The Effect Of Parental Divorce On Young Adults Attitudes Towards Divorce

Project and Seminar Material for Psychology

The Effect Of Parental Divorce On Young Adults Attitudes Towards Divorce

Chapter One


1.1 Background Of The Study

in Nigeria there is a dream that adults are supposed to find their perfect soul mate, get married, have the white house with the picket fence and start a family. Too often than not, this dream is not a reality for most people living in the United States and other countries. Couples often rush into a marriage not knowing the struggles associated with the union. After marriage, couples realize that they are not equipped with the tools they need to have a successful marriage. The divorce rates are increasing and a parent being divorced is the new family structure (Wallerstein & Lewis, 2004). It is estimated that at least half of new marriages will end in divorce. Now, there are more couples less interested in the union of marriage. What

are the factors associated with the decision to get married or to get a divorce? Is parental divorce a factor in determining the attitudes of young adults? The following literature review examines how divorce influences the perception of divorce in young adults. Riggio (2001) examined social learning theory and the social approach theory to assess whether children from married or divorced families had a positive or less positive attitude toward their relationship with their siblings. College students described their sibling relationship using a five point Like scale. Participants were also questioned about their sibling relationship. Parental divorce may contribute to

negative attitudes among children even years after the divorce. This reflects the long term negative consequences of divorce. Based on the social learning theory,

Riggio (2001) proposes that a child from a divorced family will have a less positive relationship with their sisters and brothers. There are two theories that are useful to help understand how parent’s marital quality may influence young adult’s attitudes on divorce: 1) theory of reasoned action and 2) social attitude towards divorce learning theory, Theory of reasoned action assumes that social norms shape

how we view certain behaviors and social learning theory emphasizes that we learn our behaviors from others (Kapinus, 2005). (Kapinus (2005) examined the assessments of young adults on divorce based on their parents’ marital quality while also looking at the effect of parental views. She proposed that young adults who believe their parents have low levels of marital quality will be less likely approve of divorce (Kapinus, 2005).

1.2 Statement Of Research Problem

As divorce rates increase so does the approval of divorce. Parental divorce may contribute to the negative consequences of divorce as it has been seen that children from a divorced home almost always exhibit some negative traits, which in turn shape their thinking ,their way of living , and even thought about marriage. All this always have a long term effect on children from divorced homes as they carry this feeling all through their adult lives, some young adults even blame themselves for the divorce of their parent ,and sometimes this feeling does not make them committed in a relationship. All this and more will be discussed in this study.

1.3 Objectives Of The Study

The primary objective for this research are as follows:

  1. To find out the causes and effect of divorce
  2. To find out how parental divorce affect the level of commitment of young adults in a future marriage and their likelihood of divorce
  3. To find out whether youths from divorced homes would exhibit lower levels of commitment to marriage than their counterparts from intact family.
  4. To find out ways divorce can be reduced or avoided in a couples feud.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the purpose of this study:

  1. Do you think parental divorce have any effect on young adults?
  2. Do parents’ attitudes towards divorce affect their children’s attitude toward divorce?
  3. Does gender influence the attitudes of children towards divorce?
  4. Do you think the conditions during or after the divorce contributes to young adult’s attitude?

1.5 Significance Of The Study

This study is significant because university students are at the age when they are making decisions regarding their future and are often making decisions about their future family and marriage.

The findings of this research work will undoubtedly provide the much needed information to government organizations, marriage counselors, individuals, NGOS, and academia

1.6 Scope Of The Study

This study intends to analyze the effect of parental divorce on young adults attitudes towards divorce. Hence this study is delimited to divorced parents and undergraduate of Ibadan South East local government area.

1.7 Limitations Of The Study

This study was constrained by a number of factors which are as follows:

Financial constraint is inevitable considering the present economic situations. Due to lack of finance at the researchers disposal to get materials and in printing of questionnaires. it was not possible to visit some of the communities that have been plagued by bandit activities.

In developing countries like Nigeria, there is the problem of insufficient data.

Time factor: time factor pose another constraint since having to shuttle between writing of the research and also engaging in other academic work making it uneasy for the researcher

1.8 Operational Definition Of Terms


A change which is a result or consequence of an action or other cause.


Relating to a person’s parent or parents.


The legal dissolution of a marriage by a court or other competent body.

Young Adult:

A person in their teens or early twenties.


A settled way of thinking or feeling about something.

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