Conclusion & Recommendations

Chapter 5: Conclusion & Recommendations

This last chapter looked at conclusion and recommendations. This study’s main goal is to identify the effects of marital conflicts on the academic development of students in senior secondary schools. The church-administered senior secondary schools in Umuahia Education Zone was used as a case study.

This research is organized and released as follow:

Chapter 1: Introduction to Academic Development of Students

Chapter 2: Review of the Effects of Marital Conflict on Academic Development of Students

Chapter 3: Methodology, population & Sample

Chapter 4: Analysis of Results and Test of Hypotheses

Chapter 5: Conclusion & Recommendations

5.1     Summary of Chapters

            This study’s main goal is to identify the effects of marital conflicts on the academic development of students in senior secondary schools. The church-administered senior secondary schools in Umuahia Education Zone was used as a case study. Chapter one introduced the problem statement placing it within the context of secondary education in Nigeria. The objectives surveyed the constituents of marital conflict and their effects on the academic development of students. The study probed into the effects of marital conflicts on the academic development of students, psychomotor development, cognitive development, and affective development of students.

Chapter two reviewed theories and studies as they relate to marital conflicts and their effects on the academic development of students. The theoretical framework was based on psychodynamic theory. The theory is based on the principle to discover what has gone wrong in a given marital conflict, the marriage counselor needs to probe into the deep-seated character traits of the personalities involved. Furthermore, we discussed the concept of marital conflicts, its effects on children, and the academic development of students. We also discussed the effects of marital conflicts on academic performance and the relationship between marital conflicts and examination malpractice. Finally, empirical studies were documented.

Chapter three examined the area of study and research methodology. The methodology was discussed under the following heading: population of study, sample & sampling techniques, instrumentation, administration of instruments, and method of data analysis. Instrumentation of the study was discussed under the instrument for data collection, the validity of the instrument, and the reliability of the instrument.

The research used the survey method, hence, in chapter four, we presented the data in a tabular form and analyzed them using mean rating. Hypotheses stated in chapter one were tested using the Chi-square statistic for samples and all the null hypotheses were accepted at a 5% level of significance.

5.2     Findings

The researchers studied the effects of marital conflict on the academic development of students in church-administered senior secondary schools in Umuahia Educational Zone using the survey method. Mean rating was used during the analysis for both male and female teachers, thereby accepting any statement which mean rating is 2.50 and above and rejecting any statement which mean rating is less than 2.50.

The research findings show that marital conflicts significantly affect the academic development of students in Senior Secondary Schools. For purpose of clarity, marital conflicts affect the cognitive development of students, affective development of students, and psychomotor development of students.

Furthermore, the findings positively affirm that marital conflicts have effects on the psychomotor development of senior secondary school students in the following ways: it leads to poor attendance to lectures, students’ mobility and referrals for behavioral problems, suspension from school as affected students show behavioral problems, and students’ unwillingness to experiment with new concepts.

Also, it was found that marital conflicts have effects on the cognitive development of senior secondary school students in the following ways: it leads to various learning difficulties, imposes temporal interruption in the learning process of students, leads to lack of learning materials as parents of such homes suffer from insufficient income to buy materials for their ward, affects students’ class participation, leads to examination malpractices and affects the student’s long-term academic achievement.

It was also gathered that marital conflicts have effects on the affective development of senior secondary school students. According to the research findings, marital conflicts lead to poor socio-emotional development which affects academic performance. It also leads to students’ anxieties, students’ loneliness, and students’ depression and stress, all of which affect academic performance.

Finally, using Chi-Square statistic, the research found that there is no significant difference in the opinions of male and female teachers over whether marital conflicts have effects on academic development, psychomotor development, cognitive development, and affective development of students in church-administered Senior Secondary Schools (S.S.S) in Umuahia Education Zone, Abia state.

5.3     Contribution to the Knowledge

The primary aim of the researcher in this study is to evaluate the effects of marital conflicts on the academic performance of students from a new perspective. So far, most studies on marital conflicts have focused on children with a concentration on divorce. Some of these studies use government schools and focuses on subjects’ scores or grades as a criterion for the academic performance of students.

