Department of Psychology


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
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    Relationships with intimate partner violence: Exploring the dynamics and associated personal characteristics in an urban sample in Ghana
    (University of Ghana, 2015-04-17) Akotia, C.S.; Anum, A.
    Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a universal problem that significantly affects individual's mental and physical well-being. Researchers have identified different risk factors for intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration and victimization. Research on IPV however, have focused largely on either men or women with little attempt to compare the sexes on issues that are associated with IPV and the dynamics involved in relationships in which IPV occurs. Using the Revised Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS2) (Strauss, Hamby, Boney-McCoy, & Sugarman, 1996), we embarked on a preliminary study exploring the different types of violence perpetrated on partners among Ghanaians living in Accra. We also explored individual and group characteristics such as age, education, and relationship status as predictors of IPV. We administered the CTS2 to 150 people selected from Accra. Our findings showed gender and education associations with victimization and perpetration of IPV. We also found limited but significant associations with types of IPV. We discuss the appropriateness of the CTS2 in Ghana and discuss our findings in the light of the Ghanaian socio-cultural context.
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    On being gay in Ghana - Young men's life experiences
    (University of Ghana, 2015-04-17) Gyasi-Gyamerah, A.A.
    In Ghana, individuals who are gay or homosexuals are not likely to disclose their status because of the generally negative attitudes toward homosexual behavior. This general negative attitude has been well documented in the scientific literature. In Ghana, there has been a raging debate on the subject of morality of homosexuality in the mass media for quite a long time. Despite this negative attitude, there are some individuals who have disclosed their status, largely in secret. This paper seeks to discuss the life experiences of nine (9) male university students and the challenges they face due to their sexual orientation. We examine four themes derived from analyses of transcripts of in-depth interviews. The discussion centers on what they believe to have caused their homosexuality, their openness about their sexual orientation, reactions by society and fellow students towards them and the vulnerability they feel due to these reactions. The paper concludes with the thoughts of these gay students on what the university as an entity and Ghana as a whole should do to protect the rights of homosexuals as human beings.
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    Differences in intelligence test scores among urban children in Ghana: Examining test characteristics and socio-economic factors
    (University of Ghana, 2015-04-17) Anum, A.
    Performance on standardized cognitive tests among children in low income or less developed countries have consistently been low. The difference in test scores usually range between 1 to 2 standard deviations lower than published norms. Explanations for this difference have been attributed partly to IQ differences between different races which has been a subject of debate in scientific and academic research since the inception of IQ testing in the early 20th century. The debate about race differences in intelligence concerns the interpretation of research findings that Caucasian test takers tend on average to score higher than individuals of African descent. This was followed subsequently with the finding that test takers of East Asian background tend to score higher than Caucasians. Part of the explanation for racial differences in IQ or test scores is the issue of test bias, that is, test items tend to favor individuals for whom the test was initially developed. Although tests are standardized on local populations to address this challenge, significant differences are still found between groups separated by socioeconomic factors, even on measures that are supposed to be culture-fair. It therefore appears that differences in test scores may be explained by other factors apart from cultural differences. In the current study, we examined performance on three tests with varying degrees of cultural bias. We examined the effects of different socioeconomic factors on test performance and found expected superior performance for children in high socioeconomic groups on all tests. The difference in scores however diminished on tests that had low cultural bias. The findings from this study are discussed in the light of differences in wealth, parents' influence, and quality of school and teaching.
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    Addressing ethical issues in suicide research in Ghana
    (University of Ghana, 2015-04-17) Akotia, C.S.; Osafo, J.
    Suicide is a sensitive issue around the globe and research in the area in Ghana has exuded certain ethical challenges confronting researchers on the topic. These ethical issues bother on the moral dilemmas faced by the researchers while conducting qualitative interviews among suicide attempters and lay persons as well as the beneficial effects of conducting such interviews. We argue that researchers doing suicide studies in developing countries should continue to emphasize to informants their role as 'researchers' and not therapists. However, perhaps in LAMIC countries with limited mental health resources, researchers can reasonably double as a helper and researcher. Such dualistic role should not be viewed as a breach of standard ethical protocol, but rather, perhaps as a dynamic artifact of doing 'culturally sensitive' research.
