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Causes and Consequences of Divorce Among Women

Updated on April 15, 2020
Kingsley Ezeudu profile image

Kingsley Ezeudu, the author of the article is a Master Holder in Psychology at the Department of Psychology, University of Ibadan Nigeria

Causes and Consequences of Divorce Among Women

Causes and Consequences of Divorce Among Women

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

Any reflections on divorce, originates from the concept of marriage. And marriage is said to be the fundamental principle or practice of the society and when couples get married it is assumed that they do it by will, feeling that they would live joyfully ever after (Selome, 2007). Through marriage two individuals start to live together to continue their marital life as well as for the creation of a new generation. However, divorce is a legal termination of marriage (Seid, 2014 cited in Rogers and Skinner, 1996). Divorce has severe impact on the family and on society. It breaks relatives; interrupts infant rearing as well as mothers and their children’s social and economical protection in the society (Aktar, 2013).

In Nigeria, divorce is prevalently practiced. For instance, in Tilsen and Larson, (2000), it is stated that 45 percent of first marriages in Nigeria end in divorce within 30 years. Similarly, in the 1994 population and housing census in Lagos it was indicated that, “among 16, 852 married couples 97,147 were divorced”. Regardless of the causes behind and the effects it results, divorce is becoming among the major societal problems in Nigeria in general and in Ojo Local Governemt Area of Lagos State in particular. The major causes of divorce among the Amhara people in North Shewa zone were, “childlessness, physical abuse, maltreatment, wasting money, adultery, exerting too much control over personal activities, forcing intercourse, homesickness, and a large difference in age” ( Serkalem,2006:19, cited from Tilson & Larsen, 2000 ). The conformity of couples to divorce or a request for divorce is the outcome of failure of the family for numerous personal, societal and financial causes (Daniel, 1994; cited in Yohannis, 2015).

Additionally, Askalemariam and Minwagaw (2013), stated that conflict management problems, parental interference and communication problems, lack of promise to marriage, alcohol addiction, physical abuse, sexual incompatibility, falling out of love, financial problem and lack of maturity the major causes of divorce. Concerning its consequence, divorce, exposed children to social, economic and psychological problems (Fagan & Rector, 2000). Similarly, (Tarekegn, 2015) stated that separation of the couple’s consequences in psychological, social and economical difficulties for the parents and their children and the society as the whole.

Moreover, Seid,2014 cited in Venter, 2006), forwarded that the impact of separation between pairs results in lifelong crisis of enormous proportion that makes the start of painful process of changes including major troubles in the family system. Other studies also showed that the termination of husband and wife are connected with a various social problems. For example, divorced women have no or a little social connection with the community and are more likely to lack social support (Gahler, 2006).

In addition, divorced women experienced negative life events and physical and psychological ill-health. Furthermore, divorce may affect their mental health in a more negative way; they have also, the major custody of children, and are more likely to experience parental responsibility overload. Similarly, as to Kitson and Morgan (1990), the effects of divorce for individuals are it reduce income and standards of living for women, and their children living with them have been found to be exposed for financial difficulty. Likewise, after the separation of their parents children faced emotional and behavioral difficulties connected with different stresses. Divorce also affects children negatively to change their life (school dropout, engaging in addiction, develop anti social behaviors) (Amato, 2001).

Several studies showed that children and their family going through divorce have a higher occurrence of psychological, social and economical problems. Divorce can be a stressful experience, which affects the economical, social and psychological wellbeing of both divorcees; especially mothers and their children. Hence this study tried to examine the prevalence, major causes and consequences of divorce in Lagos State. In local study, Semhal (2007) stated that the most divorced in Nigeria is uneducated and also house wives and these divorced women are living without support. Serkalem (2006), concluded that divorced women in Nigeria are economically weak and usually engage in informal sectors like selling home made products (local beer/Tella, Arekie and Injera, etc), collecting wood and retailing activities after divorce. Because of this their living condition is almost miserable. Serkalem’s finding also indicated that their social connection with the society is almost isolated because divorce does not enable them to get the moral and economical support they need. Though, she studied the socio economic impact of divorce, she did not see the prevalence and consequence of divorce. It is against this backdrop that this study was being planned to investigate the possible causes and consequences of divorce among women in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State.

1.2 Statement of Problems

The end of a marriage is particularly painful for persons who do not expect or want it. It is even more problematic when this sense of loss is combined with hostile and tense interactions between divorced spouses. There are many causes and consequences of divorces and several factors that play a significant role in many broken home or marriage, this causes can develops from incompatibility, intervention from in-laws, presence of other wives, family conflicts, financial problems, and the failure of the wife’s role. Divorce in our society today has given rise to problem of various dimensions. They include growth of indiscipline and lawlessness in our society, armed robbery, thieves, drug abuse and addiction, sex abuse, the indiscriminate behaviour such as branchy in school, pick-pocketing, lying, examination malpractices and disrespect to constituted authority. (Stupart, 2013).

Divorce after marriage can have a negative consequences on the family’s welfare and can cause various problems, such as poverty, family disharmony and neglect of children. From the Nigeria government perspective, the concept of family resilience and prosperity is important. When the family is prosperous, then a country will have a high quality generation, according to development goals. Divorce can have a distressing psychological and emotional impact on both women and men; recovery from divorce sometimes involves a grieving process, as it is a loss of an important relationship that was significant in their lives. The decision to end a relationship can be traumatic, chaotic, and filled with contradictory emotions (Kathleen, 1998).

The result could be psychological and emotional effects including depression, lowered self-esteem and loss of a sense of identity. Some people who divorce also experience feelings of rejection and embarrassment, and may withdraw from their social group (Ibid). Victims of divorce might also find it difficult to discuss their feelings and fears, even where close friends are available to support them. This makes divorce a painful life experience for victims and may lead to emotional and psychological problem for divorce people.

Divorce is problematic because in some cases, people who divorce face alienation from friends and relatives who do not approve the divorce. So they experience loss of social support such as ex-spouse’s relatives, and limited support from their own relatives when their marriages end which has an psychological and emotional effect on victims (Stupart, 2013).

Despite the psychological and emotional effect divorce might have on victims of divorce, married couple still go in for divorce in the Ojo. This study therefore looks at the problem of causes and consequences of divorce among women.

1.3 Research Questions

The study seeks to find answers to questions such as:

i. What compels couple in Ojo Local Government Areas to divorce?

ii. Are women affected emotionally and psychologically after divorce?

iii. What are the cause and consequences of divorce on couple in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State?

iv. What measures can be done to curb the problem of divorce in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos?

1.4 Objectives of the Study

The study generally examines the cause and consequences of divorce among women in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State. Specifically, it seeks to;

  1. Identify what compels couple in Ojo Local Government Area to divorce
  2. Examine if women is affected emotionally and psychologically after divorce
  3. To investigate the cause and consequences of divorce on couples in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State.
  4. Identify measures to help reduce the incidence of divorce among married couples in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State.

1.5 Significance of the Study

The study will be of great importance to various stakeholders. It will help couple a lot in their marriages as it will spell out the causes and negative effects of divorce. Couple who lack ideas on the emotional and psychological effect of divorce will be enlighten on the effects, so as to help them serve in their marriage and adopt necessary measure to solve their marital problems. It will educate couple on the causes of divorce so that couple can guide themselves against those events in order to keep their marital home.

The study will be of great help to families, particularly parents, so as to help them educate their children properly before allowing them to go into marriage. It will highlight on the roles the family can play to help couple stay in their marriage without seeking for divorce.

The study will serve as a refer point for future researchers and academia. It will give readers an idea of the emotional and psychological effects of divorce on women. It will as well enlighten readers on causes and ways to curb divorce.

The researcher will gain greatly from the study as it will broaden the researcher mine on the cause and consequences of divorce on women as well as possible ways to curb divorce.

1.6 Scope of Study

This study encompasses the causes and consequences of divorce among women in Ojo. The menace of divorce on women emotions and psychological wellbeing. The study is therefore delimited to Ojo Local Government Area (L.G.A) of Lagos State, where sample will be drawn for the purpose of making generalization.

1.7 Definitions of Key Terms

In order to provide clear understanding of basic terms of this study, the following definitions of terms are formulated;

Divorce; is the “legal dissolution of a socially and legally recognized marital relationship that alters the obligations and privileges of the two persons involved.

For the purpose of this study, it is considered as the ending of a marriage. It will refer to as either final or legal dissolution of marriage, that is, separation of husband and wife which confers on the parties the right to remarriage under civil, religious and/or other provisions according to the laws of Nigeria or otherwise.

Cause; a person or thing that gives rise to an action, phenomenon, or condition.

Consequence; the effect, result, or outcome of something occurring earlier.

Woman; is a female human being. The word woman is usually reserved for an adult; girl is the usual term for a female child or adolescent.

CHAPTER TWO

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

2.1 Introduction

This chapter is basically concerned with the review of related literature on the cause and consequences of divorce among women. There is rapidly expanding literature on divorce. However, this chapter only reviews some key findings that put the study in perspective. The review has been considered under the following captions: definition of divorce, Theoretical underpinning of the study, it will look at universal/glogal, continental/Africa and Nigeria view on the causes of divorce, and consequences of divorce on women, measures to help reduce divorce.

2.2 Literature Review

Divorce refers to the dissolution of marriage before the death of either spouse. It can be contrasted with an annulment, which is a declaration that a marriage is void though the effect of marriage may be recognized in such union such as spousal support or alimony and child support. Divorce is seen to be a turning point that affects a person’s identity

Eleoff, (2003) Individuals no longer maintain the role of husband or wife and at the same time they must rethink changes in their roles as parents, workers, and caretakers

Thornton, (2010) estimated the main causes of divorce based on surveys of matrimonial lawyers. The main causes in 2010 were considered to include: Addictions e.g. alcoholism and gambling 6% Another survey by Wilson (2012) disclosed that 93% of divorce cases were petitioned by women and none were contested. 55% of divorce in Nigeria was marriages that had lasted 10 to 15 years, with 40% ending after 5 to 10 years. The first 5 years are relatively divorce free, and if a marriage survives more than 20 years it is unlikely to end in divorce (Morgey 2011).