In this study, the researcher has tried to shift the focus to the issues that lead to marital conflicts without particular emphasis on divorce. The researcher also used church-administered secondary schools which has not been used by other studies. Finally, the researcher’s concentration on the study was not the effects of marital conflicts on students’ grades rather on academic development which encompasses cognitive development, psychomotor development, and affective development. These areas have not been dwelt on by most studies and they tell the long-term effects of marital conflicts on the academic development of students.

In addition, the responses from the survey validate the following contributions to the body of knowledge:

  1. The study provides a basis for studying the effects of marital conflicts on students. As previously noted, researchers direct their surveys on students using subject grades or students’ responses to the effects of marital conflicts. However, the focus of the survey shift to using the teachers who observe these effects for a longer period and can tell what their impacts are on the affected students. The experience of teachers that span from observing students from different backgrounds necessitates their quality as respondents for the research, hence their responses cannot be considered bias since they speak from experience.
  2. The study provides an answer that marital conflicts affect students’ academic development, which is critical for the future success of secondary school students. The study hence provides that marital conflicts affect the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor development of secondary school students. This is important for every parent, guidance, and administrators to know because the future of our children should be shaped by us.
  3. One major contribution of the study is that it provides that marital conflicts lead to examination malpractices in schools.
  4. The study provides a guideline for the evaluation of the effects of marital conflicts on secondary school students. One of the expected important knowledge contributions from the study is that it could provide a sort of guideline in the evaluation of the effects of marital conflicts. The focus of most studies is based on views of the affected persons which could be subjective. These systems are heavily biased towards because it gives a short-term effect on marital conflict. But when the effects are viewed from the long term perspective of those who have observed and experienced such, then the results are objective.
  5. The study provides knowledge and counsel to parents, guidance, ministers, administrators on the enduring effects of marital conflicts on secondary school students. This should help them fight everything that will lead to conflicts in marriages.

5.4     Recommendations

Based on the results obtained in the study, the following are recommended.

  1. Married couples should stop reprimanding each other openly in the presence of their children.
  2. Spouses who are experiencing marital pressure should try to strike a balance between home activities, family issues, and their children’s academic work.  
  3. Married couples should try by sponsoring the education of their children to avoid them from dropping out of school. This will equally help them to concentrate on their academics and to obtain good grades.
  4. Couples should try not to be distracted by any form of marital conflict, instead, they should focus on building their homes for the sake of the future of their children and their academic development. A peaceful home will go a long way in enhancing a student’s academic performance. The couple should try to stay peaceful and learn how to share their hopes, dreams, goals, and success, this will help them to think beyond marital conflict.
  5. The teachers, church, neighbors, and all children lovers should make it their responsibility to cater to all the children, especially, those from a conflicting home, regardless of being their biological parents. 
  6. Secondary schools at all levels should have strong guidance and counseling units to assist all the students in need of special attention. 
  7. The Ministry of Education and other governmental agencies in collaboration with schools and religious organizations should work together to develop training programs on love, marriage, and care for parents to educate society on the importance of love and family care for healthy families, communities, and society in general.

5.5     Conclusion

Church-administered secondary schools were believed to offer high-quality education with the inclusion of moral standards among students. The high demand for church-administered secondary schools is because of their academic standard and at the same time they provide programs of study, devotional life, and practical experience for students to prepare themselves for the future with grounded knowledge. This is to fulfill the purpose of education which finds its relevance when students can learn and implement their knowledge in everyday activities as well as find solutions to societal problems. One of the major purposes of education is to motivate, equip, and enable the students to develop their gifts and give their lives in meaningful service (Ukpong, 2009; Kinsler, 1983:1-5).

It is important to know that these findings coincide with that of Whitemarsh (2008:145-155) who found that educators are often the first to notice a behavior change when a family is in transition. Teachers have observed that some students from conflict-driven homes may show decreased functioning in academic performance and display oppositional behavior, or signs of anxiety and depression. The results showed that marital conflicts lead to anxiety, loneliness, depression, and more, which affect students’ academic performance. This observation is consistent with Smith (1999:111) who argues that the range of feelings that a child may encounter include; disbelief and denial, sadness, loss, loneliness, depression, anger, anxiety, fear, relief, and hope. Responses to these feelings often affect children’s performance.

