Health Implications Of Divorce Among Children And Mothers

Project and Seminar Material for Science Laboratory Technology SLT

Health Implications Of Divorce Among Children And Mothers


The divorce rate rose steadily in recent years, becoming a significant social problem. Many studies showed that the divorce has negative impact on children, but there are many different interpretations of the consequences of this situation on children’s health alongside the mothers. There is no doubt that children are being affected by the sudden change in their familial environment as well as by additional influences that accompany the divorce process. It is well recognized that the divorce process affects the mental state of the children, including development of behavioral problems, negative self-concept, social problems, and difficulties in relationships with the parents. Among these children there is a higher frequency of depression, violence, learning and social deterioration, and high risk for suicidal attempts. Research in recent years had shown that the divorce process apparently affects also the state of physical illness in children.

Based on clinical and empirical studies in recent years, for most children, the traditional visiting arrangements are out of date, unnecessarily restrictive, and do not meet the interests of the children themselves. There are many advantages for children in separation and divorce situations when the children’s living arrangements allow the caring fathers to be actively involved in the life of their children, when there are broad visiting arrangements or even shared custody arrangements. In these situations, there is a significant reduction in the negative aspects of the divorce process and there is an objectively beneficial effect on children’s adjustment, which is also reflected from the experience of the children themselves. The study describes the situation in Nigeria sand recommends the appropriate management in these cases according to experience and recently studies.

Table Of Content

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title
  • Declaration
  • Approval
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of Content

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background Of The Study
  • 1.2 Statement Of Problem
  • 1.3 Purpose Of The Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypotheses
  • 1.6 Significance Of Study
  • 1.7 Scope Of Study

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Concept Of Divorce
  • 2.2 Causes Of Divorce
  • 2.3 Effects Of Divorce
  • 2.4 Empirical Studies

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Data And Sources
  • 3.3 Data Analysis

Chapter Four

4.0 Results And Discussion

  • 4.1 Results
  • 4.2 Discussion

Chapter Five

5.0 Results And Discussion

  • 5.1 Conclusion
  • 5.2 Recommendations
  • References

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background Of The Study

Marriage is as old as man himself. It is a socially recognized and approved union between individuals, who commit to one another with the expectation of a stable and lasting intimate relationship (Ahron Constance, 2004). It begins with a ceremony known as a wedding, which formally unites the marriage partners. A marital relationship usually involves some kind of contract, either written or specified by tradition, which defines the partners’ rights and obligations to each other, to any children they may have, and to their relatives. In most contemporary industrialized societies, marriage is certified by the government. In addition to being a personal relationship between two people, marriage is one of society’s most important and basic institutions. Marriage and family serve as tools for ensuring social reproduction. Social reproduction includes providing food, clothing, and shelter for family members; raising and socializing children; and caring for the sick and elderly. In families and societies in which wealth, property, or a hereditary title is to be passed on from one generation to the next, inheritance and the production of legitimate heirs is a prime concern in marriage. However, in contemporary industrialized societies, marriage functions less as a social institution and more as a source of intimacy for the individuals involved. When the primary purpose of this sacred union is defeated and no longer seen as an ideal agreement by the partners involved, an annulment of the marriage vows is embarked on which is divorce and this exonerates both partners of their marital rights and vows. Divorcé which is the legal dissolution of a marriage contracted between a man and a woman. It is legal in the sense that its dissolution is affected by a reputed court of law. It is the court of law that determines the end of marriage by the term “divorce”. Divorce is quite different from separation between a husband and wife that are not legally married. It then means that, Divorce is distinguished from annulment, which declares a marriage void from the time of its celebration.

Barlet (2004) posited that Divorce is so widespread in our society that an intelligent study of divorce is necessary if one is to have the attitude and understanding that will help him/her build a good marriage and avoid eventuality of divorce. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Health is a state of complete physical, social and mental well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Based on this definition, it is virtually impossible to attain complete state of health in divorce. This correlates divorce and its health implication generally on men, women, and children and also its adverse effects on the society at large. Studies have shown that divorce has its massive effects more on women and children since it is believed that women are the weaker sex although this research is not based on that ideology but at the same time on the health implications on women and children.
According to a New York Times article, “More Americans Rejecting Marriage in 50s and Beyond”. In the past 20 years, the divorce rate has increased over 50% amongst the baby boomers. More and more adults are staying single and according to an analysis of census data conducted at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, they say the divorce numbers will continue to rise. Baby boomers that remain unmarried are five times more likely to live in poverty compared to those who are married. According to the statistics, it will also be three times as hard to receive food stamps, public assistance or disability payment.

According to Lawson (2002) Sociologists believe that the rise in the number of older Nigerians who are not married is a result of factors such as longevity and economics. Women, especially, are becoming more and more financially independent which allows them to feel more secure with being alone. In previous generations, being divorced or single was seen differently than it is now. This has resulted in less pressure for baby boomers to marry or stay married. Therefore the study seeks to explore health implications of divorce among children and mothers in Jaba Local Government Area of Kaduna State in Nigeria.

