NATURE, CULTURE, CHILD REARING AND COGNITION

Here is a shorter version with more links                                                      Pictures from Ghana

 Some underlying notions:

1: Nature forms culture.

2: Culture and child rearing practices are closely linked

3: Child rearing influence both personality and cognitive structures.
 
 

WHAT THIS PRESENTATION WILL SHOW

 1: English children perform better on "Ravens Progressive Matrices" than Ghanaian children

2: Child rearing in Ghana is stricter than in Norway

3: Ghanian children remember better digits read to them in English than their
local languages Twi and Ewe

4:  The difference between "Digit Forward" and "Digit Backwards" is bigger in
Ghanian children compared with American and Norwegian children.
 

Factors contributing to the difference on Ravens test may be:

a: Malnutrition and/or undernourishment.

b: Lack of attention and stimulation from one year old.

c: Strict and overprotective child rearing practices.

d: Poor educational facilities.
 

Different factors influencing short term memory

a: The digits in Twi and Ewe are longer and harder to pronounce and rehearse
than those in English

b: Digits belong to modern life, not tribal society

The stricter child rearing practice in Ghana fits in with the notion that people there are more field dependent, that in such society is it more important to comply with traditional norms than to show independence and individuality
 
 

RAVENS PROGRESSIVE MATRICES AND TWO DIFFERENT NORMS
English and Ghanaian norms compared.

Former professor Bulley of The Department of Psychology, University of Ghana at Legon, Accra has done a standardization of Ravens Progressive Matrices in 1973. A BA thesis from 1978 by Neal Boafo is referring to The Progressive Matrices As an Instrument for Determining Educability in Ghana (Bulley 1973) The Ghanaian means deviate a lot from those based on English samples as can be seen in the table below.

Ghanaian and English norms for Ravens Progressive Matrices


Age N Ghana Mean Ghana Mean England Difference England-Ghana in SD SD Ghana
8-10 355 13.28 24 1.3 8.12
11-12 660 16.55 37 2.5 8.24
13 520 22.14 43 2.1 10.11
14 702 28.36 44 1.5 10.14
15 657 29.46     12.12
16 773 30.52     11.68
17 662 32.69     11.63
18 662 32.85     12.01
19 429 35.66     11.50
20 359 35.81 44 0.8 10.55
21-24 714 38.62 44 0.5 10.76
25-29 380 36.59 42 0.5 11.35
30+ 318 32.44 40 .6 12.43

I have also collected some data in Ghana using Ravens Progressive Matrices and have got means
close to those of professor Bulley.

What are the reasons for this discrepancies? The discrepancy is particularly great in 11-13 years
group, 2.1 to 2.5 SD, which translated into IQ scores is 32- to 38 IQ points.  If we look at still some
other norms the differences becomes even clearer.

Raven's Progressive Matrices percentiles for primary 4 to 6 (9.5 to 11.5 years) Hong Kong
children, and British norms.
                                Percentile
                                 95            90            75            50            25            10            5
Hong Kong              52            51            48            43            38            29            23
J. Raven (1979)     50            47            43            39            32            26            20
From S.H. Irving & J.H. Berry (eds.1988) p.347
 

After having read through articles and books about related topics the following factors are
suggested  as part of an explanation:
 

1. Malnourishment and/or undernourishment: This can take various forms. It can be that the mother hasn't got enough food when pregnant and this has affected the child in a negative way, or the child may have suffered from protein deficiency or have got too little food which have made it passive and thereby less active that again have effected learning in a negative way. Or it may not have got certain vitamins.
 

2: Attention: When the child is about one year old it can manage most things on its own and the mother,
 is devoting less time to the child and the stimulation that this imply. The father seems to be a rather
remote figure in most cases.
 

 3: Lack of things to play with: The child has few things to play with that stimulates it in various ways.
 

4: Strict child rearing: This may discourage interaction with the physical environment in the form of play,
sport etc., independence and curiosity. This reason has been mentioned in various publications.
 

