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1.1 Background of the Study
The common understanding of marriage is a union of a man and a woman as husband and wife with the end view of symbiotic companionship, procreation and rearing of children for the sustenance of posterity Ezeh (2012). According to Adrian (2013) marriage is the union, permanent at least by intention, of a man and a woman for the purpose of the procreation and rearing of children and mutual companionship and assistance. Marriage is the recognition by the existing social authority of the union of a man and woman as husband and wife. Marriage has two meanings: in one sense it is the ceremony or the act of becoming married; in another sense, it is the relationship itself or status of being married American Peoples Encyclopedia (2010). In this context, marriage is the legal union between a man and a woman to become husband and wife and live together without divorcing each other.
Marriage institution is an institution in which there should be harmony, love and happiness. Nwobi (2002), defined marriage institution as a legally recognized bond, established by a civil or religious ceremony between two people who anticipated living together as sexual and domestic partners.
Marriage institution is an officially and documented union accepted by a civil or religious convention amongst two people who agreed to live together as husband and wife (Dought, 2011). This means that husband and wife should live in love, harmony and happiness. Nevertheless, in some marriage institutions love, harmony and happiness are lacked due to the fact that some couples were unable to solve their marital problems that may lead to divorce.
Marital problems are those difficulties experiences or encountered by husband and wife in their union which could lead to divorce. These marital problems according to (Danladi, 2012) include financial difficulties, lack of communication, distance, understanding, immaturity, infidelity/cheating and poor sexual relationship. In marital problems like these, the idea of compatibility is thrown away. The new idea is incompatibility, thereby ushering in divorce as the final solution. Compatibility is an important element of marriage where couples live or work together without conflict Amato (2000). Where there is no compatibility because of some marital problems mentioned above, the marriage become unhappy and unsuccessful for the husband and wife, in this case they have no other alternative than to divorce. Divorce according to Omeje (2000) is the dissolution of a marital union that cancelled all legal obligations and responsibilities of marriages as well as dissolving the bonds of matrimony between the parties. Omeje (2000), stated that divorce is one aspect of marital disorganization which could, among other things frustrate the destiny of the children of such marriage. Some of the children who were involved feel deeply depressed. Wallerstein (2005) defined divorce as a family breakup that characterized with numerous problems that lead to unsuccessful marriage. The case of divorce is disheartening. It has made many marriages to loose its celebrity and splendors. Patterson (2008) stated that there can never be a single cause for any divorce rather there are several more than one reasons for divorce to take place. These include lack of communication, immaturity, infidelity/cheating, failed expectations, drug and alcohol abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, cultural and religious differences. Ugwu (2007) was of the opinion that some marriages collapse due to unfaithfulness, sex explosion, suspicion and lack of trust.
Divorce has been in the society for quite a long time. Amato (2000) lamented that it is disheartening that people brought from two different families in affection as husbands and wives should end up in divorce. According to Gac (2008), there are high rate of divorce worldwide. Gac (2008) further asserted that divorce rate has been of great increase since the early 1960s. Commenting on the divorce rate Odebunmi (2007) maintained that divorce is on the increase in Nigeria.
The issue with divorce is not more of the impact it will have on the couples, because they may have other partners. The crucial issue involved is the fate of the children who need a lot of parental care as they are growing. Most of the positive and negative character traits of the youth or adult is usually traced or attributed to the upbringing from the family. Nwobi (2002) asserted that children do not understand the idea of divorce in all ramifications because of special love they have for either of their parents. Nwobi further stressed that when there is divorce, children from such family always notice that everything is now different in their homes in terms of basic facilities, education, social and religious services even the new set of people they will be interacting with. Divorce affects children in their physical development and social functioning because such children will no longer be train in the way they supposed to be trained. In some cases, children from divorced family are being trained by their relation, friends who may not be able to care and cater for their physical, socio-economic and educational well-being of those children. Lach (1999) stated that children are made to suffer hardship, social control, lack of financial support and inadequate protection. These often encourage the children to indulge in delinquent acts like drug addiction, child abuse, picking pockets, truancy and prostitution. In support of the above assertions Dought (2011), maintained that children of divorced homes were usually not having good relationship with their parents as compared to the children whose parents live together. This unhealthy relationship affects the children virtually in everything they do including their moral and academic achievement.
Academic achievement is the extent to which students make success in academic work. Globe and Bishop (2001) perceived academic achievement as something one does or achieves at school, college or university, in class, in a laboratory, library or field of work. Idundun (2002) stated that academic achievement is the overall academic performance of a student in the school. It is assessed by the used of teacher’s rating, tests and examination. From this assertion, academic achievement has to do with some measure of success one is able to attain after learning experience. As such, Smith (2011) lamented that children of divorced parents are prone to academic problems like drooping out of school along with psychological, emotional, socio-cultural and economic problems when compared to the children whose parents remain married and live together.
Psychological problems have a lot of influence on the husband, the wife and children as a result of divorce which is always devastating. Kowalski (2003) defined psychological problem as a psychiatric disorder showing symptoms such as persistent feelings of hopelessness, dejection, poor concentration, lack of energy, inability to sleep and sometime suicidal tendencies. An individual is faced with psychological problems if very negative feelings stay permanently on top of one’s mind. Psychological problem is a serious mental illness for which professional helps and sometimes medications are needed to get rid of it. Commenting on the consequences of divorce on children Ugwu (2007), maintained that the children may later grow up to be threats to the society. Divorce is a life-changing event for children. It turns their world upside down. Kelly (2000), maintained that children of divorce homes are at greater risk of teenage pregnancy, prostitutions, rapes, political toggeries, cultist, dropping out of school, depression, divorce in their own marriages and joining the ranks of welfare recipients.
