avoids the exercise of control, and does not encourage him/her to obey externally defined standards. According to Gfroerer et al. (2004) cited by Roshi (2014), permissive parents are more supportive of what their children want to do and this attitude decreased depression among children. Parents with a permissive parenting style are too lenient and tolerant of their children without setting limits (Roshi 2014). The permissive parent also often holds the belief that restricting the child’s action in any way might infringe on the child’s autonomy, in turn hindering normative child development (Benson & Haith, 2010). Effects of permissive parenting on children’s social skills include; immature behaviours, poor impulse control and difficulty in accepting responsibility for their own actions (Rosli, 2014)

Baumrind’s (1966) third parenting style is the authoritative parenting. The authoritative parent is described as one who attempts to direct the child’s activities in a rational, issue-oriented manner. She encourages verbal give and take, shares with the child the reasons behind her policy, and solicits his objections when he refuses to conform. The authoritative parent affirms the child’s present qualities, but also sets standards for future conduct. She uses reason, power, and shaping by regime and reinforcement to achieve her objectives and does not base her decisions on group consensus or the individual child’s desires (Baumrind, 1966). According to Greenspan (2006) cited Roshi (2006), Baumrind combined the best elements of permissive parenting (high warmth) with the best elements of authoritarian parenting (high control) to create the authoritative style. Authoritative parents encourage children to be independent and develop their own identities, but at the same time they also provide rules and boundaries for their children (Grolnick & Pomerantz, 2009; Takeuchi & Takeuchi, 2008) cited by Roshi (2014).

Mutual interaction is usually at its highest in the authoritative parenting style. The child often understand the reason behind some actions of his/her parents and as Roshi (2014) stated, this can help to minimize any problem that do occur. Evaluating authoritative parenting using Baumrind’s combination of authoritarian and authoritative qualities, authoritative parenting style will seem as if it is always beneficial in all culture but according Gfroerer, Kern, & Curlette, (2004) cited by Roshi (2014), while Baurind and others discuss the beneficial effects of authoritative parenting, other researchers have found that authoritative parenting was not beneficial for children in all culture. But it can be regarded as a balance between authoritarian and permissive parenting styles since it combines both qualities.

According to Baumrind (1991 & 1967) cited by Roshi (2014), children raised by authoritative parents are better able to develop social competence compared to other children. When children raised by authoritative parents grow up, they become adults who are ready to adjust in the community and know what is socially acceptable.

The fourth parenting style is the uninvolved parenting usually described using terms like indifferent (Benson and Hiath), neglectful (Roshi 2014) or uninvolved (Maccoby & Martin, 1983) cited by Roshi. It was an expansion of Baumrind’s three types parenting style (Roshi, 2014). Benson & Haith (2010) described the uninvolved parent as one who is not dedicated to parenting rules and is disinterested in helping foster optimal development of the child. He/she is also characterized by having little knowledge or involvement in the child’s personal life, seldom shows concern for what goes on at school or with the child’s friends, and rarely factors the child’s opinion in decision making processes. According to Roshi (2014), neglectful or uninvolved parenting style leads to depression, aggression, antisocial behaviour and delinquency. Children who are brought up by the uninvolved parents may grow up thinking that their parents do not care for them or see them as important. Uninvolved parenting mostly worsens children’s psychological development even though children may have good relationship with their peers (Roshi, 2014).

Effects of neglectful or uninvolved parenting on children’s social skills include; lack of social competence, inability to determine what is right or wrong and being overly dependent. It can therefore be deduced that the development of children’s social skills depends largely on the parenting styles with which they were brought up. Several studies have revealed how social skills is influenced by the parenting styles in bringing up children. However, these studies were not carried out in Nigeria and most especially in Ibadan North Local Government Area of Oyo State.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The development of children’s social skills largely depends on the parenting style parents used in upbringing their children. Several studies have revealed that the social skills of children are influenced by the parenting style used by their parents. However, these studies were not carried out in Nigeria especially Ibadan North Local Government Area. Research studies in Nigeria focused on parenting style and children’s cognitive development neglecting how the parenting styles affect social skills of children. This study therefore investigated the influence of parenting style on the social skills of pupils in lower primary classes in Ibadan North Local Government Area, Oyo State.

