Divorce: The Effects Of Divorce On The Academic Performance Of Students

Divorce: The Effects Of Divorce On The Academic Performance Of Students

This chapter is selected aside to review the literature relating to the topic;The effects of divorce on the academic performance of students in some selected secondary school in Oredo L.G.A. of Edo State.

To this end, the review will be centered on the following sub-headings;

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  1. Scientific approach to studying divorce
  2. Courtship
  3. Family organization
  4. Theoretical basis of the causes of divorce
  5. Divorce and the future of the family


In approaching marriage and causes of divorce scientifically, it is necessary to write about the social change on marital stability in our society. Marital stability refers to what constitutes stable relationship between husband, wife and children in a harmonious relationship that is within nuclear family. There are certain factors in our tradition and modern society which militate against marital stability.

Some of these factors can be discussed under vital teaching like courtship, family, organization, age, education, and economic independence.


During courtship period affect the long run relationship between husband and wife. This is a period of serious preparation between a girl and a boy intending to get married in future. The devotion of nay courtship depends on the two parties concerned. Since it my not necessary end up in marriage, it is an important step in the selection of spouse. According to Omari Peter (1960) says that ‘the partner knows best, the groom requires little time to get use to peculiar attitude of the wife’. This is important to some extent because it avoids dangerous courtship before marriage since not all courtship end up in marriage.

In the past, girls are betrothed before parents allow any form of courtship. The courtship takes a different pattern from our modern courtship. Their own courtship period according to Marsh (1987) ‘during the courtship period, the wife to be at times visits the parents home of her mother-in-law and not with her would-be husband’. This idea was that the young man must put the girl in the family way before dowry was paid. This dowry helped to legalize the marriage, Goode (1963) state, ‘marriage was not just an event but a process in which visiting services and gifts were exchanged over a period of time as marriage relationship strengthened and each spouse was more fully accepted by his relatives. Social changes have contributed to marital instability. This does not mean that in tradition society, marital instability did not occur. These were also evidences of quarrels and divorce that are apparent these days.

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Our social set these days is a thing of much importance. Once the couples concerned are socially compatible, there is tend to be irritable behaviour in the home which can speed up divorce.


Most families are physically separated from the extended family system. The physical separation helped to create inter-independence between husband and wife. It also helps them to have a peaceful life with less interference from the extended family, which is normally the cause of most break-up of marriage because tension from the man’s family gets the woman up set and the man biased or vice-versa. There should be a limit to how the family organization affects marriage.


There are bound to be conflict when one partner tries to claim educational superiority over the other. When there are no similarities in educational background they tend to view things or issues differently which pose problems to their marital status.

It is therefore a vital importance that the difference in their educational background should be such that permits intelligent exchange of viewpoints and most important of all at social discussion. The man or woman should at least partake in homely of formal discussions. No partner is happy if his or her partner is unable to keep pace with discussion or debates. The reverse is the case when the educational differences are such that militates against one being unable to discuss in social gathering.


According to Akandu (1977) ‘marriage is sacred and persons who are sound together in the homes must be of priceless value to one another so that they can enjoy their marriage life to optimum’. A marriage that will succeed must be built on mutual confidence, understanding and the absence of infidelity. There should never be anything like marriage out of sympathy on the part of the woman or the man, that is to say marriage out of mere favour and not of the natural love, such a marriage can be dangerous beyond their capacity to cope with.

There is always joy in a marriage where mutual confidence is present but such confidence is lost when husband is not faithful to his wife or vise-versa, that is, when each of them keeps a secret lover outside the home to whom more attention and money is given such a way of paves way for marital destruction which later leads to divorce.

If marriage is to have continuity, a couple must be ready to settle the problems with God as their third partner. Both husband and wife must take care to accept injury for insult without paying back, to learn to adjust to each others likes and dislikes and to take the initiative in forgiveness. If one will not express regret for an action, the other must often seek for forgiveness; they must learn not to reopen old wounds but must face the future with hope and good promises so that their marriage may continue to stability and sweet bliss.

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Another author Burthon (1963) in his book reported that ‘the simplest way to avoid divorce is to marry someone very much like yourself. The more you are alike in thought and actions, the likely for the marriage to succeed when you have the same similarity or compatible talents, likes, dislikes and ambition and moral concepts, you then supplement and build those qualities into each other.


Few persons now supports that increase in divorce rate signify a general decline in happiness of the family, father, mother and children. High marital stability does not necessarily mean high level of marital happiness,. It may mean only that the emotional significance of the marital relationship for married individual is not very great. Increases in divorce rate are indications of decreasing tolerance for emotional unsatisfying marriage and the general acceptance of divorce as the solution of the problems. In some states, cultural value appear to have abandoned the concept of marriage in the process of being defined as a temporary relationship to be maintained only as long as it help both partners get what they want out of life.

Current high divorce rate should not be seen as a sing of impeding, destruction of marriage as a social institution. Rather they should be understand as an institution of transformation of the traditional institution of marriage into an instrument of the realization of individual goals rather than emphasize on the services of broader social purpose. The strongest argument against divorce is frequently made on behalf of children of divorced parents. It has been believed that children are damaged by the divorce of their parents and that this predisposes them to delinquency and emotional maladjustment. A number of studies show that when children from broken home marriage are compared to children from intact marriages, the latter are better adjusted and have been relationship with their parents. But the crucial comparison is between children from broken homes by divorce and those from homes that are intact but unhappy. When this comparison was made in study of adolescents those from divorced home fared better adjustment to parents than the adolescent from intact but unhappy homes.

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From the evidence available, it can longer be maintained that divorce is entirely detrimental to children. The effect of divorce on children other than adolescents is not known. It can be concluded that martial conflict and disruption ate disturbing children and disorganized their lives. If divorce remove the source of conflict, then divorce is better for the children than living in conflict.

The probability of divorce is not spread evenly throughout the population. Socio-economic status, race, religion, age at marriage, geographical locations are factors related to the risk of divorce. In some states where attitudes and laws concerning divorces are restrictive, only the upper class has enough money and influence to obtain divorce. Divorce among low-income family is compared with influence to obtain divorce.

The adverse effect of low income on marital instability is greater than the divorce statistics indicates, since poor people often separate without obtaining a legal divorce.

The circumstances of lower class environments with irregular employment, economic hardship and a general inability of the individual to control his destiny impose great strains on marital instability.

Finally, majority of step children are being over laboured when they come back from school. They are set to go and fetch water, firewood, for their needs and other family errands.

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