Kelly, (2009) revealed that the probability of divorce increases when the husband is unemployed. A wife's unemployment does not seem to have any effect. This may have something to do with the male ego, whose major source of fulfilment lies in his ability to provide adequately for the family. Unemployed males tend to be depressed, irritable, infected with low self-esteem and difficult to get along with. Ander (2010) added that lack of communication is one of the leading causes of divorce. A marriage is likely to hit the rocks when the lines of communication fail owing to the fact that couples cannot have an effective relationship if either of them would not discuss their feelings, their mutual or personal issues, their resentments and expectations from either partner. Hence divorces often happen because people rarely discuss their expectations in detail prior to marriage, are less willing to work on their marriages afterwards, and would like quick solutions rather than having to resolve issues ( Okedigi, 2006)

In discussing its effect, (Okediji 2006) observed that after a divorce, family relationships are never normal. There is a lot of emotional disturbance to every member affected by it and this may take a long time to truly get over the trauma and confusion about love, life and relationships. The divorce affects the housing arrangements, health and economic status. In an equation wherein children are involved, custody battles may ensue.

Again, Gage- Brandon (2002) added that the children are the most affected as they are deprived of their right to have a happy and emotionally healthy family relationships. A child needs both the parents equally. Parental love and support is a key to the healthy physical and mental development of a child. When a single parent has to play the role of both and fulfill the responsibilities of each while shuttling a job simultaneously, it is impossible to do so in the long term as either the career or the parenting will take a back seat (Jirage 2012). Separation from either of the parents according to Jirage (2012) may breed a psychological problem of issues like insecurity due to abandonment, instability and uncertainty of the future causing extreme mood swings, depression, resentment, suicidal tendencies, promiscuity, substance abuse, inability to trust and/or a lack of ambition in later life (Morgey 2011). It is possible that when a marriage ends, especially if it ends in angry conflict, parents can experience a decline in their deep feelings for their children and the extent to which they voluntarily undertake responsibilities for the children. The children are grieved for long period, often end up withdrawing and feeling isolated. They miss the usual constant emotional and financial support and other family life supports.

Mitchell (2005) added that the non custodial parent, usually the father, tends to progressively disengage from his children over the years following a divorce, both geographically and emotionally. A nurturing father child relationship is critical for children’s long term development. Without such a relationship, children may experience emotional frustrations and confusion. The gender of the custodial parent may play a part in determining the impact of divorce on children. And as indicated earlier, inter-parental conflict has powerful direct effects on children’s development due to dysfunctioning in family as a social institution.

Wallerstain, (2012) found out that long term consequences of parental divorce for adult attainment and quality of life may prove to be more serious than the short term emotional and social problems in children. Disrupted family life and developments are enormous, more likely expressed in the discontentment in lives of every family member. Also he observed the following:

- Fear of betrayal, abandonment, loss and rejection.

- Lifelong vulnerability to the experience of loss.

- Anger and resentment.

- A reduction in psychological well being. e.g Depression in young adulthood.

- Low life satisfaction.

- Reduction in the ability to develop and maintain supportive friendship and dating relationships.

- Delinquent behaviours

- Fear of repeating his or her parent’s failure to maintain a loving relationship.

- Fear of commitment and intimacy

2.3 Theoretical Underpinning of the Study

The family system theory underlines the study. The researcher views the causes of divorce using the family system theory which considers the family as a whole in explaining dynamics in the family. This theory has it that a conflict or dysfunction in any unit or part in the family such as the parents or children can cause divorce in the marital union. The theory explains how children as well as couples can be a major cause of divorce (Mohammed, 2013).

Early etiological theories of child and marital problems assumed unidirectional cause-effect relationships. That is, it was always presumed that dysfunctional marital relationships caused dysfunctional behavior patterns in children. Children with behavioral or emotional problems were viewed as innocent victims of a "bad" parent or of a "bad" relationship between the parents. Theory and therapy focused largely on identifying and treating the dysfunctional parent or parents, in order to relieve the child of the emotional distress (Donald, 2004).

In the past 20 years, however, family systems theorists and therapists have demonstrated unmistakably the circular nature of causality in family interactions (Saposnek, 1983). In this view, "the family is conceptualized as a cybernetic system in which the actions of each member influence the actions of each other member reciprocally (Saposnek, 1983). So, the child can create marital dysfunction as easily and commonly as the parents create dysfunction within the child. Collusion between a child and a parent can create dysfunction within the other parent or within a sibling, or a dysfunctional relationship between two siblings can create dysfunction within a parent, which can subsequently create marital dysfunction, and so forth(Donald, 2004).

This systems view has gradually replaced the traditional linear view of causality and it is particularly appropriate and useful in understanding the divorce process and the dynamics in child custody disputes, when escalation of the family system's dysfunction by the legal system's procedures is all too often the case the disputing families.

2.3.1 Universal/Global View on the Causes and Consequences of Divorce

There are many different and complex causes and reasons for divorce, each of them specific to that particular couple’s marital relationship, their individual experiences and personal problems. None of them may seem ‘common’ to the people going through a divorce, of course, but many of the reasons recur enough to warrant the term (Sonal, 2012). This section looks at commonly cited reasons for divorce.

Socioeconomic status usually measured by education and income, has been a focus of divorce research. Prior studies indicate that education and income facilitate marital success (Voydanoff, 2011). Education promotes more effective communication between couples, thus helping them to resolve differences. In contrast, the stress generated by economic hardship increases disagreements over finances, makes spouses irritable, and decreases expressions of emotional support (Conger et al., 2010). Partly for these reasons, SES is inversely associated with the risk of divorce (White, 2011).

Nevertheless, well-educated individuals may hold especially high standards for marriage and expect a substantial level of emotional support, companionship, and personal fulfillment from their spouses. Because of these high standards, relationship problems may trigger thoughts of divorce relatively quickly among well-educated individuals (Amato, 2003).

Several studies suggest that SES is correlated with people’s reasons for divorce. Kitson (2012) found that high-SES individuals, following divorce, were more likely to complain about lack of communication, changes in interests or values, incompatibility, and their ex-spouses’ self-centeredness. In contrast, low-SES individuals were more likely to complain about physical abuse, going out with the boys/girls, neglect of household duties, gambling, criminal activities, financial problems, and employment problems (Kitson, 2012).

Similarly, Levinger (2006) found that low-SES divorced individuals complained about financial problems, physical abuse, and drinking, whereas high-SES\ divorced individuals complained about lack of love and excessive demands from their spouses. Goode (2006) found that high status divorcees tended to report personality problems and conflict over values as reasons for divorce, whereas low status divorcees tended to report lack of economic support from their former husbands. These results suggest that as SES increases, individuals are less likely to report instrumental reasons and more likely to report expressive and relationship- centered reasons (Amato, 2003).

The life course perspective (Elder, 1994), with its emphasis on the timing and duration of events, incorporates factors such as age at marriage, duration of marriage, and the presence of children. With respect to age at marriage, individuals who marry at younger ages tend to report more marital problems and experience a greater risk of divorce than individuals who marry at older ages (Bumpass et al., 1991). The negative consequences of marrying at an early age may be due to psychological immaturity, unstable employment, and a truncated spousal-search process. With respect to duration of marriage, divorces occur more often in the early rather than the later years of marriage (White, 1991). Becker (1991) argued that people generally have imperfect information about their partners during courtship but learn substantially more about their spouses after marriage. Consequently early divorces are disproportionately due to the discovery of basic incompatibility, conflict in values, and personality clashes. Nevertheless, couples in marriages of long duration face challenges (such as raising children, boredom with the relationship, and gradually diverging interests and attitudes) that differ from those of individuals in marriages of short duration. Indeed, studies have shown that marital duration is associated with long-term declines in marital happiness (Johnson, Amoloza, & Booth, 1992).

Are life course variables associated with the perceived causes of divorce? Kitson (2012) found that individuals who married at a young age were more likely to report difficulties in “settling down,” such as going out with the boys/girls and infidelity. In addition, Kitson (2012) noted that people married for a longer time were more likely to mention changes in interests or having “no sense of family,” whereas people married for a shorter time were more likely to mention in-laws or sexual problems.

Goode’s (2006) research revealed that complaints of infidelity, drinking, and the general quality of home life increased with duration of marriage, whereas complaints about personality and value conflict decreased. Bloom et al. (2005) found a positive correlation between length of marriage and infidelity. Although the underlying pattern is not entirely clear, it appears that long-term marriages are especially likely to be disrupted when people seek out new sexual partners (perhaps out of boredom) or become aware of changes in themselves or their partners due to the passage of time (Bloom et al, 2005).

2.3.2 Continental/Africa View on the Causes of Divorce

Money is also another bone of contention in marriage and divorce. Reeds (1970) cited by Tembe, (2010) indicate that money means different things to both husband and wife. Men use money to build their image in the world. They buy cars and build a house. There is a belief that that woman believes that man waste money. They expect their husband to buy expensive gifts for them. On the other hand if the woman is the one working and has a better salary she becomes the boss of the household. Where there are two bosses in the same house hold, the problem is who must have a final say. This fight for power will tear the family apart. Men who are dominated by women feel insecure. In most cases money issues in a family will come when one spouse is having extra relationship outside his or her family (Tembe, 2010).

It is believed that women who are working and having a lot of money tend to disrespect their husband and do not submit to their authority (Tembe, 2010). It is argued that disrespect from women is caused by statuses which now see the husband as valueless; hence divorce features prominently (Tembe, 2010).

Any attempt to explain the reasons couples separate and divorce must take into account both the nature of marriage as an institution within a given social and cultural context, and its particular meaning for the individuals involved (Wolcott and Hughes, 2009). ‘In addition to asking why some marriages are more likely to fail than others, we also need to examine changes in the social institutions that structure individual experience (Wolcott and Hughes, 2009).

Contemporary marriage and family relationships are formed and maintained in an environment of greater choice in how people can live their lives than has been possible for past generations (Lewis 2009; McDonald 2008). The social environment of marriage today encompasses the legal recognition of a variety of personal relationships and sexual behaviours, the removal of the social stigma of illegitimacy and divorce, the availability of effective contraception, the enactment of sex discrimination legislation to provide equal access for women to education and employment opportunities, and the availability of financial support for sole parenting (Cherlin 2012).

Contemporary expectations of marriage (Wolcott and Glezer 2009; Giddens 2012; Harris et al. 2013) place a high value on meeting the somewhat ambiguous desires for mutuality, intimacy, happiness and self-fulfilment, a more daunting task, perhaps, than fulfilling the more modest and rigidly defined expectations associated with traditional ‘breadwinner husband’ and ‘homemaker wife’ roles. Such expectations, whether realistic or not, can be severely tested over the course of married life when couples are confronted with the reality of caring for children or elderly parents, managing work demands, paying bills and doing mundane household tasks. When these more ordinary events are compounded by employment insecurity, low income or illness, there can be added strain on the marriage (Karney and Bradbury 2013).

Several researchers (Glenn 2008; Amato and Rodgers 2009) have observed a tendency for perceived marital quality to have declined over the past several decades, a phenomenon that they suggest is associated with increased expectations of marriage and favourable attitudes towards divorce.