5: Education: The kindergartens and schools are poorly equipped. Mostly they have only a blackboard, few books and no visual material such as pictures and maps. There is also very much a one way communication from teacher to the pupil. The teachers are poorly motivated and often absent from school. Their pay is such that they can't live by it and they have mostly extra activities going to support their family. Farming is very common in rural areas.
 
 

Comments: From the table above it can be seen that the discrepancy between the English and the Ghanaian norms is getting less with an increasing age. This can be interpreted as the Ghanaian is catching up, but the development is slower for one reason or another. The remaining 0.5 SD is in line with discrepancies found by Ph.D. student Benjamin Amponsah on spatial tests where he has been comparing Ghanaian and Norwegian teacher college students.

One important question is to know the particular samples professor Bulley has based his norms on. The samples in school age, up to around 16 years are a fairly representative according to Professor Bully (personal communication Jan. 98) while data from the older samples mostly were taken from people seeking either technical jobs or education. So the older age groups seem to be better educated than the average population.

Some of the scores in my sample is so low that the children would be classified as mentally retarded. What ought to be done is to investigate such cases more thoroughly. For instance after 2 or 3 years in school one could give a standardized reading- and writing test to see how many reached a certain level. Out from combined test results one could try to diagnose each case and try to find remedial measures.
 
 

Oral society and auditory short term memory: Ghana may be characterized as an oral society. There are normally no signs on buses telling where they are going, few road signs and few maps around. I had to search several weeks before I found a road map of Ghana. The driver and mate of the trotro, minibus, are shouting out their destination. The Ghanaian also seem to love music. Will this, that they attend so much to auditory information, also make them better in remembering auditory material? From my own data with congenitally blind it can be seen that they have a better short term auditor memory than comparable groups. This may be explained by that they attend more to auditory material than sighted people. But one don't find this among those that have become blind as grown up persons, which indicates that there may be a critical age when the brain is molded with respect to processing auditory information. An additional factor that apply to Ghana is that almost everybody is bilingual. Will there be a difference if digits is presented in English or the local language? Some of my data indicate that children and adolescents remember better what is read to them in English than in Twi or Ewe. Why? Maybe because the English digits are easier to say and rehearse. This may be supported by that people often use to say numbers in English while speaking their local language. So to measure short term auditory memory as in Digit Span, a sub test of WISC-R and WAIS, is not a straight forward matter.

My data from also indicate that among Ghanaian children there is a bigger difference between remembering digits forwards and backwards compared with American or Norwegian children.
 

What are the Ghanaian children good at? They seem to develop their musical ability together with a sense for rhythm and dance. Further, they seem to develop a good social intelligence. Ghanaians are very friendly, polite and hospitable. They have no major violent conflicts within their country which can be very damaging to a country and which has ruined several African countries.
 

Some ideas for future research: It would be of great interest to use some selected tests in various parts of Ghana and characterize the areas with background variables related to environmental, nutritional, social, health and educational factors. WISC-R and Ravens Progressive Matrices could be two relevant tests.
 
 

Problem: Why is Ghana, together with almost every African country, doing so poorly as far as income and living standard goes? Many will attribute it to that far more emphasis is put on social relation, particularly loyalty to their extended family, than on performing a good job, being efficient. The employee is more concerned about pleasing his superior and not go against him than showing initiative and independence. This is related to both collectivism and a great power distance. Gert Hofstede is showing a correlation of 0.82 between individualism and Gross Natural Product in 1970, and a correlation of 0.77 between distance from equator and GNP.

Another factor is the ability to acquire knowledge related to modern technology like mathematics and engineering subjects. Many, Luria i.e., claim that there is a positive correlation between spatial aptitude and mathematical ability. Thus, it may be postulated that the Ghanaian culture is not giving a very good basis for acquiring knowledge related to modern technology, and this again may be related to child rearing and other factors mentioned above.
 
