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Title                                                                                                                                                  Page

Title page    -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -          -        i

Declaration           -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -          ii

Certification          -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -          iii

Dedication   -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -          -        iv

Acknowledgment  -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -          v

Table of Contents  -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -          vii

List of Tables        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -          -        x

Abstract       -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -          -        xi      


1.1.    Background to the Study -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        1

1.2.     Statement of the Problem -    -    -    -    -    -    -    7   

1.3.   Objectives of the Study    -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        8

1.4.   Significance of the Study -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        11

1.5.   Scope and the Limitations of the Study -        -        -        -        12     

1.6.   Research Questions -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        12

1.7.   Research hypotheses        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        13

1.8.   Definition of Concepts     -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        13     

1.9.   Organization of the Study -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        15


2.1.    Concept of Divorce         -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -          17

2.1.1. Muslim Divorce    -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -          25

2.1.2 Christian Divorce  -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -          30

2.1.3.  Socio Economic Effect of Divorce     -        -        -        -        -        -        34

2.2.   Divorce and Socio Economic Status of Family        -        -        -        40

2.3.    Socio Economic Effect on Women      -        -        -        -        -        -        46

2.4    Empirical review    -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -          47

2.5.   Theoretical Framework    -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        50

2.5.1.  Attachment Theory        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -          50

2.5.2.  Social Learning Theory           -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        54


3.1.    Research Design    -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -          59

3.2.    Method of Data Collection        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        59

3.3.    Sample Size and Sampling Technique -        -        -        -        -        60

3.4.    Population of the Study   -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        61

3.5.    Research Instrument        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -          61

3.5.1.  Validation   -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -          -        62

3.5.2.  Reliability  -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -          -        63

3.6.    Method of Data Analysis -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        63

3.7.    Ethnography of the Study -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        63

3.8.    Problems Encountered in the Field      -        -        -        -        -        -        66


4.1.     Data Presentation and Analysis -        -        -        -        -        -        -        67

4.2.     Discussion of the Findings       -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        81


5.1.    Summary of the Findings -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        90

5.2.    Conclusion  -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -          91

5.3.    Recommendations -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        92

References   -        -        `-       -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -          -        -        94

Appendixes -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -          -        98


Table 4.1.1: Distribution of Respondents by sex -           -           -           -           -           -           67

Table. 4.1.2 Distribution of Respondents by Age -           -           -           -           -           -           -           68

Table 4.1.3 Distribution of Respondents by Marital Status        -           -           -           -           69

Table 4.1.4 Distribution of Respondents by Occupational Status-        -           -           -           69

Table 4.1.5: Distribution of Respondents by Educational Attainment  -           -           70

Table 4.2: Low income causes divorce in family’s in

Ibiono Local Government Area    -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -     71

Table 4.2.1: High income earners are prone to divorce  -           -           -           -           -           72

Table 4.2.2: divorce affects children wellbeing educationally  -           -           -           73

Table 4.2.3: Divorcing mothers are more likely to be in poverty

than those remain married -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -     74

Table 4.2.4: Lack of effective communication causes divorce

between couples          -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -          -           76

Table 4.2.5: Effective communication reduces conflict among couples-         -          

Table 4.2.6: Meaningful communication between couples promotes

marital well – being    -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -          -           77

Table 4.2.7: Children from broken homes experience illness than

children whose parents stayed together  -           -           -           -           -           -           -           78

Table 4.2.8: Children from divorce family are likely to engage in drugs

and crime than children whose parents stayed together    -           -           79

Table 4.2.9: Children whose parents divorce have worse relationship

with their fathers than children whose parents stayed together.          -           80


Marriage instability has hindered the growth and progress of many homes and children in Nigeria. Many factors could be responsible for this disappointing situation. The study therefore focused on identifying the socio economic effect of marriage in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom state. The study adopted survey as a research method, and questionnaire as the instrument for data collection. Data was analyzed using frequency table. Finding revealed that divorce rate is high in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area, and that it effect is serious on children, women and men. Findings also revealed that poor or absence of effective communication is the major cause of marital breakdown in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area. Communication and spending time with your spouse is a strong component in marriage that money, technology can’t buy. The study recommends that church, parent and government should help in orienting the society so to reduce divorce.


1.1 Background to the Study                                            

Procreation is essential for survival of all forms of life including man because no living being is immoral. Like animal’s human beings also require mutual cooperation of two individuals with different sex structures for procreation acts. Urge in living being in this regard is called sex urge. To canalize the sex-urge, the concept of marriage developed in the society of human beings, Duncan (2001). In the broad sense marriage means a legally and socially sanctioned union of man and women that accords status to them as husband and wife and legitimacy to their offspring's. It involves certain rights and duties between the parties entering into wedlock.

