CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION This chapter traces the

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CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
This chapter traces the background to the study, statement of the
problem, purpose of the study, hypotheses, significance of the study,
delimitation and organisation of chapters.
1.1
Background to the Study
From the beginning of time, society expects men and women to marry,
not only for the purpose of satisfying the sexual urge, but also for procreation
and companionship. Sociologists agree that definitions of marriage differ.
Malinowski (2006), for instance, defines marriage as a sex relationship
between a man and a woman which is expected to last forever. He views
marriage as a contract for the production and maintenance of children. Also,
according to Baur and Crooks (1990), marriage can provide a feeling of
permanence in one’s life and a sense of belonging. Also, the closeness and
trust generated by marriage can lead to rich relationships and deep caring. In
the same way, with the greater familiarity provided by marriage, people can
develop better understanding of each other’s needs and thereby build a more
harmonious relationship. Above all, there are some monetary and legal
advantages granted to married people under legal codes, in the United States,
for example. Baur and Crook (1990) maintain that marriage has traditionally
served several functions, both personal and social and provides societies with
stable family units. The family units perpetuate social norms because children
are taught society’s rules and regulations by parents or kinship groups.
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Statistics from the Ministry of Civil Affairs in China (2006) indicate that
about 1.9 million couples divorced in 2006, representing an increase of
128,000 couples or seven percent over the previous years. All Civil Affairs
bureaus handled 1.29 million divorce cases in 2009 while 622,000 couples
divorced through courts in the same period. Five provinces – Liaoning,
Jiangsu, Shandong, Henau and Sichuan reported more than 100,000 divorce
cases in 2006.
The number of couples getting married, however, increased in 2006 with
9.46 million marriages registered nationwide, representing an increase of 1.2
million (Ministry of Civil Affairs in China, 2006). Divorce is traditionally
discouraged in China. But as the women become more independent financially
and with divorce procedures much simplified, the divorce rate had more than
doubled from 1985 – 1995, and by 2006 the rate had more than tripled.
Amankwah (2008) reports that data available at the Accra
Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) on customary marriage indicates that a total of
618 marriages were dissolved in 2009 out of 1,511 marriages registered. In
January 2007, 46 out of 136 registered marriages were dissolved, while in
February 2007, 49 out of 122 registered marriages were dissolved.
The Registrar-General’s Department in Accra has only estimated data
on dissolution of marriages registered in that Department. But if we assume
that the percentage in the table below could be used to estimate the number of
dissolution of marriages at the Registrar-General’s Department then the
estimated data on dissolution for the period 2004 – 2008 is presented in Table
1.
2
Estimated Marriage Dissolutions, 2004 – 2009
Table 1:
Year
Marriage
Estimated Dissolution
2004
2641
139
2005
2604
145
2006
2339
214
2007
2832
184
2008
3370
254
2009
3126
146
Source:
Registrar-General’s Department, Accra, 2010
Table 2:
Status Of Cases During Review Period
Status of Cases
2000
Pending
2001
2002
2004
2006
50556 56868
70572
76780
177796 163031
Newly Filed
21861 22867
36114
139537
164315 119502
Concluded
59036 67222
74130
84267
128907 89147
Pending at End
93243 109181
238411
132050
213204 193384
Source: Registrar-General’s Department, Accra, 2010
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2008
Table 3:
Estimated Marriage Dissolutions, 2004 – 2009
Year
Marriage
Dissolution
Percentage (%)
2004
209
11
5.3
2005
215
12
5.6
2006
208
19
9.1
2007
246
16
6.5
2008
239
18
7.5
2009
257
12
4.7
Source: Sunyani High Court, Sunyani, 2010.
1.2
Statement of the Problem
Generally, society expects that when people get married either under
the Traditional or Religious or Ordinance Law, they should stay together till
death. But this is not the case in Sunyani. More often than not, disagreements
set in and the result is either separation or divorce. Marriage has now become
one of the serious social problems. The rate at which marriages break down in
the Sunyani Municipality creates room for concern. The researcher has lived
in Sunyani for twenty years and has observed that some couples who married
in the Sunyani courts are either separated, live apart or seem to be unhappy in
the marriage while others seem to be happy. The observation led the
researcher to interact with both the happy and unhappy couples. The
interaction revealed that some of the couples were not provided with enough
house-keeping money, their personal needs were not catered for and they were
battered quite often by their spouses.
4
Previous studies in this area have not provided the needed insight
mainly because most previous studies tended to be bivariate in nature. They
examined two variables which did not mimic the real world. Multivariate
studies like the present study are more realistic since they are based on the
assumption that the factors that sustain or break marriages are many and one
factor alone, as is the assumption underlining bivariate studies, cannot be
responsible for the survival or breakdown of a marriage. For example, the
present study recognises that attraction and family pressure alone cannot
influence the sustenance of marriage but rather other factors such as social
support and family income for example, need to go together with attraction to
make marriage work. These claims led the researcher to undertake the study.
1.3
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study was to investigate the factors that promote
and/or sustain marriages or break marriages in the Sunyani Municpality in the
Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana.
1.4
Compound Hypothesis
The study sought to test a hypothetical model of marital stability in
which factors constituting the facilitators of marital stability such as Family
Pressure, Attraction and Peer Pressure were assumed to indirectly influence
Marital Stability via mediating factors such as Social Support, Level of
Average Income and Premarital Counselling.
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1.4.1
Supplementary Hypotheses
Because variables such as Premarital Counselling could not be
included in the logistic regression model because they were measured on
categorical data, the following hypotheses were generated to test their
relationship with Marital Stability:
1. There will be a significant relationship between married and divorced
couples with regard to Premarital Counselling.
2. There will be a significant relationship between married and divorced
couples with regard to Level of Education.
3. There will be a significant relationship between married and divorced
couples with regard to Level of Income.
1.5
Significance of the Study
It is hoped that the findings of the study will be of help to the
following groups of people and organisations: first, married couples can use it
as a source of reference to guide their marriages. Second, divorcees who
intend to remarry can also benefit from the findings in that they will help them
not to make the same mistakes that broke their marriages again. Also, Social
Welfare and Community Development Officers can use the findings of the
study to guide them in settlement of marital cases. Court Registries, Family
Tribunals, Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU), Ministry
of Women and Children’s Affairs as well as Commission on Human Rights
and Administrative Justice can use the findings to formulate policies for
children’s rights and for the protection of women, men and children.
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Furthermore, the Clergy and religious organisations can use the
findings of the study as a resource material. Similarly, counsellors can use
them as a guide for marital counselling and parents can also use them as a
resource material for child-upbringing. The findings of this study will help
parents to avoid negative effects of single-parenting and its painful
experiences.
1.6
Delimitation of the Study
The study focused on men and women in marriage as well as those who were
divorced in the Sunyani Municipality. This was to find out the factors
responsible for this state of affairs.
1.7
Definition of Terms
Family: A group of people who are related to each other, especially a mother,
a father and their children
Marriage: A socially approved sexual union between two or more individuals
that is undertaken with some idea of permanence or the coming together of
man and woman as husband and wife.
Divorce: It is the legal termination of the marriage contract. It is the legal
process that ends marriage
Premarital Counselling: This refers to guidelines or pieces of advice given to
people who are intending to marry before they marry.
Social Support: Support (help) from one’s social network which includes kin,
friends, neighbours, social services, institutions and special self-help groups.
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Predictors of Marital Stability: They are factors that break or sustain
marriages.
Married: In the present study ‘married people’ refer to man and woman who
have been united as husband and wife by traditional or religious laws.
“Bragoro”: Ghanaian Traditional Puberty Rites Ceremony.
1.8
Organization of the Study
The study is organised into five chapters. Chapter one looks at the
background to the study, the statement of the problem, purpose of the study,
hypotheses, significance of the study and delimitation of the study. Chapter
two discusses review of related literature of the research. Chapter three
discusses the methodology for data collection. This includes the research
design, population, the sample size and sampling technique, instrumentation,
data collection procedure and data presentation and analysis procedure.
Chapter four looks at the presentation and analysis of data collected as well as
discussions of the results obtained.
Chapter five deals with summary of
findings, conclusions, implications and recommendations, limitations and
suggestions for further research.
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CHAPTER TWO
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
2.1
Introduction
This chapter reviews relevant literature on the research. The Literature
is reviewed under the following sub-themes:
1. Theoretical frame work for the study.
2. Empirical review on mediating factors for marriage.
3. Summary of literature review.
2.2
Theoretical Framework for the Study
The theoretical framework for the study is adapted from the following
theories:
Structural functionalism, family systems theory, social exchange theory also
known as equity theory, resource theory, psychoanalytic theory, needs theory,
development process theory and socialisation theory.