 

                                                               Here comes some results

 Background factors of Class 6 in Kpale, Volta region, Ghana Nov. 1997.
Group test fairly well controlled but some cheating







Descriptive Statistics

                       N              Minimum       Maximum               Mean                 Std. Deviation

AGE               21                 10,00              14,00                     12,38                1,02

AGEENG      22                 6,00                6,00                        6,000                ,00

EDUFA         22                 1,00                 4,00                        3,41                  ,73

EDUMO       22                 1,00                 4,00                         3,09                   ,81

Explanations:AGEENG:   When children started to learn English,  EDUFA & EDUMO: Fathers and mothers education on a 1-7 points scale. Higher is better education

DIGIT SPAN FORWARD AND BACKWARDS IN ENGLISH AND EWE

                                N              Minimum       Maximum                       Mean                 Std. Deviation

ENGBACK           22               2,00              8,00                                 4,77                     2,09

ENGFW                 22               3,00              9,00                                 6,50                     2,57

EWEBACK           22                2,00              7,00                                 3,86                      1,75

EWEFW                22             2,00                 9,00                                 4,81                     1,62

They remember better digits read to them in English than in Ewe, their local language
 
 

DIGIT SPAN
Girls (1) and boys (2) compared. Group testing with good control.

                                SEX                    N         Mean         Std. Deviation         Std. Error Mean

ENGBACK             1,00                    15         4,40             1,92                             ,50
                                2,00                       7         5,57             2,37                             ,90
 

EWEBACK             1,00                     15         3,20             1,26                             ,33
                                 2,00                     7           5,29             1,89                             ,71
 

ENGFW                 1,00                     15             6,40             2,53                          ,65
                                2,00                      7             6,71             2,87                         1,08
 

EWEFW                 1,00                     15             4,53             1,1255                   ,29
                                2,00                       7             5,43             2,37                       ,90
 
 

The boys remember better "Digits Backwards" than girls, but
there is no significant difference remembering "Digits Forwards".

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DIGIT SPAN
Two language groups compared

Those speaking TWI (1) compared with those speakingEWE (2)

                                             LANGUAGE             N             Mean         S.D.
Digit Backward English          1                             139             6,40          2,03
                                                 2                             107             4,74           2,73
The Twi speaking children remember better Digit Backwards" read in English than the Ewe speaking children.

Dig. Back. Loc. Language     1                             139                4,99          2,55
                                             2                             107                 5,04          2,82

Digit Forward English           1                             139                 7,02           1,87
                                                2                             107                 7,23           2,26

Dig.Fwd.Loc. Language        1                             139                 5,79            2,74
                                             2                             107                 7,02            2,40
The Ewe speaking children remember better "Digit Forwards" read in English than the Twi speaking children

Education Father                  1                             131                     3,02         1,39
                                             2                             102                     3,10         1,18
Education Mother                1                              134                     2,27         1,23
                                                2                             103                     2,82         1,24
Education on a 1-7 points scale with higher number indicate higher education
 

Started to learn English          1                             137                     7,91         3,06
                                                  2                             105                     6,40         2,53
The Ewe children started to learn English earlier than the Twi speaking children

  DIGIT SPAN
Class 6 & 9 in Aburi (Twi speaking) compared.
Data based on individual testing and read in English.

                                CLASS             N         Mean             Std. Deviation

DIGITBW1                 6                     34        3,35                 1,20
SET 1                            9                     34        3,21                 1,34

DIGITBW2                 6                     34         3,21                 1,20
SET 2                          9                     34         3,26                 1,50

DIGITFW1                 6                     34         6,24                 1,05
SET 1                           9                     34         6,56                 1,35

DIGITFW2                 6                     34         6,21                 1,27
SET 2                          9                      34         6,18                 1,57

DIGSUM1                 6                     34          9,59                 1,64
SET 1                          9                     34          9,76                 2,22

DIGSUM2                 6                     34         9,41                   1,92
SET 2                          9                     34         9,44                   2,48

Comments: The children remember digits far better forwards than backwards and there is
no difference between class 6 and 9.

More results  supporting the findings above

DIGSUM US               6                              13 Score of American children
                                   9                             14 in the same age group

Comment: The American children have a higher score than Ghanaian.

