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Title:Cultural factors in psychological disorder in a transitional society: a Nigerian case study
Author:Osaghae, G.V.
Periodical:African Notes: Bulletin of the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan
Geographic term:Nigeria
Abstract:Nigeria is undergoing rapid socioeconomic change and this has brought about a new interest in nervous disorders and social problems. This paper presents findings from a survey on the relationship between some cultural variables and psychological disorders in an urban community in Nigeria. In this community mental health survey, undertaken in 1984, a psychological symptom checklist was used on a stratified random sample of the population (401 respondents) in the city of Port Harcourt. The study aimed at assessing the level of social functioning (the ability to work regularly, get along with people, participate in associations and other activities) among the sexes as well as to investigate its relationship to psychopathology. The data indicate that there are no differences between men and women in level of social functioning and that persons with high social functioning tend to manifest more psychiatric symptoms than persons with low social functioning. The latter can be explained by the fact that, although these persons are successful, educated, and well integrated socially, they are usually overstretched by high demands and expectations on the part of society and relations. With the presently changing socioeconomic processes, the extended family system has become a source of problems for its successful members. Ref., sum.