Communication and the Shaping of Human Personality; Deconstructing the Nature/Nurture Debate in Light of the Menace of Street Children in Nigeria

  • Kizito Ogedi Alakwe School of Media and Communication, Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos
  • Silk Ugwu Ogbu School of Media and Communication, Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos


At the core of the knowledge inquiry about behavioural differences is the nature versus nurture debate which has been central to the development of various theories of human personality. The metaphor of a pendulum, swinging back and forth between nature and nurture, has been used to depict the opinion of scholars and practitioners in the social sciences and psychology in this debate. Nature / Nurture debate seeks to proffer answers to the following questions: why do people differ significantly in temperament, approach to challenges and level of intelligence even when they are siblings sharing from the same pool of genes? The debate also seeks to understand why people with different genetic trait behave alike within a group. How does our physical environment affect human behaviour and what role does communication play in the development of human personality? In the context of street children in Nigeria, should we attribute human personality to nature or nurture? These are issues this paper seeks to deconstruct. Methodologically, the paper examines critical theories of human personality and utilises a mix of review of relevant literature, comments and observations to discuss the role of communication in the formation of human personality. It concludes that though nature contributes towards human behaviour and personality, communication, which is the tool that drives socialisation, is central to the development of personality among the street children of Calabar. Thus, if communication can influence personality negatively, then the street children of Calabar have a chance of being rehabilitated through a different kind of communication aimed at behaviour modification.

Keywords: Human Personality, Nature-Nurture Debate, Street Children, Behaviourism; Skolombo Boys


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How to Cite
Alakwe, K., & Ogbu, S. (2018). Communication and the Shaping of Human Personality; Deconstructing the Nature/Nurture Debate in Light of the Menace of Street Children in Nigeria. Advanced Journal of Social Science, 3(1), 23-33.