Age                              6                    34          12.76                    1.18
                                    9                    34          14.97                    1.03
 
 

DIGIT SPAN
Factor analysis of 68 pupils in class 6 and 9 (3JJS) at Aburi, Ghana. Individual testing.
Components (factors)

                                                               1                 2                             3
 

AGE                                                  ,925          -6,886E-02                      -3,821E-02
CLASS                                                             ,917                 1,282E-02                        6,719E-02

DIGITBW2                                                         1,529E-02           ,892                                 7,273E-02
DIGITBW1                                                         -7,085E-02          ,844                                     ,226

DIGITFW1                                                             ,157 5                ,293E-02                           ,876
DIGITFW2                                                             -,142                   ,268                                  ,819

Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis. Rotation Method:
Varimax with Kaiser Normalization. a Rotation converged in 5 iterations.

Comment: To remember digits forwards and backwards is partly two different processes.
"Backwards" correlates with spatial aptitude and for some groups with intelligence.
 
 
 

                                      DIGIT SPAN IN TWI AND ENGLISH

Data from Sept. 1998

ABSTRACT: These data are based on individual testing as in Digit Span in WAIS. The results show that the pupils remembered better when digits were read to them in English than in Twi, that the pupils of class 6 do better than the older pupils in class 9 (3JSS) and started to learn English earlier. The reason for remembering digits better in English may be that the digit names are shorter and easier to pronounce in English than in Twi. That the younger pupils do better than the older is more puzzling. The explanation may partly be that the pupils in class 6 attend a better school and have a more positive attitude towards education than the pupils from class 9.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

         All subjects in class 6 in Nsawam in Ghana.
               Wiegggers Primary School

All subjects in class 9 in Nsawam in Ghana.
Adoagiri R/C Junior Secondary School

 
 

                    DIGITS READ IN ENGLISH AND TWI
                    Comparisons of means
                                                                 Twi = 1, English =
All subjects in class 6 and 9 in Nsawam, a town in Ghana

First presentation

DB1 and S1 are significant at the 1% level: ** DF1 is significant at the 5% level:*
In second presentation, in the same group, there were no significant differences
All subjects in class 6 in Nsawam in Ghana.
Wieggers Primary School

Twi = 1, English = 4

                        DB1 and S1 are significant at the 1% level: ** DF1 is significant at the 5% level*
                        In the second presentation, in the same group, there were no significant differences
 
 

All subjects in class 9 in Nsawam in Ghana.
Adoagiri R/C Junior Secondary School


                         DB1 and S1 are significant at the 5% level

In the second presentation, in the same group, there were no significant differences
 
 
 

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CLASS 6 AND 9

        |  Significant differences on the 1% level: The younger children, class 6, started to learn English earlier,
had more often continuos schooling, remembered digits better backwards and had a better sum score (S1)
on presentation one The same tendency applied to S2.
 
 

REMEMBERING DIGITS FORWARDS AND BACKWARDS

                                          All subjects in class 6 and 9 in Nsawam in Ghana.

 

                            The pupils remember significantly better forward than backwards,
                            but this difference is smaller in the second presentation (Set 2).


All subjects in class 6 in Nsawam in Ghana.

The difference between remembering digits forwards and backwards is
significantly different and of the same order as in Norway.
All subjects in class 9 in Nsawam in Ghana.



                 The difference between remembering digits forwards and backwards is

significantly different and more so for class 9 than for class 6.
 
 

               Varimax factor analysis for both classes

The strange thing is that (DF1 and DB1) and (DF2 og DB2) group together instead of (DF1 og DF2) og (DB1 og DB2) as they did in another data set from Ghana. It is generally assumed that "Digit Backwards" is a more complex process than "Digit Forwards"
 
 
 

                     What language does the family speak at home?

What language do you speak at home? 63% speak Twi, the same language as the one used
in school, 27% spoke Ewe, the language of the Volta region and 8% Ga, spoken in Accra.

Discussion:The younger pupils do better than the older. What is the explanation? They stay at two different schools. Are JSS of poorer quality or are the pupils a different social and ethnic group? Or do pupils stagnate in their development? If so, what is the reason for this? Has the younger group got more stimulation, including better education?
 This is the first draft. Discussion will be continued when time is available.  Comments are welcome.

