Guidance Counseling Project Topics

Domestic Violence and Communication Styles as Determinants of Marital Instability Among Married Teachers in Secondary Schools in Anambra State

Domestic Violence and Communication Styles as Determinants of Marital Instability Among Married Teachers in Secondary Schools in Anambra State

Domestic Violence and Communication Styles as Determinants of Marital Instability Among Married Teachers in Secondary Schools in Anambra State


Objectives of the Study

The specific objectives of this study include to:

  1. To assess the prevalence of domestic violence among married teachers in secondary schools in Anambra State.
  2. To analyze the communication styles employed by married teachers in these schools.
  3. To determine the relationship between domestic violence, communication styles, and marital instability among this population.



Conceptual Review

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a complex and pervasive issue that affects individuals, families, and communities worldwide. It encompasses various forms of abuse, including physical violence, emotional abuse, sexual violence, and economic abuse. These forms of abuse can have profound and long-lasting impacts on the victims’ physical and mental well-being, as well as their overall quality of life. Understanding the dynamics of domestic violence, its prevalence, impact, and contributing factors, is crucial for developing effective interventions and support systems for victims.

Physical violence is one of the most visible and recognized forms of domestic violence. It involves the use of physical force that causes bodily harm or injury to a partner or family member. This can include acts such as hitting, punching, slapping, kicking, or using weapons to inflict harm. Research by Abayomi and Olabode (2023) highlights the seriousness of physical violence within intimate relationships and its detrimental effects on victims’ health and safety.

Emotional abuse is another insidious form of domestic violence that can have profound psychological impacts on victims. Emotional abuse involves behaviours such as verbal attacks, threats, intimidation, manipulation, and control tactics aimed at undermining the victim’s self-esteem and autonomy. Margelisch et al. (2021) discuss how emotional abuse can erode a person’s sense of self-worth, lead to anxiety and depression, and create a climate of fear and instability within the home.

Sexual violence within the context of domestic violence refers to non-consensual sexual acts or coercion imposed on a partner or family member. This can include rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and other forms of sexual coercion. Studies by Igbolekwu et al. (2021) shed light on the prevalence of sexual violence within intimate relationships and the challenges victims face in seeking help and support due to stigma and fear of reprisal.

Economic abuse is a less recognized but equally damaging form of domestic violence. It involves controlling or limiting a partner’s access to financial resources, preventing them from working or accessing education, and using economic dependence as a means of control and manipulation. Adegbite and Ajuwon (2023) discuss how economic abuse can trap victims in abusive relationships, making it difficult for them to leave or seek help.

The prevalence of domestic violence globally is a cause for concern, as highlighted by Adebowale (2020). Statistics show that a significant percentage of women and men experience domestic violence at some point in their lives, with women being disproportionately affected. In Nigeria, domestic violence remains a pervasive issue, with cultural norms, gender inequalities, and economic factors contributing to its prevalence and perpetuation (Anyanwu & Anyanwu, 2017).

Several factors contribute to domestic violence within marital relationships, as discussed by Amadi and Amadi (2022). These factors can be categorized into individual, relational, and societal levels. Individual factors may include unresolved trauma, mental health issues, substance abuse, and learned behaviours from childhood experiences of violence. Relational factors may involve power imbalances, communication breakdowns, jealousy, and conflicts over financial matters or parenting decisions. Societal factors encompass cultural norms, gender roles, socioeconomic disparities, lack of legal protection, and inadequate support services for victims of domestic violence.

Understanding these multifaceted factors and their interactions is crucial for developing holistic interventions and support systems to address domestic violence effectively. By raising awareness, promoting healthy relationships, providing counselling and legal assistance, and strengthening policies and laws, we can work towards preventing domestic violence, supporting victims, and creating safer communities for everyone.




Research Philosophy

The research philosophy adopted for this study was grounded in a positivist approach, which sought to investigate objective realities and the relationships among variables concerning domestic violence, communication styles, and marital instability among married teachers in secondary schools located in Anambra State, Nigeria (Saunders et al., 2019). This approach was characterized by its emphasis on using quantitative methods to gather empirical data, facilitating a systematic analysis of relationships, patterns, and trends. By employing quantitative techniques, the researcher aimed to derive measurable and statistically significant insights into the phenomena under investigation. This approach enabled the study to focus on observable facts and outcomes, providing a structured framework for exploring the dynamics within marital relationships among educators in the specified context.

