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EFFECT OF DIVORCE ON SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

The common understanding of marriage is a union of a man and a woman as husband and wife with the end view of symbiotic companionship, procreation and rearing of children for the sustenance of posterity Ezeh (2012). According to Adrian (2013) marriage is the union, permanent at least by intention, of a man and a woman for the purpose of the procreation and rearing of children and mutual companionship and assistance. Marriage is the recognition by the existing social authority of the union of a man and woman as husband and wife. Marriage has two meanings: in one sense it is the ceremony or the act of becoming married; in another sense, it is the relationship itself or status of being married American Peoples Encyclopedia (2010). In this context, marriage is the legal union between a man and a woman to become husband and wife and live together without divorcing each other. Marriage institution is an institution in which there should be harmony, love and happiness. Nwobi (2002), defined marriage institution as a legally recognized bond, established by a civil or religious ceremony between two people who anticipated living together as sexual and domestic partners. Marriage institution is an officially and documented union accepted by a civil or religious convention amongst two people who agreed to live together as 1 xi husband and wife (Dought, 2011). This means that husband and wife should live in love, harmony and happiness. Nevertheless, in some marriage institutions love, harmony and happiness are lacked due to the fact that some couples were unable to solve their marital problems that may lead to divorce. Marital problems are those difficulties experiences or encountered by husband and wife in their union which could lead to divorce. These marital problems according to (Danladi, 2012) include financial difficulties, lack of communication, distance, understanding, immaturity, infidelity/cheating and poor sexual relationship. In marital problems like these, the idea of compatibility is thrown away. The new idea is incompatibility, thereby ushering in divorce as the final solution. Compatibility is an important element of marriage where couples live or work together without conflict Amato (2000). Where there is no compatibility because of some marital problems mentioned above, the marriage become unhappy and unsuccessful for the husband and wife, in this case they have no other alternative than to divorce. Divorce according to Omeje (2000) is the dissolution of a marital union that cancelled all legal obligations and responsibilities of marriages as well as dissolving the bonds of matrimony between the parties. Omeje (2000), stated that divorce is one aspect of marital disorganization which could, among other things frustrate the destiny of the children of such marriage. Some of the children who were involved feel deeply xii depressed. Wallerstein (2005) defined divorce as a family breakup that characterized with numerous problems that lead to unsuccessful marriage. The case of divorce is disheartening. It has made many marriages to loose its celebrity and splendors. Patterson (2008) stated that there can never be a single cause for any divorce rather there are several more than one reasons for divorce to take place. These include lack of communication, immaturity, infidelity/cheating, failed expectations, drug and alcohol abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, cultural and religious differences. Ugwu (2007) was of the opinion that some marriages collapse due to unfaithfulness, sex explosion, suspicion and lack of trust.

Statement of the Problem

Marriage institution is a social institution where harmony, love and happiness should reign. Nevertheless, there appears to be incompatibility of couples because of financial difficulties, lack of trust, distance, misunderstanding, immaturity, infidelity/cheating and poor sexual relationship that subsequently lead to divorce. Although divorce has a legal act, it has a serious concern to the children in particular and the public in general. The home environment may be handicap to a child in life or may be a source of special advantage to the child’s academic achievement. Student’s academic achievement at the secondary level of education has remained poor because of divorce and marital problems of secondary school students in Enugu state. Teachers, parents and the general public are concerned and worried about the poor academic achievement of students. Apart from poor academic performance most of these children from divorced homes show symptoms of maladjustment like withdrawal, absence from school, depression, fighting, inattentive, unhappiness, and lack of concentration in their studies. Divorce can also change student’s perception of school, alter student’s motivation, attitude and hinders student’s success in school.

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Updated: 9th May 2019 — 5:04 pm

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