Nursing Project Topics

Spousal Separation and Upbringing of Children in Ijebu North, Ogun State

Spousal Separation and Upbringing of Children in Ijebu North, Ogun State

Spousal Separation and Upbringing of Children in Ijebu North, Ogun State

Chapter One

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects that spousal separation has on upbringing of children and their role in minimizing those effects.

 Objectives of the Study

The objectives were to:

  1. Examine school teachers’ perceptions on the effects spousal separations on upbringing of children.
  2. Explore the knowledge of children in spousal separations and the effects of upbringing
  3. Explore community members’ views on their role in the effects of spousal separation on children’s upbringing.



 Teachers’ Perceptions on the Effects of spousal separation to children’s upbringing

Poor academic performance is understood as falling below an expected standard. Aremu and Sokan (2003) submit that poor academic achievement is related to low motivational orientation, low self-esteem, emotional problems, poor study habits and poor interpersonal relationships. This chapter focuses on spousal separation as being a factor that affects negatively the academic performance of school children.

Biblarz (2000) conducted a study which compared academic performance of children of spousal separation with children of widowed mothers. Findings concluded that children of spousal separationes were  less likely to complete high school, attend college, or attend graduate school than children of widowed mothers. The McLanahan and Sandefur study of 1994 found that children from separated homes were two times more likely to drop out of high school than children from two parent homes.

The longitudinal study conducted by Wallerstein determined negative correlation between spousal separation and school attendance, academic achievement, attitude towards learning and the ability to concentrate (Wallerstein, 1980). The study found that academic performance was not significantly related to the father or mother‘s socioeconomic level. Wallerstein concluded that the spousal separation did not significantly alter school performance of the group as a group, but individual effects existed. children of separated marriages get very little support from adults. He further observed that, during this time, adult friends, relatives and teachers are hesitant to interfere.

Whitemarsh (2008) found that educators are often the first to notice a change in behavior when a family is in transition to being broken up Teachers have observed that some children from separated families may show decreased functioning in academic performance and display oppositional behavior, or signs of anxiety and depression.

According to smith (1999), some children are flexible and adapt well to change largely due to implementing effective coping strategies, while other children may react in the opposite way. children may lose confidence, blame themselves for the break-up, and see their parent’s separation or spousal separation in a complicated way. The range of feelings that a child may encounter include; disbelief and denial, sadness, loss, loneliness, depression, anger, anxiety, fear, relief and hope. Response to these feelings often results in different levels of intensity (Smith, 1999).

Effects of spousal separation on School Going children

Reaction of children to spousal separation may be influenced by remarriage of custodial parent. According to Zinsmeister (1996), remarriage of parents can add to, rather than subtract from, the stress of a child. Divorce makes children unsafe, uncertain of the future or makes children feel that the future is bleak and they become helpless because they fear that something bad could happen to them (Wallerstein & Blakeslee, 2003). Some children perform better in school as an attempt to shut out problems at home (Lansky, 2000).

In contrast, other children may intentionally allow grades to slip in an attempt to gain attention from both parents (Richmond, 1998). children living with newly separated mothers are more likely to be late for school and are less likely to have a help in their homework (Hetherington, 2002).

Amato conducted a quantitative meta-analysis in an effort to bring order to find the relationship between spousal separation and academic achievement. The results relating to academic achievement showed statistical significance in lower academic achievement in children of spousal separation when compared to children from continuously married parents (Amato, 1991).




Research Design

A research design is an arrangement of condition for collection and analysis of data in a manner that aims to combine relevance of the research purpose with economy in procedures (Settz, 1965) cited in Kothari (1990). The study employed both qualitative and quantitative research approach. Qualitative design helps to study the narratives on the effects of spousal separations on upbringing of children from teachers, community members and children themselves. Qualitative design enabled the researcher to make sense of those perceptions by interpreting the meanings the respondents attached to spousal separations.

Independent variables are those attributes that have an effect in the dependent variables. In the context of this study, the independent variable is the number of spousal separation while dependant variable is the extent of the effects on upbringing of children.

Area of Study

The area of study was conducted in Egor L.G.A., Ogun state. Egor L.G.A. was chosen because of its relatively low rates of children’s school participation compared with other cities in Nigeria.

Population, Sample And Sampling Techniques

Fraenkel and Wallen (2000) define population as an arrangement of people or things that a researcher has in mind from which one can obtain information and draw conclusion. In this study, the population will include some school children, community members and teachers.

Target Population

According to Ary, Jacobo & Razariel (1996) target population includes all members of any defined class of people, events or object from which possible information about the study can be obtained. The target population of this study included school children, teachers and influential community members



Characteristics of the Respondents

Sex of Respondents

The Table 4.1 shows the number of respondents with respect to their sex. According to the results it was revealed that majority of respondents 120(60%) were females and the remaining 80(40%) were males. This implies that gender was considered in selecting respondents so as to get consistent information regarding spousal separations from both sexes.



 Summary of Findings

This study sought to investigate the perceptions of teachers, children and the community members on the effects that spousal separation have on upbringing of children. Specifically the study sought to:

  1. Examine school teachers’ perceptions on the effects spousal separations on upbringing of children.
  2. Explore the perception of children in spousal separations and the effects of upbringing.
  3. Explore community members’ views on their role in the effects of spousal separation on children’s upbringing.

Chapter 1 concentrated on exploration of the concept of spousal separation and its effects on children. Chapter 2 dwelt more on the literatures and studies on the effects of spousal separations on upbringing of children. It also reviewed the literature on the perceptions of children on the effects of spousal separations on their life and the role of community in minimizing the effects of spousal separations on children. Chapter 3, research methodology presented the research design for this study. This is mixed method design where quantitative and qualitative data were collected and analyzed. Chapter 4 is confined in data presentation and analysis.

The following findings were revealed by this study:

There are two opposing sides on the negative effect of spousal separation on upbringing of children. These opposing sides could be explained as an influence of the media, the church and the school, which see marriage as a norm, where two parents are supposed to live together and rear their children and broken one are going against the norm. Literature consistently shows that spousal separation has negative effects on children’s growth physically and psychologically but it is silent on positive effects of spousal separation on children’s development. Although there are those who believe a spousal separation is better than exposing children to adult violence, they also believe that marriage is a good thing for nurturing the family, regardless of other gender-based exploitation. children who have experienced violence feel better when the marriage eventually is broken, but they suffer negative identification as developing bad manners due to lack of one figure, father or mother.

These findings have further shown that community members perceive themselves as with a role to ensure the welfare of the children from spousal separation although this role vary. There were those who felt they are responsible because they are Africans, and those who thought they have a role to play because of religious teachings. This concurs with the literature reviewed in chapter two as well as other literature referred to in chapter five under discussion. It was also noted that children were not informed by their parents on the prospects of separation.

Based on these findings, however, it cannot be confirmed with certainty that children from broken homes are worse off than those from intact marriage because some may be experiencing violence, which has more negative effect than living peacefully with one parent. All in all, parents need to ensure the safety of their children whether they are in marriage or outside of it for a simple reason that children need to be brought up in peaceful environment if we want to have an upright future generation.


Recommendations for Action

On the bases of the results obtained in the research and the literature reviewed, the following are recommended.

  • The community members including teachers, neighbors and all children lovers should make it their responsibility for all the children regardless of being their biological
  • Schools at all levels should have a strong guidance and counseling unit to help all the children in need of special
  • The Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MoEVT) in collaboration with Universities and religious organizations should work together and develop training programme on love, marriage and care for parents in order to educate the society on the importance of love and family care for healthy families, communities and society in


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