2.2.1
Structural Functionalism
Structural functionalism explains how society works, how families
work and how families relate to the larger society as well as to their own
members. Strong and DeVault (1989), conflict theorists, see society not as
basically cooperative but divided, with individuals in conflict with each other.
For instance, while structural functionalists tend to believe that what is, is
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good, conflict theorists tend to believe that what is, is wrong. Conflict theorists
try to identify the competing forces. They contend that in a competition, the
group with the most power wins in the long run. Marriages and families are
believed to be based on love and affection, and marriage and affection are
important elements in marriage and families but conflict theorists believe that
conflict and power are also fundamental. They contend that although marriage
and families are made up of individuals with different personalities, ideas,
values, tastes, and goals, each person is not always in harmony with every
other person in the family. Consequently, the one with the greater power wins
whenever there is a disagreement. Conflict theory assumes that individual
marriages and families are in conflict with each other. Power is often used to
resolve the conflict with each other. Strong and De Vault (1989) identifies
four important source of power as legitimacy, money, physical coercion and
love.
2.2.2
Family Systems Theory
Strong and De Vault (1989) admit that systems theory is a relatively
new approach but is becoming an increasingly important one for studying the
family. Its significance lies in its clinical and social work setting in that it is
the dominant approach used in understanding substance abuse such as
alcoholism.
2.2.3
Social Exchange Theory
Strong and De Vault (1989) agree that the fundamental ideas of Social
Exchange theory go back to the Ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus, who
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founded the Epicurean school of philosophy. The basis of thought is that
people seek pleasure and avoid pain. According to Social Exchange theorists,
therefore, people maximise their costs by employing their resources to gain the
most favourable outcome. The theorists explain that: “An outcome is basically
figured with the equation reward – cost = outcome”. Exchange theorists
explain that one particular problem that many people have in recognising their
own exchange activities is that they think of rewards and costs as tangible
objects, money as an example. But they point out that in personal
relationships, resources, rewards and costs are more likely to be things such as
love, companionship, status, power, fear and longing than money. As people
enter into relationships, they have certain resources – either tangible or
intangible – that others consider valuable such as intelligence, warmth, good
looks and high social status. The theorists argue that people consciously or
unconsciously use their various resources to obtain what they want as and
when they like. Attractiveness and intelligence, for example, are typical
resources in society today. Husbands, for example, often have intangible
resources that place them in a favourable position after divorce. Wolf (1996)
argues that a husband’s education, professional licence, retirement benefits,
and access to health insurance are all assets that are not typically divided in a
divorce. The researcher believes not only men but also women can have
intangible resources that cannot be divided in a divorce.
2.2.4
Resource Theory
Davidson, Sr. and Moore (1996) assert that resource theory is a theory
of marital power that holds that individual resources, such as education, labour
force participation, and earnings that one contributes to the relationship
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determine one’s relative power. The assertion affirms Hill and Becket’s (1988)
cited in Strong and DeVault (1989) that money is a source of power that
supports male dominance in the family; for
“Money belongs to him who earns it, not to her who spends it,
Since he who earns it may withhold it” (p. 344). Atkinson and Boles
(1984) state that:
“In some of these marriages, which have been called ‘Wife-As-SeniorPartner’ or WASP marriages, family life is organised around the wife’s job or
career rather than the husbands”. (Atkinson & Boles, 1984 cited by Strong De
Vault 1989, p. 345) According to Strong and DeVault such marriages are
characterised by the woman having a traditional male job, flexibility in the
husband’s work, and the absence of Children. Such marriages are under
considerable stress (Atkinson & Boles 1984 cited in Strong & DeVault, 1989).
2.2.5
Psychoanalytic Theories
Psychoanalytic theories emphasise the influences of childhood
experiences and family background on one’s choice of a mate. The parentimage theory is based on Freud’s psychoanalytic concepts of the “Oedipus and
Electra Complex” which states that a man will likely marry someone
resembling his mother and that a woman will likely marry someone
resembling her father (Rice, 1999). In testing this theory, Jedlicka (1984) cited
in Strong and DeVault (1989) found out that the resemblance between a man’s
wife and his mother and between a woman’s husband and her father occurred
12
more frequently than expected by chance. In general, Jedlicka’s data supported
the theory of individual parental influence on mate selection.
2.2.6
Needs Theories
Needs theories of mate selection are based on the idea that people
select partners who will fill the other partner’s needs. Rice (1999) asserts that
complementary needs theory originated by Robert Winch (1958) who holds
that people tend to select mates whose needs are opposite, but complementary
to, their own. Needs theory believes that a nurturant person who likes to care
for others would seek out a succorant person who likes to be cared for.
Nurturant means giving sympathy, help and protection while succorant means
seeking the same thing.
A dominant person would also like to select a
submissive person. The individual selects a person who provides maximum
need satisfaction, an example of the person whose needs are complementary to
one’s own. But Murstein (1980) believes that similarity of need may be more
functional in mate selection than complementary.
Olson and DeFrain (2000) believe that marriage provides the
opportunity for growth as a human being and for nurturing the growth of one’s
partner. For that reason, a marriage cannot survive if the partners think only of
their own development, careers and needs, or needs for recognition and
accomplishment. Marriage, therefore, works well if couples share each other’s
successes and genuinely support each other. For marriage to stabilise for
betterment and achievement of success, both people must be willing and able
to give of themselves.
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2.2.7
Development Process Theories
Burges and Wallin (1943), Olson and DeFrain (2000) and Stover and
Hope (1993) argue that a variety of factors seem to be at work when some
people select partners. One is homogamy or the tendency of ‘like to marry
like’. People of similar ages, races, religions, nationalities, education,
intelligence, health, structure, attitudes and other traits tend to marry one
another to a degree greater than would be by chance.
Olson and DeFrain (2000) again state that two other factors that
influence mate selection are endogamy and exogamy. By endogamy is meant
the culturally prescribed practice or tradition of choosing a mate from within
one’s own group such as ethnic, religious, socioeconomic, or general age
groups. Olson and DeFrain (2000) argue that the principle of endogamy
supposes that middle-class whites, middle-class blacks will marry middleclass blacks, Catholics will marry Catholics, and young people will marry
young people. According to Olson and DeFrain (2000), exogamy, meaning the
practice or tradition of choosing a mate from outside one’s own group, is
another mode of mate selection.
2.2.8
Socialisation Theories
2.2.8.1 Gender and Gender Roles
Strong and DeVault (1989) believe that gender identity determines
many of the directions people’s lives take. It is gender that directs the
fulfilments of roles of husbands or wives as well as fathers or mothers. The
culture of a people determines the content of gender roles each should play.
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2.2.8.2 Traditional Gender Roles
Traditional gender roles rigidly divide tasks according to gender lines
rather than abilities or interests. Strong and Devault (1989) argue that going by
traditional gender roles, men show instrumental traits, that is, goal-oriented,
self-directing traits such as logic and aggression. Mosher and Sirkin (1984)
and Mosher and Tomskins (1988) assert that hyper-masculine behaviour
begins in childhood when feelings such as excitement and anger, for example,
are considered superior and masculine (manly) while feelings such as fear and
compassion are dismissed as inferior and feminine.
Men’s household activities tend to centre around automobile
maintenance, repairs, and outdoor responsibilities such as gardening and
mowing the lawn (Spencer, Janet & Sawin, 1985) cited in (Srong & DeVault
1989). Women, on the other hand, display expressive traits or interpersonal
emotive traits, such as compassion and nurturing (Spencer et al, 1985). Cohen
(1987) believes that because women were thought to be primarily expressive,
they were expected to remain in the home as wives and mothers and be
primarily responsible for cooking, cleaning and shopping.
2.2.8.3 Social Learning Theory
Social Learning theory, derived from behaviourist psychology,
believes that in explaining actions, observable events and their consequences
rather than internal feelings and drives must be emphasised. This theory holds
that behaviours are learnt as a result of social interactions (Strong & DeVault,
1989). Social learning theory also assumes that consequences control
15
behaviour, and that is why acts that are regularly followed by a reward, or
positive reinforcement, are less likely to reoccur.
2.2.9
Nature of Marriage
Marriage is a social contract between two consenting individuals who
surrender some freedom to gain some rights. It is seen as a contract largely
based on mutual goodwill and trust. Marriage, as an institution, can be
successfully negotiated by a set of individuals who are truly committed to
make it succeed (John Gillis 1985). In ancient times, for example, a marriage
meant a condition in which a woman was given to a man almost as property,
and also often as part of a political, social or business arrangement of some
sort (Collins 1975; Encyclopaedia Americana 1990).
Marriage, once contracted should be a permanent institution that
should not be dissolved except by the death of one of the spouses. From the
legal perspective, marriage is seen as the state of being united to a person of
the opposite sex as husband or wife. Legally, therefore, marriage is a binding
contract between the two parties that join their possessions, income and lives.
