SOCIO-ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS AS DETERMINANTS OF EMOTIONAL AND SOCIAL WELL-BEING OF ADOLESCENTS IN FOSTER Homes is a well-researched topic, it can be used as a guide or framework for your Academic Research.
Adolescents in Foster Homes (AFHs) often experience negative psychological and developmental problems, which have grave consequences on their Emotional Well-being (EWB) and Social
Well-being (SWB), with an attendant effect on their future lifestyles. Previous studies have focused more on AFHs’ deviant behaviour, school adjustment and psychological well-being than on EWB and SWB as well as their predisposing factors. This study, therefore, determined the
extent to which socio-environmental factors (peer influence, foster officials’ religious beliefs, media exposure, exposure to drug/substance use, neighbourhood characteristics, school climate and foster home climate) determined EWB and SWB of AFHs in Southwestern Nigeria.
Descriptive survey research design was adopted. Purposive sampling procedure was used to select 27 foster homes (nine public, 18 private) from the six states in Southwestern Nigeria. A combination of stratified, proportionate and simple random sampling techniques were used to
select 575 AFHs inmates (339 boys, 236 girls). Socio-environmental Factors Scale (r=0.72), Emotional Well-being Scale (r=0.65), Social Well-being Scale (r=0.67) and Adolescent Fostering Scale (r=0.69) were used for the data collection. These were complemented with four Group Key
Informant Interviews involving Chief Welfare Officers and assistants of four of the foster homes, and three Focus Group Discussions with AFHs. Four research questions were answered and two hypotheses tested at 0.05 level of significance. Quantitative data were analysed using descriptive statistics, Pearson product moment correlation and multiple regressions, while qualitative data were content analysed.
Socio-environmental factors significantly influenced the EWB and SWB of AFHs (F(6,568) = 8.37, R= .29), accounting for 8.0% and 11.0% in the variance of EWB and SWB respectively. Foster home climate (β= 0.16), foster officials’ religious beliefs (β= 0.15), school climate (β= 0.13), peer
influence (β= 0.91), media exposure (β= 0.09), neighbourhood characteristics (β= -0.23) and exposure to drug/substance use (β= -0.01) had relative contributions to EWB and SWB of AFHs. Furthermore, the socio-environmental factors correlated positively with the indices of emotional well-being of the AFHs as follows: self-concept (r= 0.09), self-esteem (r= 0.08), behavioural control (r= 0.07), stress management skills (r= 0.06) and resilience skills (r=0.06). Also, socio-environmental factors correlated positively with the indices of SWB as follows: environmental
management skill (r= 0.08), sustained relationships (r= 0.07), good school performance (r= 0.07),assertiveness skills (r= 0.06), good social interaction (r= 0.06) and good communication skills (r=0.05). The fostered boys had better EWB and SWB ( = 57.0, 60.3) than the girls ( = 54.9, 56.6), while the girls ( = 22.1) exhibited good social skills and trust than the boys ( = 18.0). Also, the private fostered adolescents ( = 18.0) exhibited signs of greater comfort than those in the public
homes ( = 15.9). The AFHs were faced with the problems of attachment disorder, unhealthy development and low academic achievement.
Foster home climate, foster officials’ religious beliefs, school climate, peer influence and media exposure positively influenced the emotional and social well-being of adolescents in foster homes in Southwestern Nigeria. Therefore, better social environment should be constantly sustained in foster care to ameliorate negative development of inmates.
1.1 Background to the study
Adolescence is the period of transition from childhood to adulthood, a stage of major growth and development in which significant physiological, cognitive, psychological and behavioural changes take place. Gidion, (2010). At this stage, important developmental tasks, such as developing an identity and becoming independent need to be accomplished. Nevertheless, the concept of adolescence is socially constructed rather than being biologically determined; hence the image of adolescence is a time of stormy stress, intense moodiness and preoccupation with the self. Adolescence is a period of intense and rapid
development and is characterised by numerous developmental tasks, including gaining new and more mature relationships with others, achieving a masculine or feminine social role and achieving emotional independence from parents and other adults Joseph & Moore,
(2002). When adolescent development is successful, the result is a biologically mature individual, equipped with the capacity to form close relationships. The adolescent is also equipped with cognitive and psychological resources to face the challenges of adult life.
Hazen, Schlozman & Beresin, (2008). The families, in general, and parents, in particular, have often been deemed to be the most important support system available to the child during the adolescenthood processes Joanna, (1996). The strongest factor in moulding a child‟s personality is the relationship with the parents; under normal circumstances every child is expected to be parented by his or her biological parents, and this will promote love and affection and bring about bond between the child and the parents. If his parents love him with a generous, even-flowing, non-possessive affection and they treat him as a person, like themselves, with adequate right and responsibilities, then he has the chance of developing normally. But if they diverge from this, the child‟s development may be distorted. Cox & Cox, (2009). This is to show that successful parenting is based on a healthy, respectful, and long-lasting relationship with the child. This process of parenting is viewed in the psychological sense rather than
biological and leads a child to perceive a given adult as his or her „parent‟. Dorsey, (2009). That perception is essential for the child‟s development of emotional and social well-being.