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This study was informed by the rising reports of disunity among Christian homes and its adverse effects on academic performance of students from such Christian’s homes. The study made references to some selected students in Kaduna State College of Education Gidan-Waya in Kaduna State. The investigation was designed as opinion survey using a structured questionnaire rated on a 4-point scale. Five research questions and four null hypotheses guided the investigation, and generated data was analyzed using descriptive statistics of the mean and standard deviation, while the hypotheses were subject to the t-test statistic. Findings indicated that emergence of disunity in Christian homes is occasioned by a lot of factors including incompatibility in social and sexual life, lack of marital confidence, third-party syndrome, economic disquiets, to mention a few. Consequences of marital crises were identified to include; poor mental, emotional and physical health of couples and their children, physical abuse and threat to life of partners, escalation of social vices and crimes such as drug abuse, kidnapping, prostitution, deschooling of children of crises-ridden and broken homes. Recommended management strategies include pre-marriage orientation, seminars, workshops and counseling. The education system was identified as a potent medium for reducing the threat of marital crises sequel to which a curriculum approach was recommended, proposing the integration of pre-marriage courses and family living into the Basic Education Programme.
1.1 Background of the Study
Marriage is a covenant relationship between male and female spouses. The covenant nature of marriage provides a strong foundation and secure framework for spouses’ commitment to each other. Covenant defines the marital responsibilities – of husband and wife toward nurturing and protecting their marriage. The couple is expected by their covenant to work hard to reach the level of relationship which protects the marriage from both internal and external negative forces (Zhekwo, 2009). Family is the child’s first place of social organization. The children as a result acquire initial education and socialization from the parents and other significant persons in the family. Family lays the psychological, moral and spiritual foundation in the overall development of the child. Where and when there is harmony within the family, it translates to a happy home for the child. In happy homes, healthy and peaceful coexistence prevail amongst family members, which in turn breed healthy and happy children. Very often, chances are that some homes are broken that is the members are not living/staying together either as a result of death, separation, divorce or the like. Disunity in a Christian home in this context, refers to a Christian family that is constantly experiencing marital crisis that threatens the security of both the children and the marriage vows.
A good Christian home is one that lines up with biblical principles and one in which each member understands and fulfills his or her God-given role. As the Holy Bible realistically acknowledges that those who marry are likely to have pains and grief (1 Corinthians 7: 28), no couple or marriage is immune to such inherent problems. What starts out as a relationship of great joy and promise can become the most frustrating and painful endeavour in a person’s life time. Eventually, all couples experience a significant crisis that can threaten their emotional safety and at times even the future of their marriages.
Conflicts is defined as a struggle to resist or overcome; contest of opposing forces or powers; strife; battle. A state or condition of opposition; antagonism; discord. A painful tension set up by a clash between opposed and contradictory impulses. No matter how one try to avoid it, conflict periodically enters people lives. Conflicts occur among, spouses and family members. Argument arises from time to time and is sometimes meant to settle disagreements in order to move forward towards better living. Conflict could result in positive impact in one’s life; however, when conflict arises for the wrong reasons and is not handled with care it becomes more serious with negative impact on the victim and their academic performance. We need to realize that conflicts are more than the simple difference of opinion or approach. Conflicts are the ways couples poorly carryout the expression of their varying view – points. Spouses can get quite mean and cruel at times even at the slightest provocation. On the other hand, we can see that those crises also serve as opportunities to draw us closer to God and closer to our spouses. Proverbs 20:3 says “keeping away from strife is an honour for a man, but any fool will quarrel”, this simply implies that crisis must not always lead to conflicts for in the words of Buckwell (2010) God has given each of us a door of opportunity in which we can refuse to step into conflict. Wiseman, as cited by Abbas (2010), It can be deduced/inferred that broken homes may affect the development of the children in all aspects of their life. Thus, children from homes with marital crisis may be emotionally imbalance and psychologically depressed. Kenkel as cited by Alhassan, (2008) indicated that a child in the incomplete family is socially and psychologically deprived of a father-figure either to emulate directly or to look for a model of the opposite sex. “In terms of other long-term consequences for children, parental disruption has been shown to be associated with lower socio-economic and academic performance”.