The marriage is recognised by the state, and the dissolution of the contract can
only happen through the legal process of divorce. Offei (1998) states that: a
contract of marriage cannot be discharged by agreement, frustration, or
breach. Apart from death, it can be terminated only by a decree of dissolution
(or divorce) pronounced by a court of competent jurisdiction. But for most
people, marriage has meaning beyond the legal sense. Marriage is also an
agreement between the man and woman. Husband and wife take certain vows,
16
to love one another, to cherish one another, and to stay together through
sickness and health, for better and for worse.
In Aidoo-Dadzie’s (2010) view, marriage negotiations begin when a
man and a woman make a declaration of desire to marry. He posits that that
declaration must be accompanied by the expression of mutual intentions,
lasting loyalty and responsibility towards each other based on self-giving love.
Also, Aidoo-Dadzie (2010) notes that the legitimacy and legality of the
marriage is determined by the payment of the requisite marriage rites
especially the bride wealth or bride price. He explains that in Ghana as in
many other African Countries, the bride wealth is the major rite in marriage
negotiations, although there may be other allied rites which make the
negotiations complete.
Aidoo-Dadzie (2010) points out that marriage
ceremony is a social or public rather than a private affair because it is of
interest not only to
the man and the woman, but also the family of each of
them as well as the community. He, however, argues that regardless of
whatever form the traditional ceremony takes the completed traditional rites
mark the consummation of the marriage. In both traditional and court
marriages, in most cases this agreement includes sexual faithfulness, and a
promise that each person will do what they can to make the other one happy.
Smith and Apicelli (1982) view marriage as a legal as well as spiritual
contract. This is because both the institutions of state and the church have a
stake in keeping couples together; each has a responsibility for keeping
marriage intact. This mutual responsibility is based on the assumption that
stable people keep society stable.
17
The Encyclopaedia Americana International (1990) posits that
marriage can be described as a more or less durable union between one or
more men and one or more women that is approved by society. The formation
of the relationship therefore is either conducted in accordance with unwritten
customs and taboos in simple traditional societies, or in accordance with
established laws, as in sophisticated societies. The Encyclopaedia Americana
(1990) further states that the approval of society distinguishes marriage from
other relationships between men and women and that society has roles or
shared patterns of behaviour that regulate sexuality, birth and child rearing.
Marriage is the institution that encompasses these rules and patterns of
behaviour. Baur and Crooks (1990) argue that marriage is an institution that is
found virtually in every society. It remains a dominant lifestyle in many
cultures and it has traditionally served several functions, both personal and
social.
2.2.10 Forms of Marriage
Forms of marriage include monogamy, polygamy, polyandry, polygyny, group
marriage, exogamy and endogamy. More often than not, the forms of marriage
sanctioned by a society are related to the needs of that society (Encyclopaedia
Americana, 1990). It explains that marriage between two individuals, one
male and one female, is known as monogamy, while marriage of three or more
women or female is known as polygamy. Polygyny is another form of
polygamy in which one male is married to more than one female. Still another
form of polygamy is group marriage in which two or more males are married
to two or more females. Polyandry has developed among some members of
the lower strata in Tibet where because they were poor, two or more brothers
18
could share one wife. Thus, they were able to establish a single solid group
and maintain it in the interest of the wife’s children. This type of marriage,
polyandry, tended to keep family lands and property intact, allowing them to
be passed on to the next generation (Encyclopaedia Americana International,
1990).
In some societies, families may want the child to be married to the
‘right’ spouse, especially where marriage has consequences for the kin group.
In this case, two types of marital regulations define the ‘right’ spouse:
endogamy and exogamy. Endogamy is the requirement that marriage occurs
within a group or religion. Enxogamy, on the other hand, is the requirement
that marriage occurs outside a group, which means that people must marry
outside their kin group, be it their immediate nuclear family, clan or tribe (Lee
and Stone, 1980).
From a Sociological standpoint, a marriage is the passage by which
children are born; a marriage thus provides both a mother and father for the
children. The family unit, the relationship between parents and child, are all
based on the marriage relationship. Marriage, also, provides societies with
stable family units that help perpetuate social norms. Children are typically
taught society’s rules and expectations by parents or kinship groups.
Polyandry is another form of polygamy in which one female, this time, is
married to more than one male.
Again, in many cultures, marriage defines inheritance rights to family
property. Middleton (1962), a sociologist, found that brother-sister marriage
was not only permitted, but it was also frequently practised by the Ancient
19
Egyptians. For example, Cleopatra, an Egyptian queen, was married to two of
her younger brothers at different times. Middleton (1962) speculates that
brother-sister marriages served to maintain the power and property of a family
and thus prevented the dividing of an estate through inheritance.
2.2.11 Motives for Marrying
Rice (1999) is of the opinion that selecting a mate is one of the most
important decisions people make in a life time, because marrying the right
person can result in much personal happiness and fulfilment. Marrying the
wrong person, on the contrary, according to Lee and Stone (1980), may result
in much misery. Towards this end, Surra (1990) believes that major theories
on mate selection can be divided into four groups as follows: psychoanalytic
theories, needs theories, Exchange theories and Developmental theories.
2.2.12.1
Family Pressure
Lamina and Reidman (2003) posited that a family is any sexually
expressive or parent-child or other kin relationship which people, usually
related by ancestry, marriage or adoption of an economic unit try to maintain
over time. Murdock (1949) also sees a family as people with a common
household, economic interdependency and sexual and reproductive relation.
Murdock (1949) argues that traditionally, both social science and law have
specified family as consisting of people related by blood, marriage or
adoption. Maxwell (1996) maintains that universally, the families exist in all
human societies and it is described as a social institution responsible for child
production, child rearing, and emotional and economic support for its
members.
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The family, in the African context, is basically an extended one, made
up of the husband, wife, children and other members of their extended
families. Idowu (1985) posits that Nigerian society, for example, tends to
reflect a highly traditional and familial system:
“The male adheres to strictly defined sex roles and maintains a weighted
position in the culture. It is the father who is responsible for his children’s
attainment of positive morals, values, and attitudes. The male child closely
aligns himself with his father’s role, while the female child does likewise with
her mother”. (Idowu, 1985 pp 506 – 509). Because of its diversity, every
family member has a role to play in the process of socialisation, especially of
the young members (Mumola, 2000). Industrialization, however, has
undermined the traditional structure of the family, bringing about lack of role
identity of men and changing the role of women (Lammina & Reidman,
2003).
Mikulincer and Shaver (2003) assert that in times past, it was the
responsibility of parents to look for partners for their children. Children only
gave their approval, but in modern times it is children, who look for their own
partners and seek parental consent. The researcher has observed this problem
arises because many children of today are uncompromising, almost always
unwilling to listen to advise from the elderly. They think the elderly are oldfashioned with colonial ideas and mentality.
2.2.12.2
Parent Arranged Marriages
A definition of ‘arranged marriages’ is when two people are married
because their parents decided that they should marry. However, the people the
21
marriage is being arranged for do have a say, and are introduced to each other
several weeks before the marriage ceremony. It is not a blind wedding; they
get to know themselves before hand and also, if one of them strongly does not
like the other person, they are not forced to get married by all means
(Wikipedia, 2010). Olson and DeFrain (2000), Fox (1980), and Stover and
Hope (1993) intimate that in the past, in most cultures, the parents of the bride
and groom selected the future spouse and made most of the arrangements for
the marriage ceremony. Parents usually based their choice of spouse on
whether the suitor had a promising economic future as well as good health.
Although this pattern is dying out, parent-arranged marriages still occur
throughout much of the non-industrialised world.
Lee and Stone (1980) cited in Olson and DeFrain (2000) explain that
parent arranged marriages are based on the principle that the elders in a
community have the wisdom to select the appropriate spouse, usually basing
their decision on economic, political, and social status considerations – to
enhance the family’s status and position through their choice.
To the parents, considerations of lineage and family status are
generally more than love or affection in such decisions, although the parents
may take the couple’s preference into account to some extent. Mair (1969)
explains that from the point of view of indigenous law and custom of African
marriages, for example, a marriage is to be regarded primarily as an alliance
between two kinship groups and only in a secondary aspect as a union
between two individual persons. This is because African marriages like that of
other cultures are regarded as an association between two persons for mutual
support and the procreation and rearing of children.
22
Boakye (2006) argues that in the olden days, it was the responsibility
of the father or an uncle to provide a suitable spouse, with the co-operation of
the son or daughter. This process involved the investigation of potential
spouses to ensure compatible marriages. In the present day, it is the child who
looks for a spouse and the parents agreeing. In spite of the fact that times have
changed, some parents still continue to dictate who their child should marry
and how the marriage should go.