2.3.4 Nigerian Context on the Causes of Divorce

A range of personality characteristics and behaviours attributed to oneself or, more frequently, one’s spouse, have been mentioned in the literature as reasons for marriage breakdown. Often included in this category are alcohol and drug use problems, jealousy, dominance, immaturity, gambling, physical and emotional violence, and mental illness (Thurnher et al. 2003; Burns 1994; Wolcott 2004; Amato and Rogers 2007).

Demographic and life course variables can generate a profile of people who have divorced compared with those who remain in intact marriages (Clarke and Berrington 1999; Waite 1990). Socio-demographic variables have also been associated with specific reasons given for marital breakdown (Amato and Rogers 2007; Clarke and Berrington 1999; Cleek and Pearson 1991; Kurdek 1993).

For example, marrying at a young age is usually associated with having fewer resources – educational, financial, personal and interpersonal – which can exacerbate a range of marital problems as well as constrain finding solutions to these marital tensions (Kurdek 1993; White 1990). Those who marry at a younger age may not be mature enough to gauge their emotional needs and values which may alter over time and lead to feelings of incompatibility (Kurdek 1993; Gottman 1994; Wallerstein 1996).

Statistics show that the younger people are at marriage, the more likely they are to divorce. Young people, especially adolescents, may lack the maturity and experience to cope with the demands of a marital relationship. Furthermore, their personalities have not yet stabilized so that their needs may change and upset the balance of their new marriage. Very young people also have low incomes; this, along with low educational levels, is another risk factor for divorce (Clark and Crompton, 2006).

Infidelity or extra marital affair as it may be called is one major cause of the increase in divorce. The new age, society has got different avenues which enable people to get closely acquainted. There is increase interaction in the workplace and regular clubs also provide chances of greater interaction with others. It is much easier to make friends and remain in constant touch with them. And also through the use of mobile telephony and internet chatting. When people engage in greater interaction with outsiders, they spend lesser time with their spouses. This is a major cause of increase in extra marital affairs and this consequently impact upon the rate of divorce (Adjei, 2010).

Another well mentioned cause is physical abuse. Pressure from the workplace, peer pressure may result in an individual leading a highly stressed out lifestyle. As the stress accumulates, it automatically searches for avenues to let out the steam. The easiest avenue is one’s spouse. Thus a small argument may turn into a big fight and it may result in applying violent method on the part of the husband or wife. Long term physical abuse can be a major factor in the decision to file for divorce (Adjei, 2010).

Emotional abuse is distinct from its physical version. Nevertheless it can have far reaching consequences for the sufferer. The scars of emotional abuse may not be visible but they can be so deep so as to mar one’s personality for a lifetime (Anum, 2007).

2.3.5 Psychological and Emotional Effect of Divorce on Women

A large number of studies published during the 1990s found that divorced individuals, compared with married individuals, experience lower levels of psychological wellbeing, including less happiness, more symptoms of psychological distress and poorer self-concepts (e.g., Aseltine & Kessler, 1993; Demo & Acock, 1996; Marks, 2006).

Women undergoing divorce often exhibit marked emotional lability characterised by euphoria and optimism alternating with anger, irritability, anxiety, loneliness, sadness, depression and suicidality, and associated changes in self-concept and self-esteem. Divorce is generally viewed as a prominent cause of depression in adults (Tennant, 2002). A review of sex differences in a depressive reaction to major life stressors, found males and females were equally likely to experience depression following marital breakdown (Maciejewski, Prigerson & Mazure, 2001). Single mothers (including those who are separated and divorced) have consistently been found to evidence higher rates of depression and psychiatric illnesses, relative to their married counterparts. Reasons cited include differences in stress and social support.

Non-residential parents (usually women) are particularly likely to experience negative effects of divorce. A pervasive problem is suffering caused by the feeling that they have lost their children, and feelings of inadequacy about their role as a parent (Dudley, 1991). They may also experience guilt about the marital break-up and the loss of daily contact with their children can be emotionally devastating for non-residential fathers (Smyth, 2004).

According to Jordan (1988; 1996) women undergoing separation and divorce also tend to avoid problems rather than face them, tend not to express their concerns and are reluctant to seek help (if they do, it is from friends or relatives rather than from professionals). Jordan (1996) also found that women appeared to be generally unaware of, and unprepared for, separation and often ‘shut down’ their feelings about the relationship. As a consequence, women often carry unresolved feelings of grief and hurt for many years after the initial separation, which may impact on their physical and mental health. Other studies have found, however, that females tend to experience higher rates of distress than males (Dour, 2003). In addition, ‘leavers’ initially often fare better in terms of emotional wellbeing than those who have been ‘left’ and who often feel rejected (Bickerdike & Littlefield, 2000).

There is a lack of consensus in the research on this question. On the psychological effect of divorce on women, as we have seen, poverty and financial hardship loom for a proportion of divorcing women, and to a lesser extent, divorcing men. Women who are older at the time of divorce and with little employment experience have a more difficult time. As well, there is often a loss of social support, mainly from ex-in-laws and friends whom the couple shared. When divorced fathers age, they are less likely to receive support from their children than do other fathers (Lin, 2007). Ex-husbands, compared to ex-wives, are less likely to be poor because their income is generally higher, they do not have full care of their children with all the attendant expenses, and their child support payments are usually not crippling. Nevertheless, in a decade when most families have two breadwinners, men who divorce lose far more economically than in the past, especially those married to a high-earning wife. As child support payments become better enforced, economic factors may contribute in the long run to dissuade some men from ending their marriage. The loss of support and financial hardship in divorce increase women psychological problems in divorce (Sweeney, 2002).

Divorce can have a distressing emotional impact on both women and men; recovery from divorce sometimes involves a grieving process, as it is a loss of an important relationship that was significant in their lives (Stupart, 2013).

Some people go through the stages of grief, such as denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance, somewhat like the process they might go through if a spouse died. However, people react to loss in different ways, so these stages do not necessarily occur in this order for everyone (Mohammed, 2013).

The end of a marriage is particularly painful for persons who do not expect or want it. It is even more problematic when this sense of loss is combined with hostile and tense interactions between divorced spouses. The result could be psychological effects including depression, lowered self-esteem and loss of a sense of identity. Some people who divorce also experience feelings of rejection and embarrassment, and may withdraw from their social group. They might also find it difficult to discuss their feelings and fears, even where close friends are available to support them (Stupart, 2013).

In some cases, people who divorce face alienation from friends and relatives who do not approve the divorce. So they experience loss of social support such as ex-spouse’s relatives, and limited support from their own relatives when their marriages end. The result is a smaller social network after divorce which increases their feelings of isolation (Stupart, 2013).

2.3.6 Ways to Reduce to Incidence of Divorce

In society today, divorce is becoming a way of life for many people. Millions of children have been a part of divorced families since 1972. It is estimated that over one third of the nation's children will be affected by divorce before the age of 18 (Goldberg, 2008). Giving the rising concern on divorce, measures need to be taken by couples to reduce this social cancer. The review that follows looks at ways to minimize divorce.

People in loving marriages keep the relationship exciting and new through open communication. It's easy to get caught up in the stresses of day-to-day life and for two people to lose sight of what made them fall in love in the first place (Mohammed, 2013).

Maintaining a strong connection through open communication keeps the bond of love strong in a marriage. Lack of communication can cause two people to drift apart and to feel like they're just going through the motions in a marriage (Goldberg, 2008).

Many relationships failed because of poor communication. Many couples find it hard to express how they feel for each other. They don't know how to verbalize their needs and they don't know how to listen carefully. If you are one of those people, then it might be time to read some tips for an effective communication (Stacy, 2012).

Communication has taken most of my words because it is the prevalent factor that has caused a lot of marriages in Ghana. I am not saying this is the absolute reason of divorce rate in the country; there are other unique reasons that are not so prevalent. Lack of proper communication creates insecurity in marriages and I can say this with a fact that, Marriages that hit rocks always start from negligence of good communication and the consequence of this gives birth to other factors that slowly usher the marriage onto the path of divorce (Doherty and Leah, 2011).

In recent decades, forty-six states across the U.S. have implemented some form of required parenting classes for divorcing couples with minor children. These classes are typically offered through non-profit agencies, for a fee, and they range from four to twelve hours in length, usually conducted over several sessions (Doherty and Leah, 2011).

The goal of these classes is to reduce conflict between divorcing parents and to teach positive co-parenting strategies for parents to use during and after the divorce. Anecdotally, parent educators who teach the required parenting classes report that some parents say, “I wish I had known these things when we first broke up” or “My spouse and I are communicating better than we ever have. I wonder if learning this material beforehand could have helped us stay married”(Doherty and Leah, 2011).

Currently, even though the parenting classes are usually required, most parents do not take them until well into the divorce proceedings. And, these classes do not offer a reconciliation module for parents who might be interested in learning more and exploring that option (Doherty and Leah, 2011).

Counselors might be members of the clergy, pastoral counselors associated with faith communities, or professional therapists. Among them are skilled practitioners who have helped many married couples. There is reason to believe that the quality of marriage counseling services available in many communities is adequate to serve as the main resource for couples at high risk for divorce (Doherty and Leah, 2011).

Most lay people do not realize that therapists practicing marriage counseling in the U.S. usually have been adequately trained for this difficult form of therapy. Therapists are typically trained in individual therapy, couples therapy. The theoretical standpoint of most therapists with regard to marriage is the best for marital reunion. Counselors typically feel they should hold a neutral stance towards the marriage survival. The therapist feels that he or she should help the client gain clarity on his or her own feelings but try to influence a client’s decision one way or the other (William, 2011).

Take care of your appearance. Look your best for your spouse. Lose the ratty sweat pants or frayed sweater he/she hates so much; you can find other comfortable clothes that aren't a complete turn-off for your partner. This also means taking care of your health -- including eating properly and exercising regularly (Stacy, 2012).

Spend time together. You take a pottery course while your spouse plays hockey; you play bridge and your partner collects stamps. You don't have to love everything your partner loves, but you do have to allow him/her the freedom to pursue cherished hobbies. An added bonus is that separate interests can generate interest between you (Stacy, 2012).

Do things together. Another common factor of long-term happy marriages is that the spouses regularly do things together that they find fun and exciting. Whether that's ballroom dancing, bowling, playing cards, SCUBA diving, or skiing, participate in at least one activity that you both enjoy every week. If you have kids, make sure at least half of these activities are for you and your spouse only (Stacy, 2012).