Appendix with information:
The last set of data from Ghana Sept. 1998 came from Frank Naehro, school circuit supervisor. He has previously collected data in Aburi, but this time in Nsawam which is bigger than Aburi. All data in Digit Span was discarded when the score was 1 in either forward or backward. This type of score may indicate that the the task had not been understood.

Nsawam is one of the bigger towns of Ghana situated about 30 km north of Accra.
 
 

Description of variable names:

Aen= age when they started to learn English

Age= how old they are

CS= Continuos schooling. If no:, If Yes: 2

DB1=Digit Span Backwards first presentation

DB2=Digit Span Backwards second presentation

DF1=Digit Span Forwards first presentation

DF2=Digit Span Forwards second presentation

Home= language spoken at home

in1= digit presented in language 1 (Twi) or 4 (English). First presentation

in2= digit presented in language 1 (Twi) or 4 (English). Second presentation

la=language spoken at school

Sex: 1= Females, 2= Males

S1= DF1+DB1

S2=DF2+DB2
 

Language codes: 1= Twi, 2= Ewe, 3= Ga, 4= English, 5= Hausa, 6= Fante, 7, Dagaro, 9= Other
 
 


Child Rearing Questionnaire,  Locus of Control   and INDCOL
Answered by 83 Ghanaian teachers






                          N  Min  Max     Mean     Std. Deviation

Variable
names

AGE                 81      20     62      35,62      10,38

CHILD01        83      2        6       4,89         ,95
CHILD02       78       1        6       5,33        1,03 Encourage to do its best
CHILD03     80     1     6      2,54     1,51
CHILD04     82     1     6      3,79     1,61
CHILD05     81     1     6      2,86     1,39
CHILD06     82     1     6     2,98     1,59
CHILD07    83     1     6     5,16 ,    96 Concerned about eating
CHILD08     82     2     6     5,33     1,01 Wish partner more interested
CHILD09     82     1     6     5,33     ,92 Give comfort & understanding
CHILD10     83     1     6     3,99     1,53
CHILD11     83    1     6     5,14     1,22 Keep away from rough games
CHILD12     83     1     6     2,58     1,42
CHILD13     83     1     6     3,54 1.39* 1,77 Seen and not heard
CHILD14     83     1     6     3,14     1,47
CHILD15     83     1     6     4,58     1,20
CHILD16     83     1     6     4,75     1,12
CHILD17     80     1     6     2,68     1,43
CHILD18     82     1     6     2,11     1,39
CHILD19     81     1     6     4,44     1,14
CHILD20     83     1     6     2,60     1,46
CHILD21     83     1     6     3,70     1.40
CHILD22     83     1     6     4,55     1,27 Worry about ugly things
CHILD23     82     1     6     4,11 1.96* 1,34 Not get angry with me
CHILD24     82     1     6     2,24     1,45
CHILD25     83     1     6     4,87     1,07 Great expectations to child
CHILD26     82     1     6     4,12     1,74
CHILD27     80     1     6     4,61     1,31 Offering my own interest
CHILD28     82     1     6     1,48     1,12 Not spoiling the child
CHILD29     83     1     6     4,73 5.40* 1,15 Reason with child
CHILD30     83     1     6     4,42     1,41
CHILD31     83     1     6     4,73     1,15 Joke and play with child
CHILD32     82     1     6     3,84     1,44
CHILD33     83     1     6     4,54     1,13
CHILD34     83     1     6     4,00     1,42
CHILD35     81     1     6     4,72     1,22
CHILD36     82     2     6     5,06     ,87 Encourage child to explore & ask
CHILD37     82     1     6     3,70     1,47
CHILD38     83     1     6     3,64     1,57
CHILD39     81     1     6     4,73     1,13
CHILD40     82     3     6     5,29     ,69 Child knows that I appreciate
CHILD41     82     1     6     4,96     1,02 Encourage to talk about troubles
CHILD42     83     1     6     4,58 2.66* 1,12 Control feelings
CHILD43     83     1     6     5,23     1,05 Keep away from fighting
CHILD44     82     1     6     3,15     1,79
CHILD45     82     1     6     4,65     1,15 Let him know when angry
CHILD46     82     1     6     3,41     1,52
CHILD47     83     2     6     4,94      ,86 Give extra if behaving well
CHILD48     80     1     6     3,74     1,64
CHILD49     83     1     6     4,30     1,52
CHILD50    83     1     6     3,42     1,58
CHILD51     83     2     6     4,69 2.44* ,92 Aware of sacrifice
CHILD52     83     1     6     5,11     1,22 Worried about health
CHILD53     81     1     5     1,74     1,03
CHILD54     81     1     6     2,91     1,46
CHILD55     83     1     6     3,87     1,54
CHILD56    83     1     6     5,01 3.18* 1,03 Ashamed if misbehaving
CHILD57     83     1     6     3,73     1,30
CHILD58     83     2     6     5,41     ,75 Want to know whereabouts of ..
CHILD59     82     1     6     4,51     1,34
CHILD60     83     2     6     4,57 2.06*     1,03 Not get dirty
CHILD61     83     1     6     4,30     1,34
CHILD62     82     1     6     3,61     1,30
CHILD63    83     2     6     5,06 2.71* ,79 Warning about bad things
CHILD64     82     1     6     3,30     1,68