The Industrial Revolution's ideas of liberty, equality and pursuit of happiness gave a further impetus to liberate marriage from the fetters of the church. According to Tilson and Larsen (2000), once the marriage was accepted as a contract it was next logical step to consider it as dissoluble union. Marriage came to be recognized as a human institution based on free volition of men and women who were undoubtedly responsible though not infallible individuals. They can err; they can blunder. They should be given the right and liberty to get out of the burden that had become intolerable, and which was sapping the vital energy and moral fiber of the spouses to a marriage that had failed. As in other human affairs so in marriage, people should have the opportunity to rectify their errors.

Marriage is one of the oldest social institutions in any society. In Nigeria, the marriage institution is conceived as a primary and sacred institution through which a man and a woman enter into some forms of contract for reciprocal obligations as husband and wife. In Igbo cultural environment, marriage involves not only the individuals who enter into it but is seen as a social institution of mankind, which involves two families concerned (Omeje, 2000). According to Aroh (2001), marriage has always been a partnership of survival with the preservation and improvement of the human species as its primary purpose. In line with this view, Obi (2006) sees marriage as an important social contract ordained by nature for the continuation of human race. For Okoh (2004), it is an institution, which guarantees the procreation, care and education of the young; the stability of the family; and the continuity of society upon which the survival of the human race depends. Marriage is an institution, which is culturally and socially recognized. It is a legal union of a man and a woman as husband and wife for the primary purpose of procreation, sexual and emotional gratification, social stratification and economic dependence.

Njerem (2005) noted that for desired goals to be achieved in marriage there is need for harmony, reciprocity, cohesion, fidelity, high degree of stability and unconditional love between couples. He noted that love and understanding are the twin pillars of marital bliss and stability and that marital bliss often eludes the couple that enters into marriage with hooded faces and dishonest intention. Unfavourable conditions in marriage or marital instability set in when the aforementioned virtues are lacking. Hall and Hoffin (2005) noted that this is manifested in forms of conflict, violence, mistrust, constant bickering, neglect and marital distress. They noted that such situation may lead to separation, divorce or “marital disintegration”. While ideal marriage ought to be a happy institution every intending couple looks up to, some couples soon after marriage begin to see immediately that the fantasy that engulfed the courtship or pre-marriage relationship fades away thereby leaving them with the realities of life. Such realities of life may be discovering that they are not compatible, that life cannot always be as perceived and so on. Marriage cannot always be rosy. Mgbodile (2000) noted that, to go into marriage expecting a never-ending honeymoon is to experience the disappointment of a child dreaming of a never-ending flow of chocolate creams. When unfavourable conditions as mentioned above set in marriage, the result may be divorce.

Divorce for Hornby (2001) is the legal ending of a marriage. Mirror (2003) defined divorce as the complete break up or dissolution of marriage through legal means. Divorce is the only ceremony that marks the official end of marriage, just like a wedding ceremony marks the official beginning of the same marriage. Divorce is caused by so many things. Some of the common causes of marital problems or divorce as noted by Arowolo (2002) are, abuse, power tussle between couples, poor financial management, infidelity, infertility/childlessness, hot temper, influence of mother-in-law, bad companies, alcohol, improper use of language, impotence, poor communication between couples, early marriage, prolonged sickness, prolonged hardship and maltreatment.

The phenomenon of divorce is receiving increasing attention as a stress-inducing factor or a life crisis that affects over two million adults and one million children worldwide annually (Dohrenwend & Dohrenwend, 2004; Norton and Glick, 2003). Marriage breakdown presently appears to be on the increase. Available literature such as Nwoye (1999), Omeje (2000), Aroh (2001), Asogwa (2003), Mirror (2004) and researcher’s observation from the Nigerian society indicate that marriage breakdown appears to be on the increase and it is becoming increasingly stressful on the part of the divorcees, their children and the society.

In Akwa Ibom State, like in every other State in Nigeria, divorce is likened to a “semi hell” to the divorcees, their children and society (Epstein, 2002, Omeje, 2000). Although the phenomenal upsurge of divorce in developing countries, including Nigeria, during the decade has been stimulated by a growing acceptance of the principle that divorce is a reasonable and at times desirable alternative to an unhappy marriage, the problems associated with divorce are immeasurable as it has a great effect on the socio economic status of the family. Divorce can save people from a bad marriage, but research has shown that it can also debilitate a society. Divorced adults are more likely to become impoverished while their children experience psychological and economic stress hindering their social development. In most cases the children school fee will not be regularly paid as the separate family will keep shifting the responsibility to one another. This is when statement like “go and meet your father” and the father may, in most cases refers the child back to the mother. This is a serious economic burden to the divorced woman.

