This study investigated counselors’ perception on the causes of divorce and its impact on academic performance among couples. The population for the study consisted of 200 adult learners in some adult learning centers in Kaduna State. Data were collected through questionnaire aimed at identifying the various forms of marital crisis among adult couples‟, the causes of divorce and ascertaining if divorce has impact on the academic performance of adult learners in Kaduna State. The findings revealed that rejection of food, fighting, face off, use of abusive words against each other are forms of marital crisis. Denials of sex, lack of transparency, infidelity, lack of communication are the causes of marital crisis. Depression, prostitution, frustration, single parenting, hypertension and loss of concentration are effects of marital crisis. Inability to buy books, pay school fees, and temporary withdrawal from school are some of the negative impacts of marital crisis which influences the academic performance of adult learners. Recommendations were proffered.
1.1 Background of the Study
Every year millions of marriages are affected by divorce and situations such as broken homes or marital instability. Counseling evidence demonstrates that married couples with marital challenges are significantly more likely to have problems in school. Marital stability is the relationship in which couples live together in marriage, enjoying the closest possible loving and fulfilling relationship without any intention of breakup (Adesanya, 2002). A peaceful relationship is achieved when married couples understand their individual roles and work together towards it. Adesanya (2002) identified certain factors that ensure marital stability such as economic wellbeing, responsiveness, among others. However, the strongest factor of marital stability is considered to be economic satisfaction (Adesanya, 2002).
Marriage is the union between adult male and female which leads both to reasoning together, working in one accord, raising children which in other words is the formation of nuclear family. Marriage in this wise is traditional and normative. It is traditional in the sense that it is almost as old as man, and it is normative since there are rules and standards of behavior describing marriage. 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. About half of all marriages will end in divorce, leaving one million children each year to deal with the process of divorce (Martin et al, 2003). Smith and Preston (1982:316-317) are of the view that “marriage is an enduring socially approved sexual and economic relationship between at least two persons”. Marriage confers legitimacy in that it assigns roles to the partners and establishes a permanent setting in which procreation and child rearing can take place (Akubukwe, 1997, p. 62).
Divorce is becoming a common event in the lives of many people. It is now easier to dissolve marriages, and fewer stigmas is attached to divorced people. However, for many, divorce remains a negative and traumatic experience. Not only does the divorcing couple suffer, but the children are affected as well. Explaining the concept of marital crisis, Hornby (2000) posits that crisis is “a situation where there is great danger or difficulty or uncertainty, when problems must be solved or important decisions reached”. It therefore follows that marital crisis is a situation where there is disagreement, disaffection and the marriage almost at the verge of collapse. In such case, it is either the husband or wife is no longer comfortable with the relationship or both and have reached the point of parting ways or separation.
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. About half of all marriages will end in divorce, leaving one million children each year to deal with the process of divorce (Martin et aI, 2003). In the past, concern has been focused on the problems of the parents, but lately there has been a growing interest in the effects of divorce not just on the children but on the affected couples too. In most cases, people view divorce as not only a traumatic event for the children but also something that contributes to other negative life outcomes. This line of thinking was challenged when Hetherington and Kelly (2002) discovered that 75 percent of the children of divorce do not suffer from having any serious psychological, social, or academic problems. However, that also means that 25 percent of the children from divorce do end up having such problems (Hetherington and Kelly, 2002).
There has been several studies conducted that conclude the different impacts that divorce can have on adolescents. Some of these include lower academic achievement, psychological adjustment, and self-concept. Adolescents will be the primary focus, since the prevalence of divorce is so significant and adolescents have enough changes to adjust to. This literature review is to help parents, teachers, counselors, and other professionals working in the field to recognize the impact in order to allow adolescents the support they may need or want. Divorce is a legal termination of valid marriage. Divorce is a recurrent event in Nigeria which has impacted more than one-third negative effect on most children (Owusu-Bempah, 2007). For many children, the effects of divorce can have instantaneous and long-lasting results on their educational achievement. Divorce is one of the many problems facing the family unit today. People have different views on the effect of divorce on children but not a few analysts opine that when a couple opt for divorce, the resultant effects on them and their children are most times negative. The term ‘divorce’ came from the Latin word “Divortere” meaning to turn different ways or separate. This implies that Divorce is the final termination of marital union which cancels the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage and dissolves the bonds of matrimony between the parties. This could happen after a husband and wife decide not to live together anymore and that they are no longer interested in their marriage.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Divorce is a common phenomenon which has attracted global attention. Marriage counselors, Government and non- governmental organizations have played vital roles in the elimination of this menace because of the psychological and social problems which make the adolescents to exhibit strange and unguided behaviours. A relationship is one factor compared to several that have an impact on an adolescent. Adolescents are in a crucial time for cognitive, psychosocial and emotional transformation (Hines, 2007). In Nigeria today, the rate at which marital couples experience divorce and re-marriage is quite alarming (Dada and Idowu, 2006). Many families have been and some are still seriously at war with themselves simply because of their failure to arrest, manage or resolve conflicting issues between couples or families. Many families in Nigeria are going through a lot of stress and hardships as a result of marital conflicts. The effects on the academic performance of children and couples are devastating, as had been observed by the researcher. This observation had put a burden on the researcher to carry out a research on the study, counselors’ perception on the causes of divorce and its impact on academic performance among couples.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The primary goal of the study presented here is to determine counselors’ perception on the causes of divorce and its impact on academic performance among couples. Additionally, the study intends to address the following sub-objetives:
- To determine the relationship between divorce and academic performance of married couples.