ICSUM       82     40     62     50,30     5,06 INDCOL

LOCSUM   82     2 1    5         9,44     2,82 Locus of Control
 
 

Rotated Component Matrix. Varimax






Factor 1:  Nurture and some control

CHILD41         ,701 Encourage child to talk about his troubles

CHILD40         ,686 Child knows that I appriciate

CHILD63         ,682 Control by warning

CHILD58         ,659 Know the whereabouts of the child

CHILD02         ,607 Encourage to do its best

CHILD18         -,604 ,        356 Wish not develop so rapidly

CHILD45         ,542         ,352 Let child know when angry

CHILD51         ,530         ,306

CHILD21         ,521

CHILD08         ,514
 
 

Factor 2: Control and responsibility

 CHILD32     ,575 Give responsibility

CHILD28     ,512 Not spoiling the child

CHILD54     ,500 Donít allow questions about decisions
 
 

Factor 3

CHILD47     ,510 Give extra if behaving

CHILD27     ,485 Offering my interest for children

CHILD19     ,378 -,481 Child should have time to daydream etc.

CHILD22     ,446 Worry about ugly things child may encounter

Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis. Rotation Method: Varimax with Kaiser Normalization.
Rotation converged in 5 iterations.

 Factor 1 may be called nurture, factor 2 control, while factor 3 is more diffuse
 
 

Child rearing and the Ghanaian personality.

Most Ghanian may be described as friendly, peaceful, polite, hospitable with a well developed social
intelligence. At the same time they may be described as lacking in initative, selfconfidence and ability
to organize and solve practical problems. A field dependent person. The Ghanaian may be a good
diplomate, Kofi Annan, a clever conman but a poor manager and engineer.

How is this related to child rearing? Discussion of this will come later.
 

                                                      Child Rearing Questionnaire

Ghanian (N=83) and Norwegian (N= 373) data Compared
Norwegian data from PH.D student Helle Anderson

Likert-Scale 1-6: 1 = not at all descriptive of me, 2= not descriptive of me, 3= rather not descriptive of me,
4= to some extent descriptive of me, 5= descriptive of me, 6=  highly descriptive of me

The differences that are most pronounced is colored. Red means more than 2 points in difference, blue 1-2 points in difference. Most Standard Deviations are between 1 and 1.5, and the D-values would be close to the point differences and they are all highly significant. More values than those with color would be statistically significantly different.