Remain faithful can reduce divorce. Alford-Cooper, (1998) studied 576 couples who had been married for 50 years or more; in 1998, she released her findings in the book For Keeps: Marriages that Last a Lifetime. In her study, she found that 95 percent of the spouses agreed that fidelity was essential to a successful marriage, and 94 percent agreed or strongly agreed that marriage is a long-term commitment to one person. And these "lifers" weren't making the best of a bad lot: a whopping 90 percent of the couples she surveyed said that they were happily married after 50-plus years (Alford-Cooper, 1998).

Be friends with your partner. Gottman, a psychology professor who claims his research will predict with 91 percent accuracy whether a couple will stay together -- says the key to marital happiness and success is friendship. Some of the most important aspects of this type of friendship are knowing each other intimately, demonstrating affection and respect for each other on a daily basis, and genuinely enjoying each other's company. Gottman based his findings on 25 years of marital research, which he presented in his book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work (Gottman, 2010).

Love your spouse in the way he/she wants to be loved. We often make the mistake of assuming that the things that touch our hearts the most deeply will affect our partner in the same way. For instance, you may think red roses are the perfect gift, but to your spouse, they represent a waste of money and an allergy attack. If you do not already know, find out what your spouse yearns for, and then deliver it with love -- and no comments about how "stupid" it is to want a cordless drill/a picnic on the living room floor/a tuna casserole. Remember: the best gift is something your spouse wants -- not merely something you want him/her to have (Stacy, 2012).

The community concept also helps the reduction of divorce in Africa. Marriage is usually between two families against the concept of just two people in Western countries. When an African is getting married, the two families come together, in some countries (Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia, Togo - that I'm sure of) families conduct investigation into the family their son/daughter is marrying into (Awodele, 2005). An African woman said to me (Awodele) about 3 years ago, "when you have your mother-in-law kneeling for you, apologizing for his son's adultery - what are you supposed to do" When an older person kneels for you in the Yoruba culture, refusing such person's demand is considered an insult. Needless to say this woman's marriage ended in divorce when they moved to America, because he still committed adultery and there was no family around to beg her this time. Western women do not feel obligated to anyone but themselves, and in most cases would have divorced before they even tell any family member (Awodele, 2005). In effect the community concept of collectivity is major tool for reducing divorce in Africa.

2.4. Concept of Divorce

Divorce is the “legal dissolution of a socially and legally recognized marital relationship that alters the obligations and privileges of the two persons involved (Price and McKenry, 1988).

Divorce or the dissolution of marriage, according to Mohammed, (2013) is the final termination of a marital union, cancelling the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage and dissolving the bonds of matrimony between the parties involved (Mohammed, 2013).

Divorce or dissolution as it is increasingly becoming known is a legislatively created and judiciary administered process that legally terminates a marriage no longer consider viable by one or both spouses .This permits both to remarry. However in this part of the world, freedom to remarry could be attained only by an act of parliament (Adjei, 2007).

According to Mona, (2010) divorce is defined as a “final legal dissolution of marriage, that is, that separation of husband and wife which confers on the parties the right to remarriage under civil, religious and/or other provisions according to the laws of each country.”

From the entire definitions, one factor is common in all. That is “dissolution” which means “end” hence, divorce is ending of marriage.

2.4.1 Conceptual framework on psychological and emotional effects of divorce on women

Figure 2.1 Conceptual Frameworks on

Source; Researcher’s own construct, 2013

From the construct above, it is clear that divorce is as a result of factors such as socio-demographic characteristics of the individual, infidelity of the part of one partner in a relationship, poor or lack of good communication amongst couple, etc.

Most marriages end up in divorce because of the socio-demographic characteristic such as; couples level of education, income status, age/years of marriage, the socio-cultural background of couple, etc. Equally, extra marital affair is one major cause of the increase in divorce in recent times. Also, many relationships failed because of poor communication. Many couples find it hard to express how they feel for each other. They do not know how to verbalize their needs and they do not know how to listen carefully. Poor communication can be a major cause of divorce

Divorce has both psychological and emotional effect on women. Women are mostly affected by divorce psychological and emotional. They feel guilt, anxious, distress, depress, grieve, etc. the reasons might be that most women less expect divorce, suffer in child caring or are mostly dependent on their husband, such that separation or divorce leads to greater psychological and emotional bearing on the women.

Divorce can be minimized by addressing it from the individual and community or societal level. Within the individual level, couple should learn how to trust their partners, develop good communication, avoid extra marital affairs, show love and care for their partners, etc. the society or the community can as well help in reducing divorce by organizing educational programs on divorce effects so as to lighten couples on the negative side of divorce. Counseling program should be made available to couples facing marital problems to help the cope with their problems. Family members should also help by conducting proper investigation on to family their children will be marriage to help in the selection of proper spouses for their children to avoid reduce divorce.

2.5 Hypotheses/ Proposition

The following null hypotheses were tested in this study at the 0.05 alpha level of significance.

H01: There will be no significant reason that compels couple in Ojo Local Government Area to divorce

H02: Women will not significantly affected emotionally and psychologically after divorce

H03: There is no significant cause and consequences of divorce on couples in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State.

H04: There will be no significant measures to help reduce the incidence of divorce among married couples in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State.

2.6. Conclusion

Much literature can be found regarding the emotional and psychological effects of divorce on women. However, these studies fail to emphasis on culture factors and the difference in the socio-demographic of women and divorce. Most of the literature concern studies carried out in areas and societies different from the area of study of this research.

This study will therefore contribute the existing literature by looking at areas different from those studies used in the literature. It will help bridge the literature gab that exist in respect to effects of divorce among women in the study area and other places where study of this nature have been carried out.

CHAPTER THREE

METHODOLOGY

3.1 Introduction

In order to find answers to the research questions and thus, suggest solutions for redressing the problem under investigation, some specific series of steps will be necessary to arrive at scientific evidence for analysis and conclusion. This chapter is, therefore, dedicated to outlining the methods of sampling, data collection and data analysis. The methodology employs in order to carry out the study will include: the research design, sources of data, study population, sample selection and sample size, data collection methods, data analysis and ethical issues.

3.2 Research Design

The research study was carried out using descriptive survey design. Descriptive survey research design is best for gathering, organizing, presenting and analyzing data for the purpose of describing the occurrence of an event or phenomenon. It was used since the study attempt at describing and exploring the causes and consequences of divorce among women in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State, without any attempt being made to control or manipulate the outcomes of the study.

3.3 Study Population

A population is any group of individuals that has one or more characteristics in common and that is of the interest to the researcher (Best and Kahn, 2006). The population for this study was all the divorced women living in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State. The researcher realized a great deal of responsibilities that divorce women have in the study. Hence, their presence and involvement is of paramount importance, otherwise it is a disaster.

3.4 Sample size and Sampling Technique

The study employed various sampling technique in selecting the respondents. Firstly, the study employed the stratified and cluster sampling technique to select sample population. The population of the study was grouped into six sections. This was done effectively with the use of the stratified and cluster sampling technique. The simple random sampling technique was used within each stratum.

After selecting the areas or sections for the study for selecting the respondents, the researcher employed purposive sampling technique to get the target population women who have divorced.

Sample size of 50 divorce women was selected for the study. This sample size was used so as to reduce cost that might be involved in the collection of data. Also as the researcher has to combine the study with academic work, large sample size will make the study problematic and might not help in the achievement of the study objectives.

3.5 Instruments and Instrumentation

A self-structured the Causes and Consequences of Divorce among Women (CCDW) questionnaire would be used for collection of data. This questionnaire was in two sections A and B. Section A was focus on demographic data while section B deals with variables selected from the study. The questionnaire was designed in five Likert Attitudinal Format. The measurement is on a four point scale, that is, SA, A, U, D, and SD as shown below;

3.6. Validity of the Instruments

Face and content validity of the instrument were carried out by giving a copy of the instrument to expert in the field of study (research supervisor) for correction and amendment. Validity is the extent to which an instrument measure what it is supposed to measure and performs as it is designed to perform. It is rare, if nearly impossible, that an instrument be 100% valid, so validity is generally measured in degrees. As a process, validation involves collecting and analyzing data to assess the accuracy of an instrument.

3.7. Reliability of Instruments

Generally for a research, when a researcher is developing a new scale set to measure some characteristics values of .75 above of Cronbach's Alpha is indication that the scale will be respectable and will be internally consistent. The reliability of the instrument was carried out by using Cronbach’s Alpha in Excel sheet to calculate results of 20 questionnaires from pilot test. The result of the calculation was r-0.80. The result was shown a high degree of correlation, indicating consistency of the research instrument.

3.8 Method of Data Collection

Copies of the questionnaire were administered by the researcher personally with the help of one assistant. Both primary and secondary data were explored. The primary data were obtained through questionnaires while the secondary data were gotten from documents and publications such as journals, textbook and the University gazettes, articles and research studies.

3.9 Method of Data Analysis

Quantitative data collected from the field was carefully edited before entering into the computer. Following the data entry, data was cleaned by running frequencies of all the variables to check for incorrectly coded data. Incorrectly coded data was double checked with the raw data in the questionnaire. The data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) 20.0. The data will be analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively using descriptive and inferential statistics. The descriptive statistics was made up of frequency tables which allow for comparison of responses.

3.10 Field Experience

The challenge encountered was on the part of the respondents for the study. The respondents (divorce women) were somehow restricted within themselves for providing valid information because they are shy about their marital status.

The other challenge was as a result of financial constraints and time. Funds were virtually needed at all stages of the research. These challenges gave a little limitation to the research.

CHAPTER FOUR

DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS

4.1 Introduction

This chapter dealt particularly with the presentation, analysis and discussion of data which was collected from respondents. The entire study targeted a sample population of fifty (50) respondents, mainly divorced women. The data has been analyzed descriptively by the use of frequency tables and charts.

The chapter has been presented under the following sub-headings: Socio-demographic features of respondents, the causes of divorce among couple, the psychological effects of divorce on victims, the emotional effects of divorce as well as measures to help reduce the incidence of divorce.

4.2 Socio-Demographic Features of Respondents

The socio-demographic profiles of respondents give researchers a fully picture and background of respondents the study is looking at. Agreeing with the pervasive assertion of sociological models that people emanate from and are influenced by their background as noted by Mainoo (2011), the researcher decided to give credence to demographic features of the respondents and therefore sought to analyze them. The relevant demographic variables considered were age group, religion, marital status, level of education and occupation. These variables were studied so as to give the researcher a fair knowledge about the respondents.

4.2.1 Age Group of Respondents

The data in table 4.2 gives detailed information about the respondents’ age group.

