This work examines the parental role in curbing suicidal actions in tertiary institutes in Nigeria, a case study of Micheal Okpara University of Agriculture, Abia State. Three research objectives and hypothesis were formulated to give direction to the search of information. A descriptive survey research design was adopted and the sample size were 222 students who were regular undergraduate students in the university. The parents has a major role to play in curbing suicide among university students, although there may be some challenges that will deter the possibility of parents playing that role. Thus the findings shows that; there is a significant relationship between parental role and youth development, there is a significant relationship between parental guidance and counselling and prevention of suicide in Nigeria and there is a significant relationship between the parental guidance and counselling services and youths in Nigeria. Since suicide is a social-health problem, therefore parents should be educated on the causes of suicidal behaviours, the stigma of suicide victims, and the need for effective reporting of suicidal cases. This will help in formulating a blue print for preventive intervention strategies and service delivery in Nigeria, and effective reporting of suicide cases without molestations. The parents should be involved in teaching of suicide education and prevention. For this to be meaningful, suicide education should be capable of loading its contents with topics such as signs, myths and facts about suicide, factors associated with suicide and the possible ways of helping the suicidal persons.
- BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Few suicides or suicide attempts take place in schools. But the suicide of a student— even if it takes place off campus—will reverberate through a school, causing extreme emotional distress among students, staff, and parents; disrupting normal activities for weeks; and, in rare cases, provoking “copycat” suicides by emotionally vulnerable children. At the same time, schools represent an important opportunity for preventing these tragedies.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death in developing countries, for young people between 10 and 19 years of age. In the United States of America Every year, about 125,000 young people are treated in emergency rooms for injuries sustained during suicide attempts. And every year, about 4,000 young people take their own lives (CDC, 2004). Additional young people are treated by family doctors—or not treated at all—for self-inflicted injuries. A still larger group of young people exhibit signs that they are at-risk for suicide. Suicide among children under the age of 14 is rare. Suicide by children under the age of 9 is extremely rare (CDC, 2003b).
Many young people who attempt suicide are afflicted by depression or other mood disorders or substance abuse (which itself can be related to depression). Other emotional problems linked to suicide include conduct disorders (especially aggressive behavior), borderline personality disorder, and high levels of hopelessness (Berman, Jobes, and Silverman, 2006). Suicide among younger children is related to depression and other serious psychiatric problems as well as feelings of “expendability”— an exaggerated sense of guilt for family problems combined with low self-esteem (Pfiefer, 2000). It is important to remember that although most young people who commit suicide are affected by mental disorders, only a relatively small proportion of young people troubled by such problems try to take their own lives. In Nigeria we have recorded our own cases of suicide and even though is a tabbo in so many parts of the country, today youths see it as a way to be free from their emotional distresses and sufferings.
The role of parental guidance and counselling (G/C) services among youths cannot be overemphasized. Parents have always played a leading role in terms of child‘s development and improvement. For this reason, Parent child relationships are sine qua non to child‘s development. Okobiah and Okorodudu (2006) highlighted that Guidance and Counselling is encompassed by activities of relevant services and also processes of helping persons within and outside the school, to achieve their full potentialities in their emotional, moral, social, academic and vocational developments. Esen (1998) says that guidance and counselling is aimed primarily at assisting the receiver to discover his own hidden strengths and ultimately grow in independence and ability to take his own decisions, make choices or adjustments unaided.
People Suicide attempts rarely occur without some warning. Teachers and other professionals who see young people on a daily basis are in a unique position to distinguish “normal” adolescent behavior from hints that something is wrong. It is not always possible to tell exactly what is troubling a student and where these troubles may lead. But indications that a young person is in emotional difficulty demand action. School staff cannot assume that a young person’s family especially parents will take positive steps to respond to these problems. Schools may be the last positive social connections for students from dysfunctional families. This project looks critically at the role of parents in curbing suicidal actions in Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Recent events in Nigerian society regarding different cases of youth suicide have drawn the attention of government agencies, NGOs, international agencies and society in general to the sad truth that young people no longer receive all the information they need. Support they need emotionally and especially psychologically.
Because each individual is unique, there is no single reason for someone to have suicidal thoughts or attempt suicide. Factors that may contribute to having suicidal thoughts are:
- A major life transition that is very upsetting or disappointing
- A loss of an important relationship or the death of a loved one
- Depression, anxiety or other serious emotional troubles
- Feelings of hopelessness or despair
- Low self-esteem or shame
- Failure to live up to one’s own or others’ expectations
- Extreme loneliness
- News of a major medical illness
- Severe physical or emotional pain
- Alcohol or drug problems
Parental care, guidance and counseling amongst youths today can aid in the prevention of suicide cases in Nigeria. It is believed that when we talk to people who are depressed and give them all the adequate support then these cases of suicide that is on the rise will gradually become a thing of the past.
It is in the light of this that this study seeks to find out parental role in curbing suicidal actions in Nigeria.
1.3 Purpose of the study
The main purpose of this study was to examine parental role in curbing suicidal actions in tertiary institutes in Nigeria. The specific objectives are to;
- Have a general overview on the parental role on youth development.
- Determine how parental guidance and counseling can help to prevent suicide in Nigeria.
- Identify challenges that deter the effectiveness of parental guidance and counseling services among youths in Nigeria.
1.4 Research Hypothesis
Ho1. There is no significant relationship between parental role and youth development.
Ho2. There is no significant relationship between parental guidance and counselling and prevention of suicide in Nigeria.
Ho3. There is no significant relationship between parental guidance and counselling services and youths in Nigeria.
1.5 Significance of the study
Suicide is a serious issue that many people prefer not to discuss, but it is something that affects many people at some point in their life. Suicide can be a very difficult thing to understand. If someone you know may be suicidal, it’s important to recognize the signs beforehand so they can get the help and counseling they need. With proper education, everyone can be made more aware of the possible risks for suicide as well as the underlying causes. There are many different reasons someone may want to commit suicide, and in many cases, they can be saved if they get the help they need in time.
1.6 Scope and delimitation of the study
The scope of this study is focused on examining parental role in curbing suicidal actions in tertiary institutes in Nigeria.
The researcher encountered some constraints, which limited the scope of the study. These constraints include but are not limited to the following.
- a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL:The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
- b) TIME:The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
The following terms were used in the course of this study:
Guidance and counseling: Guidance refers to an advice or a relevant piece of information provided by a superior, to resolve a problem or overcome from difficulty. Counseling refers to a professional advice given by a counselor to an individual to help him in overcoming from personal or psychological problems.
Suicide: the act or an instance of taking one’s own life voluntarily and intentionally.
Youth: Youth is the time of life when one is young, and often means the time between childhood and adulthood (maturity). It is also defined as “the appearance, freshness, vigor, spirit, etc., characteristic of one who is young.
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows Chapter one is concerned with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.
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