                                                                                                          Mean                      Mean
                                                                                                                                              Ghana                          Norway

CHILD01  Respect child, encourageexpression                                4.89                    4.97
CHILD02  Encourage to do its best                                             5.33                     5.28
CHILD03  Preference to mate before child                                      2.54                     2.29
CHILD04 Help child when teased                                              3.79*                   4.81
CHILD05  I often feel angry with child                                          2.86                     2.66
CHILD06  Punishing , putting away                                             2.98                     2.83
CHILD07 Concerned about eating                                              5,16                     4.45
CHILD08  Wish partner more interested in our children                        5.33***                1.96
CHILD09  Give comfort & understanding                                                       5.33                     5.75
CHILD10 Keeping child away from different families                           3.99**                1.96
CHILD11  Keep away from rough games                                        5.14*                   4.09
CHILD12   Physical punishment                                                 2.58*                   1.39
CHILD13  Seen and not heard                                                   3.54**1.39*             1.38
CHILD14   Forget promises                                                                                     3.14                    2.56
CHILD15   Express affection, hugging.kissing                                   4.58*                   5.75
CHILD16  Find great satisfaction in my child                                     4.75                    5.40
CHILD17  Not try things if chance to fail                                                                   2.68                    2.20
CHILD18  Wish child did not grow up so fast                                    2.11*                 3.37
CHILD19   Child should have time to think, daydream etc                                    4,44                  5.18
CHILD20   I find it difficult to punish child                                                               2.60*                 4.22
CHILD21   I let my child make many decisions                                     3.70                   4.02
CHILD22   Worry about bad and sad things which may happen with child       4.55                    3.59
CHILD23   I do not allow Child not to get angry with me                          4.11 **1.96*          2.07
CHILD24    My child is a bit of disappointment to me                             2.24*                 1.08
CHILD25   I exspect a great deal of my child                                       4.87*                 3.60
CHILD26    Easygoing and relaxed with my child                                   4.12*                5.13
CHILD27     Offering my own interest for the child                                  4.61                  4.63
CHILD28    I am spoiling the child                                                 1.48**                3.91
CHILD29     Reason with my child when misbehaving                             4.73 5.40*              5.26
CHILD30     Trust child behaves                                                    4.42                   5.10
CHILD31     Joke and play with child                                                4.73                   5.13
CHILD32     Give child duties and responsibilities                                   3.84                   3.99
CHILD33    The child and I have intimate times together                            4.54                   5.34
CHILD34    I have strict well established rules for my child                          4.00                   4.53
CHILD35    One has to let the child take chances when growing up                        4.72                   4.54
CHILD36    Encourage child to explore & ask                                        5,06                   4.95
CHILD37    Feel I am too involved with my child                                                        3.70                   3.42
CHILD38    I threaten punishment more often than I do it                                           3.64                   3.47
CHILD39    Praising child when good instead of punishing when bad               4.73                   5.20
CHILD40    Child knows that I appreciate what he tries to do                      5.29                   5.11
CHILD41    Encourage to talk about troubles                                         4.96                    5.11
CHILD42   Teach child to control his feelings                                        4.58 **2.66*            2.55
CHILD43   Keep away from fighting                                                   5.23*                 3.99
CHILD44    I dread answering questions about sex                                    3.15                   2.29
CHILD45    Let him know when angry                                                 4.65                    5.13
CHILD46    Punishing child by taking away privilege                                               3.41                   3.30
CHILD47   Give extra privileges if behaving well                                       4.94*                 3.82
CHILD48    I enjoy having the house full of children                                                      3.74                   4.18
CHILD49   Too much love harmful                                                     4.30***              1.35
CHILD50   Scolding make child improve                                               3.42*                  1.83
CHILD51   Child should be aware of my sacrifice for him                                       4.69** 2.44*         1.81
CHILD52   Worried about health of my child                                                5.11**               2.62
CHILD53   ..a good deal of conflict between my and child           1,74                  1.74
CHILD54    I do not allow the child to question my decisions                          2,91                  2.07
CHILD55    I like to have some time for myself away from child                         3,87*                4.99
CHILD56   Ashamed if misbehaving                                                     5,01* 3.18*          3.46
CHILD57    I encourage child to be independent of me                                   3,73                 4.03
CHILD58    Want to know whereabouts of child                                          5,41                 5.13
CHILD59    Interesting and educational to be with my child                               4,51                5.21
CHILD60   Instruct child not get dirty when playing                                          4,57**2.06*       2.21
CHILD61    Jealousy and quarrelling between siblings should be punished                 4,30**             2.01
CHILD62    Learn not to cry at an early age                                                3,61**            1.25
CHILD63    Control by warning about bad things that can happen to him               5,06**2.71*      2.59
CHILD64    Children should not be given sexual information before they understand   all 3,30               2.78
*= Norwegian results from Renuka Sethis data
 
