The family that emerges from a marriage has some basic functions
which make it unique. Bilton, Bonnett, Jones, Sheard, Stanworth and Webster
(2001) observed that in all societies the family must perform some basic
functions involving conception and birth, regular intercourse, socialization
and maintenance functions of providing economic support and physical protection
for the children as they mature. In fact, each spouse is a source of emotional
support and companionship for the other (Filani, 2005). In Nigeria today, the
influence of industrialization and urbanization has affected the social system
of the country, a part of which is the marriage system. As new cultural
patterns, new aspirations and behavioural norms have emerged and as the
traditional social ties undergo changes, social control becomes weakened. The
family is a sensitive institution and it monitors all these changes and reacts
to them by experiencing disorganization. Since the traditional family structure
has been so seriously Littered, the functions have equally been affected, and
many of it important roles are now known to be associated with many
forms of instability.
Marital instability according to Filani 2005), is a breakdown in
communication among couples resulting in constant arguments, verbal and
physical aggression psychological ill health, emotional and physical separation
and sometimes divorce. Filani further noted that marital instability can result
from death of spouse, desertion of the spouses, mutual separation of spouses
and legal separation of spouses. Of all these factors of marital instability,
divorce seems to be the most popular and most copiously documented. Divorce,
according to Bohanna (2003), is a complex phenomenon n human relationship and
that it takes place in six stages, these are emotional divorce stage, economic
divorce stage, legal divorce stage, co-parental divorce stage,
community and psycho, divorce stages. Thus, Lands (2005) explained that divorce
becomes a climax to a long story of unhappiness and it provides a legal way out
of a situation which one or both parties have considered intolerable.
Literature review on marriage shows a number of factors causing divorce in
marriage. For instance, Thornton (2001) indicated age and age at marriage as
the two most powerful predictors of divorce; Otite and Ogionwo (2001) argued
that childlessness in a marriage can lead to divorce in Nigeria; Olayinka
(2007) stressed the importance f communication in marital stability;
extramarital sex and discrepancy in mate traits have been stressed by Ezenkwu
(2008) and Decker (2007) respectively. Olusanya (1970) and Yagoob (1984)
identified lack of children, economic factors, communication problems,
interference of in-laws and education of spouses as the causes of divorce.
` The prevalence of
divorce cases in the world today cannot be overemphasized. Weikel and Wilson
(2006) stated that divorce in U.S. by 79% between 1970 to 1977 and that one
third or more of the marriages f people aged 25 to 35 years will end in
divorce. Grebe (2006) also stated that in 1976, a National Centre for Health
Statistics study projected that by early 1980s, 49% of all marriages would end
in divorce and in fact in the U.S. during 1983, there were 10.5 marriages per
,000 people and 5.0 divorces per 1,000 people (National Centre for Health
statistics Personal Communication (2004). Statistical records of marital
instability are not compiled in Nigeria as yet. But Newspaper often report
cases of marital disruption m weekly basis in Lagos and its environs. For
example Solana (1990) reported the case of kids (aged 12 to 16 years) who were
of broken homes in the Weekend Concord of September 22nd 1990. These kids
according to him have become a nuisance at the Lagos City Hall during parties
as they parade and fan invitees in bids to earn a living. In Kwara State, the
Ministry of Information and Culture recorded that 1,697 Marriages were
registered for both the Churches and Marriage Registry from 1984-1988. During
the same period (1984-88) there were 12, 104 divorces (Court case file, Child
Welfare Centre and Oja-oba Area Courts, Ilorin). According to these records,
the rate of divorces over marriages is at 71% approximately 7 divorces to every
marriage (7:1). Ahmed (1990) has opined that the rate of divorce in Ilorin and
its environs is increasing at an alarming rate.
This rate of divorce should strike counsellors as a problem worthy
of 'serious therapeutic attention because it is one of the most terrifying
sources of psychological, social and educational problems in the society.
Since a large proportion of families are experiencing marital
disorganization, counsellors should find practical solutions to minimize the
problems. Divorce has been found to have social, psychological and educational
effects on the children of
divorced parents, the spouses themselves and even the general
public. Katu (2008) stressed that most social misfits found in Nigerian urban
areas are products of broken homes. Frank (2000) also noted that even the
spouses themselves have been found to experience loneliness, stress and strain.
In view of these, there is the need for experts to find means of ensuring
marital stability so as to avoid the constant breakages marital relationship.
Thus, Olusanya (2000) found education to be a factor that positively affects
marital stability and concluded that the more the education of the spouses the
more stable their marriage will be. In an earlier study, Click and Norton
(2001) observed that men who complete college have lower probability of divorce
than men who complete only high school or who leave college without graduating.
This therefore, shows that education makes for an increase sense of
responsibility within marriage. It is therefore the aim of this study to find
out what married students of tertiary institutions in Ilorin perceive as the
causes of divorce so that solutions to the incessant divorce cases within our
society might be found.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
There are many consequences with divorce which at the long run
reflect on the children in Benin City and Nigeria at large. Some of these
There is increase in domestic work and redistribution of household chores,
which leaves the children with little or no time for their studies
In security, step parent do not show much love and affection to their step
children. Thus, these children suffer from mental retardation, personality
improvement and are always miserable. They show behavioral responses like
lying, stealing, building and playing truant in school.
Also, it has been observed that children from broken homes suffer some other
problems such as non-provision of some basic material needs like food, clothing
and learning material etc.
Bridging of a gap on the children’s existence because there is no adult to
guide and direct their behavior and desires as children learn by limitation.
PURPOSE OF STUDY
The researcher is interested in the study of consequences of
divorce on children in Benin City, because of the recent trend of divorce there
have been decrease in the performance of children in schools which is giving
much concern to most Edo State indigenes as to where we are heading to. In view
of this, this study is geared towards identifying the causes and consequences
of divorce on children in Benin City, Nigeria.
Also, to educate married couples and the general public of the
consequences of divorce on the children in Benin City and to encourage them to
live harmoniously in order to bring up children who will successfully fit into
the society and become useful to themselves and finally make necessary
SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
This study will give the researcher a deep insight into the
consequences of divorce on children in Benin City in particular and Nigeria in
general, because whatever happens in the home has a bearing on the children in
Therefore, it is necessary to educate the youngsters who are yet
to marry about the causes and consequences of divorce on the children in Benin
City and Nigeria at large. This will make youngsters to be careful when
choosing their life partners.
findings from this study will give parents who are divorced and children from
divorced homes the understanding of the problems experienced and give them
assurance about their future.
What are the causes of divorce on the children in Benin City?
Does divorce has any effect on the behaviour children?
Do couples realize that problem in marriage can lead to divorce?
Does psychological and emotional disturbance lead to academic and social
backwardness of children in the society?
Does insecurity and unruly attitude of stepmothers to children from divorced
homes make them steal in society?
What are the likely factors that can lead to divorce?
SCOPE OF THE
is on divorce and its consequences in Benin Kingdom, and it is limited only to
the Benin speaking indigenes in Edo State only.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
group of persons, two or more related by blood, marriage or adoption residing
together; all such persons are considered as members of one family
union of man woman as husband and wife.
persons seen together as husband and wife.
an end to a marriage by law of husband or wife sexually outside matrimonial
Disloyalty or a state of being unfaithful to the husband or wife sexuality out
Young person or young boys and girls yet to marry.
Early marriage: A
situation where either of the spouse is not ripe enough for marriage before
Means of regaining freedom from tensions of marriage
Family goals: the
aims and objective which a family strive to achieve for better living.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY
For more informations on project materials and more