Table 4.2 Age Group of Respondents

Responses

Frequency

Percent

Less 20 years

1

2.0

21-25 years

2

4.0

26-30 years

5

10.0

31-35 years

14

28.0

36-40 years

26

52.0

41 years and above

2

4.0

Total

50

100.0

Source, Researcher’s Field Work, 2014

The data in table 4.1, shows that 2% (1) of the respondents were in the ages range of less than 20 years, 40% (2) of the respondents were in the age group of 21-25 years, 10% (5) of the respondents were in the age group of 26-30 years, 28% (14) of the respondents were in the age group of 31-35 years, 52% (26) of the respondents were in the age group of 36-40 years whilst 4% (2) of the respondents were in the age group of 41 years and above.

Majority of the respondents were in the age group of 36-40 years. This means that people with the age group of 36-40 years where divorced in the study area. It could also imply that respondents within this age group were contacted more or were willing to take part in the study.

4.1.2 Religious Background of Respondents

The religious background of a person can be a major factor in issues of divorce. To determine the religion majority of the respondents belong, the study enquired about the respondents’ religious background.

Table 4.2 Respondents’ Religion

Responses

Frequency

Percent

Christian

25

50.0

Muslims

19

38.0

Traditional

6

12.0

Total

50

100.0

Source, Researcher’s Field Work, 2014

Pertaining to the respondents’ religion, the field data showed that 50% (25) of the respondents were Christians, 38% (19) of the respondents were Muslims, and 12% (6) of the respondents were Traditional believers.

The study discovered that majority of the divorced women in the area were Christians. This implies that Christians were more likely to be divorced in the area than Muslims and Traditional believers. It could mean that Christian divorced women were contacted more than divorce women from the other religious faiths. This high number of Christian women divorcing in the area means that church will need to take an active role or responsibility in addressing the issue in the area.

4.1.3 Marital Status

The study sought from respondents whether they were single after divorce or in any relationship. The data in table 4.3 shows that after divorce, many women do not go into any relationship. Thus, many divorced women in the area are not in courtship or in co-habitation relationship.

Table 4.3 Marital status after divorced

Responses

Frequency

Percent

Single

40

80.0

In relationship

10

20.0

Total

50

100.0

Source, Researcher’s Field Work, 2014

The information in table 4.3 showed that 80% (40) of the divorced women remained single after breaking out of their first marriage whilst 20% (10) of the respondents had taken some partners. The study found that few divorced women were in relationship after.

This means that divorced women remain single after divorce. The fact that most divorced women remain single after divorce means that they have no one to share their emotion with. It also means divorced women had no help from anyone (male friends out the family) after divorce. This goes a long way to emphasis on the psychological and emotional effects of divorce on women as majority of these divorced women had no one to share their emotion with.

4.1.4 Level of Education of Respondents

Education influence a person’s behavior, knowledge and life style. As people become enlighten, they are opened to new ways of life which can affect the marital life. The study sought from respondents regarding their educational background. This was to determine whether high educated people were more likely to be divorce or uneducated people commonly divorced in the area. The detailed information on the respondents education is showed below.

Table 4.4 Level of education

Responses

Frequency

Percent

No education

8

16.0

Primary education

7

14.0

Junior high school

6

12.0

Secondary school

7

14.0

Tertiary education

22

44.0

Total

50

100.0

Source, Researcher’s Field Work, 2014

From table 4.4, 44% (22) of the respondents were highly educated, 14% (7) of the respondents had primary education, 12% (6) of the respondents had junior high school level education, 14% (7) of the respondents had secondary education, whilst 16% (8) of the respondents had no education. Majority of the respondents (divorcees) had been to school. This means that educated people were more involved in divorce than uneducated people in the area.

4.1.5 Occupation of Respondents

The researcher further enquired for the respondents’ occupation. The respondents’ occupation was examined because when people are financially dependent or independent it can have influence in their behavior in marital union. For most working women they might feel being in marriage is a constraint on their professional career. Women, who are financially weak may not like to move out of marriage as the husbands take care of their financial needs. This made it important for the researcher to exam the respondents’ occupation.

Figure 4.1 Occupation of respondents


Source, Researcher’s Field Work, 2014

The data in figure 4.1 shows that 6% (3) of the respondents were unemployed, 34% (17) of the respondents were traders, 32% (16) of the respondents were teachers, 28% (14) of the respondents were government workers.

Majority of the divorced women contacted for the study were traders. This means that women who are traders are more likely to divorce in the area.

4.2. Causes of Divorce

One of the major objectives of the study was to identify the causes of divorce in the study area. There are many different and complex causes and reasons for divorce, each of them specific to that particular couple’s marital relationship, their individual experiences and personal problems (Sonal, 2012). This section looks at commonly cited reasons for divorce by the respondents.

Table 4.5 Cause Of Divorce

Responses

Frequency

Percent

Poverty

3

6.0

Mistrust

15

30.0

Lack of loyalty (extra marital affair)

18

36.0

Lack of communication

9

18.0

abuse, lack of child birth, same sex birth, etc.

5

10.0

Total

50

100.0

Source, Researcher’s Field Work, 2014

Investigating into the reasons for divorce in the study area, 6% (3) of the respondents cited poverty as the cause of divorce, 30% (15) of the respondents indicated that mistrust between couple are the causes of divorce, 36% (18) of the respondents argued that lack of loyalty and extra marital affair causes divorce in the area, 18% (9) of the respondents stated that lack of communication between couple leads to divorce, whilst 10% (5) of the respondents cited abuse, lack of child birth and same sex birth as the causes of divorce.

The study found that factors such as;poverty, mistrust, lack of loyalty and extra marital affair, lack of communication, abuse, lack of child birth and same sex birth are the leading causes of divorce in the study area.

According to Adjei, (2010), infidelity or extra marital is major cause of the increase in divorce. Goode’s (2006) research revealed that complaints of abuse, drinking, poverty, mistrust between couple, lack of loyalties and extra marital affair, lack of communication and the general quality of home life are determining factors in divorce cases.

4.2.1 Respondents Reason for Divorce

Apart from the general factors that cause divorce, the study enquired from respondents, the main reasons they broke out of their marriages. The respondents’ views are illustrated in figure 4.2

Figure 4.2 Respondents’ Reasons For Their Divorce

Source, Researcher’s Field Work, 2014

The data in figure 4.2 shows that 26% (13) of the divorcee broke out of marriage because of marital conflict, 34% (17) of the respondents indicated that they got divorced because of marital, sex and physical abuse, 20% (10) of the respondents cited insults and verbal abuse as the causes of divorce, 8% (4) of the respondents argued that infidelity, poor communication and lack of trust made them to divorce, whilst 12% (6) of the respondents feel that financial difficulties was the cause of their divorce.

The study found that marital conflict, marital, sex and physical abuse, insults and verbal abuse, infidelity, poor communication and lack of trust and financial difficulties were the reasons why the respondents divorce. This means that marriages that suffer from these factors are more likely to end up in divorce as respondents cited these factors as the cause of divorce.

This finding is in line with the views of Wolcott and Hughes, (2009), that sexual and physical abuse, insults and verbal abuse, infidelity, poor communication and lack of trust and financial difficulties are the common causes of divorce in many marital unions.

4.3 Psychological Effects of Divorce

One major objective of the study was to investigate into the psychological effects of divorce on women. A large number of studies published during the 1990s found that divorced individuals, compared with married individuals, experience lower levels of psychological wellbeing, including less happiness, more symptoms of psychological distress and poorer self-concepts (Aseltine& Kessler, 1993; Demo &Acock, 1996; Marks, 2006).

For these reasons, the study found it necessary to identify the psychological effects of divorce on women. The analysis that follows looked at the psychological effects on women.

4.3.1 Table 4.6 Feeling of Insecurity and Attachment to the Ex-Spouse

Table 4.6 The feeling of insecurity and attachment to the ex-spouse is a difficult psychological problem for divorced women.

Responses

Frequency

Percent

Strongly agree

10

20.0

Agree

20

40.0

Uncertain

5

10.0

Disagree

10

20.0

Strongly disagree

5

10.0

Total

50

100.0

Source, Researcher’s Field Work, 2014

As to whether respondents feel insecure and more attached to the ex-spouse such that it leads tp psychological problem for victims, the study found that 20% (10) of the respondents strongly agreed that the feeling of insecurity and attachment to the ex-spouse is a difficult psychological problem for divorced women, 40% (20) of the respondents agreed that the feeling of insecurity and attachment to the ex-spouse is a difficult psychological problem for divorced women, 10% (5) of the respondents were uncertain about the statement, 20% (10) of the respondents disagree about the statement whilst 10% (5) of the respondents strongly disagreed that the feeling of insecurity and attachment to the ex-spouse is a difficult psychological problem for divorced women.

Majority of the respondents agreed that the feeling of insecurity and attachment to the ex-spouse is a difficult psychological problem for divorced women. This means divorce women feel insecure and more attached to their ex-spouse which cause psychological effects on women.

4.3.2 Feeling guilty because they think they didn’t make the marriage work

Table 4.7 Divorced women who still have guilt feelings because they think they could have done something to make the marriage work.

Responses

Frequency

Percent

Strongly agree

8

16.0

Agree

23

46.0

Uncertain

15

30.0

Disagree

4

8.0

Total

50

100.0

Source, Researcher’s Field Work, 2014

As to whether divorce women who have guilt feeling about their marriage have psychological effects, it was realized that 16% (8) of the respondents strongly agreed that they felt guilty for their failed marriage, 46% (23) of the respondents agree that guilt has psychological problems, 30% (15) of the respondents were uncertain about this issue, 8% (4) of the respondents disagreed that guilt has psychological problems.

The study found that divorcees who have the guilt feeling toward their failed marriage have major psychological problems, majority of the respondents agreed to this statement.

4.3.3 Vulnerability to having low self-esteem

Figure 4.3 Divorced women who feel vulnerable to having low self-esteem have psychological problems which makes it hard to adjust to a divorce situation and have confidence in themselves.

Responses

Frequency

Percent

Strongly agree

6

12.0

Agree

2

4.0

Uncertain

4

8.0

Disagree

36

72.0

Strongly disagree

3

6.0

Total

50

100.0

Source, Researcher’s Field Work, 2014

As to whether those divorcees feel vulnerable to low self-esteem have psychological problems, the study found that 12% (6) of the respondents strongly agree to that feeling, 4% (2) of the respondents agree that divorcees that feel vulnerable to low self-esteem have psychological problems, 8% (4) of the respondents were not certain about the statement, 72% (36) of the respondents disagreed that vulnerability to having low self-esteem have psychological problems, whilst 6% (3) of the respondents strongly disagreed.

Majority of the respondents disagreed that vulnerability to having low self-esteem have psychological problems. This means that divorced women are not vulnerable to low self-esteem and does not affect them psychologically.