 

                                    Child Rearing Questionnaire

Ghanian (N=83) and Norwegian (N= 373) data Compared
Norwegian data from PH.D student Helle Anderson

Likert-Scale 1-6:   1 = not at all descriptive of me, 2= not descriptive of me, 3= rather not descriptive of me,
4= to some extent descriptive of me, 5= descriptive of me, 6=  highly descriptive of me

The differences that are most pronounced is colored. Red means more than 2 points in difference, blue 1-2 points in difference. Most Standard Deviations are between 1 and 1.5, and the D-values would be close to the point differences and they are all highly significant. More values than those with color would be statistically significantly different.

                                                                                                          Mean                      Mean
                                                                                                                                              Ghana                          Norway

CHILD04 Help child when teased                                                   3.79*                4.81
CHILD08  Wish partner more interested in our children                   5.33***                1.96
CHILD10 Keeping child away from different families                           3.99**                 1.96
CHILD11  Keep away from rough games                                            5.14*               4.09
CHILD12   Physical punishment                                                     2.58*                1.39
CHILD13  Seen and not heard                                                   3.54**1.39*             1.38
CHILD15   Express affection, hugging.kissing                                         4.58*             5.75
CHILD18  Wish child did not grow up so fast                                         2.11*              3.37
CHILD20   I find it difficult to punish child                                                                   2.60*              4.22
CHILD23   I do not allow Child not to get angry with me                          4.11 **1.96*          2.07
CHILD24    My child is a bit of disappointment to me                             2.24*                 1.08
CHILD25   I exspect a great deal of my child                                           4.87*              3.60
CHILD26    Easygoing and relaxed with my child                                       4.12*             5.13
CHILD28    I am spoiling the child                                                 1.48**                3.91
CHILD42   Teach child to control his feelings                                      4.58 **2.66*            2.55
CHILD43   Keep away from fighting                                                     5.23*              3.99
CHILD47   Give extra privileges if behaving well                                   4.94*                 3.82
CHILD49   Too much love harmful                                        4.30***              1.35
CHILD50   Scolding make child improve                                               3.42*                  1.83
CHILD51   Child should be aware of my sacrifice for him                                    4.69** 2.44*         1.81
CHILD52   Worried about health of my child                                           5.11**               2.62
CHILD55    I like to have some time for myself away from child                         3,87*                4.99
CHILD56   Ashamed if misbehaving                                                     5,01* 3.18*          3.46
CHILD60   Instruct child not get dirty when playing                                     4,57**2.06*       2.21
CHILD61    Jealousy and quarrelling between siblings should be punished            4,30**             2.01
CHILD62    Learn not to cry at an early age                                           3,61**            1.25
CHILD63    Control by warning about bad things that can happen to him           5,06**2.71*      2.59
*= Norwegian results from Renuka Sethis data

Interpretation: It looks as if the Ghanian child get as much nurture as the Norwegian child, but are more readily punished and and required to control his feelings. The control aspect seems much stronger in Ghana than Norway.
 

References:
Irvine, S.H. & Berry, J.H.(1988) (eds.)  Human Abilities in Cultural Context. New York. Cambridge University Press
 

QUESTIONS

What are the educational and economical concequences of a culture with this child-rearing practice?

What are the political consequences?

How does it affect the society?

What can be done to implement changes?

Who should decide what with respect to changes and on what grounds?

How can knowledge from this field be used together with other theories?
 

This paper is a first draft. Comments are welcome. Contact me by e-mail, snail mail or in person
for discussion and/or comments

Bjarne Fjeldsenden
Dept. of Psychology, NTNU
7491 Trondheim
NORWAY

E-mail:  Bjarne.Fjeldsenden@svt.ntnu.no