Academic performance can be referred to as achievement demonstrated, using scores and grades on examination, test or assignments in an academic setting. The results are used to determine the competence of students in a course over the semesters. Anene, (2005), viewed students’ academic performance as an assessment of students learning progress in task that is required of them.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Every home is constantly under the influence of some external and internal pressures, a condition that it is somewhat inevitable that every marital union faces the dynamics of marital crisis. Crises are therefore a common feature in every union or association of two or more persons and marriage is not immune to this. Couples engage in conflicts more often due to economic, sexual and power control. Couples tend to quarrel over money more often than other things. For a marriage to last a life time there should be love and a steady romantic relationship. While love is important, emotional maturity, shared values and interest contribute to marital success. The emotional and social stress of family disunity may cause hardship, such as inability to resume classes as at when due, inability to purchase necessary learning materials, nonpayment of dues and levies, lack guidance and counseling, monitoring and supervision, insecurity, lack of freedom from oppression, denial of early education. The presence of a broken home condition may adversely affect student`s concentration on their studies and regular attendance in school, it may also lead to exams failures and also impede academic performance as the pupil is unable to take advantage of learning opportunities at school and at home, for these pupils to be in school with various psychological home conditions will no doubt be in disequilibrium state of mind. It is against this background, the researcher examined influence of disunity in a Christian family and its effect to academic performance of students.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
In broad terms, the major objective of this study is to investigate the effect of disunity in a Christian family and its effect to academic performance of students. The specific objectives are to:
- To find out the differential influence of marital crisis on academic performance of students in Kaduna State College of Education.
- To examine the differential influence of parental separation and parental divorce on academic performance of students in Kaduna State College of Education.
- Determine the level of frequency in which marital conflict may interferes with students’ academic performance in Kaduna State College of Education.
- Investigate marital crises in the Christian homes with a view to determining their causes and effects so as to recommend strategies for proper management in Kaduna State.
1.4 Research Questions
For the purpose of this study, the following research questions guided the study.
- Is there any differential influence of marital crisis on academic performance of students in Kaduna State College of Education?
- Is there any differential influence of parental separation and parental divorce on academic performance of students in Kaduna State College of Education?
- Is there any differential influence of parental care on academic performance of students in Kaduna State College of Education?
- Are there levels of frequency in which marital conflict interfere with the academic performance of students in Kaduna State College of Education?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
For the purpose of this research work, the following hypotheses were tested;
HO1 There is no significant differential influence of marital crisis on academic performance of students in Kaduna State College of Education.
HO2 There is no significant differential influence of parental separation and parental divorce on academic performance of students in Kaduna State College of Education.
HO3 There is no significant differential influence of parental care on academic performance of students in Kaduna State College of Education.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The essence of this research work could be seen from its scope. The study had attempted to provide empirical research findings on the influence of family disunity in a Christian home and its effect to academic performance of students. The findings of this study may led to a possible reduction in this social ill (Christian family disunity) act in the society. The result of the study will complement government effort in reducing rate of broken home among families. Counselors, Teachers, educational administrators, policy makers, curriculum developers and other stakeholders will find this work indispensable. The study had also contributed to the body of knowledge on the influence of the home environment on academic performance. In addition, it would serve as a measure to the problem of poor academic performance amongst primary school pupils in the country. It will also attract future researchers in a similar field in order to give a better understanding of the problem at hand. The findings of this study will be of great benefit to married couples in improving and minimizing disunity in the home especially those Christian families experiencing marital crisis. The study will also be useful to the communities and Kaduna State government on the need to educate spouse on the preventive measures of family crisis in order to have responsible citizens and effective productivity in the state labor market, hence qualitative education is the bedrock of any society.