Impact Of Divorce On Emotional Development Of A Child
This study was carried out to assess the impact of divorce on emotional development of a child in Ajah, Lagos State. The study was carried out to assess the prevalence of divorce in Lagos State, assess the causes of divorce in Lagos State, and assess the impact of divorce on the emotional development of a child. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprised of married men and women residing in Ajah, Lagos State. In determining the sample size, the researcher purposefully selected 160 respondents and 141 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables, and mean scores. While the hypotheses was tested Chi-square statistical tool. The result of the findings reveals that the causes of divorce in Lagos State includes; domestic violence, separation, strains from parenthood, no commitment to the relation, and marital issues. The study also revealed that divorce influences the emotional development of children as it denies them access to proper parental affection, yields children to negative influence from third-parties, triggers aggression in a child, results to antisocial behaviour, and results to deviant behaviour among children. Therefore, it is recommended that the parents should be reminded of their joint responsibility for raising the child even when the marriage is annulled. This encourages concern about their children’s welfare and co-operation over child rearing issues. To mention but a few.
Table of Content
- Title Page
- Table of Content
- List of Tables
- 1.1 Background of the Study
- 1.2 Statement of the Problem
- 1.3 Objective of the Study
- 1.4 Research Questions
- 1.5 Research Hypothesis
- 1.6 Significance of the Study
- 1.7 Scope of the Study
- 1.8 Limitation of the Study
- 1.9 Definition of Terms
- 1.10 Organisations of the Study
Review of Literature
- 2.1 Conceptual Framework
- 2.2 Theoretical Framework
- 2.3 Empirical Review
- 3.1 Research Design
- 3.2 Population of the Study
- 3.3 Sample Size Determination
- 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
- 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
- 3.6 Method of Data Collection
- 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
- 3.8 Validity of the Study
- 3.9 Reliability of the Study
- 3.10 Ethical Consideration
Data Presentation and Analysis
- 4.1 Data Presentation
- 4.2 Analysis of Data
- 4.3 Answering Research Questions
- 4.4 Test of Hypotheses
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
- 5.1 Summary
- 5.2 Conclusion
- 5.3 Recommendation
1.1 Background of the Study
In today’s society, there are many different types of families. Some include intact, non-intact, single families, step families and a variety of others. Along with these different varieties of families there is one common incident that can cause the family structure to change that is divorce. It is an unplanned event in a family’s life, which 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). Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of divorce, they are unable to understand and process such complex matters of life. The fact is that, effects of the divorce of parents remain with children throughout their lives. The effects can be extended to cultural, social, economic, psychological and physiological (Wallerstein, 2005). According to the Census bureau, (2004) reveal that, 1.1 million children lived with a parent who had experienced a divorce and therefore suffered the effects of divorce. Thomas &Woodside (2011) in their study indicate that, children whose parents divorce are exposed to more conflict and bitterness than children who grow up in stable marriages. The results of their study also suggest that, children exposed to high levels of parental conflict are neither better off nor worse off, on average, when their parents’ divorce, while those exposed to low levels of parental conflict appear to suffer severe disadvantages when their parents separate. Lazar et al., (2004) studying divorce rates in the United States in America realize that, divorce rate had raised since the American Civil war, then decreased during the Great Depression while peaking in 1980, and have remained around fifty percent since then. Studies predict that, thirty-eight percent of white children and seventyfive percent of black children born to married parents will experience divorce prior to sixteen years of age. (ibid) On the other hand, Dumas and Péron (1992), who study divorce in Canada, indicate that, between the end of the 1960s and the mid-1980s, the divorce rate increased fivefold. At the same time, in 1995, there were approximately 77,000 divorces granted in Canada, a rate of 262 per 100,000 people. According to a report prepared by the Canada Bureau of Review (1990) almost one-third of all Canadian marriages will end in divorce. Therefore, each year approximately 74,000 children are affected by divorce.
In South Africa it is a reality that, one out of every two marriages ends in divorce (Collins, 2003:32). According to pillay (1999); Mukash (2003) many registered marriages end in divorce as statistics show that among 148,188 marriages which registered in 1995, 31,592 ended in divorced. The Statistics South Africa (2005:3) shows that, 32,484 divorces were recorded in 2005. As a result, there were 32,524 South African children who were caught up in the pain of divorce .In 1989, (73%) of children in South Africa come from broken homes, and that 150,000 children have been affected by divorce (The Talk Magazine, 1990).
In Nigeria, divorce is a serious issue and it continues to affect a big number of children, as result increase high number of street children, delinquency teenage pregnancies in girls and high rate of school dropout (Kimwaga, 2000). Parental separation is common in Nigeria rather than legal divorces followed by a big numbers of marital dissolution complaints in social welfare departments increasing day to day. (Rita Report, 2007).
Nwakwo (2001) report by citing Owerri Municipal Council, at Social Welfare Department each officer deals with more than 12 complaints of marital dissolution per month, a total number of 12 officers; this means more than 144 martial dissolution cases take place per month in Owerri. This number in different to 48 registered divorces cases in 2007/2008 in Owerri it prove that most couple initiate separation without follow legal route.