The positivist approach guided the researcher in adopting methodologies that aligned with the principles of objectivity, measurability, and generalizability (Saunders et al., 2019). Through the use of structured surveys, the study collected quantifiable data on variables such as the prevalence of domestic violence, specific communication styles employed by married teachers, and indicators of marital instability. This methodological choice allowed for the systematic examination of these variables across a representative sample, contributing to a comprehensive understanding of the research domain.

Furthermore, the positivist perspective facilitated the establishment of clear hypotheses and research questions that could be tested empirically using statistical analyses (Saunders et al., 2019). By focusing on observable phenomena and employing standardized data collection tools, the study aimed to minimize biases and subjectivity in the research process. This approach was particularly suitable for investigating complex social issues such as domestic violence and marital dynamics, as it provided a structured framework for analyzing and interpreting the data collected from the participants.



Data Presentation




Summary of Findings

The study focused on exploring the prevalence of domestic violence, communication styles, and their correlation with marital instability among married teachers in secondary schools in Anambra State, Nigeria. The research aimed to shed light on these crucial aspects of marital relationships and their impact within the educational setting. Through various data collection methods and statistical analyses, several key findings emerged, contributing to a deeper understanding of the dynamics involved.

Firstly, concerning the prevalence of domestic violence, the study found that a significant portion of married teachers reported experiencing domestic violence incidents. The findings from Table 4.6 revealed that 45.4% of respondents strongly agreed and 23.1% agreed that domestic violence is a common occurrence among married teachers in the state. This highlights a concerning aspect of marital relationships among educators, indicating the need for interventions and support systems to address such issues effectively.

The research also delved into the reporting behaviour related to domestic violence incidents. Table 4.7 demonstrated that 52.8% of respondents strongly agreed and 20.4% agreed that domestic violence incidents are underreported within the community of married teachers in Anambra State. This finding reflects the challenges associated with acknowledging and addressing domestic violence, pointing to potential gaps in awareness and support mechanisms within the educational environment.

Regarding the effectiveness of awareness programs and support systems, Table 4.8 indicated positive sentiments among respondents. A majority (52.8% strongly agreed and 20.4% agreed) believed that awareness programs and support systems effectively address domestic violence issues among married teachers. This underscores the importance of implementing such initiatives to create safer and supportive environments for educators facing domestic violence challenges.

The study also explored the relationship between domestic violence, communication styles, and marital instability. The findings from Table 4.14 showed that a significant percentage of respondents agreed (45.4%) or strongly agreed (20.4%) that domestic violence incidents are linked to higher levels of marital instability among married teachers. This highlights the interconnected nature of these factors and emphasizes the need for holistic approaches to address marital conflicts and promote stability.

Furthermore, the research examined the impact of communication styles on marital dynamics. Tables 4.10 to 4.13 revealed insights into assertive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, and passive communication tendencies among married teachers. The results indicated varying degrees of these communication styles, with implications for conflict resolution, relationship satisfaction, and overall marital stability. For instance, Table 4.12 showed that a majority of respondents acknowledged using assertive communication styles in their interactions, which can positively contribute to healthier relationships.

Additionally, the one-sample t-test results (Table 4.18) provided statistical support for the hypotheses related to domestic violence prevalence, communication styles, and their correlation with marital instability. The significant test values and confidence intervals reinforced the findings observed in the survey responses, adding robustness to the study’s conclusions.

In summary, the study’s findings highlight the complexities within marital relationships among married teachers in Anambra State, particularly concerning domestic violence, communication dynamics, and marital stability. The results underscore the importance of raising awareness, implementing support systems, and promoting effective communication strategies to foster healthier relationships and well-being among educators within the educational context. These findings can serve as valuable insights for policymakers, educational institutions, and support organizations aiming to address domestic violence and enhance the overall quality of work environments for teachers.


The hypotheses tested in this study provided valuable insights into the prevalence of domestic violence, communication styles, and their correlation with marital instability among married teachers in secondary schools in Anambra State, Nigeria. The findings from the statistical analyses and survey responses contribute significantly to our understanding of these complex dynamics within the educational setting.

Firstly, the results confirmed the hypothesis that there is a significant prevalence of domestic violence among married teachers in the state. The responses from the survey and the one-sample t-test supported this conclusion, indicating a substantial number of teachers experiencing domestic violence incidents. This finding emphasizes the urgent need for interventions, support systems, and awareness programs to address and prevent domestic violence within the educational environment.

