Ethnic identity in Nigerian children of black-white mixed marriages : the relationship between child rearing practices and ethnic identification in inter-racial (Yoruba/Oyinbo) and Yoruba familes in Nigeria
This study examined the relationship between child rearing practices and ethnic identity in interracial and Yoruba children in Nigeria. An in-depth study of 20 interracial and 20 Yoruba families was conducted. Three methods of measuring ethnic identity (a doll choice technique, Draw-A-Person and 'Tell me about yourself') were administered to 20 interracial and 20 Yoruba children (aged 6-9 years) in the home environment. A questionnaire was administered to the mother in each family to measure the extent of use of 'elite' Yoruba child rearing practices. A separate questionnaire was'also administered to fathers. The mothers' questionnaire responses were correlated with the children's test-results. The doll choice technique and Draw-A-Person were found to be more successful than 'Tell me about yourself'. However, an additional 'food preference' measure was extracted from 'Tell me about yourself'. The results indicated that Yoruba children showed a stronger Yoruba identity than interracial children and that the majority of children in both groups showed correct owngroup identification. As expected, Yoruba mothers were found to use more Yoruba child rearing, practices than interracial mothers. A significant relationship between child rearing practices and ethnic identity was found in the interracial group but not in the Yoruba group. Correlations between doll play, Draw-A-Person and the food preference measure were generally low. Race of experimenter (white and Yoruba) did not affect children's test results. Results were interpreted within a family interactions framework and with considerations given to the social and cultural background of the subjects. It was suggested that socialization may be important for the development of ethnic identity in the 'minority' interracial children but not in the 'majority' Yoruba children. The implications of this finding for interracial children in other societies and for other ethnic minority groups was discussed.