2.2.12.3
Advantages of Parent-Arranged Marriages
Perhaps, the risk of incompatibility is minimised. Arranged marriages
presuppose that two people are perfectly matched because they belong to the
same culture, share the same religious upbringing, speak the same language
and are in the same socio-economic class. These identity backgrounds make it
easy for the people to communicate with each other and understand where
each is coming from (http://www.kisaso.com/love-marriage-and-arrangedmarriage-advantages-and-disadvantages/).
The researcher agrees with the assertion that ‘Parent-Arranged
Marriages’ have some advantages anyway but the fact that couples come from
the same religious background, speak the same language and are raised in the
same socio-economic background may not always be a guarantee for a
successful marriage. There are several instances known to the researcher,
where couples from different backgrounds have had successful marriages, but
where couples from the same backgrounds, or same homes have had
unsuccessful marriages.
23
Wikipedia (2010) argues that extended family support has its benefits.
In traditional societies, for example, spouses sometimes live with the parents
or live in the same housing compound. In times of difficulty, the couple can
count on the help of their parents and in-laws for physical, emotional and
financial support. The researcher agrees with support coming from relatives in
African societies, for example.
Again, Wikipedia (2010) posits that when children are born and both
spouses work, finding adequate babysitters is a non-issue because the grand
parents can take care and nurture the children. The children are therefore
supervised by close family members instead of by complete strangers, making
them comfortable because they live in an atmosphere that they know very
well.
The researcher agrees with the assertion that grand parents may be
good babysitters helping with child-upbringing but they cannot always take
the place of babysitters. Grandparents need time to fend for themselves, enjoy
freedom, and sometimes to have leisure for themselves. Babysitting is not
their vocation.
Wikipedia (2010) further contends that when the couple has
arguments, grandparents can step in and offer advice and/or hold arbitration
sessions. But the researcher although sees this intervention as helpful, he
thinks it is advisable to trust couples to be able to iron out their own
differences without outside interference. Because, in-laws may easily take
sides and thus lay the foundation for divorce if one party is dissatisfied with
in-law solutions to disputes between spouses.
24
Another argument put forward by Chin and Chong (2006) is that
because parents are older and more experienced in life, they research the
background of potential partners to ensure a successful marriage for their
children. Because the parents know their children intimately, they will tend to
select partners that match their children’s characteristics. They are not blinded
by infatuation, lust and romance. They can therefore make decisions based on
rational thinking. They further argue that studies show that even though
generally sixty percent of all marriages in China fail, in situations where
parents choose partners for their children, failure rate could be as low as ten
percent. Chinese parents, for example, are thought to hold a more conservative
attitude towards romantic relationship. They think that their children should
start at a relatively late age and should have a consistent dating partner who is
of the same ethnicity (Kim, 2005). For people who live in societies where
arranged marriages are the practices, they are convinced that if they do not feel
any passionate love when the marriage takes place, love will blossom
eventually and that is it more important to consider the social and economic
viability of the marriage rather than put romantic love at the forefront.
Romantic love to the Chinese is at best a superficial feeling.
The researcher disagrees with the assertion that because parents base
their choices of potential spouses for their children, on rational thinking, they
are better placed to select potential spouses for their children for successful
and happy marriages. Beauty, it is said, is in the eyes of the beholder. Nobody
can be certain of the actual thing or motive that brings a couple together
except the couples themselves. They should therefore be left alone to make
their own choices.
25
In a debate on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) programme
‘Africa Have Your Say’: Should African parents pick their Kids’ Spouses?
Kazembe (2010) intimated that many of his friends who chose their spouses
themselves are regretful and often complain bitterly about their marriages. But
would they be complaining very loudly if their parents had been involved in
choosing or vetting prospective spouses? The researcher believes that the time
has come for prospective spouses to welcome parents’ input at picking their
matches because parents’ marital experiences in marriage are a goldmine that
the kids should tap from.
In defence, Olson and DeFrain (2000) are of the view that arranged
marriages are usually very stable because it is the duty of the whole family to
help the new couple to get established in life. On the contrary, in some
instances, some parents rush their sons and daughters into marriages for selfish
reasons such as for money or wealth. In such situations, some in-laws demand
very high bride-prices, and later keep flocking to the newly wedded couples to
be supported financially. The bride-price is an outstanding feature of African
customary marriage. There are only few African tribes in which it is not found
in one form or another.
Asiedu (2001) reports that Kapenda (2001), a Zambian journalist, has
observed that under such circumstances, the bride-groom might think that he
has bought the woman and therefore he has all rights on her because she has
become his possession. Often she has to comply with whatever he demands of
her and that she has no rights of her own. Kapenda believes that this explains
why there are several cases of wife battering and abuse of spouses as well as
cases of divorce and separation.
26
2.2.12.4
Disadvantages of Parent Arranged Marriages
When marriages are arranged by elders or parents, they do not
encourage spouses to make up their own mind about who to marry. Instead of
dating and meeting people and comparing them against one’s ideals, they
leave that part of the work to someone else. Should either spouse end up
becoming unhappy after being married for a few years, it can be very tempting
to blame one’s parents for making an unsuitable choice for the spouse
concerned
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arranged_marriage).
Here,
the
researcher thinks that even though it is not hundred percent advisable for
parents to make choices for couples, at least parents should be involved in the
selection process so that couples can benefit from the guidance and counsel of
parents.
2.2.12.5
Love Takes Second Priority
Advantages and Disadvantages of Arranged Marriages (2010) asserts
that when parents arrange marriages for their children, it is like making one
decide with the head and not the heart. Marriage then becomes outmoded or
still-born. The researcher believes this may not be wholly true. The mistakes
of the youth is haste, it is said. It is always advisable to listen to parents,
ponder over parents’ advice before couples may reject their parents’
suggestions because it is experience and wisdom that usually guide parents to
make choices for their children.
27
2.2.12.6
Interference from Extended Family
Conflicts, according to Gyamfi (2000), are a part of the marriage
process. They are inevitable. No matter what, marital arguments and conflict
will arise. They are settled best when only spouses themselves are involved in
the settlement process. When in-laws and the elderly try to arbitrate and
sometimes try to impose their views, this can cause stress to the marriage.
2.2.12.7
Marriage for Procreation
Just as parents have produced children who have come of age, so some
parents also would wish their children to procreate in order to sustain the
human race. In several African arrangements of marriage, including Ghana,
procreation or bringing forth children is the main reason for marrying.
Therefore, some parents wish to have a greater say than their children
themselves in the mate selection process. Olson and DeFrain (2000); Smith
and Apicelli (1982) explain that the custom of some South African tribes even
permit a sister of the bride to accompany her when she marries to help in the
care of her children and she takes the bride’s place should the bride prove
barren. The researcher has observed that this arrangement takes place in some
parts of Northern Ghana too.
Boakye (2006) has also observed that the problem of barrenness is
compounded in Ghana and in most developing countries where children are
among the major reasons for marriage and are considered the most precious of
possessions (that is children). Boakye (2006) again argues that a marriage
without children is considered a bad omen, and tragically, it is the woman who
suffers from such situations that may be stressful. She is constantly under
28
stress, frustration and disappointment. She risks divorce, she may get rivals,
lose respect and sometimes she is ridiculed as well. In other societies, she may
even not get proper burial when she dies. It is for all these reasons that some
parents actively get involved in the mate selection process of their children to
avoid disappointments.
The researcher is not entirely convinced by Boakye’s (2006) argument
because it is the partner’s motive for marrying that should guide the marriage.
How about if the partner’s motive for marrying is not procreation? Times have
changed and values have changed as well. It is now time for parents to give
children freedom, to make choices of their own free will. After all, as the
Akan proverb has it: ‘nobody drinks medicine for the sick person’.
Again, a man may agree to marry a widow of a dead brother in order to
produce children to continue with the line of a dead kinsman. Smith and
Apicelli (1982) mention this type of marriage of a widow to a brother or other
kinsman of her dead husband, the children of which are counted as the
children of the dead brother. This union is often regarded as a continuation of
the previous marriage and therefore requires no new ceremony.
Another interesting and remarkable phenomenon is ‘ghost marriage’ in
which a woman may be married to the name of a man who has died unmarried
so that his line need not die out (Mair, 1969 p.3). The researcher thinks this
arrangement should not be compulsory. If the successor finds the widow
suitable enough, suiting his taste, fine. Otherwise he must be allowed to find
his own future partner.
29
2.2.12.8
Marrying for Financial Gain
Some parents pressurise their children to marry people who are
affluent in society for financial gain. Asiedu (2001) cites Kapenda, a Zambian
journalist, as saying that some Zambian women are rushed to get married to
older men because of money and wealth, status or dignity. Pagewise (2010)
also asserts that many men and women today are rushed to marry for financial
gain because of economic hardships and genuine possibility of unemployment.