Secondly, the study explored various communication styles employed by married teachers and their impact on marital dynamics. The findings revealed a range of communication tendencies, including assertive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, and passive styles. While assertive communication was predominant, the presence of other styles suggests the complexity of interpersonal interactions among educators. Understanding these communication patterns is crucial for promoting healthy relationships and effective conflict-resolution strategies.

Lastly, the correlation between domestic violence, communication styles, and marital instability was substantiated through statistical analyses and respondents’ perceptions. The results indicated a strong link between experiencing domestic violence and reporting higher levels of marital instability. Additionally, certain communication styles, such as passive-aggressive tendencies, were noticeable among teachers dealing with marital conflicts, highlighting potential areas for intervention and support.

In conclusion, the study’s findings underscore the multifaceted nature of marital relationships among married teachers in Anambra State, emphasizing the interconnectedness of domestic violence, communication dynamics, and marital stability. Addressing these issues requires a comprehensive approach that integrates awareness-building, support systems, and effective communication strategies tailored to the specific needs of educators. The implications of this research extend to policy development, educational interventions, and support services aimed at creating safer and healthier work environments for teachers and promoting overall well-being within the educational community.

Implications of the Study

The implications of this study extend across several domains, encompassing academia, policy-making, educational institutions, and social support systems. The findings shed light on critical issues related to domestic violence, communication dynamics, and marital instability among married teachers in secondary schools in Anambra State, Nigeria. These implications are crucial for informing interventions, policy changes, and support mechanisms aimed at improving the well-being and professional environment of educators.

Educational Interventions: One of the primary implications of this study is the necessity for educational interventions within schools and teacher training programs. Educators play a vital role in shaping the learning environment and students’ well-being. Therefore, awareness programs, workshops, and training sessions focused on domestic violence awareness, communication skills, conflict resolution strategies, and stress management can be developed and integrated into teacher training curricula. These interventions can equip teachers with the necessary skills to recognize signs of domestic violence, manage interpersonal conflicts effectively, and foster healthy communication within school settings.

Policy Development: The study’s findings also have implications for policy development at the institutional and governmental levels. Educational policies can be formulated or revised to include provisions for addressing domestic violence among teachers. This may involve establishing clear guidelines and protocols for reporting and handling cases of domestic violence within educational institutions. Furthermore, policies promoting work-life balance, mental health support, and counselling services can be implemented to support teachers experiencing marital challenges or domestic violence.

Support Systems: Creating robust support systems within schools and communities is imperative. Schools can collaborate with local authorities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and counselling centres to provide confidential support services to teachers facing domestic violence or marital instability. These support systems may include counselling services, legal assistance, crisis hotlines, and referral networks to ensure teachers have access to comprehensive support and resources.

Professional Development: The study’s implications also extend to professional development opportunities for teachers. Professional development workshops focused on enhancing interpersonal skills, conflict resolution strategies, and stress management techniques can be organized regularly. Additionally, workshops addressing gender dynamics, cultural sensitivity, and inclusive communication practices can promote a more respectful and harmonious work environment among educators.

Research and Advocacy: The study underscores the need for continued research and advocacy efforts in the field of domestic violence and education. Further research can explore specific factors contributing to domestic violence among teachers, the impact of domestic violence on job performance and student outcomes, and the effectiveness of interventions in educational settings. Advocacy initiatives can raise awareness, challenge stigma, and advocate for policy changes to support educators and address systemic issues related to domestic violence.


The following recommendations were proposed:

