Parenting Among the Nso of the Northwest Province of Cameroon

  • Relindis D. YovsiEmail author
Part of the Science Across Cultures: The History of Non-Western Science book series (SACH, volume 7)


This chapter outlines parenting principles and strategies of the Nso, an ethnic group in the Northwest province of Cameroon, Africa. Although parenting is a universal task, there are huge cross-cultural and intra-cultural differences in the solutions to the dynamics of the sociocultural environment in which children are raised. Due to variations in cultural frameworks, parenting strategies become responses to the contextual challenges that are framed as values and traditional practices, and which often guide socialization processes and child development theories. The cultural structure of the Cameroonian Nso is outlined in relation to their geography, settlement patterns, subsistence and sociopolitical structure. The chapter further describes the Nso psychology of childcare. Nso children grow up in a context of social closeness while engaging in social responsibilities. Children are assets in childcare, household chores, farm work or family subsistence. Childcare is seen as a communal responsibility and children become parts of the society, serve as security for old parents and are interrelated within the sociocultural network. Parents expect their children to be obedient, abide by cultural norms and values, respect elders and authority and exercise a sense of social responsibility and social competence from an early age. The endpoint of the socialization agenda is a child who shares and cooperates with others, and has a sense of communion, belongingness and oneness. Cross-cultural differences are evident, which shows that good parenting should be defined by values of the sociocultural context, and not by Western or Euro-American parenting ideologies. The chapter concludes with the policy and practice implication that in order to understand family wellbeing, psychological functioning and the character to human development, there is need for a curricula training for professionals working with people from diverse contexts to include a cultural approach.


Household Chore Secret Society Northwest Province Lineage Head Palm Wine 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Psychology (NIFBE)University of OsnabrückOsnabrückGermany

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