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THE INFLUENCE OF SOCIO-CULTURAL VARIABLES AND MARITAL STABILITY AMONG COUPLES
The study examined the influence of socio-cultural variables and marital stability among couples in Lagos Metropolis in Mushin Local Government Area of Lagos State
The descriptive research survey was applied in the assessment of the respondents’ opinions in this study. The stratified sampling technique was employed in selecting the samples for this study. A total of 160 (one hundred and sixty) respondents were selected for this study to represent the entire population of the study. For null hypotheses were formulated and tested using the one-way ANOVA and the t-test statistical tools at 0.05 level of significance. At the end of the analyses; these results were obtained:
(1)There is a significant influence of socio-cultural variables and marital stability among couples
(2)It was revealed in this hypothesis that there is no significant influence of religion and couples’ marital stability.
(3)Hypothesis one found that there is a significant relationship between the socio-economic status of couples and marital stability.
(4)It was finally revealed that there is a significant influence of communication and couples’ marital stability. In conclusion, it was revealed from the analyses, that there is a significant influence of socio-cultural variables and couples’ marital stability in the community. In the foregoing, the following recommendations were forwarded by the researcher.
It is the opinion of this researcher that couples should avoid the consultation of the third party in their conflict. Rather, they should try to settle themselves whenever there is any marital disagreement.
Couples should try to have one faith. It is not ideal that husband and wife should have different religious backgrounds or beliefs.
For couples to maintain marital happiness and togetherness, love must be watch-word in the family. Without love, affection and element of trust, couples will not go far in their marriages.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Culture is generally described and accepted as people’s way of life, which among other things includes their marital lives. The inspiration of every matured man or woman is to have a stable and happy marital life, be compatible in love, values, academic, economic and of course be socially alright. This in line with the postulation of Onyema (1994), that marriage is a social institution for the union of body and soul.
However, stability in marriage may at times be influenced by certain socio-cultural variables. The influence of the variables may be negative resulting to insecurity and unhappiness in marriage or may be positive resulting to a stable and happy union. These variables range from cultural diversity (in case of interethnic marriage), to educational, social, economic and even religious background.
Even age difference is inclusive in these variables. For instance, a lady once confessed that she can never marry an illiterate no matter how rich he may be, because, one day, he might ignorantly use his certificate as a toilet tissue. The implication of this open confession is incompatibility and social inequality in education which are factors that may influence marital stability. The current instability in some marriages in our society today tend to be the resultant influence of social, economic and cultural changes in people’s pattern of living. These changes, according to Amaonye, (1996), have occurred and has continued to occur so rapidly that they are not yet absorbed into our ways of living.
Furthermore, compatibility in social lives of couples a strong factor for marital stability and survival. When the social lives of couples are at variance, it may likely portend great threat to marital stability, because it takes time to come to terms with why some social outings and involvement are necessary. However, the realization of the salient influence of these socio cultural variables on marriage may likely be positive moment towards marriage stability in our society today.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The wish of every couple is to spend their life time together and, joyfully till death part them. However, this is not usually the case all the time because at a particular period in their lives, frictions do arise which lead to a near or total collapse of the marriage. And this is one of the inevitable challenges that accompany marriages.
Socio-cultural factors such as religions, age, socio-economic status, social class, educational background, personality, traditional values etc influence the marital stability of marriage among couples. And the factors are very important variables in marital stability which are seldom recognized by many couples, no wonder there are breakages in many homes as a result of no love, lack of understanding, lack of compatibility, disparity in age, in education, religion and social classes.
Many, for instance, have failed to realize that when couples are of diverse culture (inter-ethnic marriage), there is need to respect each other’s culture since this translates to respecting the person you married and subsequent marital stability. These days marriages fail due to lack of tolerance, lack of mutual trust, lack of patience, non-child bearing, no effective communication, lack of good marital altitudes, similarities between couples, lack of maturity and poor socio-economic status.
Finally, when couples are not from same socio-cultural background, and do not have the same value system and norms, they tend to vary in understanding of themselves and lack of understanding no doubt, creates conflict, and instability in marital union.
1.3Purpose of the Study
The major purpose of this study is to determine the socio-cultural variables on marital stability in Lagos state.