  1. Implement Mandatory Training Programs: Educational institutions should mandate training programs for all teachers focused on recognizing signs of domestic violence, effective communication strategies, and conflict resolution skills. These programs should be integrated into teacher training curricula and offered regularly to both new and experienced educators.
  2. Establish Supportive Policies: Schools and educational authorities should develop and implement policies that explicitly address domestic violence among teachers. These policies should outline procedures for reporting incidents, accessing support services, and maintaining confidentiality to ensure the safety and well-being of all staff members.
  3. Provide Accessible Support Services: Educational institutions should collaborate with local authorities, NGOs, and counselling centres to establish accessible support services for teachers experiencing domestic violence or marital instability. This includes providing confidential counselling, legal assistance, and referral networks to specialized service providers.
  4. Promote Work-Life Balance: Schools should promote work-life balance by encouraging flexible working arrangements, providing resources for stress management, and fostering a supportive organizational culture that values employees’ well-being.
  5. Enhance Awareness and Education: Schools should conduct regular awareness campaigns and educational sessions on domestic violence, gender dynamics, and healthy relationship behaviours. These initiatives can help reduce stigma, increase understanding, and empower teachers to seek help when needed.
  6. Foster a Culture of Respect and Inclusion: Educational institutions should promote a culture of respect, inclusion, and diversity, where all staff members feel valued, respected, and supported. This includes addressing issues of gender inequality, promoting diversity training, and fostering an environment of mutual respect and understanding.
  7. Support Research and Data Collection: Educational authorities should support research initiatives aimed at understanding the prevalence, causes, and consequences of domestic violence among teachers. This includes funding research projects, collecting data on domestic violence incidents within educational settings, and sharing best practices and findings with relevant stakeholders.
  8. Advocate for Policy Changes: Teachers’ unions, advocacy groups, and educational organizations should advocate for policy changes at the local, national, and international levels to address systemic issues related to domestic violence. This includes advocating for legislative reforms, allocating resources for support services, and promoting a zero-tolerance approach to domestic violence within educational settings.

Contribution to Knowledge

This study makes significant contributions to the existing knowledge base on domestic violence, communication dynamics, and marital instability among teachers in secondary schools. Firstly, it adds to the growing body of literature on domestic violence prevalence among educators, particularly in the context of Anambra State, Nigeria. By examining the specific experiences of married teachers, the study provides nuanced insights into the prevalence rates and forms of domestic violence faced by this demographic, which can inform targeted interventions and support programs.

Secondly, the study contributes to understanding communication styles employed by married teachers and their impact on marital relationships. By exploring assertive, aggressive, passive, and passive-aggressive communication tendencies, the research sheds light on how these styles influence conflict resolution, relationship dynamics, and the overall work environment within educational settings. This insight is valuable for educators, administrators, and policymakers aiming to improve communication strategies and foster healthy workplace relationships.

Furthermore, this study advances knowledge of the correlation between domestic violence, communication patterns, and marital instability among teachers. By examining these interrelated factors, the research underscores the complex nature of domestic violence dynamics and their implications for marital satisfaction and stability. Understanding these correlations can guide the development of targeted interventions that address both the root causes and consequences of domestic violence within the teaching profession.

Moreover, the study contributes to raising awareness about underreported domestic violence incidents and the challenges faced by educators in seeking help or support. By highlighting the underreporting issue, the research underscores the need for comprehensive support systems, ethical guidelines, and policy reforms within educational institutions to create safer and more supportive environments for teachers experiencing domestic violence or marital conflicts.

Suggestions for Further Studies

Exploring further in this area could yield valuable insights and contribute to enhancing our understanding of domestic violence, communication styles, and marital dynamics among educators. Firstly, future studies could delve deeper into the specific factors contributing to the underreporting of domestic violence incidents among married teachers. Understanding the barriers to reporting and seeking help can inform the development of more effective support systems and interventions tailored to educators’ needs.

Secondly, there is scope for longitudinal studies to examine the long-term effects of domestic violence and communication styles on marital stability and professional well-being among teachers. Longitudinal research can track changes over time, identify patterns of resilience or vulnerability, and explore how interventions impact outcomes such as job satisfaction, mental health, and career progression.

Furthermore, comparative studies across different regions or educational settings can provide insights into how cultural, social, and institutional factors influence domestic violence experiences and communication dynamics among teachers. Comparative research can highlight variations in prevalence rates, coping strategies, and support needs, helping to develop culturally sensitive interventions and policies.

Additionally, studies focusing on the effectiveness of specific interventions, such as counselling programs, support groups, or policy initiatives, can contribute to evidence-based practices in addressing domestic violence and promoting healthy communication among educators. Evaluating the impact of interventions on reducing domestic violence incidents, improving communication skills, and enhancing overall well-being can guide best practices in supporting teachers’ professional and personal lives.

Lastly, exploring the role of organizational culture, leadership styles, and school policies in creating safe and supportive work environments for teachers can be a fruitful area for future research. Understanding how organizational factors influence educators’ experiences of domestic violence, their willingness to seek help, and the effectiveness of support systems can inform strategies for creating safer and more resilient educational institutions.


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