Numerous studies have found that parental separation and divorce is associated with a range of negative outcomes for younger children and adolescents across various domains.5-7 Parental separation/divorce is associated with academic difficulties, including lower grades and prematurely dropping out of school, and greater disruptive behaviours (e.g., being oppositional with authority figures, getting into fights, stealing, and using and abusing alcohol and illegal drugs). Children and adolescents who experience the divorce of their parents also have higher rates of depressed mood, lower self-esteem, and emotional distress.

Parental divorce is also associated with negative outcomes and earlier life transitions as offspring enter young adulthood and later life. Children of divorce are more likely to experience poverty, educational failure, early and risky sexual activity, non-marital childbirth, earlier marriage, cohabitation, marital discord and divorce. This is evident in rural area such as Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area in fact, emotional problems associated with divorce actually increase during young adulthood. According to Ikwuji (2002), understanding the magnitude of these problems and the causal mechanisms through which divorce influences these behaviours, therefore, has important socio economic consequences in our localities.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

In today's society, there are many different types of families. Some include intact, non-intact, single families, step-families and a variety of others. Along with these different varieties of families there is one common incident that can cause the family structure to change. Divorce is an unplanned event in a family's life. It is something that affects each member of a family at different times and in different ways.  According to Martin et al., (2003), about half of all marriages will end in divorce, leaving one million children each year to deal with the process of divorce.

 Ikwuji (2002), Mirror (2003) & Walter (2005) have observed that marriage breakdown appears to be on the increase and it is becoming increasingly stressful on the part of the divorcees, their children and the society. Weiss (2000) found that different divorcees encounter different problems owing to varying personal factors and their patterns of adjustment and this seems to constitute untold hardship to the divorcees and to the society at large.

Divorce rates in the world rose since the Civil war, decreased during the Great Depression while peaking in 1980, and have remained around fifty percent since then (Lazar et al., 2004). Studies predict that thirty-eight percent of white children and seventy-five percent of black children born to married parents will experience divorce prior to sixteen years of age (Lazar et al., 2004). The majority of these adolescents will become part of a remarried family prior to tuning eighteen years of age (Martin et al., 2004). Due to this, their family structure will become different causing many changes and adjustments in their life.

Families that come from lower incomes are more likely to divorce, which in tum cause these families to have a lower standard of living (Emery, 2004). Due to the lower incomes having a lower standard of living Emery (2004) found that children may have to change schools, a parent may have to work longer hours, older children may be told they have limited choices for college and may have to deal with their parents fighting over financial issues. These are concerns that children may face after their parents’ divorce. This could add more stress, anxiety and emotions for people involves and the family in general. Several changes can take place during a family’s divorce. Some of these changes could form the concerns of this study.

Consequences of a divorce is that the wife has to move to a different home and sometimes the children has to move a different school and they will not see or be with both parents at the same time anymore. In most cases, they will live with their mothers and they will see their father much less. These movements and change of environment is most likely going to affect the socio economic status of the family. Thus, this study seeks to ascertain the socio economic effect of divorce on families. Hence, the question: what is the socio economic effect of divorce in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area?

1.3 Objectives of the study

 In carrying out this study, the major objective of this study is to examine the socio economic effects of divorce on families in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

Specific Objectives

To achieve the major objective of the study, the study set the following as the specific objectives;

Ø To examine the factors giving rise to divorce in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area.

Ø To examine the frequency of divorce in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area.

Ø To find out if divorce affect the socio economic status of family in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area.

Ø To identify possible measures to reduce the socio economic effect of divorce on families?

1.4.      Significance of the Study

     The findings of this study would educate families on the importance of unity an understanding. It would also enhance capacity building for marriage counselor towards effective insight on how to advise and settle marital issues among intending and already partners.

Also, the findings would benefit the society at large because it would help them to know the socioeconomic effect of divorce and measures that would checkmate the high rate of divorce.

To the future researchers, the findings would provide baseline information on the socioeconomic effect of divorce and would also give children from broken homes assurance about their future.

1.5 Scope and limitations of the Study

The interest in divorce and family socio economic status is very large in scope that it could be humanly impossible to study the entire concept under a single study. Based on this, the current study delimits itself to study how divorce affect the Socio-Economic status of the affected families.

This is limited to the study of divorce as it affects the socio economic status of families in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area.

1.6 Research Questions

The following research questions would guide the study;

Ø What are the possible factors that influence the rise of divorce in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area?

Ø What is the frequency of divorce in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area?

Ø Does divorce affect the socio economic status of family in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area?

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