CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study 

Marital relationship is the foundation of family life because it involves the union between a man and a woman as husband and wife. Marriage is a component part of the culture usually formalized by the custom, law and occasionally solemnized by religion. It is a means by which physiological, procreation, social, emotional and security needs are satisfied. (Ebenuwa-Okoh, 2003)

 Human society is essentially developed from marital relationship when married persons are wedded, they always make commitment to remain in the bond of unity and love “until death do us apart”. However, available statistics of marital breakdown show that many married persons who make such vows do not keep them to the end (National Centre for Health statistic, 1994). Marital relationship has now become a global phenomenon referencing the position of father, the mother and the children, from the royal families of princes and princesses down to the peasant farmers in our contemporary time. The happenings among Nigerian married persons in the present day make one to believe there is absolute joy attached to marriages. On the other hand, marital maladjustment can exist in a situation married persons frequently nag, quarrel or fight, which may eventually lead to separation and divorce in extreme cases. Divorce is the end result of a malfunctioning marital relationship. Its traumatic effects on the society are numerous (Riches, 1991). A close look at this implications shows that some family life and marriage that does not take into cognizance adjustment in their marital status, are in for serious trouble but the aggregate understanding of individual differences as made the sustainability of such marital status much more suitable for survival(Banjo, 2001). In the same vein, Statistics have shown that in America, for example, one out of every two marriages contacted end in a divorce (National Centre for Health Statistics, 2006). This situation is not significantly different in other parts of the world, Nigeria inclusive. For example, in Nigeria, divorce statistics from the federal high court, Benin-city; showed that 99 divorces were granted within 4 years of marriage which as given rise in .

In 2000, there was a study which discussed the situation of marital maladjustment. It found out that were 23 divorces; 32 in 2001; 19 in 2002 and 25 in 2003. The lower courts, e.g. Magistrate, Area and customary probably recorded more divorce cases. The above statistics show that the rate of divorce cases is assuming a significant proportion as in marital maladjustment. The example given serves are as an insight into the unsavory fate of marriage in Nigeria. Soon after wedding, many things begin to unfold, for instance, selfishness in management of finances and poor communication flow (Ebenuwa-Okoh, 2007), Available data and experience have shown that quite a number of married persons fail to realize the marital bliss which they had earlier desired. This is because at marriage, a new and much more intimate dimension of the relationship is added. Many married persons may not have tested psychological capabilities to cope sufficiently in marriage before going into wedlock, and therefore, they cannot adjust to the demands of living together in such intimate relationship. Human society is dynamic. There are constant changes in social values mass media, science and technology. These changes have come so rapidly that the new social problems, such as several permissiveness and increase in divorce cases. These have led to new morality including the break-down of traditional norms and values. Such breakdown of values has numerous implications. Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDs), unwanted pregnancies and abortions, abandonment as well as single parenthood. These implications have different dimensions and are causing great problem in the marital world. (Edelman 2005). These changes are capable of stretching family relationships to a breaking point. When this happens, love, which is the true bedrock of marriage collapses. Leading to communication breakdown. Consequently, sex life becomes unsatisfactory. Nothing holds together, and mistrust sets in (Eneh and Ndom, 1996; Agbe, 1998; Ezeh, 1998; and Mallum, 1999). This phenomenon has not been adequately researched into in our society.

The study examines the extent to which communication flow, emotional expression, work involvement; gender, personality types, and duration of marriage explain changes in gender, personality types, duration of marriage as correlate marital adjustment. Main while, marital adjustment as been characterized by series of factors attached therein which are psycho-social and demographic in nature which serves as a determinant to the longetivity of marital affairs. It must therefore be noted that one of the most important relationships between a man and women is marital adjustment. It involves emotional and legal commitment that is quite important in any adult life. Moreover, selecting a partner and entering into a marital contract are considered both maturational milestone and personal achievement. There is no doubt that the choice of marital partner is one of the most important decisions one makes in a lifetime.

In spite of the magnitude of marital adjustment that exist in Nigerian couples, the study tends to examine the demographic and psycho-social factors as correlate of marital adjustment among couples in Nigeria; using Ijebu-ode as the case-study.

     Statement of the Problem.

Marital harmony is a globally important social phenomenon, which plays vital role in our life. Successful marital relationship is based on many factors but economic resources are considered to be most essential.

Hence, Interpersonal conflicts in married life can create a lot of stress among spouses and other family members that; if prolonged can also lead to psychological disturbances. It is believed that accurate knowledge of the moderating effects of these variables on marital adjustment will provide opportunity for effective and efficient marital counseling in among couples. The arrival of Wife into a family, in which many couples experience loss of sleep, long years of infertility , sexual decline, economic pressures only to mention a few as a correlation marital adjustment among couples.

Purpose of the Study

The study to investigate the correlation of demographic and psycho-social factors as correlates of marital adjustment  among couples in Ijebu-Ode local Government. This is in view of the fact that interpersonal problems arises out of differences in the roles played by couples. Specifically, the study sought the following:

1.      To investigate the marital adjustment patterns of couples and demographic factors.

2.       To correlate the marital adjustment and psycho-social factors.

3.      To examine the various causes of marital adjustment among couples in Nigerian society.

4.      To investigate the effects of demographic and psycho-social factors on marital adjustment among couples.

5.      To examine the counseling implication to marital adjustment and associated factors.

            Research Questions

The study sought answers to the following questions:

1.      What is the is the influence of demographic and psycho-social factors on marital adjustment among couple ?

2.      What is the correlation between gender, age, qualification and financial capability of couples and marital adjustment ?

3.            What is the nature of relationship between the variables of gender, age at marriage, emotional expression, communication flow, financial management, work involvement and marital adjustment among couples in Ijebu-ode Local government ? 

.Research Hypotheses

1. There will be no correlation between gender, age, educational qualification and marital adjustment among couples.

2.  There will be no significant relationship between intelligence quotient, emotional intelligence, personality types and marital adjustment among couples.

Significance of the Study 

Martial adjustment as been caused by various factors which are demographic variables and psycho-social factors. The study tends to established the factors responsible for adjustment  couples marital affairs, the study stands the position to established a strategies for separated homes.

Clearly, creating strategies on how to deal with marital issues in Nigerian society. The study describes the position of stakeholders in the business of counseling and guidance, the provision of family therapeutic devices for emerging families.

Scope of the Study

The study covers Ijebu-ode Local Government which is set to examine the demographic and psycho-social factors as correlate of marital adjustment among couples.

Limitation to the Study

This study would be limited to the city of Ijebu-ode, it should have covered more than the city of Ijebu-ode Local Government but this was however proved abortivedue to the following reasons below;

Ø  Time factor: The researcher had limited time and thus was not able to cover a wide location within a short period.

Ø  Holiday also limits the scope of the study as there is break and sometimes strike actions in government schools and the researcher had no time to be wasted.

Nevertheless, it is hoped that the result of the study at the end would not be affected by the identified limitations.

Operational Definition of Terms

1.         Demographic: - This involves the entirety of an individual which are age , gender, occupation, financial status, e.t.c

2.         Psycho-Social:- This are human emotions, intelligent level, orientation level and communication with the ecosystem.

3. Marital Adjustment:  Marital or dyadic adjustment may be conceptualized as a process and the outcome is determined by the amount of troublesome dyadic differences, interpersonal tensions and personal anxiety, dyadic satisfaction, matters relating to marital functioning, these aspects of adjustment are applicable to both married and unmarried couples.

4.         Couples:- This are relationship which have agreed to come together in good terms in bid to achieve marital goals and also cooperate to give birth to children.   



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