Other objectives of this study include to:
2. Examine whether there is difference between religion and marital stability among couples.
3. Find out whether there is difference between ethnicity and marital success among couples.
4. To determine whether there is influence of communication on marital stability.
5. To investigate whether socio-economic status has an impact on couples’ marital success.
The following research questions will assist the conduct of this study:
1. Will there be any significant influence of socio-cultural variables on marital stability?
2. Will religious backgrounds of couples influence their marital stability?
3. Is there any significant influence of socio-economic states of couples on their marital stability?
4. Will lack of communications affect the marital stability of couples?
The following research hypotheses were formulated for testing in this study:
1. There is no significant influence of socio-cultural variable and couples’ marital stability.
2. There is no significant influence of religion and couples’ marital stability.
3. There is no significant influence of communication and couples’ marital stability.
4. There is no significant influence of socio-economic statuses of couples on their marital stability?
1.6Significance of the Study
Marriage should be contracted through a careful planning not accidental marriage (that is marriages that are not planned but are forced on couples to save the family or families from embarrassment) should be avoided like a plague. Before a man weds his wife, both of them should reach the age of maturity. They should mature socially, economically, temperamentally, financially etc.
For a happy marriage, they should maintain a feeling of love and affection. The wife must experience a feeling of being wanted and a sense of belonging, care and security. The husband too needs love and affection to ensure him of a stable marriage. Marriage partners should avoid cognitive error that is, they should not expect the other person to see it. Therefore, if the husband wants the wife to behave in a certain way, he should inform her about his wishes, the same is true of the wife to her husband.
Sexual compatibility tends to foster marital stability, marital oneness to large extent depends on sex. Infact, sex is a form of communication and probably, the most legitimate in which two persons (husband and wife) express oneness of mind and feeling. Therefore, partners in marriage should be socially compatible.
Couples: The findings and recommendation of this study will be of great benefit for couples; both the already married ones and those intending to marry. This is because they will learn the factors that contribute to marital stability or harmony in marriage.
Adolescents: They will learn from the study, especially those who are of marriageable ages. This is because they will get to understand that there are some factors that can help marriages to grow and develop instead of dying down. They would have an insight of the role of social cultural factors, money or wealth play in sustaining marriages.
The Society: The society will learn through this study how finance can make marriage to work well. This is because, without enough financial powers, marriages tend to be conflict-stricken.
For marriage to work out well, couples should not entertain the interference of in-laws or the third party syndrome. They should avoid washing their dirty lining in the public. They should be of one religious sect, joint account, mind the same thing, maintain peace in the home and allow love and affection to rule their world.
The delimitation of this study is the influence of socio-cultural variables and marital stability in Lagos state. A case study of Mushin local government area.
1.8 Scope / Limitation of the Study
The research will cover Mushin local government area of Lagos State since the research is making use of only Mushin local government area, the generalization of the findings is limited to mushin local government area.
However, this study cannot present all the marital problems exhibited by all the couples in Lagos State considering the scope the generalization of the findings can only be applicable to the other couples in similar conditions.
There could be other problems that manifest among couples in Lagos State, but this study will be restricted to the one’s highlighted in the hypotheses.
1.9 Conceptual Definition of Terms
For easy comprehension of this study, all conceptual terms were defined thus:
1. Culture: This is defined as a term emerged whole of idea and things produced by men in their historical experience by 1910 America Anthropologists were using “Culture” to refer to distractive of traits characterizing particular tribal societies.
2. Culture Heritage: This is a process of bringing together people of different ideas and cultural background to have common interest and perceive a common goal.
3. Marriage: The legal joining together of two person’s of opposite sex as husband and wife.
4. Socio-Economic Status (SES): This refers to the combined influence of income, occupation, reduction, cultural tastes or values and prestige on social ranking. (Bidwell and Vendor, 1999).
5. Social Status: Mey (1998) defined social status as groups of individual who are accorded similar levels of prestige within the community and who share similar cultural taste, interest, patterns of consumptions and life styles.
6. Stability: This refers to something that is fixed, not likely to move or change its position. In simple terms, the quality of being stable.
7. Cohabitation: This is the act of living together of a man and a woman without formal marriage as husband and wife.
8. Communication: According to Adanma (1980), communication is the act of interaction between two individuals or from one person or group to another. It is the act of transmitting news or information between the source and the receiver through a medium.
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Onyema (1994). Social competence as a developmental construct. Development. 3:79-97.
Amaonye, A. O. (1996), “Dialectical Contradictions in Relationship Development”. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 769–88.
Bidwell and Vendor, (1999), A developmental perspective on antisocial behaviour.American Psychology. 44:329-335.
Adanma E. P. (1980), The Influence of Fathering Style on Orientation of Adolescents. Journal of Educational Research, 2, 1:111 – 125.
Ortner, J. (1994). The impact of school emotional climate on student psychology. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. 18:165-177.
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