Ethnic Group, Age and Gender Differences in Social Adjustment of Teenagers in Nigeria

  • Mary Basil Nwoke


The study investigated ethnic group, age and gender differences in social adjustment of teenagers in Nigeria. A total of 1,500 male and female secondary school students from three ethnic groups, the Tiv, the Ogoni and the Yala, participated in the study. They comprised 750 Junior Secondary III (JSS Ill, 375 boys and 375 girls) aged 13-15 years, with a mean age of 14 years; and 750 Senior Secondary III (SS III, 375 boys and 375 girls) aged 16-18 years, with a mean age of 17 years. The Social Adjustment Scale developed by the researcher was used to test the social adjustment of the students. Results showed that there was significant ethnic group difference, F(2, 1488) = 8.86, p < .001; and age difference, F(1, 1488) = 7.41, p < .05, in the social adjustment of the teenagers. Ethnic group x age interaction effect was significant, F(2, 1488) = 3.9, p < .05; age x gender interaction was significant, F(1, 1488) = 5.03, p <. 05; and ethnic group x age x gender interaction effect was also significant, F(2, 1488) = 4.03, p < .05. Scheffe test of comparisons showed that Ogoni teenagers scored highest in social adjustment. The implications of these findings to social adjustment of teenagers were discussed.