4.3.4 Divorced Women find themselves at that point of being able to commit suicide (suicidal)

Table 4.8 Divorced women find themselves at that point where suicide becomes an option.

Responses

Frequency

Percent

Strongly agree

1

2.0

Agree

8

16.0

Uncertain

8

16.0

Disagree

30

60.0

Strongly disagree

3

6.0

Total

50

100.0

Source, Researcher’s Field Work, 2014

The study further enquired from respondents whether the divorced women become suicidal after divorce, 2% (1) of the respondents strongly agreed that they were at that point of considering suicide, 16% (8) of the respondents agreed that they were at that point of considering suicide after divorce, 16% (8) of the respondents were not certain, 60% (30) of the respondents disagreed that they became suicidal after divorce, whilst 6% (3) of the respondents strongly agreed that divorced women that they were at that point of considering suicide after divorce.

Majority of the respondents disagreed that divorced women were at that point of considering suicide after divorce. This implied that divorced women do not find it difficult building a better life and are still very conscious after divorce.

4.3.5 Divorce and Depression

Table 4.9 Divorced individuals and depression

Responses

Frequency

Percent

Strongly agree

1

2.0

Agree

14

28.0

Uncertain

21

42.0

Disagree

8

16.0

Strongly disagree

6

12.0

Total

50

100.0

Source, Researcher’s Field Work, 2014

As divorced individuals, particularly women, are more vulnerable to depression and have higher levels of psychological stress and lower levels of general psychological well-being, the study established that 2% (1) of the respondents strongly agreed that divorced women have depression and low psychological wellbeing, 28% (14) of the respondents agreed that divorced women have depression and low psychological wellbeing, 42% (21) of the respondents were uncertain about the issue, 16% (8) of the respondents disagreed that divorced women have depression and low psychological wellbeing, whilst 12% (6) of the respondents strongly disagreed that divorced women have depression and low psychological wellbeing.

Majority of the respondents were uncertain as to whether divorced women have depression and low psychological wellbeing or not. The study cannot attribute depression and low psychological wellbeing to divorce.

4.3.6 The fear of getting into another relationship after divorced

Figure 4.4 Romantic Relationships and Divorced Women

Source, Researcher’s Field Work, 2014

As to whether divorced individuals, particularly women for many years after their divorces are scared to enter into a new romantic relationship or not, the study revealed that 10% (5) of them strongly agree that they are scared to enter a new romantic relationship, 62% (31) of the respondents agree that divorced women are scared to enter a new romantic relationship, 16% (8) of them were uncertain about the issues, 6% (3) of them disagreed whilst an equal percentage strongly disagreed that women are scared to enter a new romantic relationship.

Majority of the respondents indicated that divorced women who find new romantic relationship produced an increase in self-esteem. This confirmed that views of Kathleen, (1998), that divorcee in new relationship produces high esteem and less depression.

4.3.7 Divorced women are more paranoid and feel people are deceitful

Table 4.10 Divorced women experience paranoia and feel people are deceitful.

Responses

Frequency

Percent

Strongly agree

3

6.0

Agree

6

12.0

Uncertain

8

16.0

Disagree

28

56.0

Strongly disagree

5

10.0

Total

50

100.0

Source, Researcher’s Field Work, 2014

From table 4.10 above, the study established that 6% (3) of the respondents strongly agreed that divorced women experience more paranoia and feel people are deceitful, 12% (6) of the respondents agreed that divorced women that they are paranoid and think people are deceitful, 16% (8) of the respondents were uncertain about the statement, 56% (28) of the respondents disagreed that divorced women experience more paranoia and feel people are deceitful, whilst 10% (5) of the respondents divorced women strongly disagreed that they experience paranoia and feel people are deceitful.

Majority of the respondents disagreed that divorced women experience paranoia and feel people are deceitful. This means that divorced women do not very paranoid or suspicious of people.

4.3.8 Some Psychological Effects of Divorce

Figure 4.6 Divorced women have variety of psychological problems, including depression, paranoia, insecurity, anger, and feelings of powerlessness

Source, Researcher’s Field Work, 2014

From the figure 4.6, 2% (1) of the respondents strongly agreed that divorced women have variety of psychological problems, including depression, paranoia, loneliness, anger, and feelings of powerlessness, 24% (12) of the respondents agreed that divorced women have variety of psychological problems, including depression, paranoia, loneliness, anger, and feelings of powerlessness 30% (15) of the respondents were uncertain about the statement, 10% (5) of the respondents disagreed that divorced women have variety of psychological problems, including depression, paranoia, loneliness, anger, and feelings of powerlessness, whilst 18% (9) of the respondents strongly disagreed that divorced women have variety of psychological problems, including depression, paranoia, loneliness, anger, and feelings of powerlessness.

Majority of the respondents were uncertain as to whether divorced women have variety of psychological problems, including depression, paranoia, loneliness, anger, and feelings of powerlessness or not.

4.3.9 Major Psychological Effects on Divorce

Table 4.11Major psychological effects of divorce on women

Responses

Frequency

Percent

Stress

5

10.0

Vulnerability to low self-esteem especially at social gatherings

29

58.0

Depression

7

14.0

Feeling unhappy

4

8.0

Thinking about the times wasted and my children

5

10.0

Total

50

100.0

Source, Researcher’s Field Work, 2014

Investigating into the psychological effects of divorce, the study found that some of the major psychological effects of divorce include stress and depression, feeling unhappy and vulnerability to low self-esteem especially at social gatherings and thinking about the times wasted and my children.

4.4 Emotional Effects On Women

The researcher sought for the respondents’ views on the emotional effects of divorce on women. Several studies showed that divorce can have a distressing emotional impact on both women and men; recovery from divorce sometimes involves a grieving process, as it is a loss of an important relationship that was significant in their lives (Stupart, 2013). This part of the analysis looks at some emotional effects of divorce on divorce women.

4.4.1 Emotional End of Relationship

Table 4.13 It is often easier to end a relationship legally than it is to end it emotionally for women

Responses

Frequency

Percent

Strongly agree

3

6.0

Agree

36

72.0

Uncertain

8

16.0

Disagree

2

4.0

Strongly disagree

1

2.0

Total

50

100.0

Source, Researcher’s Field Work, 2014

As to whether it is often easier to end a relationship legally than it is to end it emotionally for women or not, 6% (3) of the respondents strongly agreed to the statement, 72% (36) of the respondents agreed to the statement 16% (8) of the respondents were uncertain as to whether it is often easier to end a relationship legally than it is to end it emotionally for women or not, 4% (2) of the respondents disagreed with the statement whilst 2% of the respondents strongly disagreed that it is often easier to end a relationship legally than it is to end it emotionally for women.

Majority of the respondents indicated that it is often easier to end a relationship legally than it is to end it emotionally for women. This means that divorced women have an unending emotional problem after divorce. This confirmed the views of Sweeney, (2002), for many divorced women, there have always been emotional problems with them for many years.

4.4.2 Emotional Attachment to Ex-Spouse

Table 4.14 Despite divorce, many women have a continuing emotional attachment to their ex-spouses.

Responses

Frequency

Percent

Strongly agree

5

10.0

Agree

29

58.0

Uncertain

3

6.0

Disagree

2

4.0

Strongly disagree

11

22.0

Total

50

100.0

Source, Researcher’s Field Work, 2014

The data in table 4.14 shows that 10% (5) of the respondents strongly agree that despite divorce, many women have a continuing emotional attachment to their ex-spouses, 58% (29) of the respondents agree that they still depend on ex-spouse for emotional support despite divorce, 6% (3) of the respondents were uncertain about the statement, 4% (2) of the respondents disagree that despite divorce many women have a continuing emotional attachment to their ex-spouses, whilst 22% (11) of the respondents strongly agree that despite divorce many women have a continuing emotional attachment to their ex-spouses.

The respondents indicated that as they continue to have emotional attachment to their ex-spouses it leads to many emotional problems on women. Divorced women continuing emotional attachment to an ex-spouse is associated with a variety of emotional problems, including depression, anxiety, loneliness, anger, and feelings of powerlessness

The study found that majority of the respondents indicated that despite divorce, many women have a continuing emotional attachment to their ex-spouses. This means most divorced women have emotional attachment to the ex-spouse regardless of divorce. This confirmed the views of Bickerdike& Littlefield, (2000), that women at times main some emotional attachment to their ex-spouse after divorce.

4.4.3 Hostile Emotional Attachments Have The Most Negative Effects On Divorced Women Health Condition

The researcher sought from respondents whether divorced women have negative or hostile emotional attachment to the ex-spouses, and how that affects them emotional. The data in figure 4.7 shows the respondents’ views.

Figure 4.7 Hostile emotional attachments have the most negative effects on divorced women health condition

Source, Researcher’s Field Work, 2014

From figure 4.7, 16% (8) of the respondents strongly disagreed that hostile emotional attachments have the most negative effects on divorced women health condition, 10% (5) of the respondents disagree that hostile emotional attachments have the most negative effects on divorced women health condition, 14% (7) of the respondents were uncertain about the statement, 40% (20) of the respondents agreed that hostile emotional attachments have the most negative effects on divorced women health condition, whilst 20% (10) of the respondents strongly agree that hostile emotional attachments have the most negative effects on the health condition of divorced women.

Majority of the respondents agree that hostile emotional attachments have the most negative effects on divorced women health condition.

4.4.4 Women harbor a lot of pain in their heart

Table 4.15 Individuals, particularly women are harboring pain in their heart.

Responses

Frequency

Percent

Strongly agree

4

8.0

Agree

38

76.0

Uncertain

6

12.0

Disagree

1

2.0

Strongly disagree

1

2.0

Total

50

100.0

Source, Researcher’s Field Work, 2014

As to whether women harbor a lot pain in their heart or not, the study revealed that 8% (4) of the respondents strongly agree that women feel hurt from the divorce and harbor pain in their heart, 76% (38) of the respondents agree that women harbor a lot of pain their heart, 12% (6) of the respondents were uncertain about the statement, whilst 2% disagreed with the statement, an equal percent strongly disagreed that women to be harboring pain.

Majority of the respondent indicated that women struggle with harboring pain in their heart.

4.4.5 Divorced Women become sensitive and get easily agitated and defensive.

Table 4.16 Divorced women become sensitive and get easily agitated and defensive.

Responses

Frequency

Percent

Strongly agree

1

2.0

Agree

4

8.0

Uncertain

3

6.0

Disagree

34

68.0

Strongly disagree

8

16.0

Total

50

100.0

Source, Researcher’s Field Work, 2014

As to whether divorced women become sensitive and get easily agitated and defensive or not, 2% of the respondents strongly agreed that, 8% (4) of the respondents agreed that divorced women become sensitive and get easily agitated and defensive., 6% (3) of the respondents were uncertain about the statement, whilst 68% (34) of the respondents disagreed that divorced women become sensitive and get easily agitated and defensive, 16% (8) of the respondents strongly disagreed to becoming sensitive and get easily agitated and defensive.