1.3 Research Questions

The following are the research questions this study sought to answer;

1. What is the composite contribution of parenting styles on the social skills of pupils in lower primary classes in Ibadan North Local Government Area of Oyo State?
2. What is the relative contribution of parenting style on the social skills of pupils in lower primary classes in Ibadan North Local Government Area of Oyo State?
3. What is the most dominant parenting style used by parents of pupils in lower primary classes in Ibadan North Local Government Area, Oyo State?

1.4 Significance of the Study

The findings of this research has revealed that the dominant parenting style under which pupils in lower primary classes are brought up in Ibadan North Local Government Area is the Authoritarian parenting style. The findings has also showed authoritarian parenting style affects the social skills of pupils in lower primary classes in Ibadan North Local Government Area, Oyo State. It would also help in providing solutions to parental influence on social skills of pupils in lower primary classes in Ibadan North Local Government Area. Researchers and international organizations like United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) can use the research findings to further more studies in Nigeria.

1.5 Scope of the Study

This study covered pupils in lower primary classes in Ibadan North Local Government Area of Oyo State. The study investigated the influence of parenting styles (authoritative, authoritarian, permissive and uninvolved) on the social skills of the pupils in the lower primary classes (primary 1-3) in public primary schools.

1.6 Operational Definition of Terms

Social skills: This refers to a child’s ability to share things without prompting, make suggestions, ask questions, obey rules, listen to others, have a two way conversation and does not display antisocial behaviours during play.

Parenting Style: This refer to the overall style or pattern of actions which includes: authoritative, authoritarian, permissive and uninvolved parenting employed in upbringing children which will most affect the child’s behaviour of pupils in primary 1-3 classes of Ibadan North Local Government Area of Oyo State

Lower Primary Pupils: This refers to pupils in primary 1-3 classes in Ibadan North Local Government Area of Oyo State.



This chapter focuses on reveiwing literatures relevant to this study under the following sub-headings.

2.1 ConceptualReview

2.1.1 Concept ofParenting Style

The term parenting covers a lot of concepts, behaviours and attitudes which goes beyond the simple act of having a child under one’s care as seen by Chan (2000) who defined parenting as the process or the state of being a parent. Morrison (1978) views parenting as the process of developing and utilising the knowledge and skills appropriate to planning for, creating, giving birth to, rearing and/or providing care for offsprings. As seen by this broad definition of parenting, one is made to understand that ‘parenting’as a concept require several processes strung up together. Parenting practices can then be defined as specific, goal-directed behaviours through which parents perform their duties (Aavik, Aavik and Korgesaar, 2006).

Parenting can also be defined as purposive activities aimed at ensuring the survival and development of children (Free, 2014). This definition leaves aside the scope of being a parent. Parenting thus indicates a process that involves interactions by adults with children, which often denotes a biological relationship of a mother or a father to a child. This is because parenting is an emotional form of nurturing care-giving, which is aimed at promoting children’s welfare (Hoghughi, 2004 cited in Free, 2014). Parvin (2016) stated that family factors have been associated with children in interpersonal relationship (social skills). The early interactions and relationships children have with their parents goes a large extent in determining the development of children’s social skills. According to Terry (2004), it is within the first year or two that parents begin to attach to a parenting style that works for them. And thus, the attitudes and behaviours of children in social interaction begins to get shaped during these early years of life.

The construct of parenting style is used to explain normal variations in parents’ attempts to socialise and control their children (Free, 2014). Parenting style as defined by Darling and Steinberg (1993) is a constellation of attitudes towards the child that are communicated to the child and that, taken together, create an emotional climate in which parents perform their parental duties. This also includes non-goal-directed parental behaviours, such as gestures, changes in tone of voice, or the spontaneous expression of emotion. The early work of Diana Baumrind in the 1960s is the dominant model in research on parent-child relationship (O’Connor and Scott, 2007). This work has been elaborated and expanded upon by several subsequent teams of investigators among which Maccoby & Martin (1983) and Baumrind (1991) stands out in direct expansion of Baumrind (1966).


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The Influence of Parenting Styles on the Social Skills of Pupils in Lower Primary Classes
A study for Ibadan North Local Government Area in Nigeria
University of Ibadan
Early Childhood Education
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
influence, area, government, local, north, ibadan, classes, primary, lower, pupils, skills, social, styles, parenting, nigeria
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Mayowa Oyedoyin (Author), 2018, The Influence of Parenting Styles on the Social Skills of Pupils in Lower Primary Classes, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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