The aim of this study was to assess the incidence of nicknames and name-calling among a sample of Nigerian schoolchildren, to examine the types of names reported by the children, the relationship of the nicknames to dental appearance and the impact of such nicknames on the children. SUBJECTS AND
A sample consisting of 506 randomly selected children from secondary schools in Ile-Ife, Nigeria, were invited to participate in the study. Self-administered pre-tested questionnaires were completed independently by the children in their schools. The questionnaire related to the incidence of nicknames and teasing, nature, frequency, relationship to physical appearance and the effect of such names on the children.
The incidence of nicknames was found to be high among the schoolchildren (77) with no significant difference between boys and girls. Eighty eight percent were called by their nicknames on a daily basis. The majority of the nicknames were derived from the children's names (34.9), while others related to their appearance, body features, and personality. The nickname was appearance-related in about one third of the children and more often this related to the weight of the child (26.77). The teeth were the source of nickname in only 6 (4.7) of the children with equal occurrence rate in boys and girls.
The results of this study show that being given nicknames is a common occurrence in Nigerian schools, one third of which may be appearance-related with most children indifferent to these nicknames. Dental appearance may not be a significant contributor to such names.
Vol.10 – n.3/2009
Harvard: K. A. Kolawole, O. D. Otuyemi, O. D. Adeosun (2009) "Nicknames and name calling among a population of Nigerian schoolchildren", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 10(3), pp115-120. doi:
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