4.4.6 Divorced Women feel shocked and ashamed from the collapse of their marriage.

Figure 4.8 Divorced women feel shocked and ashamed from the collapse of their marriage.

Source, Researcher’s Field Work, 2014

From figure 4.8, the study found that 8% (4) of the respondents strongly agree that divorced women feel shocked and ashamed from the collapse of their marriage, 46% (23) of the respondents agreed that they feel shocked and ashamed from the collapse of their marriage, 16% (8) of the respondents were uncertain about the statement, 10% (5) of the respondents disagreed, whilst 8% (4) of the respondents strongly disagreed that feel shocked and ashamed from the collapse of their marriage.

4.5 Measures to Reduce Divorce

In society today, divorce is becoming a way of life for many people. Millions of children have been a part of divorced families since 1972 (Mohammed, 2013). It is estimated that over one third of the nation's children will be affected by divorce before the age of 18 (Goldberg, 2008). Giving the rising concern on divorce, measures need to be taken by couples to reduce this social cancer. For this reasons the researcher sought for the respondents’ views as to how to reduce divorce in the study area.

From the data in table 4.18, the respondents cited many measures as ways to help reduce divorce. Common among them were respondents, fidelity, love and care, good communication, marital counseling, avoid of abuse, marital conflict, encouraging and accepting each other mistakes.

Table 4.18 measures to help reduce the incidence of divorce among married couples in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State.

Responses

Frequency

Percent

Couple should learn to communicate and share their difference and accept each other’s weakness

6

12.0

Couple should be committed and have respect for the other and should also be accommodating and avoid of sexual and marital abuse

10

20.0

Couple should be prayerful if they want to ensure peaceful and successful marriage

3

6.0

Couple should take decision together, helping each other in the house, respecting each other and not neglecting the women, laughing with each other, playing and all partner feel at home

9

18.0

Women should not be encouraged to do things which their husbands do not encourage and men should consult their wife on every decision they wish to undertake.

2

4.0

Couple should be going for marital counseling to promote peaceful and successful marriages.

5

10.0

To promote peaceful and successful marriage there should be trust in the union.

8

16.0

Partner must show love and care rather reminding each other mistakes and avoid marital conflict

7

14.0

Total

50

100.0

Source, Researcher’s Field Work, 2014

Investigating into ways to reduce divorce, 12% (6) of the respondents indicated that couple should learn to communicate and share their difference and accept each other’s weakness, 20% (10) of the respondents argued that couple should be committed and have respect for the other and should also be accommodating and avoid of sexual and marital abuse, 6% (3) of the respondents stated that couple should be prayerful if they want to ensure peaceful and successful marriage, 18% (9) of the respondents felt that divorce can be reduced if couple should take decision together, helping each other in the house, respecting each other and not neglecting the women, laughing with each other, playing and all partner feel at home, 4% (2) of the respondents were of the view that divorce will be reduced if women should not be encouraged to do things which their husbands do not encourage and men should consult their wife on every decision they wish to undertake.

Some respondents also cited that, couple should be going for marital counseling to promote peaceful and successful marriages, to promote peaceful and successful marriage there should be trust in the union and partner must show love and care rather reminding each other mistakes and avoid marital conflict as the ways to reduce divorce in the study area.

4.6 Test of Hypothesis

The study was carried out to test the following hypothesis;

  • Women suffer psychological and emotional after divorce and;
  • Families and relatives can be a major tool to help stabilize marriage and reduce divorce.

To decide on these two hypotheses the researcher employed the chi-square test of hypothesis to determine if divorce has some emotional and psychological effect on women. The chi square test of hypothesis is showed in table 4.19 and 4.20 in respect to two hypotheses. All tests were carried out at 95% level of significance.

Table 4.19 Women suffer psychological and emotional emotion after divorce

Chi-Square Tests

Categories

Value

DF

Asymp. Sig. (2-sided)

Pearson Chi-Square

10.358a

16

.847

Likelihood Ratio

10.706

16

.827

Linear-by-Linear Association

1.623

1

.203

N of Valid Cases

50

-

-

a. 22 cells (88.0%) have expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is .02.

Source, Researcher’s Field Work, 2014

At alpha 0.05, the Pearson Chi-Square results of 10.358 and Chi-square critical of 0.847, shows that divorce has emotional and psychological effects on women.

Based on the test results, the researcher concluded that women suffer from psychological and emotional effects after divorce.

Table 4.20 Families Members and Relatives can be Major Tools to help Stabilize Marriage and reduce divorce.

Chi-Square Tests

Categories

Value

DF

Asymp. Sig. (2-sided)

Pearson Chi-Square

3.297a

5

.654

Likelihood Ratio

5.198

5

.392

Linear-by-Linear Association

.712

1

.399

N of Valid Cases

50

-

-

a. 9 cells (75.0%) have expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is .20.

Source, Researcher’s Field Work, 2014

As to whether families members and relatives can be major tools to help stabilize marriage and reduce divorce or not, the Pearson Chi-Square test results showed, 3.2.97 Pearson Chi-Square value with Chi-Square critical value of 0.654.

Based on the test results yield from the Pearson Chi-Square, the researcher concluded that family members and relatives can play a role in reducing divorce in the study area.

4.7 Conclusion of Analysis

The study established divorce is caused by a number of factors in the study area. It was also revealed that divorced women in the area suffer from psychological and emotional effects after divorce. The respondents indicated that following factors as ways to reduced divorce; fidelity, love and care, good communication, marital counseling, avoid of abuse, marital conflict, encouraging and accepting each other mistakes.

CHAPTER FIVE

DISCUSSION, SUMMARY OF CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.0 Introduction

This chapter discussed the major findings that were gathered from the field data with the respondents. It also presents a summary of conclusion and outlines the limitation encountered in the field and suggests some recommendations that can help curb the problem of divorce on women.

5.1 Discussion of Findings

The study was carried out to investigate into the emotional and psychological effects of divorced women at Manet Cottage, a suburb in Accra. The study involved 50 divorcees’ women or women who have even married and or be in serious relationship but have ended their relationship. The study analysis focused on the socio-demographic features of the respondents, the causes of divorce in the area, the psychological and emotional effects of divorce on women and the possible measures to help curb divorce.

Pertaining to the socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents, the study found that 2% (1) of the respondents were in the ages range of less than 20 years, 40% (2) of the respondents were in the age group of 21-25 years, 10% (5) of the respondents were in the age group of 26-30 years, 28% (14) of the respondents were in the age group of 31-35 years, 52% (26) of the respondents were in the age group of 36-40 years whilst 4% (2) of the respondents were in the age group of 41 years and above.

Majority of the respondents were in the age group of 36-40 years. This means that people with the age group of 36-40 years where divorced in the study area. It could also imply that respondents within this age group were contacted more or were willing to take part in the study.

The study discovered that majority of the divorced women in the area were Christians. This implies that Christians were more likely to be divorced in the area than Muslims and Traditional believers. It could mean that Christian divorced women were contacted more than divorce women from the other religious faiths. This high number of Christian women divorcing in the area means that church will need to take an active role or responsibility in addressing the issue in the area. It was further revealed that majority of the respondents (divorcees) had not been to school. This means that uneducated people were more involved in divorce than highly educated people in the area. According to the respondents, majority of them were traders. This means that women who are traders are more likely to divorce in the area. This also means that as traders, the women felt that they can take care of their own needs and will not need man to control or dictate for if they are to continue in a marriage union. This confirmed the views of Stacy, (2012), that when women are economically capable they may not like to be in relationship when they are been controlled by the male counterpart.

Investigating into the causes of divorce in the study area, 6% (3) of the respondents cited poverty as the cause of divorce, 30% (15) of the respondents indicated that mistrust and age difference between couple are the causes of divorce, 36% (18) of the respondents argued that lack of loyalties and extra marital affair causes divorce in the area, 18% (9) of the respondents stated that lack of communication between couple leads to divorce, whilst 10% (5) of the respondents cited infidelity, lack of child birth and same sex birth as the causes of divorce.

The study found that factors such as; poverty, mistrust and age difference between couple, lack of loyalties and extra marital affair, lack of communication, infidelity, lack of child birth and same sex birth are the leading causes of divorce in the study area. This confirmed the views of Stupart, (2013), that different people have different reasons for divorce but most common reasons cited for divorce include, infidelity, mistrust, poor communication, disrespect, sexual and marital abuse.

Also, according to Adjei, (2010), infidelity or extra marital is major cause of the increase in divorce. Goode’s (2006) research revealed that complaints of infidelity, drinking, poverty, mistrust and age difference between couple, lack of loyalties and extra marital affair, lack of communication and the general quality of home life are determining factors in divorce cases.

The respondents further cited their personal reasons for divorce. According to the field data, the study found that marital conflict, marital, sex and physical abuse, insults and verbal abuse, infidelity, poor communication and lack of trust and financial difficulties were the reasons why the respondents divorce. This means that marriages that suffer from these factors are more likely to end up in divorce as respondents cited these factors as the cause of divorce.

This finding is in line with the views of Wolcott and Hughes, (2009), that sexual and physical abuse, insults and verbal abuse, infidelity, poor communication and lack of trust and financial difficulties are the common causes of divorce in many marital unions.

Concerning the psychological effects of divorce on women, the study enquired from respondents whether divorced women find it difficult building a better, happier life after divorce, 2% (1) of the respondents strongly agreed that divorced women find it difficult building a better, happier life after divorce, 16% (8) of the respondents agreed that divorced women find it difficult building a better, happier life after divorce, 16% (8) of the respondents were not certain as to whether divorced women find it difficult building a better, happier life after divorce or not, 60% (30) of the respondents disagreed that divorced women find it difficult building a better, happier life after divorce, whilst 6% (3) of the respondents strongly agreed that divorced women find it difficult building a better, happier life after divorce.

Majority of the respondents disagreed that divorced women find it difficult building a better, happier life after divorce. This implied that divorced women do not find it difficult building a better, happier life after divorce. Women in the area who are divorced find happiness after divorce.

It was also established that majority of the respondents were uncertain as to whether divorced women have depression and low psychological wellbeing or not. The study cannot attribute depression and low psychological wellbeing to divorce. However, majority of the respondents disagreed that divorced women experience more social isolation which makes them end up producing greater feelings of loneliness, unhappiness, and lower self-esteem. This means that divorced women do not experience social isolation. Again, majority of the respondents were uncertain as to whether divorced women have variety of psychological problems, including depression, anxiety, loneliness, anger, and feelings of powerlessness or not.

