Thesis (PhD) - University of California
Purpose of the Study: the purpose of this study has been to describe some aspects of child rearing practices in the Sudan and to suggest some changes in those practices through parent education. Organization of Thesis: the thesis is divided into three parts. Part one first introduces the reader to the Sudan: its history, geography, ethnic composition, and economic conditions. Second, a discussion of some of the problems and procedures in child study is offered and a rationale for using the interview technique for collecting our data is delineated. And third, a detailed picture of the families studied is given. Part two relates the findings of the study. Here different aspects of child-rearing practices are described. These aspects are maternal warmth, feeding and weaning, toilet training, discipline, sex and sex roles, and maternal reactions to the child's curiosity. In all these areas of child rearing a review of the psychological literature on the importance of these aspects for child development is offered, and a comparison between Sudanese practices and those of other cultures is given. Part three deals with the prescriptive aspect of this thesis. It interprets child-rearing practices in the Sudan in light of the existing scientific evidence from child psychology and suggests ways of educating parents to change those practices which need change, sustain those which are deemed good, and introduce new ones which are not existing at present. Technique of Collecting the Data: the present study is based on data gathered through using the interview technique. The interview schedule consists of forty-nine questions. The schedule was adopted from the one used by Professor Edwin t. Prothro to study child rearing practices in the Lebanon. prothro's interview was, in turn, evolved from the interview schedule prepared by the staff of the Laboratory of Human Development of the Graduate School of Education of Harvard University under the directorship of Professor Robert Sears. The subjects of the study: the sample for this study consisted of one hundred and fifty mothers of five-year-old children. The mothers were interviewed in their homes, and each interview lasted for about one hour and a half. The mothers represented three different groups: two urban groups and one rural group. Each group consisted of fifty mothers. Group I: this group represented well educated mothers who live in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. The level of education in this group ranged between 12 and 18 years of schooling. The husbands of these mothers had at least the same level of education as their wives. This group represented the urban middle-class family. Group II: this group, which represented the urban lower-class family, consisted of poorly educaed mothers. The maximum level of education in this group was four years of schooling. The education of the husbands in this group ranged between 0 and 12 years. Group III: this group represented rural areas. The level of education of the mothers in this group ranged between 0 and 8 years and that of the fathers between 0 and 16 years of schooling.