African Perspective of Sources of an Individual’s Motivation to Behaviour and its Implications on Multicultural Counselling: Case of Kenyan Universities
Wathoni, Gathaara Hellen
Sirera, Merecia Ann
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Cultural perspectives of individuals motivation are not clearly understood and this presents a challenge in effective conceptualization and contextualization of clients’ problems in therapy. To understand this behaviour of Africans in Kenyan culture, both cross-sectional survey and ethnographic research design were used. The study was carried out in Kenyan universities due to their rich cultural diversity. Multi-stage sampling procedures were used for the study. The sample size for the study was 360 but due to the return rate of 82.4% for questionnaires, ended up being 298 participants: students, lecturers, and counselling psychologists. Data collection tools for the study were questionnaires, interview schedules and focus group discussion guides. Quantitative data was analysed in Statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) and presented in tables and figures. The qualitative data were transcribed, and categorised according to themes and sub-themes and later discussed by linking them with the study objectives. The results on sources of an individual’s motivation to behaviour showed that: the African family was mainly extended to members outside the nuclear family and thus it influenced an individual’s motivation to behaviour. Collective moral standards of the extended family promoted the right behaviour for the individual and social welfare. Prohibitive norms and taboos were strictly observed because of the severe punishments that befell those who violated them. Religious motives enabled Africans to make moral choices and decisions. Punishments and penalties were used to advance the cause for right behaviour among Africans in Kenya. In conclusion, culture influences people’s motivation to covert and overt behaviour and thus the therapists especially those from different cultures need to understand it to make therapy relevant and meaningful to the African descent clients. The study recommended that cultural worldview and perspective of personality be incorporated into therapy alongside mainstream Euro-American perspectives to make counselling more meaningful to clients from different cultures.