1.1. BACKGROUND OF STUDY
The period of adolescence is a transition period between childhood and adulthood. Adolescence is marked by rapid physical growth and psychological change. It represents a particularly vulnerable phase of development in pre- adult years. It is also marked by expanding roles into more complex social environment that expose one for the first time to a widening array of stressors and life – shaping choices (Ge, Lorenz, Conger, Elder and Simons, 2010). Adolescents must sort out the conflicting demands and expectations of family, community and friends; develop insights into their changing bodies and needs; establish independence; and fashion identity for adult life (Vender Zanden, 2011). Emerging cognitive capabilities help adolescents to cope with these tasks. Adolescents are able to handle abstract ideas more logically and adeptly than in their childhood years and they are likely to examine what happens critically and thoughtfully, considering alternative solution to problems (Donvan & Adelson, 2014). Depressive symptoms are known to increase markedly between childhood and adolescence (Marcotte, Alain & Gosselin, 2013). In life, we often encounter some adolescents who tend to neglect themselves in order to meet the needs of others. Helgeson and Fritz’s research  showed the effect and put forward the concept of unmitigated communion. Unmitigated communion as one kind of personality characteristic involves a focus on others and the neglect of the self. Individuals with such traits will place the needs of others above their own, paying too much attention to others and neglecting themselves [Helgeson, V.S. and H.L. Fritz, 2009]. Parenting style was defined as encompassing both contextual and individual aspects of a parent’s child rearing, and distinguished this concept from more content – and goal – specific parenting practices and behaviours. Various studies proposed that parenting styles vary along two separate dimensions: demandingness (control) and responsiveness (acceptance) and that crossing these dimensions yields separate categories of parenting styles. The early onset of depression and the increasing rate of depression in youngsters warrant concern and systematic study of causes and consequences of adolescent depression (Hammen & Brennan, 2015).Empirical studies have shown that unmitigated communion and parenting style can affect individuals' physiology, cognition and behavior in an extensive way. In terms of physiology, unmitigated communion individuals are prone to suffer from various chronic diseases including coronary heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis [Nagurney, A.J., 2011.]. On the other hand, unmitigated communion individuals exhibit features such as externalized self-evaluation, fear of negative evaluation and low self-esteem [Helgeson, V.S., 2012] and in terms of behavior unmitigated communion individuals display a series of interpersonal problem behaviors such as over- dependency, over-protection and self-sacrifice and in the meanwhile, also have intrusive ideas. In emotional terms, the higher the adolescents’ unmitigated communion levels, the more likely they are to manifest depressive symptoms [Helgeson, V.S., K. Mascatelli, H. Seltman, M. Korytkowski and L.R. Hausmann, 2016]. According to Aubé's study , the unmitigated communion and parenting style were significantly positively correlated with the depression level in both self- and peer-reports; moreover, the level of unmitigated communion was predictive of the individuals' depressive symptoms 10 years later. In addition, the unmitigated communion-based prediction of depressive tendencies not only shows stability over time, but also has stability across groups. Studies have examined the effects of unmitigated communion and parenting style on depression in different groups and found that the individuals' level of unmitigated communion had a significant predictive effect on depression regardless of whether they were college students [Fritz, H.L. and V.S. Helgeson, 2009] healthy adults [Fritz, H.L. and V.S. Helgeson, 2009] or breast cancer patients [Piro, M., P.B. Zeldow, S.J. Knight, J.J. Mytko and W.J. Gradishar, 2015]. Individuals with high unmitigated communion traits are found to have externalized self-evaluation and low self-esteem [Helgeson, V.S. and H.L. Fritz, 2013.]. Unmitigated communion individuals' self evaluation is more subject to external influences. They are highly sensitive to negative evaluations by others. Once they perceive that others evaluate them negatively, they will directly turn the negative evaluations into self dis-identification [Helgeson, V.S. and H.L. Fritz, 2013.]. Moreover, the unmitigated communion individuals themselves have negative self evaluation and pessimistically believe that others do not like them. Depression, according to Lazerson (2013), is a state of dejection accompanied by lower sensitivity to certain stimuli, reduction of physical and mental activities and difficulty in thinking and unwarranted condition of prolonged sadness or dejection; the state of being sad or downcast. Individuals suffering from depression experience truly profound unhappiness and they experience it much of the time. The basic features of depression in adolescents are similar to those in adults (Kovacs, 2015). Depressed adolescents typically display more cognitive errors and negative attributions (e.g blaming themselves for negative events) and have lower perceived competence or self – efficacy and lower self – esteem than their non – depressed peers (Lewinsohn, Rhode and Seely, 2010). Researchers are paying increasing attention to adolescent depression. Over the years, our society has witnessed tremendous social change as a result of endogenous and external factors. To this end, this study will therefore examine the influence of unmitigated communion and parenting style on depression among adolescents in Owerri municipal.
Adolescence is a phase of development characterized from the process of forming an independent identity and the self sense (Erikson, 2007). The process of development of a positive self sense is affected by a series of influence sphere (Fletcher, A. C., & Jefferies, B.C. (2013) including parenting style adopted by parents making self development of teenagers inseparable from parenting behaviors. This way, placing self in a positive sense is the frame inside which a series of other development duties will be performed in adolescence and it is directly related to depression (Meeus, 2015). Due to the importance of development of a positive self sense and stable one during adolescence and the relation with unmitigated communion and parenting, the process of self development can serve as a means through which unmitigated communion and parenting style affects on depression in adolescence. Therefore, the study seeks to examine the influence of unmitigated communion and parenting style on depression among adolescents in Owerri municipal.
1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine influence of unmitigated communion and parenting style on depression among adolescents. Other specific objectives of the study include;
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: There is no significant influence of unmitigated communion and parenting style on depression among adolescents.
H1: There is a significant influence of unmitigated communion and parenting style on depression among adolescents.
H0: There is no significant relationship between unmitigated communion, parenting style and depression among adolescents.
H1: There is a significant relationship between unmitigated communion, parenting style and depression among adolescent.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The research study is significant to both parents and other stakeholders in that; through this study parents and communities will realize their role towards adolescents’ socialization, emotional development and independence. The parents, learning institutions and the community will realize that their input is necessary in the autonomy and self-esteem development of adolescents which will further assist them develop their moral values and moral judgment. The study will sensitize parents, communities and education institutions to acquire insight into communication dialogue between them and adolescents, hence enabling the adolescents to have a balanced lifestyle. The study will help the parents to know the adolescent expectations in several areas of life such as in social and emotional development. This study is also relevant to research bodies and institutions in the nation as a whole because findings would also be relevant to students and users of information in conducting further research in areas similar to this study.
1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to influence of unmitigated communion and parenting style on depression among adolescents in Owerri municipal.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Adolescence –It is a transition period from childhood to adulthood where responsibilities and privileges vary simultaneously. Besides being a transition phase, it is also an expanding phase and hence referred in three stages. This study adopted Melgosa‟s(2012) stages and used them in the study. These are as follows: Early adolescence: 11-15 years Middle adolescence: 16-18 years Late adolescence: 18-22 years.
Parenting styles- It is an independent variable in the study which refers to a psychological construct representing standards and strategies that parents use in their child rearing, and in provision of basic needs. It refers to a child rearing behavior of parents, guardians or caregivers which involves the amount of control over a child’s welfare.
OTHER SIMILAR SOCIOLOGY PROJECTS AND MATERIALS