1.2 Statement Of Problem

According to Bramlet (2001) divorce no longer seems a hard decision to come by due to the intensive increase in divorce rate. In Nigeria, between 2003 and 2005 divorce had risen by 70% as estimated by court statistics. Individuals tend to see divorce as an escape route to marital issues and incompetence when in the actual sense divorce expands the issues and make them complex exposing them to more dangers than is already experienced. Many years ago, the mere mention of divorce aroused massive attention but with the level exposure and association with the western world where divorce seem to be as easy and instant as marriage vows. The health implications of divorce on children amount to their effects it has on the education, relationship with parents and peer group, religious effects, social effects, psychological effects amongst others. These observations motivated this study and are carefully analyzed.

1.3 Purpose Of The Study

The main purpose of the study was to determine the health implications of divorce on children and mothers in Jaba LGA of Kaduna state. Specifically, the objectives were;

  1. To determine the physical health implications of divorce on mothers and children
  2. To determine the emotional health implications on children and mothers.
  3. To determine the social health implications of divorce on mothers and children
  4. To determine the predisposing factors to divorce among couples in Jaba LGA.
  5. To determine if the social health implications differ according to women of different religious background.
  6. To determine if the physical health implications of divorce is related to the age of the children.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What are the physical health implications of divorce on children and mothers?
  2. What are the emotional health implications of divorce on children and mothers?
  3. What are the social health implications of divorce on children and mothers?
  4. What are the predisposing factors to divorce in Jaba LGA.
  5. Are there differences in social health implications among women according to different religious backgrounds?
  6. Are the physical health implications of divorce related to the age of children?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

  1. There is no significant difference in social health implications among women according to religious background.
  2. There is no relationship between the physical health implications on children according to age.

1.6 Significance Of Study

The findings and recommendations from this study will be of immense value to these various groups:

  1. The women of Jaba Local Government Area of Kaduna State who are in a better position to outline their differences in life as both married and divorcees.
  2. The children in Jaba Local Government that will share their experiences children of divorcees or married parents.
  3. The children in Jaba Local Government share their experiences children of divorcees or married parents.
  4. The women and children will be made to understand the various health implications of divorce on them.
  5. The People of Jaba Local Government generally and the society at large will be informed about the health implications of divorce, preventive measures against divorce as an ultimatum.
  6. This study will be a reference point for some students who may wish to carry out research work on similar topics in the future.
  7. To health workers, social workers and the public generally, it will unfold the negative health effects surrounding divorce.

1.7 Scope Of Study

The study focuses on health implications of divorce among children and mothers in Jaba Local Government Area of Kaduna State in Nigeria. Specifically, villages like Sabonsarki, Sabangida, Habori, Kwaturu, Gidantagai and Jibir of Kaduna State will be investigated to find out the relationship between the independent and the dependent variable.

Chapter Five

5.0 Results And Discussion

5.1 Conclusion

Based on the findings and discussions in the study, it is clearly understood that divorce is dissolution of marriage. It is a complete separation or disunion between couples after entering into marriage. Divorce is a legal or formal separation sought by either the husband or the wife or both or by court order. Divorce is the last resort and the most detestable of all lawful things in the sight of God. And it must be granted with dignity and due respect. However, these effects could be devastating not just for the couples but also for the children as well.

An extensive empirical literature exists concerning the identification of factors that promote good adaptation and recovery or otherwise increase the risk for children of divorce. Among these, there are factors related to the living arrangements of the children, especially the restrictions that exist in terms of traditional arrangements in families with supporting fathers.

In General, the empirical literature shows many advantages for children including psychological adaptation and better behavioral and academic achievement when living arrangements of the children allow the supporting and loving fathers to be involved actively in the life of their children on a weekly basis and regularly. Furthermore, the children themselves want more contact with the non-custodial parent as compared to what typically was agreed between parents or by the courts and many of them prefer the concept of shared physical custody.

These children and adolescents living in the arrangement of joint custody feel loved and satisfied, report less feeling of loss and don’t look at life through the lens of their parents’ divorce, compared to children living in sole custody with their mothers. Nigeria also began recently, finally, like other enlightened countries, step towards a sane and fairer future concerning the recommendations in situations of separation and divorce. It must be remembered that the principle of “best interests of the child” is the basic principle and should be the primary consideration, and should not let extraneous considerations arising from power struggles, to influence the decisions about the fate of the children.

Divorce has pervasive weakening effects and negative long-term repercussions, clearly affecting the income, health, and behavior of many grown-up children. Leaders of communities, social institutions, and clinical institutions must shoulder their responsibility to end the culture of rejection. Parents in GCC society are not allowed to meet or take care of children together, as they are viewed as foreigners once divorced. Social workers investigate options for maximizing the incidence of negotiated settlements between divorced parents at separation as a means of reducing effects of parental absence, and actively supporting the development of effective cooperative parenting arrangements after separation.

5.2 Recommendations

The following recommendations were made;

  1. There is need to accept and implement the Schnitt’s Committee conclusions which bring a proper solution to the issue of children in situations of parental separation and divorce.
  2. Design of campaign to aid in the content development of training courses organized for young engaged males or females on strategies to ensure a successful marriage and divorced children’s socialization by the health professionals
  3. Also, there is need for social services and authority to offer support for children who experience stigma and maladjustment by identifying strategies to reduce these emotional and health difficulties and financial hardship.
  4. Both governmental and NGO organizations should join forces to establish family counseling institutions to help young couples before and after marriage, providing advice and skills to deal with marital life and the challenges they could encounter.

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