- To examine counselors’ perception on the causes and consequences of divorce on couples.
- Ascertain if divorce have impact on the academic performance of adult learners in Kaduna State.
- To proffer solutions to the subject of divorce and its impact on academic performance among adolescent and couples.
1.4 Research Questions
The following are some stated research questionnaires as a guide to this study.
- Are there any significant relationship between divorce and academic performance of married couples?
- Does divorce have any significant impact on the academic performance of adult learners in Kaduna State?
- Do extra marital affair of the couples leads to marital instability and divorce?
- Do children from stable homes enjoy parental care more than children from unstable homes?
- What are the causes of divorce among married couples in Nigeria?
1.5 Significance of the Study
This research will primarily be a guide to counselors when advising couples on how to tackle the problems of divorce on academic performance of both students and parents. It will also bring to the awareness of the parents and students the importance of them been educated on how to achieve stability in their marital homes or intended homes. It would be of immense help to the psychologists, sociologists regard the effect of marital instability on each family and the community at large. The findings of the study would go a long way to help the educators handle the students from unstable homes background since they may find it difficult to cope with their education. Again, the finding would help the government, religious houses and non-governmental agencies to encourage marital counseling at their various posts; and this could go a long way in correcting bad impression conceived in the society about marriage. Marriage counselors will finds the result of this finding useful, for the counseling of individuals who have problems of marital instability. This will eventually help them in the improvement of the quality of marriage in the society. The findings of this research will provide a base for further research in the area of divorce and above all, it will contribute to the acquisition of knowledge in general.
1.6 Scope and Limitation OF THE Study
The study on counselors’ perception on the causes of divorce and its impact on academic performance among couples is limited to Kaduna metropolis. Married couples and single parents from the study area were used for the study; consequently they stand a better chance to supply more accurate information. This project was constrained by the following factors:
Bearing in mind the present economic state of the country, it was found difficult in making both ends meet, because of the exorbitant nature of things nowadays in travelling for the collection of data needed for the project.
Looking at the interval between the resumption and vacation of the final semester for the project to be completed, the time given seemed to be short for the collection of required information for better work to be done.
Non-Availability of Material
During this project, it was noticed that the required materials needed for the project are not documented. Those that were documented lacked storage facilities where they can be reached.
1.7 Definition of Terms
Divorce: Divorce, also known as dissolution of marriage, is the termination of a marriage or marital union, the canceling or reorganizing of the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage, thus dissolving the bonds of matrimony between a married couple under the rule of law of the particular country or state.
Marriage Counselors: Marriage and relationship counselors- work with married couples or couples who live together and are in conflict.
Academic Performance: Academic achievement or (academic) performance is the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their short or long-term educational goals. Cumulative GPA and completion of educational benchmarks such as secondary school diplomas and bachelor’s degrees represent academic achievement.
Family: Family is a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children.
Psychological: Is the affecting, or arising in the mind, related to the mental and emotional state of a person.
Marriage: This is the legal relationship between a husband and a wife.
Marital: This has to do with connected marriage or with the relationship between a husband and a wife.
Counseling: Counseling is a type of talking therapy that allows a person to talk about their problems and feelings in a confidential and dependable environment.
Counselor: a counselor is trained to listen with empathy (by putting themselves in your shoes). They can help you deal with any negative thoughts and feelings you have.
Success: The fact that you have achieved something that you want and have been trying to.
Relationship: This is the way in which two people, groups or countries behave towards each other or deal with each other.
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.
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