Furthermore, the study found that marital conflicts lead to students’ poor attendance at school. This finding is in line with Biblarz (2000:533) who conducted a study to compare the academic performance of children of divorce with children of widowed mothers. His findings conclude that children of divorce were less likely to complete high school, attend college, or attend graduate school than children of widowed mothers. This finding is also supported by McLanahan and Sandefur’s study of 1994 which found that children from divorced homes were two times as likely to drop out of high school than children from two-parent homes. The study equally found that marital conflicts lead to students’ various learning difficulties and affect the student’s long-term academic achievement. These findings are in agreement with other studies such as those of Astone & McLanahan, (1991:145-157); and Teachman, Paasch, & Carver (1996:773-783), who argued that children with divorced parents score lower than children with continuously married parents on the measure of academic success. Likewise, Hurlock (2004:55-67), reported that the temporary absence of either parent could be damaging to children than a permanent break. He added that such a temporary break for a child could be stressful and affect their concentration and academic performance.

The study also found that marital conflicts lead to a lack of learning materials as such that parents suffer insufficient income. On this, Erel & Burman (1995:108-132), argued that parents in a dysfunctional marriage are likely to be distressed and distracted by conflicts with their spouse that they cannot afford to invest their time, resources, and energy in their children. Moreover, this study found that marital conflicts lead to student mobility and referrals for behavioral problems. This finding is in line with other studies. It has been shown that inappropriate parenting style worsens parent-child relations and leads to juvenile delinquency. Buehler and Gerard (2002:79-92) support this view by stating that adolescents from single-parent families were involved in higher rates of delinquent behavior and that minorities from single-parent families were especially more likely to be involved in certain types of delinquency than were other students.

This study therefore has established that marital conflicts significantly affect students’ academic development. It specially established that marital conflicts affect students of senior secondary schools’ cognitive development, psychomotor development, and affective development, which affect their overall academic development.

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APPENDIX

Dear Respondent,

EFFECTS OF MARITAL CONFLICT ON ACADEMIC DEVELOPMENT OF STUDENTS IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS

This questionnaire is designed to elicit data for research purposes only. Kindly complete the attached questionnaire terms as entitled below for the conduct of research in pursuance of a Master’s Degree thesis. Your response will be treated with the utmost confidentiality.

            Thanks and may the Almighty God bless you

Respondents’ Data

Please, fill in the following information:

Highest Academic Attainment ________________________________________________

Position/office in school (choose)                   Principal [     ]              Teacher [     ]

Sex (choose)                                                    Male       [     ]              Female  [     ]

QUESTIONNAIRE

Please, tick () in the appropriate column that best describes your opinion in each statement of the options.

Key: SA = Strongly Agreed (4); A = Agreed (3); D = Disagreed (2); SD = Strongly Disagreed (1).

  1. Do marital conflicts have effects on the academic development of students in church-administered S.S.S in Umuahia education zone?
Item No.StatementSAADSD
AIt has effects on the cognitive development of students    
BIt has effects on affective development of students    
CIt has effects on the psychomotor development of students    
  • Do marital conflicts have effects on the cognitive development of students in church-administered S.S.S. in Umuahia education zone?
Item No.StatementSAADSD
AIt leads to poor attendance at lectures    
BIt leads to student mobility and referrals for behavioral problems    
CIt leads to suspension from school as affected students show behavioral problems    
DIt leads to an unwillingness to experiment with new concepts    
  • Do marital conflicts have effects on the cognitive development of students in church-administered S.S.S. in Umuahia education zone?
Item No.StatementSAADSD
AIt leads to various learning difficulties    
BIt imposes temporal interruption in the learning process    
CIt leads to a lack of learning materials as such parents suffer from insufficient income    
DIt affects the students’ class participation    
EIt affects the students’ long-term academic achievement    
FIt leads to examination malpractices    
  • Do marital conflicts have effects on the affective development of students in church-administered S.S.S. in Umuahia education zone?
Item No.StatementSAADSD
AIt results in poor socio-emotional development which affects academic performance    
BIt leads to students’ anxieties which affect academic performance    
CIt results in students’ loneliness which affects academic performance    
DIt leads to students’ depression and stress which affects academic performance    

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