Consequences of a divorce for children are mostly that they have to move to a different home and sometimes to a different school and they will not see or be with both parents at the same time anymore. In most cases, they will live with their mothers and they will see their father much less. To adjust to new situation takes them two years or more. The age of parents plays a role in how they react to divorce. Berlin (2004) puts it that “Children who grow up in an intact, two-parent family with both biological parents present do better on a wide range of outcomes than children who grow up in a single-parent family. Single parenthood is not the only, nor even the most important, cause of the higher rates of school dropout, teenage pregnancy, juvenile delinquency, or other negative outcomes we see; but it does contribute independently to these problems. Neither does single parenthood guarantee that children will not succeed; many, if not most, children who grow up in a single-parent household do succeed.”
In attempting to explain the effects of divorce, it is important to consider how divorce affects the social development of pre-schoolers, adolescents, young adults and how the parents living together affect their social development. Thus this present study tends examine the impact of divorce on emotional development of a child.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
When a marriage ends in divorce all individuals connected to the relationship are impacted. There are perhaps none so affected as children. Because of their innocence and immaturity, children are unable to process stressful events as adults are. Their reactions and behavior can range from subtle to explosive. The absence of father or a mother from a family could have different effects on the growing child. According to Biller (1993) in Magane (2000) closeness with parents could be especially important in fostering the child’s sense of self-esteem and self-confidence.
In Nigeria particularly in the urban areas, marriages are at risk of disappearing as the basic institutions in society due to various changes in relationships (Mhau, 2010). The woman’s Legal Aid Centre (2007) cites matrimonial problems, frequently leading to divorce, as one of the biggest challenges facing Tanzania today. The center handled about 1,138 legal cases related to marriage problems between 2006 and 2007as increased by 18.7 percent. It indicates the wide spread of globalization, non-tolerant among the couples and poverty as the main causes of divorce. Despite having various laws policies and programs concerning child and marriage issues such as the Law of Child Act 2009, Child Development Policy1996, Social Welfare Department and Marriage Act 1971, still the issue of divorce and its impact hinder most of children and women in Nigeria. Hence there is a need to research in this area since it has been observed that divorce has a big impact on children development in many dimensions such as physiologically, psychologically, educationally and their social interaction. Therefore, the study is intended to assess the impact of divorce on emotional development of a child.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The main objective of this study to examine the impact of divorce on emotional development of a child. The study will specifically focus on the aims listed below;
- Assess the prevalence of divorce in Lagos State
- Ascertain the causes of divorce in Lagos State.
- Find out the impact of divorce on the emotional development of a child.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions guided this study:
- What is the prevalence of divorce in Lagos State?
- What are the causes of divorce in Lagos State?
- What is the impact of divorce on the emotional development of a child?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
- Ho: Divorce has no significant negative impact on the emotional development of a child.
- Ha: Divorce has a significant negative impact on the emotional development of a child.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The study was intended to assess the impact of divorce on child development. The findings of this study contribute greatly to children, family, the government and relevant institutions in Nigeria.
To the children, the study helps them to identify causes that hinder their proper development. To the family, the study helps them to know the position of their children, their responsibilities to their children and also to know the challenges facing their children after divorce. To the government and other institutions, the study helps them to understand the proper ways to handle issues regarding affected children and family. Also, the study helps the government to review laws, policies and regulations pertaining children’s welfare. On the other side.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The scope of this study boarders on the impact of divorce on emotional development of a child. The study will be carried out in Ajah, Lagos State.
1.8 Limitations of the Study
The researcher encountered minor obstacles when conducting the study, as with any human endeavor. The significant constraint was the scarcity of literature on the subject due to the nature of the discourse, so the researcher incurred more financial expenses and spent more time sourcing for relevant materials, literature, or information and in the data collection process, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. Furthermore, the researcher did this investigation alongside other academic activities. Furthermore, the sample size was limited because only a few respondents were chosen to answer the research instrument. Despite the constraints encountered during the research, all elements were minimized in order to provide the best results and make the research effective.
1.9 Definition of Terms
Is a child is a person below the age of eighteen year.
Is any formal separation of husband and wife according to established custom
1.10 Organization of the Study
The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions and hypothesis, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and empirical review. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, abnd selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter(chapter five) contains the summary, conclusion and recommendation.
Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:
This chapter summarizes the findings on the impact of divorce on emotional development of a child in Ajah, Lagos State. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.
5.2 Summary of the Study
In this study, our focus was to examine the impact of divorce on emotional development of a child in Ajah, Lagos State. The study was specifically set to assess the prevalence of divorce in Lagos State, assess the causes of divorce in Lagos State, and assess the impact of divorce on the emotional development of a child.
The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 141 responses were married men and women residing in Ajah, Lagos State.
In the light of the analysis carried out, the following conclusions were drawn.
- The rate of divorce in Lagos State is high.
- The causes of divorce in Lagos State includes; domestic violence, separation, strains from parenthood, no commitment to the relation, and marital issues.
- Divorce influences the emotional development of children as it denies them access to proper parental affection, yields children to negative influence from third-parties, triggers aggression in a child, results to antisocial behaviour, and results to deviant behaviour among children.
Based on the findings the researcher recommends;
- Counselors, psychologists, social workers and teachers should identify children from divorced families and counsel them and the separated parents should also be counseled on emotional needs of their children.
- Pre-marital pregnancy and forced marriages should be discouraged by organizing family life education, seminars, games etc in the schools, churches and communities as much as possible since these situations often result in high state of marriage disruption.
- Parents should be reminded of their joint responsibility for raising the child even when the marriage is annulled. This encourages concern about their children’s welfare and co-operation over child rearing issues.
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