Investigating into the psychological effects of divorce, the study found that some of the major psychological effects of divorce include stress and depression, feeling unhappy and finding it difficult relating with friend and my family members, depression and sadness, shy and ashamed in church and other social gatherings and thinking about the times wasted and my children. This is in line with the findings of Tennant, (2002), that women undergoing divorce often exhibit marked emotional lability characterised by euphoria and optimism alternating with anger, irritability, anxiety, loneliness, sadness, depression and suicidality, and associated changes in self-concept and self-esteem. Divorce is generally viewed as a prominent cause of depression in adults, sadness and stress (Tennant, 2002).

In respect to the emotional effects of divorce on women, majority of the respondents indicated that it is often easier to end a relationship legally than it is to end it emotionally for women. This means that divorce women have an unending emotional problem after divorce. This confirmed the views of Sweeney, (2002), for many divorced women, there have always been emotional problems with them for many years. Respondents indicated that even after divorce, women continue to have emotional attachment to their ex-spouse.

They were of the view that divorced women continuing emotional attachment to an ex-spouse is associated with a variety of emotional problems, including depression, anxiety, loneliness, anger, and feelings of powerlessness. The study found that majority of the respondents indicated that despite divorce, many women have a continuing emotional attachment to their ex-spouses. This means most divorced women have emotional attachment to the ex-spouse regardless of divorce. This confirmed the views of Bickerdike & Littlefield, (2000), that women at times main some emotional attachment to their ex-spouse after divorce. Majority of the respondent indicated that women struggle to cut their positive emotional ties to their ex-spouse. This confirmed the findings by Dour, (2003), that divorce may end the marriage union but not the emotion between the partners. However, respondents indicated that divorced women do not dependent on their ex-spouse for emotional support. Though, the study established that divorced women may find it difficult ending emotional ties with their ex-spouses, they do not dependent on the ex-spouse for emotional support.

Cited the major emotional effects of divorce on women, 2% of the respondents considered worthless, suicidal attempt, decreased level of confidence, shocked, feeling of shame, feeling of sorrow in her heart, worried, could not control tears as the major emotional effects of divorce on women. 14% (7) of the respondents listed anxious, irritated towards her life, suppressed problem, feeling bad, upset, feeling of miserable life, low self‐esteem, imbalanced, worthless, suicidal attempt, decreased level of confidence, shocked as the major emotional effects of divorced on women.

Also, 28% (14) of the respondents see being helplessness, depressed, suicidal thought, frustrated, feeling of no pleasure, hopelessness, feeling of no peace in mind, anxious, irritated towards her life, suppressed problem as the main emotional effects of divorce on women.26% (13) of the respondents argued that hopelessness, feeling of no peace in mind, anxious, irritated towards her life, suppressed problem, feeling bad, upset, feeling of miserable life, low self‐esteem, imbalanced, worthless are the emotional effects of divorce on women. The study further that 28% (14) of the respondents selected feeling of miserable life, low self‐esteem, imbalanced, worthless, suicidal attempt, decreased level of confidence, shocked, feeling of shame, feeling of sorrow in her heart, worried, could not control tears, unhappy, all tears dried up as the major emotional effects of divorce on women, with 2% of the respondents considering the feeling of miserable life, low self‐esteem, imbalanced, worthless, suicidal attempt, decreased level of confidence, shocked, feeling of shame, feeling of sorrow in her heart, worried as the main emotional effects of divorce on women.

As to how divorce can be minimized in the study area, the respondents quoted the following factors as ways to curb divorce; Couple should learn to communicate and share their difference and accept each other’s weakness. Couple should be committed and have respect for the other and should also be accommodating and avoid of sexual and marital abuse. Couple should be prayerful if they want to ensure peaceful and successful marriage. Couple should take decision together, helping each other in the house, respecting each other and not neglecting the women, laughing with each other, playing and all partners feel at home.

Women should not be encouraged to do things which their husbands do not encourage and men should consult their wife on every decision they wish to undertake. Couple should be going for marital counseling to promote peaceful and successful marriages. To promote peaceful and successful marriage there should be trust in the union. Partners must show love and care rather reminding each other mistakes and avoid marital conflict.

5.2 Summary of Conclusions

The study findings successfully answered the researcher’s objective. In the first place, the study established that some causes of divorce in the study area include poverty, mistrust and age difference between couple, lack of loyalties and extra marital affair, lack of communication, infidelity, lack of child birth and same sex birth are the leading causes of divorce in the study area.

It was also revealed that divorce has psychological and emotional effects on women. The study discovered that divorced women divorced women experience more social isolation which makes them end up producing greater feelings of loneliness, unhappiness, and lower self-esteem. Also, respondents listed some psychological and emotional effects of divorce on women which include factors like; low appetite, reduced physical energy and strength, chest pain, severe pressure in chest difficulty in hearing, eye pain, digestive problem, lower abdomen pain, back pain headache, sleeping disturbance, severe pressure in chest difficulty in hearing, eye pain, digestive problem, worthless, suicidal attempt, decreased level of confidence, shocked, feeling of shame, feeling of sorrow in her heart, worried, anxious, irritated towards her life, suppressed problem, feeling bad, upset, feeling of miserable life, among other things as the major emotional and psychological effects of divorce on women.

5.3 Limitation of the Study

A study of this nature could not have been completed without any setbacks. The researcher encountered several problems in the course of the field work.

In the field place, getting into contact with the respondents was a major constraint to the study. The researcher has to move from house to house and at times arrange special time with respondents before the research instrument could be answered. This was the most difficult part in the data collection as the researcher had to structure her time to fit the wishes of the respondents; this made the researcher to spend more time in the data collection than the initial expected time.

Another limitation to the study was the fact that some of the questionnaire was not initial completed fully, which made the researcher to construct more questionnaires to cover for the spoiled one, which increased the cost for the data collection.

Some of the respondents were not corporative, which nearly resulted into a problem for the researcher; however this was properly resolved by one old divorced woman who came to the aid of the researcher to explain the rational of the study to the angry divorce women.

One other major limitation of the study was the data handling management. Most of the field data was difficult to code, but through advice and consultation, the researcher successfully managed the data.

Language was also a setback to the study. As some of the respondents were uneducated the researcher had to get an assistant who could comfortable translate the questionnaire to those uneducated respondents.

Finally, the cost and time involved in travelling and meeting respondents was a major constraint on the study. The researcher had to spend more money than the initial budget for the study and more than expected initially before the study could be completed.

5.4 Recommendations

Based on the study findings, the researcher offers the followings recommendation. The researcher believes if the followings recommendation are taken serious, the divorce situation in the area could be less and hence, reduce the emotional and psychological effects of divorce on women.

The researcher recommends that couple should be more faithful to their partners so as to reduce the situation of infidelity and lack of trust among couple which respondents cited as the main causes of divorce.

The researcher further recommends that divorced women should always try to reduce they emotional attachment to their ex-spouses. Divorce women should forget about their ex-spouse and should engage in activities that will help them to end all emotional attachment they have for the ex-spouses. Divorce women should consider going for counseling to help them reduce emotional attachment with ex-spouses.

The researcher further recommends that women always try their possible best to stay in their marriage rather than considering divorce as divorce has more emotional and psychological effects on the women.

The researcher recommends that there should be counseling programmes to help women to cope with their emotional and psychological problems. Divorce women should be educated on how to deal with their emotional and how to relate with their ex-spouse so that it will not bring them some emotional problems.

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APPENDIX I

LAGOS STATE UNIVERSITY

FACULTY OF SOCAIL SCIENCES

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIOLOGY

Dear Respondent,

QUESTIONNAIRE ON CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF DIVORCE AMONG WOMEN IN OJO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF LAGOS STATE.

I am a student of above named institution and currently carrying on a research study titled “causes and consequences of divorce among women in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State.”

Yours assistance in completing this questionnaire is solicited. Any information supplied in this regards would be used purely for academic purpose.

I promise to ensure strict confidentiality of information that will be provided

Thanks in anticipation for your co-operation

______________

Research Student)

SECTION A

RESPONDENTS’ BIO-DATA

INSTRUCTION: please indicate appropriate with

  1. Gender; Male ( ) Female ( )
  2. Age Group of Respondents; Less 20 years ( ) 21-25 years ( ) 26-30 years ( ) 31-35 years ( ) 36-40 years ( ) 41 years and above ( )
  3. Religious Background of Respondents; Christian ( ) Muslims ( ) Traditional ( )
  4. Marital Status; Single ( ) Married ( ) Divorce ( )
  5. Level of Education of Respondents; No education ( ) Primary education ( ) Junior high school ( ) Secondary school ( ) Tertiary education ( )
  6. Occupation of Respondents; Unemployed ( ) Trader ( ) Teacher ( ) Government Worker ( )

SECTION B

Responses indicate appropriate response with a tick ().

  1. (Strongly Agree SA) 2. (Agree A) 3. (Uncertain U) 4. (Strongly Disagree SD) 5. (Disagree D)

S/N

SA

A

U

SD

D

What compels couple in Ojo Local Government Areas to divorce

7

Most common reason for divorce is poverty

8

Mistrust have led to many divorce in our society among couples

9

I do not see lack of loyalty (extra marital affair) as one of the reason why couple’s divorce each other

10

Lack of communication play a significant role on divorce

11

Abuse, lack of child birth, same sex birth, etc are the fundamental variables that compel couple for divorce

What are the consequences of divorce on couple in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State?

12

Divorce has a negative consequences of children born from the marriage

13

Divorce influences the parties to engage on social vices

14

Divorce male however engage to substance abuse and alcoholic dependent personality

15

The society disrespect and abuse divorce couples

16

Most divorce women sometime end engaging on prostitution or sex hacking activities

Are women affected emotionally and psychologically after divorce

17

I feel stress up since ever I got divorced

18

Am depression due to how people re-act and treated me since ever I was divorce

19

In most time I feeling unhappy because of the trauma from divorce

20

Thinking about the times wasted and my children

21

Vulnerability to low self-esteem especially at social gatherings

What measures can be done to curb the problem of divorce in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos?

22

Couple should be prayerful if they want to ensure peaceful and successful marriage

23

Couple should take decision together, helping each other in the house, respecting each other and not neglecting the women, laughing with each other, playing and all partner feel at home

24

Women should not be encouraged to do things which their husbands do not encourage and men should consult their wife on every decision they wish to undertake.

25

Couple should be going for marital counseling to promote peaceful and successful marriages.

26

Partner must show love and care rather reminding each other mistakes and avoid marital conflict

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