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    Researching the sensitive issues - Identity in relation to one's sexuality
    (University of Ghana, 2015-04-17) Gyasi-Gyamerah, A.A.; Fiaveh, D.Y.; Hiadzi, R.A.
    Societies have different ideas about who we are and how we should express ourselves. These ideas are translated into the norms and values of the society and affect people's sense of id entity. Due to the cultural setting, some aspects of the Ghanaian's life that are paramount to identity construction including sexual preferences, sexual orientation, and fertility are sensitive areas that are rarely discussed. As such, it is very difficult researching into these areas. This pa per therefore looks at the theories that underlie researching into these sensitive areas, the methods used in collecting data, and the ethical protocols that undergird them from an African perspective. The paper ends on a reflective note as it deals with our experiences researching these areas using urban Ghanaian samples
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    Attitudes of medical doctors towards suicide and criminalization of attempted suicide in Ghana
    (University of Ghana, 2015-04-17) Osafo, J.; Akotia, C.S.; Boakye, K.
    Attitudes affect willingness to provide help for suicidal persons. Consequently, attitudes of key health professionals such as nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists and physicians have been examined. Although physicians are a key group in the management of suicide attempters, to the best of our knowledge, no study has examined their attitudes towards suicide. This study therefore examined 15 (10 males,5 females) medical doctors' attitudes towards suicidal person, what they perceive as risk factors for suicide and their views on the law that condemns attempted suicide. The methodology was qualitative and thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. Results showed that the majority expressed empathic attitudes towards suicidal person (with only 5 condemning the act on the basis of religious values). Further the medics ' perceptions of the risk factors for suicidal behaviour fell within the biopsychosocial model (depression, loneliness, relationship distress, joblessness etc) more than the biomedical. Consistent with their empathic attitudes toward suicide, the majority of medics (11 out of 15) supported a repeal of the criminal code predicated on a "sick view" of the suicidal person as someone who needs help more than "a criminal "who must be prosecuted. The implications of the findings towards decriminalizing suicide in Ghana are addressed.
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    Caring for persons with severe burns injury: Analysis of caregivers' coping strategies and quality of life
    (University of Ghana, 2015-04-17) Kugbey, N.; Bonsu, K.
    Living with severe burns injury poses both psychological and physical threats to both patients and caregivers. However, the focus of attention has always been on the patients with little attention given to the caregivers who play significant roles in the recovery process. This study examined the association between coping strategies and quality of life of caregivers of persons with severe burns injury. A total of 100 caregivers were randomly sampled from the Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Burns Centre of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and were administered with the Brief Cope and the WHOQOL Brief. A cross-sectional study design was used. Results from the analysis showed that only three coping strategies, denial, religion, and behavioural disengagement predicted overall quality of life among the caregivers. Some of the caregiver's coping strategies also significantly predicted the domain specific quality of life of the caregivers. It is therefore concluded that caregivers use varied coping strategies which affect their quality of life and must therefore be taken into consideration in planning psychosocial interventions for the care givers.
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    Academic achievement among University students in Ghana: The role of personality and motivational factors
    (University of Ghana, 2015-04-17) Nyarko, K.; Amissah, C.; Ansah-Nyarko, M.; Dedzoe, B.Q.
    Students' academic achievement at every level has become an issue of concern to stakeholders in the country. Whereas, several infrastructural and resource constraints at the societal level have been pointed out, little attention has been given to inherent personal characteristics of students that influence their academic achievement. This study examines whether students' personality characteristics and type of motivation significantly predict their academic achievement. A total of 273 undergraduate students were sampled from the University of Ghana, Legon. The cross-sectional survey design was used and the respondents were administered questionnaires measuring their personality characteristics, intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. The students reported their current Cumulative Grade-Point Averages (CGPA) as the criterion. Results from Multiple regression and Pearson correlation analyses showed that only conscientiousness significantly predicted students' academic achievement. Further analysis did not show any significant relationship between extrinsic motivation and academic achievement as well as intrinsic motivation and academic achievement. It is concluded that culture might be exerting a strong influence on personality characteristics and motivation and therefore, the associations should be interpreted within the cultural milieu of Ghana. Additionally, students' personality should be taken into consideration in providing academic guidance