A Study On Effects Of Broken Homes On Child Development

Project and Seminar Material for Sociology

A Study On Effects Of Broken Homes On Child Development


The study examines the causes and the implications of broken homes on child development. This is as a result of the fact that the scourge of criminality and any other social vises are attributed to children from broken homes. The study reviewed some relevant literature based on the objectives of the study, and functionalist theories and perspectives were used to explain the phenomenon being investigated. Questionnaires, in-depth interviews were the instruments used to collect data which was analysed and presented in tabular forms.

The study also revealed some of the causes of broken homes which were confirmed during the research. It also identified a number of consequences of broken homes on child development. The study equally explored various strategies adopted by the children from broken homes to cope with the situation they found themselves. Also various suggestions were obtained on how to curb or mitigate the incidence of divorce.

Chapter One


1.0 Background of the Study

The family is the oldest institution in history and remains the most irreducible nucleus of all known societies. It is established by the institution of marriage, ensures the reproduction of human species and confers executive conjugal right on couples. According to Aku (2007), the family is regarded as the oldest institution on earth that plays an important role in human society. It is a universal social institution, but the types vary from one society to the other and also from one culture to another.

The variations in family composition gives rise to the different types of family, namely; extended and nuclear family. In the pre-colonial African society the extended family system was most cherished, unlike in the western societies, which cherished the nuclear type of family. In Nigeria today, the family is increasingly oriented towards nuclear type where it consists of father, mother and children,however, there are modifications as the nuclear extended types of families accommodate some extended family members like grandparents, siblings’etc grand-parents.

In general, the family whether nuclear or extended, performs functions such as, procreation, sex regulation, socialization, security, emotional support etc.

The family usually begins with marriage. It creates new social relationships, roles, rights and obligations not just between the spouses or partners but between the kinsmen on both sides of the couple. Marriage is a union between man and a woman or women such that children born to the woman are recognized as legitimate offspring of both parents (Igbo, 2003).

In Africa, marriage is usually accompanied with elaborate ceremonies which are primarily aimed at enhancing the stability of the union. Among such ceremonies are religious rituals, payment of bride wealth, and involvement of spouses’ families among others, which seem to make divorce a rare phenomenon in pre-colonial times (Aku, ibid).
In most cultures marriage ismeant to be a lifelong contract,but the stability that characterize pre-colonial African families seems to have disappeared with the alarming incidence of divorce and separation. It would appear that families in contemporary time are confronted by a myriad of pressures which are yet to be properly addressed (Fumerayem, 1991).

Some pressures sometimes result in failed marriages, either through divorce or separation. Failed marriages could also mean homes where there is persistent conflict or where there is residential separation between spouses who were hitherto living together in legitimate marital cohabitation.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The issue of broken homes is on the high side in our society today, this issues can be as a result of death of one’s parents, unwanted pregnancy, poor social background of the family, the society today tries to solve the issue of broken homes among members of the society. Most parents neglect their duties to bring up their child in a manner that will be beneficial to the society; the effect of lack of parental guardians is really telling on the behavior of the children in our society today

1.3 Objective of the Study

The objectives of the study are;

  1. Determine the factors responsible for home breakage.
  2. Determine the problems of or crisis in marriage affect home, children and society.
  3. Determine if broken home have any significant effect on the academic performance of a child.
  4. Determine the factors affecting the behavior of children.

1.4 Research Hypotheses

For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

  1. H0: there are no factors responsible for home breakage.
    H1: there are factors responsible for home breakage.
  2. H02: marital crisis does not have any significant effect on children and society.
    H2: marital crisis have a significant effect on children and society.

1.5 Significance of the Study

The study is a very important one as it will examine the effect of broken on the behavior of children; the roles of the parent in proper upbringing of children. Finally the research work will examine the factors that are affecting the behavior of children in the society today.

1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study

The scope of the study covers a study on effect of broken homes on a child development. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

a) Availability of Research Material:

The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study

b) Time:

The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

c) Organizational Privacy:

Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities

1.7 Definition of Terms


A man and a woman who are married as husband and wife


The act of joining together of a man and a woman in a special union, close and intimate


Home is a particular place where a person or family live Black Bay (1999) defined home as a place in which an individual or a family can rest and store personal prosperity.

Child Abuse:

According to Wikipedia the free encyclopedia child abuse is the physical sexual or emotional maltreatment or neglect of a child or children

Unwanted Pregnancy:

This is the pregnancy that is unplanned or unwanted at the time of conception


Business Dictionary defines poverty as a condition where people basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter are not being met.


Is a belief or behaviour passed down within a group or society with systematic meaning or special significance.


This is a legal termination of marriage or separation of husband and wife as a result of marriages conflict

1.8 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

  • Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  • Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  • Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain a study on effects of broken homes on a child development. In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of broken homes on a child development.

5.2 Summary

This study was ona study on effects of broken homes on a child development. Four objectives were raised which included: Determine the factors responsible for home breakage, determine the problems of or crisis in marriage affect home, children and society, determine if broken home have any significant effect on the academic performance of a child, determine the factors affecting the behavior of children. In line with these objectives, two research hypotheses were formulated and two null hypotheses were posited. The total population for the study is 200 residents of ikot Ekpene local government area of Akwa Ibom state. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made married men, married women, single mothers and youths were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies

5.3 Conclusion

There was a high incidence of divorce or parental separation as far as the area of study is concerned. Thus most parents and children are victims of marriage break down in one form or another. The causes of divorce in ikot Ekpene local government area of Akwa Ibom state largely stem from the fact that there is infidelity a lack of communication among them married people. Most people end up in divorce because of the financial constraint to cater for themselves and their married partners. Also, many of them are ignorant about sexual compatibility in marriage and how it helps sustain couples. There was also a high level of illiteracy which blinds them from the diverse effects of divorce on the separated parent’s mental stability as well as the children’s well-being. Divorce has effect on the academic performance of children, their physical health, social development and different aspects of their lives, but just to mention a few, while most parents get depressed and take to alcohol. All these are due to the absence of one parent in the up bring of the child. Considering the scholarly-sourced literature and the data collected from the field, it could be said with some degree or level of confidence that divorce has many effects on children’s well-being and parental instability. These problems range from inadequate financial support, social development of children.

5.4 Recommendation

The following recommendation were been addressed.

  1. Religious institutions and other marriage schools should frequently take spouses through counselling sessions before and even during the marriage.
  2. Family counselor should organize workshops, seminars and conferences whereby couples would be sensitized on causes of marital disharmony and resolution strategies for resolving marital disharmony.
  3. Understanding is extremely important when it comes to having a successful marriage. Couples need to understand each other’s personality and accepts that there are flaws to every human. Humans are flawed and they make mistakes. The more the understanding, the more the patience, forgiveness, encouragement and love.
  4. Communicating regularly and the use of love language do make marriages last longer. Couples need to communicate with each other about their needs and desires. To be able to enjoy marriage there is the need for couples to communicate regularly, share ideas, advice each other and make accurate decisions in the family which will make the marriage stable.

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