On the other hand, Corak (2001) lamented that they show depression over the divorce and changes taking place in their lives especially in their academic performance and sexual relationship much earlier than their mates in a stable family environment. According to Wolfinger (2000) there is always a feeling of great happiness or condition of enjoyments, pleasant anticipation and supports that exist among family members of a stable family because it always lays a sound foundation for the children’s future life. Rapoport (2005) maintained that providing stable family environment and attending to children’s need with a positive attitude is a yardstick to academic achievement. Amadi (2000) stated that student academic achievement in various school subjects appear to be degenerating. As mentioned early, children of divorced homes seem not to do well at school and are emotionally and psychologically disturbed. Lansford (2009) stated that the overall stress of the change in the family structure might distract a child from school activities and consequently affect his or her academic achievement. Divorce affects the academic achievement of students in many ways. These include potential reductions in both the quantity and quality of parental inputs on their academic achievement and parental guidance or oversight with respect to disciplinary problems. Dykeman (2003) stated that when children experience the trauma of divorce, their emotional state might affect interactions with their classmates. Students may wish to have alone time to reflect and think about life at home. Other students may choose one or two close friends with whom they can identify and with whom they trust to talk to about the divorce. The motivation, focus and emotion may be an indicator on how they are reacting to the influence of divorce in their academic achievement (Hargreaves, 2005). Hargreaves maintained that children adjust more effectively, learn successfully and misbehave less when home and school are both consistent, predictable and proactive in meeting the child’s needs. Teachers reported negative behavioural changes in two third of the children after divorce. These changes consisted of an increase in impatience, inattentiveness, unhappiness, lack of concentration and more need for attention from their teachers (Hargreaves, 2005).
In support of the above assertion, Wallenstein (2005) stated that teachers are often the first to notice changes in behaviour of children when a family begins to experience marital problems or divorce. Wallenstein, (2005) further stated that teachers observed that some children from divorce families may show decreased functioning in academic performance and display oppositional behaviour on signs of anxiety and depression. Divorce can change a student perception of school, alter students’ motivation and attitude as well hinders students’ success in class. Based on the foregoing, the researcher is interested in investigating the consequence of divorce among women in Borno State.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Marriage institution is a social institution where harmony, love and happiness should reign. Nevertheless, there appears to be incompatibility of couples because of financial difficulties, lack of trust, distance, misunderstanding, immaturity, infidelity/cheating and poor sexual relationship that subsequently lead to divorce. Although divorce has a legal act, it has a serious concern to the children in particular and the public in general. The home environment may be handicap to a child in life or may be a source of special advantage to the child’s academic achievement. Student’s academic achievement at the secondary level of education has remained poor because of divorce and marital problems of secondary school students in Enugu state. Teachers, parents and the general public are concerned and worried about the poor academic achievement of students. Apart from poor academic performance most of these children from divorced homes show symptoms of maladjustment like withdrawal, absence from school, depression, fighting, inattentive, unhappiness, and lack of concentration in their studies. Divorce can also change student’s perception of school, alter student’s motivation, attitude and hinders student’s success in school. The problem of this study put in question form therefore is; what is the influence of divorce on social welfare and psychology of women?
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of the study is to determine the consequence of divorce among women in Borno State. Specifically, the study seeks to:
1. Find out the extent to which emotional scaring left by divorce influences women.
2. The extent divorce influences financial support of women.
3. Ascertain the extent to which unhealthy relationship caused by divorce influences women.
1.4 Research Questions
1. What is the extent to which emotional scaring left by divorce influences women?
2. What is the extent divorce influences financial support of women?
3. What is the extent to which unhealthy relationship caused by divorce influences women?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The benefit that shall accrue from this study will be of both theoretical and practical significance. Theoretically, the study lends credence to Albert Bandura’s social learning theory which provides extremely useful ways of understanding how developmental changes in behaviour and thinking occur and for some children when behavioural problem arise.
This study will be of immense benefit to the public since it aims at exposing the implication of divorce on women, as this will enable the government to design a curriculum on how to handle students from divorce homes appropriately, so that they can cope effectively with their academic work.
Therapists and counsellors will benefit from this study in that, it will reveal to them the actual influence of divorce on women thereby enabling them to design programs on how to help these women cope with their lives despite their background.
Parents will benefit from this study because it will expose them to the implications of divorce on their children’s social, emotional and even academic development. The study will enable parents gain insight and understanding, that providing stable family environment and attending to children with a positive attitude is a yard-stick to their academic achievement.
To the sociologist the study will help to create discipline in the life of children from divorced homes. When this is done there will be sanity, peace and order, which will enhance the moral tone of the school as well as the society. It will also help the sociologist to know the right technique to adopt in modifying negative peer pressure.
Lastly, the findings of this study will sharpen the focus of other researchers who may be interested in the study of divorce and influence on the academic achievement of students. This study will serve as a source of literature to researchers.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study will cover women in Borno state. The content scope of this study will focus on the extent divorce influences the social welfare and psychology of women, how emotional scarring left by divorce influences women, how divorce influences women financial support life endeavours and how unhealthy relationship caused by divorce influences women.
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