The effects of father-absence on boys in an african patrilineal society
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Boys from three different family backgrounds were compared on the basis of their performances on six tests -the sewing test, carving test, test of sex identity, aggression, discipline and personal construct differentiation. The subjects for this study included children brought up in father-present, father-absent and those who grew up in homes headed by a father substitute.The purpose of the study was to establish whether fatherless boys in an African patrilineal society suffer from certain disadvantages.The results show that father present boys are better than the father-absent boys in the masculine test-carving. On the other hand, father-absent boys show better performance in the feminine task-sewing. The results also show that father-present boys express more aggressiveness than boys in the other groups.Performances on tests of sex identity,discipline and personal construct differentiation show no significant differences between groups.The results are interpretted as suggesting that family background has a definite impact on the acquisition of sex-linked cognitive skills but has no differential impact on the conative or socio-emotional development of children.
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