Pagewise (2010), however, considers parents compelling their children
to marry for financial gain to escape current financial situations as perhaps a
selfish reason to marry someone. The affluent partners may die and the
surviving spouse could run into serious economic problems thereafter. Divorce
too could be threatening if compatibility is lacking in the marriage.
2.2.12.9
Propinquity
Propinquity is also one of the criteria some parents use for mate
selection for their children. Propinquity means people who live close to one
another. Friendships and romantic relationships are also likely to develop with
those that a person comes into contact with in his or her environment. The
more that person interacts with another person, the more likely he or she is to
develop a friendship with or an attraction for that other person (Davis-Brown
(1987), Salamon and Surra, 1987, cited in Rice, 1999). Again, Davis-Brown,
Salamon and Surra (1987), quoted in Rice (1999) posits that propinquity is
another factor in mate selection. By this assertion, Davis-Brown (1987) et al
cited in Rice (1999) believes that geographical nearness is a major factor in
influencing mate selection. Davis-Brown et al (1987) add that institutional
30
propinquity where people meet in places of business, schools, social
organisations and churches is also possible.
The researcher has observed that some parents, generally speaking,
would want their children to marry partners that come from the same locality.
The researcher’s reasons include:
1. Proximity: when there is a funeral, for example, expenses are kept low
because transportation costs are minimal but where spouses come from
backgrounds that are far apart, huge sums of money are spent on
transport and feeding.
2. Because couples were brought up in the same environment, their
parents share common culture and therefore they understand
themselves better, so in the event of a misunderstanding between
couples, parents are able to resolve issues easily.
3. In times of need, the social support network easily mobilises support or
assistance for the couple because of solidarity.
4. In times of tribal or ethnic tensions and wars, couples find themselves
in awkward positions.
2.2.12.10
Domesticity
Domesticity is also valued in some cultures and not in others. Buss
(1990) in a study found out that adults from the Zulu culture in South Africa,
Estonia and Colombia place a high value on housekeeping skills in their
marital preferences. The researcher believes that this phenomenon holds true
in his home country, Ghana too. Generally, cooking, laundry and
housekeeping skills are the preserve of women in the Ghanaian culture and
31
parents, especially women, do not bother their adolescent boys in these
household chores. For that matter, some parents usually want to get involved
in the selection of female mates who can do cooking, laundry and other
housekeeping duties for their male children who marry. The researcher does
not consider cooking, laundry and housekeeping a good criterion for mate
selection. If the potential partner believes that these are his motive, fine.
Otherwise parents should not coerce their children to marry because of these
attributes.
2.2.13 Reasons For Some Parents Sometimes Rejecting Children’s
Choices
In instances like selection of partners for their children, some parents
may influence choices of friends and dating partners. Johnson and Milardo
(1984) cited in Rice (1999) argued that parents are understandably concerned,
but how they express that concern is the key to maintaining a harmonious
relationship and to continue dialoguing with their adolescent children. Johnson
and Milardo (1984) quoted in Rice (1999) again noted that parental objections
are usually based on one or more of the following reasons:
1. The parents don’t like the person their son or daughter has chosen.
He’s rude. He’s crude. She’s impolite. She has a bad reputation. She’s
too domineering.
2. The parents feel the other person has a problem. He drinks too much.
She’s too emotional. He can’t get along with anybody.
3. The other person is different from the parent’s family. Her family are
rather common people. She’s not educated. He’s not of our faith.
32
4. There is a significant age difference. She’s too young. Or she’s too old
for him.
5. The person has been married once or more before. This is his third
time around. She has three children by a previous marriage.
6. The couple is in too much of a hurry. They’ve only known each other
for three months. They don’t even know each other. We don’t even
know him (her)p.443
Rice (1999) observed that generally these objections are based on
dislike of the other person’s personality. Giving reasons why some parents and
family elders put pressure on their children to marry, Boakye (2006) noted that
by the Akan tradition and cultural beliefs, children are born into a larger
society called ‘Abusua’. Marriage therefore brings children into the ‘Abusua’
with spouses being facilitators. Parents also see children as a social security.
2.2.14. Peer Pressure
Sasse (1997) noted that Peer Pressure is one of the most challenging
situations that adolescents face. Sasse sees pressure as an attempt to influence
someone in a similar group. That is, someone experiences peer pressure when
someone’s friends want him or her to join in their activities, actions or beliefs.
He contends that peer pressure may be positive or negative. He argues that
when people encourage others to improve themselves in some way or
discourage them not to do something wrong, peer pressure is positive. It is
negative when peers influence another peer to learn bad habits such as
smoking or drinking alcohol or engaging in internet fraud. In this way, the
peer may end up destroying his or her life eventually.
33
Problems arise, however, when Peer Pressure has no power in, and of
itself, because no one can make one do something one does not want to do.
Teens, however, are generally very sensitive to criticisms and acceptance from
their peers. This is because they have not yet fully formed a strong personal
identity. They are often not sure exactly who they are and what they value.
This uncertainty results in a lack of inner strength to resist if friends are
pressurising them for certain behaviours. Thus, peer pressure convinces them
that they want to do what others are doing even though deep down in their
hearts this may not be true.
Another definition of Peer Pressure is the influence of a social group
on an individual. It becomes a strong feeling that one must do the same things
as other people of one’s age if the one wants them to like him. According to
Sasse (1997), some people give in to peer pressure because they want to be
liked, to fit in, or because they worry that other friends may make fun of them
if they do not go along with the group.
He further argues that others may go along because they are curious to
try something new that others are doing. The idea that everyone is doing it
may influence some people to ignore their better judgement or their common
sense. In this way, adolescents of marriageable age may be curious to their
friend’s suggestions to marry even though they may not be ready. Sasse is of
the opinion that Peer Pressure can be extremely strong and compelling. He
further pointed out that children and teenagers especially feel social pressure
to conform to the group of peers with whom they socialise. Sasse points out
that the intensity of Peer Pressure differs from situation to situation.
34
According to Wiki (2010), Peer Pressure is a type of pressure
(influence) exerted by a social group that influences the way a person acts or
behaves. So basically, Peer Pressure is a type of social pressure that is exerted
on a person by his social group. It can also influence the person’s beliefs and
values. Basically due to Peer Pressure, a person’s behaviour changes and so
does his belief. Peer Pressure can be either positive or negative.
Teenagers are prone to Peer Pressure. They are going through a trying
period in their developmental stage when they are trying to find their identity
and personality. They want to be accepted by a group outside the family circle.
This is the period when Peer Pressure becomes dangerous. It can influence a
teenager to learn undesirable habits like smoking, doing illegal drugs and
drinking alcohol. Peer Pressure can also force a teenager to get into sexual
activities even if they are not ready for intimacy. If a teenager gives in to
negative Peer Pressure against his/her will, they can end up ruining their lives.
However, Peer Pressure is not always negative. It can also be positive. It can
help a teenager perform better at school or take up extracurricular activities.
Positive Peer Pressure can help a teenager to give up a bad habit and take up a
good one.
Kids have friends. Adolescents have friends, and adults too have
friends. If these classifications are anything to by, then it can also be assumed
that some adults too can influence their friends in the selection of their future
spouses.
Asiedu (2001) reports that Robert Elong, a Cameroun traditionalist,
believes that ‘a woman in Cameroun is only really respected and becomes
responsible if she is married and that a woman who isn’t married by a certain
35
age is looked upon as a woman of easy virtue. She is not respectable.’ (The
Ghanaian Times, March 6, 2001 p. 11). It is based on such perceptions that
Rice (1999) says that some people rush into marriage because they feel left out
when their friends are announcing their engagements and getting married.
Adjabeng (2002) also commented that when friends and neighbours of
equal status or age group get married, the person who has not yet married
becomes the odd man. The unmarried person’s friends may tease him or her
making the one feel incomplete. Peer Pressure then can compel eligible singles
to marry even when they have not planned to do so (Adjabeng, 2002).
Sometimes too, young people yearn to marry because they want to be
accepted by society. Indeed, some cultures or ethnic groups have little regard
for the unmarried. If a young man delays marriage, the one is considered
impotent, irresponsible or not financially sound enough to take a wife. If a
woman too is of age and delays in marrying, it is assumed that she may have a
physical defect, is unattractive, or may have a questionable character that puts
men off (Adjabeng, 2002).
2.2.15
Attraction
According to Levinger (1965) Attractions are those elements of the
marriage that draw people towards one another. For example, the major
Attractions of traditional marriage are practical attractions. These were
economic survival and the production of legitimate offspring. Rice (1999)
argues that these continue to be attractive features of marriage for some people
but in general they have become no longer important these days. Rice (1999)
again believes that people are attracted positively to those who are pleasing to
36
look at, have good builds and well-proportioned bodies as well as a display of
other physical characteristics that appeal to people’s aesthetic sensitivities.
