Student Counsellors' Perceived Causes of Divorce among Couples in Lagos Metropolis

By Stephens, Oluyemi Adetunji | Ife Psychologia, September 2012 | Go to article overview

Student Counsellors' Perceived Causes of Divorce among Couples in Lagos Metropolis


Stephens, Oluyemi Adetunji, Ife Psychologia


The increase in the rate of divorce in Nigeria and it's attendant negative consequences should be of concern to all especially counsellors and student counsellors It is imperative to find out student counsellors' perceived causes of divorce among couples in Lagos metropolis. Their perception will affect their judgment in carrying out their profession as Helpers. This study investigated the student counsellors' perceived causes of divorce among couples in Lagos metropolis. The sample for the study who were randomly selected consisted of one hundred and five student counsellors of the sandwich programme of the Lagos State University, Lagos, Nigeria. A self designed questionnaire-Student Counsellors' Perceived Causes of Divorce Questionnaire (SCPCDQ) was used to obtain data. A research question and three hypotheses were formulated. The research question was answered using the mean responses while the first two hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance, using the t-test. A one-way analysis of variance was used to test the third hypothesis. The results indicated that there was no significant difference in student counsellors perceived causes of divorce among couples in Lagos metropolis on the basis of marital status, gender and age. It was recommended that student counsellors should be trained in pre marital counselling and that counsellors should lay more emphasis on maintaining marriage relationships.

Keywords: student counsellors', causes, divorce, couples, Lagos metropolis.

The family derives its root from marriage and the importance of the family cannot be over emphasized. The family serves as the building blocks of the societies of the world. It is also the first and major socialization agents as well as the backbone of economic and political development (Ibrahim& Musa, 2007). Eze-Echesi (2009) described the family as a sacred unit that should be respected, protected and supported .Progress and maintenance in the family signifies harmony while crisis in the family which often culminate in divorce, is an indication of danger and insecurity in the society.

In spite of the importance of marriage, the rate of divorce is high in most part of the world. According to a 2011 report on www.divorce.com, the rate of divorce in America was put at 45%, United Kingdom, 53%; Canada 45%; and Germany 41%. Although, there is no official figure of the divorce rate in Nigeria different researchers such as Abhekale (2008) have reported an increase in the rate of divorce in Nigeria while Umoh & Adeyemi (2011) submit that the rate of divorce in Nigeria is assuming an unacceptable proportion.

Divorce according to Lands (1975), is a climax to a long story of unhappiness and it provides a legal way out of a situation which one or both parties have considered intolerable. Divorce can also be defined as a formal or legal termination of a marriage relationship. The alarming rate of divorce should be of concern to all most especially counsellors as well as student counsellors It has also generated a lot of research. Several reasons have been adduced to cause divorce. Wallis (2008) identified relaxed laws, empowerment of women, rise of individualism, lack of communication and change in social norms as some of the causes for the increase in the rate of divorce in Great Britain. Akinade & Sulaiman (2009) summarized research findings of the causes of divorce to include communication breakdown, sexual incompatibility, childlessness, disagreement over children. Other causes according to them are alcohol and drug abuse, domestic violence, and financial collapse.

A longitudinal study of reasons why divorcees get divorced by Amato & Previ (2003) revealed that the most commonly reported cause of divorce by divorcees was infidelity, followed by incompatibility, alcohol or drug use. Other reasons were .growing apart, personality problems, lack of communication and physical or mental abuse in that order. …

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