GENDER DIFFERENCES IN THE PSYCHO-SOCIAL ADJUSTMENT OF NIGERIAN SINGLE PARENTS
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The study investigated the impact of marital conflicts on the psychosocial adjustment of adolescents in Lagos metropolis. The sample comprises 150 senior secondary two students randomly selected with the use of stratified random sampling technique from five secondary schools in five selected Local Government Areas of Lagos metropolis. It is envisaged that this study would benefit couples and those contemplating marriage as it will expose them to other experiences thereby giving them insight into marital problem solving mechanisms. Society at large will also benefit from this study because their awareness level on marital conflicts and the consequences on adolescents would have been raised since a better family makes a better society. Researchersconstructed questionnaire was administered on the respondents to test the three hypotheses formulated for the study. Independent t -test, one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), and two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) statistical techniques were used for data analysis. The findings showed that there is a significant impact of marital conflicts on the psychosocial adjustment of adolescents. Psychosocial adjustments did not significantly differ due to gender but on the other hand Psychosocial adjustments significantly differ due to marital conflict. Marital conflicts Significantly affect adolescents’ perception of marriage as an institution.
Marriage is the socially acceptable union between a man and a woman. It means the coming together of two totally different individuals as husband and wife who agree to plan and set up their own family. Osarenren (2002) viewed marriage as usually a union between an adult male and an adult female. Marital conflicts come in different forms like spouse battering, spousal abuse, sexual abuse, marital irresponsibility, incest, rape, subtle struggle for control between the couple and other abusive behaviours. There is concern about the rising rate of unresolved marital conflicts, which often lead to marital instability, further leading to divorce, desertion, single-parenthood and legal separation. Thus, unresolved marital conflicts oftentimes lead to failed marriages. Marital conflicts are often caused by childlessness, forced marriage, incompatibility, communication gap, interference by in-laws, finances, infidelity, sex of children, lack of appreciation etc. Therefore, when marital conflicts occur regularly, it may have adverse effects on the psycho-social adjustment of adolescents who are the products of such marriages.