The most important element in Attraction, at least in the initial encounters,
according to Rice (1999) is physical attractiveness.
Grease (2010) also argues that being attracted to, and liking someone,
are the first steps towards marriage and that the commonest way to find
someone to marry is by dating and seeking out those that one is attracted to.
South (1991) says that people are drawn to those whom they find attractive.
Men especially place a higher value than women on physical attractiveness
and youthfulness while women look for men with wealth, fame, power and
high positions, in fact, for security. The researcher also believes that different
people use different methods to find a mate. In the modern day and age, for
example, the computer and internet are fast becoming more and more popular
and allow one to meet people from all over the world.
But according to Myers (2008), whether or not a person is using
modern technology to find a mate, there are some factors that contribute to
feelings of liking and attraction between two people. Proximity, physical
attractiveness, similarities, rewards of the relationships, and if someone has
mutual feelings will determine if a person is someone who becomes an
acquaintance or friend.
Myers (2008) further contends that attractiveness varies from culture to
culture. What is considered beautiful to one person may be considered ugly to
another person. According to Myers (2008), researchers have shown that those
people a person likes are more attractive to that person than those that a person
37
does not like. When a person is in love, he or she sees the other person as
more attractive than those that a person is not in love with. While
attractiveness and first impressions are what get a person interested in meeting
and getting to know another person, additional factors will determine if the
relationship develops into friendship or a romantic relationship. “Suitors that
share common values ,beliefs and attitudes are likely to be friends or romantic
partners” (Myers p. 399). Myers (2008) further states that research shows that
the more a husband and wife are like in values, beliefs and attitudes the more
likely they are to have a successful marriage.
Another school of thought also argues that when seeking a mate, some
people will seek those that complement them instead of those that are similar
to them. Myers (2008) believes this is where the common phrase “opposites
attract” come in. He explains that a quiet person or a risk-taker may choose
someone who always plays it safe. It is not as much as “opposites attract” but
more of one person having traits that the other is lacking so that a good pair is
made.
Boakye (2006) asserts that some people claim to love at first sight and
have no time to study each other. They jump into marriage only to find that
they do not know the rules of the game and therefore cannot play it.
Consequently, they have unfulfilled dreams and so they opt out.
Bersheid and Reis (1998) argue that the most obvious kind of
attraction is physical. One’s first impression is based on how someone looks;
someone’s looks may be part of what first draws people together. They assert
that physical attractiveness is one of the most important components of mate
38
selection. They further point out that research indicates that physically
attractive people are more likely to be rated by others as possessing good
personal and behavioural qualities such as sensitive, respect, kind, interesting,
strong, poised, modest, sociable, outgoing and exciting. Olson and DeFrain
(2000) also add that when people are physically attractive, others assume that
they also have positive personal qualities such as sincerity, honesty and
warmth. They also have affection and empathy and fidelity.
2.2.15.1
Standards of Attractiveness
Rice (1999) contends that standards of attraction are culturally
conditioned. In the Western world, for example, slender women are
considered more attractive than obese ones while tall men are also considered
more attractive than short ones. Also, youthful men and women are considered
more attractive than the elderly. In contrast, in some Arab cultures, obesity is
synonymous with physical beauty. The researcher also believes that in the
Ghanaian context obesity, just as in the Arab culture, is considered more
attractive than thinness.
2.2.16 Mediating Factors for Marriage
2.2.16.1 Premarital Counselling
According to Piver (2010) it is a programme that offers the opportunity
to explore marriage couples’ differences, similarities, hopes and dreams and
expectations of one another in a relatively safe, supportive and constructive
environment. Many authors believe that getting married without pre-marriage
preparation is like starting a business or any important venture without
39
preparing. It is simply like putting up a house without a building plan. If one
only counts on luck and romantic attachment to make marriage a success, it is
risky.
Piver (2010) again argues that good pre-marital education can reduce
the risk of divorce by a large margin (30 %) and lead to a significantly happy
marriage, according to marriage research. He believes pre-marriage
preparation has the ability to strengthen marital relationships and also prepare
constructively for future challenges and conflicts that every couple may
inevitably face at some point in marriage. Managing two careers while rearing
children, for example, really requires that couples have very strong wellestablished abilities to communicate, resolve issues, maintain mutuality and
set goals. When such foundation is laid, stress is easily avoided.
Rice (1999) also asserts that adequate preparation for marriage ensures
marital success, for just as vocational preparation is important so is marital
preparation. Just as the teacher, the nurse, the doctor, the lawyer and the
soldier, need professional training to function effectively in their various
fields, so in the same way potential marriage partners need Premarital
Counselling to achieve marital success. Duncan, Box and Silliman (1996)
agree that marriage preparation programmes are effective but they are under
attended. Olson and DeFrain (2000) lament that couples who marry for the
first time often spend a long time of preparation and large sums of money on,
for example, their wedding flowers, groom’s and men’s dress.
The wedding ceremony, to Olson and DeFrain (2000), is a ceremony
and celebration that last only a few hours. On the contrary, several couples
40
invest little time to prepare for their marriage which is intended to last a life
time. Couples hardly discuss such topics as finances, in-laws and role
relationships which are factors that sustain marriages and make them durable.
In the view of Olson and DeFrain (2000), marital preparation is therefore to be
seen as essential to making the new marriage work.
Olson and DeFrain (2000) observe that unfortunately, only a small
percentage of couples take advantage of courses on marriage and family life,
with a high percentage of prospective partners spending only an hour or two
before the wedding with a minister, or a priest discussing marital issues. They
suggest that if a marriage is to be durable, then quality time must be spent on
premarital programmes that can help couples learn to be realistic about
marriage, because couples need to know that marriage takes a tremendous
investment of time, effort and energy. The couples therefore must work at
their relationship throughout their life together since only premarital
preparation can get the marriage off to a good start.
For a marriage to succeed, three formal ways of preparing for
marriage, according to Rice (1999), are desirable. They are premarital
education, premarital assessment and premarital counselling.
2.2.16.2
Premarital Education
2.2.16.2.1
Educational Factors
Learning courses and classes, distance learning for individuals
throughout the life-cycle is becoming more common and necessary than
before. In the context of the foregoing, Jorgensen and Hendersen (1991)
41
explain that men and women today, for example, are entering colleges,
universities or trade schools after several years of marriage and raising a
family. Also, either men or women may seek additional education or training
should they decide to make a major change in occupation. Therefore, they are
of the opinion that such conflicting ideas about such growth experiences can
interfere with successful marriage relationships.
Similarly, Jorgensen and Hendersen (1991) further argue that some
people who work with their hands ridicule and show disrespect for those who
work in professional fields. Professional people may also look down on
unskilled workers. They believe that it may be difficult for two people of
different occupational backgrounds to respect and understand each other
unless efforts are made to clarify feelings and gain understanding.
Mace (1987) believes that premarital education takes many forms and
includes an academic course at the college level in marriage and family living.
Short courses are offered by counsellors or by community agencies and
organisations, such as child and family service agencies, mental and health
clinics, community counselling centres, women’s clubs, service organisations,
churches, or schools.
The researcher concedes that Ghana’s premarital counselling
institutions are not adequate hence the researcher’s belief that establishing
marriage counselling clinics in Ghana to cater for several women who have
become insane as a result of marriage breakdown should be a step in the right
direction. Mace (1987) suggests that such courses or marriage education
programmes should last six weeks or more, with classes being held weekly.
42
With required reading materials provided, sessions must include lectures,
audiovisuals, discussions and role-playing.
2.2.16.3 Premarital Assessment
Marriage preparation includes assessment or an evaluation of the
extent to which the couple is fit and ready for marriage (Holman, Larson &
Harmer, 1994). They explain that the most common form of assessment is
health assessment which involves a physical examination and blood tests for
sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis, HIV/AIDS and gonorrhoea. The
tests are to enable one partner to know whether the other partner has a sexually
transmitted disease.
The main goal of the premarital assessment is to enable each partner to
examine himself or herself, the partner, and their relationship in order to
evaluate and confirm that indeed each wants to marry the other (Holman,
Larson & Harmer, 1994). A second goal is to examine some of the frequent
problem areas for couples, such as friends, family and
in-laws, religion,
values, recreation, finances, children, sex and affection.
A third goal is to
help the couple feel comfortable in seeking professional help in the future for
marital or family problems.
2.2.16.4
Premarital Counselling
Olson and DeFrain (2000) realised from a research that there are at
least three essential components to an effective premarital programme. First,
the couple should take some type of premarital inventory and should receive
feedback on the result. The premarital inventory increases the couple’s
43
awareness of their strength and potential problem areas in their relationships.
