The study examined counsellors’ perception on the causes of divorce and its impact on adolescents in Awka educational zone.  The study adopted a survey research design and was anchored on Attribution theory. The study used a sample size of 31 counsellors from secondary schools in Awka educational zone. The findings showed that sexual problem, psychological immaturity, Lack of trust, Marital Infidelity, among others are major causes of marital divorce while prostitution, low self-esteem, low academic achievement, inability to apply acquired knowledge among others are major impacts of divorce on the wellbeing of adolescents. Based on the findings, recommendations were made among which are; parents who are considering divorce should also consider the effect of divorce on their children’s wellbeing, any factor which can lead to marital divorce should be well evaluated by parents in other to avoid possible consequences of divorce.











Background to the study

Divorce is a legal termination of valid marriage. Divorce is a recurrent event in Nigeria which has impacted more than one-third negative effect on most children (Owusu-Bempah, 2007). For many children, the effects of divorce can have instantaneous and long-lasting results on their educational achievement.

Divorce is one of the many problems facing the family unit today. People have different views on the effect of divorce on children but not a few analysts opine that when a couple opt for divorce, the resultant effects on them and their children are most times negative. The term ‘divorce’ came from the Latin word “Divortere” meaning to turn different ways or separate. This implies that Divorce is the final termination of marital union which cancels the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage and dissolve the bonds of matrimony between the parties. This could happen after a husband and wife decide not to live together anymore and that they are no longer interested in their marriage.

Marriage and divorce are both common experiences. Married couple expects a healthy life. Healthy marriage is good for couple’s mental and physical health. It is also good for children; children grow up to be mentally, physically, educationally and socially balanced. However, divorce often shatters the peace and harmony in the family. About 30 to 40 percent of married couples in Nigeria divorce (Modesty,2014). Divorce is typically a painful process for all concerned. It takes time for parties involved to regain psychological equilibrium. While the adults may regain, the children continue to suffer one form of maladjustment or the other. In addition to directly harming kids, is a sure indicator that the emotional split is incomplete. Like every major life change, divorce is stressfully affecting finances, living arrangements, household jobs, schedules and more.

In Nigeria, divorce rate have been rising since the beginning of the 20th century, and especially since 1980s. Some experts contend that the availability of divorce laws has helped weaken the strength of marriage making it difficult for couple to work out the inevitable difficulties that arise in marriage (Browne and Hamilton, 1998; Snyder and Sickmund, 1999; Mezieobi and Okpara, 2007; Edinyang, 2012).

Hence,  a child Education  which is a  process of facilitating learning, Knowledge, skills, values and beliefs throughout  the period of  learning is being affected (Dewey and  John , 2013) as both parents get divorced. Problem associated  to divorce, such as lack of adequate parental care and concern for the child is one of the great effect of divorce on a child since a child at his or her early age needs parental care  to be able to adjust to his or her educational environment and  to be able to cope with  academic studies. In the absence of this care, a child education may be affected and the child stands the chance of performing poorly in academics due to lack of parental care. Adequate academics guidance from the parents who often time may be in the position of helping the child in his or her studies at home is very necessary for a child learning but divorce hampers this care.  It is on this note that this study tends to examine counsellors perception of the causes of divorce among couples and its impact on the wellbeing of the child.

Statement of the Problem

Divorce is a common phenomenon which has attracted global attention. Government and non- governmental organizations have played vital roles in the elimination of this menace; because of the psychological and social problems which make a primary school pupil to exhibit strange and unguided behaviours.

The emotional aspect of divorce problem which affects children includes the feelings of anxiety, depression, decline in academic achievement, poor school attendance, loss of confidence, and disorganization. Knowing human developmental stages, emotional needs during separation and divorce, and strategies to support children who are dealing with feelings pertaining to divorce are factor of concern in a family life. Another problem of divorce as documented by Hargreaves (1991) is behavioural issues and emotional problems exhibited by children proceeding their parents’ separation or divorce. According to him children may frequently feel angry, bitterness, apprehensive, frustrated, and even guilty on the advent of divorce event. Children may respond to these major changes by becoming more moody or temperamental. On the other hand, other children may react by becoming rebellious or by acting violently towards peers, siblings, or adults. This means that parental divorce has influence on a child social and behavioural wellbeing. Due to this backdrop caused by parental divorce, this study will therefore examine counsellor perception on the causes of divorce among couples and its impact on the well-being of the child.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding into counsellors’ perception of the causes of divorce among couples and its impact on the well-being of the student. Specifically, the study will determine the following.

  1. Counsellors Perceived causes for parental divorce.
  2. The implication of parental divorce on a student’s social behaviour.
  3. The impact of parental divorce on academic performance of the student.
  4. The impact of parental divorce on a students general education.

Significant of the Study

The study will be of benefit to the following people, parents, and children of divorced family, school counsellors and teachers.  The study will benefit Parents as it  will enable  them see the need of avoiding possible problems that can lead to divorce knowing that such will affect the academic performance of their child and possible psychology problem which might develop in a child due to the effect of parental divorce. Children of divorced parent will also benefit from the study as it will provide ways of coping with divorce event and help them avoid possible incident in their own life time. School Teachers and counsellors will benefit from the study as it will enable them to plan effectively in helping   children who are victims of divorce family.

The findings of this study will be of great benefit to marriage counsellors too during the course of counselling by counselling couples who are considering divorce as an option, helping them to see the need that divorce is not the best option to opt for in marriage since such can have serious detrimental impact on their children wellbeing.

The research findings will also serve as a source of material and references to other researchers. For school counsellors, the study will greatly be of benefit to them, in knowing how to assist victimized children cope with the pain of divorce and as well as enable them design programmes that will make the child cope with his or her academic performance. That is to say that the findings will be of benefit to counsellors in carrying out their duties as counsellors in carrying out their duties as counsellors.

Scope of the Study

For the purpose of effectively gathering relevant information on the topic under investigation, the scope of study will only focus on the causes of marital divorce and its impact on the student’s wellbeing; students per this work were students in secondary school. wellbeing for this work will focus on social behaviour and education of the secondary school students generally as perceived by counsellors in secondary schools in Awka south and North local government

Research Question

For the purpose of gathering relevant responses from the respondents, the following questions were designed by the researcher.

  1. What are the causes of parental marital divorce?
  2. What are the implications of divorce on the social behaviour of a child?
  3. What are the impact of divorce on academic performance of a child?
  4. In what ways is a child general education affected by parental divorce?