THE CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF SINGLE PARENTHOOD IN IGBOLAND CASE STUDY EZEAGU LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ENUGU STATE
BACKGROUP OF THE STUDY
Single parenthood is a social problem which looks very perplexing, confusing and highly difficult to explain. In this context single parenthood refers to a human status characterized by a set of relationship involving either a father, child/ children or mother – child/children living together within the context of a family or separately. This precarious situation is indeed discomforting granting that the single parenthood (man or woman) affected must in his or her capacity strive to cover within his or her limits the missing link between the child and the non-existent parent. This lies the inherent problem because as the growing child grows, he becomes inquisitive and naturally would always seek to ask this ungoodable question of mommey, where is Daddy or voice versa. Under this inquisitive seal of the child, the parent concerned may psychologically be tempted to resort to child pampering which obviously will not be in the interest of the child later in life. The result of this development according to psychological literature is reflects with examples of the link between parental rejected and the emergence of an affectionless, hostile or psychopathic personality problem in the child.
It is observed that single parenthood is usually an unprepared development. For instance a school girl who accidentally got pregnant or the emergence of an unplanned pregnancy, in which case if the circumstances surrounding the marriage was not properly address, parental rejected of the offspring may manifest overtly or covertly. This will create both psychological and societal problem to the parent that accepted the responsibility of the child’s upbringing and the innocent child suffers all the problems associated with single parenthood.
Again single parenthood could happen as a result of death of one of the married couples, pre-marital sex and unwanted pregnancy including the fear of menopause in ladies and societal permissiveness of sexual relationship between two or more unmarried opposite sexes. The problems associated with single parenthood are expected to be many and multifaced as they affect the child, the parent and of course the society.
In a study on single parenthood.
Ashley (1969) observed that children are the chief casualties and victims of single parenthood. Often times they are prey to a cluster of psychological problems and personality disorder. Single parenthood retards progress and development of a child and the society at large.
Thus, it is believed that a child brought up by single parent by design cannot have the same fulfillment, sound moral, social and psychological development like a child brought up in a family where both parents live together in conjugal union and fidelity.
However, this is the belief in some quarters that a great number of delinquent children come from homes in which a parent died or was absent for other reasons, with the proportion of the delinquents being greatest among the boys who were youngest when the absence began. This group further believes that it is possible that as a result of the material and emotional deprivation consequent on such a loss of one married partner, such juvenile may be let into wandering, stealing and so on.
STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
Marriage is the union of a man and a woman from two different families, with the ultimate aim of bearing children. Thus marriage and child bearing is an integral aspect of a human’s desire and few (if any) human being envisage a life without getting married and raising children except in exceptional cases.
According to Okoro (1982) marriage is very important to both man and woman since it brings about settled life, division of labour and raising of children who will bear the parents names and who are the further leaders of the country. The children needs adequate attention from their parents and their training on which his/her life depends is considered to be the pivot of producing good citizens. Any parent (s) who failed to give the children sound training tends to hamper the progress, growth, development f the child and the nation in general.
However, it has been observed that some children do not have the attention of both parent as a result some reasons. Such reasons includes death of one of the parents, divorce by couples or bearing of children out of wedlock. This has given rise to the issue of single parenthood which is becoming a threat to the society, thereby prompting the researcher to find out the causes of single parenthood and it effect on academic performance of children.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of the study was:
1. To find out the causes of single parenthood and it effect in Igboland.
2. This study intend to identify if there are single parenthood in the area of the study.
3. To examine the cause and implications or the consequences.
DELIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The researcher delimited the study to the causes and effect of single parenthood in Igboland with particular reference to Imezi Owa in Ezeagu Local Government of Enugu State. Such other factor that is not within the range of the causes and consequences of single parenthood was not discussed in this study since it does fall within the scope of the study.
The researcher formulated following research questions to guide the study.
1. Are there some cause of single parenthood in Imezi Owa in Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu State?
2. Are there some effect of single parent hood in academic performance of children in the study area?
3. Could the problem of single parenthood be solved in your area?
4. In what ways could the government help children of single parents in the society?
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This result of this study will have a lot of significance to the students, parents and the society at large. The result of the study will be useful to the students since it will contribute to the existing material in the study area and will educate them on the needs to seek for a peaceful settlement incases of misunderstanding between their parents. It will also form source of material to future researchers on the study topic or related topic of study. Also the result of the study will be beneficial to the parents since it will educate them on the need for them to live together and train their children. It will provide with the problems the children encounter when their parents got divorced. Again the study will provide solutions to the problems of single parenthood with a view of helping to curbs its effect on the society at large.