It helps them to discuss their relationship. Second, the process establishes a
relationship with a counsellor, a clergy member, or a married couple whom the
couple can consult when they are in need of counselling. Again, it prepares
them for later marriage enrichment. It helps the couple to receive training in
communication and problem-solving skills. These skills help the couple deal
with various relationship issues as well as equip them with techniques for selfdisclosure, resolving conflicts, and problem solving.
Olson and DeFrain (2000) maintain that research with PREPARE (an
acronym for Premarital Personal And Relationship Evaluation), which
assesses content areas of engaged couple’s relationship has found out that
couples whose marriages are happy tend to have a successful premarital
relationship. That is, happy premarital couples who generally become happily
married couples are those who
“1.
Are realistic about the challenges of marriage
2.
Communicate well
3.
Resolve conflicts well
4.
Feel good about the personality of their partner
5.
Agree on religious and ethical issues
6.
Have equalitarian role relationships and
7.
Have a good balance of individual and joint leisure activities” (p 377)
44
Olson and DeFrain (2000), Adjabeng (2002), Stover and Hope (1993)
are of the opinion that awareness of these research findings and accurate
assessment of the strengths and problem areas of a relationship before
marriage can prevent a great deal of heartbreak later in marriage. Even after
the wedding, couples can continue their studies on marriage by reading and
discussing books on marriage by attending marriage enrichment seminars or
workshops.
2.2.17
Levels of Average Income
Level of average income, according to Wikipedia, the free
encyclopaedia (2010) means how much each individual receives in monetary
terms. In the American economy, for example, there are at least six social
classes designated as follows: capitalist class, upper middle class, lower
middle class; working class; working poor and underclass. In Ghana,
unfortunately, there are no such distinctive class designations although there
are social classes of some sort. By guess work one can say that there are at
least four classes as follows: upper middle class; lower middle class, working
class and the working poor.
Although money cannot buy love, yet it affects the decision to get
married. This statement the researcher observes is valid because without
money, no marriage can work. Buckles (2010), also supports this view and
says that money or more precisely, the price of marriage can significantly
affect the decision to marry. One cannot get married without assessing the cost
involved and the ability to pay for the expenses to be borne. Money is not
something that we can rule out of our lives because people cannot live without
45
it. Without money one is not really who one is, and with money too one can
easily forget who one really is. Paradoxical!
2.2.17.1
Money as Socio-economic Factor
Socio-economic status is a very important variable in marriage. Socio
–economic status here includes one`s educational level, income level and
occupation. Commenting on this Raschke (1987), believes that socioeconomic status is probably the most important correlate of divorce, because
over all, the higher the socio-economic status that is, employment, income and
education which tend to interrelate, the less likelihood is divorce. This means
that if both partners have good and high education and occupations that have
attractive salaries, disagreements and misunderstandings may be reduced to
the barest minimum and stability may be achieved. In this case, it can be
argued that when the income levels of spouses are high enough to take care of
couple’s needs, peace may prevail and divorce rate will be low.
2.2.17.2 How Money Affects Relationships
Githinji (2005) argues that making money is something everybody has
to do whether in a relationship or not because whether for survival purposes or
respect or power, money plays a part in everyone’s life. Therefore, as far as
relationships go, the issue of money has the ability to make or break the
relationship bond. Money is best known as a means to survival; however, its
influence in relationships can reach into other areas, some of which may have
nothing to do with survival. Power, control, adoration or seductions, for
example, are some of the ways the money can be used within the context of a
relationship. When money is valued for what it is such as a means to survival,
46
a couple can use it to build a future, or provide for the things that are most
important to them. If money is lacking, on the other hand, survival can be
more of a challenge.
Marriage statistics show that money issues are a leading cause of
divorce. Explaining this assertion, Greenstein, (1985) argues that employed
wives are more likely than unemployed wives to leave unsatisfactory
marriages as they are better able to support themselves. The researcher thinks
this assertion makes sense in that granted that money has power, without
money one cannot exist, then there is no reason why a woman who is unhappy
in her marital relationship can continue to stay in that marriage when she has a
paid income which can sustain her. But for those who are unemployed, they
have no alternative but to tolerate all the abuses from a nagging, cruel and
irresponsible husband because without her husband’s support she cannot
survive.
2.2.17.2.1
Financial Issues
Price and Mckenry (1988) assert that part of the rate differences in
divorce rates can be traced to socio-economic status: in lower income families,
the marriages suffer more stress, with financial problems contributing to
marital
instability.
Asiedu (2000), intimates that most marital conflicts and divorces are
sparked off by financial problems. Refusal by both spouses to declare the
money or salaries they earn largely accounts for this state of affairs. When
salaries or earnings are not known, the temptation, especially by the woman,
to make demands that are beyond means are very strong. This presupposes
47
that it is important for couples, as much as possible, to try to be transparent
when it comes to financial issues in the home.
In the same way, Hackey (1983) argues strongly that “a marriage in
which the bride is of a higher socio-economic status than the groom’ provides
a fruitful environment for conflicts which can lead to divorce. Githinji (2005)
also opines that money in a relationship is like an umbrella which one needs
when it is raining and also when it is too sunny. Without it one is not really
who one is and with it one can forget who one really is. He explains that as far
as relationships go, the issue of money has the ability to make or break the
relationship.
2.2.17.3
How Money and Relationships Influence One Another
Githinji (2005) argues that money is such a strong factor in life that it
generally controls everything. It controls the way people run their lives and
most definitely money controls the partner’s love; but Githinji (2005) cautions
that people should not allow money to control them absolutely. This way,
partners can prevent any ugly confrontations arising in future. People
definitely need money to provide for their daily needs like food, clothing,
shelter, entertainment, health and others (Adjabeng, 2002). On the other hand,
men tend to think that the women spend a lot of money on pointless shopping,
on new clothes, makeups and new appliances. This presupposes that men and
women have their own problems and so until they both realise that they have a
problem, their relationship will suffer.
48
2.2.17.4
Compromise Ways to Deal with Money Problems
For final success, Adjabeng (2002) suggests that couples should learn
to carefully manage their income. This can be done by first assessing their
needs and wants and ensuring that their needs are met before their wants. If
that is done, couples can avoid falling into debts, poverty and all other forms
of economic hardships and even disgrace. Needs such as food, housing,
clothing, rent, water and light bills, educational and health bills should be
considered as priorities before considering luxuries.2.2.17.5 Living within Means
Couples must not buy on credit. They must buy only when they have
money (Adjabeng, 2002). Buying an item simply because it is cheap is not a
good idea. Couples must buy because they find the item useful. This simply
means that couples must avoid impulsive buying. Also, buying items in bulk
saves money because bulk purchases are usually cheaper.
2.2.17.6 Opening of Joint Account
Adjabeng (2002) and Githinji (2005) are of the opinion that couples’
agreeing to open one account is a healthy idea. In this case, their salaries and
all other incomes and benefits are brought together. This suggests that couples
may prepare a common budget deciding what should go to family needs,
savings, and daily expenditure and so on. It also means that every acquisition
of property must be in the name of both of them. There should be no
complaints about unfair treatment by either party. Although this is a good idea,
complications may arise when couples decide that they can no longer love
49
together. This possibility suggests an alternative way of pulling resources
together.
2.2.17.7
Contributions Towards a Common Fund
Husbands and wives may decide to keep their salaries to themselves
but they may contribute a percentage of their individual incomes determined
by the two, towards the family budget. In this way, it presupposes that each
partner has an account of his or her own from which he or she can withdraw
money when he or she feels the need to. This way, partners will not feel like
their wings are clipped in a relationship.
2.2.17.8
Help from Financial Advisor
There are times when partners may not agree as to how to manage their
finances. Should such a problem arise in a relationship, Githinji (2005)
believes getting help from a financial advisor at a fee is a good idea. Such
advice includes even when partners are spending too much to the extent that
the other considers it too extravagant.
2.2.17.9 Shared Responsibility
Another way to manage affairs in the home is the concept of shared
responsibility. That is, one partner may pay the bills on say meals, household
needs and so on; while the other takes care of say water bills, lights and so on.
But it is a good idea if the husband takes greater part of the financial burden
because he is supposed to be the head of the family and the bread-winner as
well. But some authors hold different views on this assertion in a situation
where both are working. Shapiro and Shaw (1985) contend that when divorces
50
happen females are motivated to enter the labour market. Then in two separate
studies, Spitze and South (1985, 1986) argue that the more females enter the
labour force, the more they are caught in conflict with their spouses and as a
result, divorce happens. Mincer (1985) supports this view. Becket, Landes and
Michael (1977) explain that a rise in expected male earnings reduces the
probability of divorce. This means that men must work hard, earn promotions
to increase their incomes and stay on top to always assert their influence over
women. D’amico (1983) also recognises two distinctly different possible
effects of income on divorce. One hypothesis is that as the female’s wage rises
against the males, conflict based on competition for status within the marriage
occurs and increases the likelihood of divorce. The second opposing
hypothesis is the notion that as one pursues higher socio-economic status with
the wife earning higher salary, she contributes to the maintenance of status and
thereby solidifies the marriage. To the researcher, both theories are workable
depending upon the nature of the background orientation that spouses bring to
the marriage.
2.2.17.10
Disclosing One’s Income to His Spouse
It is always helpful to disclose how much one earns to one’s partner. It
helps the other to know the total financial resources available at his or her
partner’s disposal. It makes the wife more sympathetic in her demands and
also brings about self-discipline with regard to money spending.
2.2.18
Social Support
Wikipedia (2010) argues that Social Support refers to the function and
quality of social relationships, such as perceived availability of help or support
51
actually received. Again, Wikipedia 2010 notes that Social Support in another
sense has been defined in various ways. For example, it may be regarded as
resources provided by others, as coping assistance or as an exchange of
resources. According to Wikipedia (2010) several types of social support have
been investigated, such as instrumental (example, assist with a problem),
tangible (example, donate goods), informational (example, advice), and
emotional (example, give reassurance).
Cornwell, Laumann and Schumm (2008) report that studies on Social
Support show that having one or two supportive friends is valuable to
emotional health. They, however, pointed out that having social support from
several supportive friends would be the best. The reasons for their suggestion
are that:
1.
If one has only one person supporting him/her through difficult
times, one may wear that person out, or feel unsupported if that
person is unavailable. So it is better for everyone if everyone
has at least a few people to depend on.
2.
One may draw different benefits from different types of people.
For example, one
having an outgoing friend to gain
information and insight from, and an emphatic friend to be a
good listener during Social Support is better than any one of the
groups mentioned earlier could give.
3.
One’s friends can bring out different qualities in one another
that can benefit all one’s friends.
52
4.
Studies show that a sense of belonging is extremely important
for emotional health and well-being; those who have social
support but don’t feel a sense of belonging are much more
likely to suffer from depression than those who don’t have
social support, for example.
2.2.18.1
Family and Peer Support
Stice, Ragan and Randall (2004) argue that family support is a very
important element in the lives of adolescents. For, inadequate support from
parents will likely increase their chances of getting depression among
adolescents and for that matter young married couples who get into
unfortunate situations. In the initial stages, adolescents who marry can easily
become confused when they expect to get plenty of help and positive
reinforcement from their parents, but it does not happen (Stice, Ragan &
Randall, 2004). Stice et al, (2004) also argue that peer support can be
considered as an alternative method of getting social support if young married
couples receive inadequate attention from their parents. Therefore, peer
support for couples in marriage can be very helpful. Uchion, Cacioppo and
Kiecolt-Glaser (1996) report that many studies indicate that anyone who has
high social support tends to have less chance of getting depression and anxiety
disorders. It can also be true in marriage, the researcher believes.
Rice (1999) asserts that the way people are brought up influences their
views of marriage. Therefore when one marries another person, the suitor
marries everything that the family has been able to impart to the individual
child. It is therefore good to know something about the family background
53
where the partner grew up. Problems that a suitor may encounter may be
thought of as caution signals that can influence the suitor to slow down while
that suitor examines them critically. Where health issues such as insanity,
stealing, and criminal records cannot be resolved, the suitor may decide to
discontinue the relationship (Rice, 1999).
Brown and Booth (1996) believe that social support can come from a
variety of people, including a spouse or an immediate family member,
extended family, co-workers, neighbours, self-help groups, and human-service
professionals. Kessler, Turner & House (1988) also commented that when
social support is available, and is used by an individual in financial crisis, it
generally provides increased psychological well-being and improved quality
of family life.
Olson and DeFrain (2000) note that families need a social support
network which should include kin, friends, neighbours, social service
institutions, and special self-help groups. They think that the strength to cope
with problems comes from close connections with friends, neighbours and
relatives. In African marriages especially, most families draw on outside
resources neighbours and relatives. In African marriages especially, most
families draw on outside resources for help, just as they also need to support
other families in exchange for their aid they receive (Rice, 1999).
Support from parents and in-laws after marriage, for example, has a
positive influence on marital success. Rice (1999) contends that in a marriage
where in-laws especially are not in support, marital stability becomes difficult.
On the other hand, where the social support network is good and in-laws are in
54
full support, potential partners are able to detect quickly, and are able to
withdraw quickly, when the other potential partner has substance abuse
problems, either alcohol or other drugs (Fu & Goldman, 1996).
2.2.18.2
Usefulness of Social Support Network
Couples have vast resources to develop a system of social support
from. These include spouses, family members and relatives, comprising aunts,
uncles and cousins, neighbours, close friends, co-workers and social contacts
such as members of one’s church, synagogue or temple or mosque and
classmates (Fowler & Christakis 2008). Spouses, for example, can encourage
themselves greatly by the way they go about things such as when they have
differences or are in conflict. If they have good communication skills, their
differences can be resolved peacefully (Fowler & Christakis 2008).
Family members, when they are in support of a couple’s marriage,
easily come to their aid in couple’s marriage, in times of need, financially,
emotionally and psychologically (Fowler & Christakis 2008).
Relatives,
including aunts, uncles and cousins usually constitute a majority in one’s
social network and are an asset as far as giving moral and emotional support to
couples are concerned ( Fowler & Christakis 2008). Where couples are
friendly, respectful and understanding, neighbours and co-workers are helpful
and useful. Close friends, too, can prove to be dependable in times of need,
and so are church and mosque members and classmates who can prove to be
as helpful as blood brothers and sisters (Fowler & Christakis 2008). To
maximise total social support from one’s social support network one must
show to members of the social-support system that one is open and honest,
55
open to criticisms, is ready to listen and to be corrected when he has gone
wrong. Accepting corrections and agreeing to be kept on track when one’s
thinking becomes irrational is enough to prove that one is ready for help.
2.3.
Empirical Review for the Study
Murstein (1980) reviewed a number of cross-cultural studies that
looked at love marriages versus parent-arranged marriages (1980 pp. 52-54).
He concluded that cross-culturally, the absence of economic means for women
leads to early marriage and little individual freedom. The ability of women to
work leads to the decline of arranged marriages, enhances the possibility of
love matches, and may slightly diminish the marriage rate.
One study of Turkey, a relatively rural society, found that threequarters of the marriages were still arranged (Fox, 1980). Data from Africa,
India, and Malaysia indicate that love marriages are more likely among people
who marry at later age, have a higher level of education, have a higher socio
economic status (or the promise of a higher status), and live in an urban setting
than those who have not.
Physical attractiveness is one of the most important components of
mate selection; studies show that it is directly related to the frequency of being
asked on a first date (Berscheid & Reis, 1998). According to Berscheid & Reis
(1998) researchers have been creative in devising rating scales to measure
physical attractiveness. One method is simply to have a panel of judges rate
individuals on a scale of attractiveness from low to high. White (1980)
measured the relative physical attractiveness of 123 couples and followed
them through the various stages of their relationship such as casual dating,
56
serious dating, cohabiting, engagement, and marriage. White then found that
the more physically attractive a person was, the more likely she or he was to
have friends of the other sex. At the same time, the more physically attractive
a person was the less likely he or she was to worry about the partner’s
involvement with other people.
Also, one research group studied inter-personal attraction at a
commercial video-dating service (Green, Buchanan, & Heuer, 1984). The
researchers developed quantitative profiles of each dating-service member,
based on a point system included on a point system including age, judgments
of physical attractiveness, social status, humour and warmth. They found that
people who were physically attractive got more calls for dates. Physically
attractive males enjoyed more popularity and popular females tended to be
younger and more attractive than less-popular counterparts. Females tended to
select males with higher social status, whereas males tended to focus on
female physical attractiveness. The researchers followed up on these dating
couples to see how the dating progressed. Then they found that men tended to
prefer younger women, but they did not continue to date them. A younger date
might be attractive to the man at first glance, but the age difference was a
crucial factor in ending the relationship. Women also tended to be more likely
to reject them after dating them for a while. Differences in maturity level can
be more important than attractiveness in a long-term relationship, this study
suggests.
Research also indicates that physically attractive people are more
likely to be rated by others as possessing good personal and behavioural
qualities (Berscheid & Reis, 1998). Again, Margolin and White (1987)
57
surveyed more than 1500 spouses who had been married for ten or more years.
They found that men, but not women, would report more sexual problems in
their marriage if they believed that their spouse had reduced in weight. This
study clearly demonstrates that the male focus on physical attraction continues
over time and is specifically linked to sexual satisfaction, as it is in younger
men.
Premarital Counselling, according to Jones and Stahmann, (1994) is
popular with most clergy. In a national study of 231 clergy from several
Protestant denominations, 94% said they thought that all premarital couples
should have counselling before marriage, and 100% said they provided
premarital counselling to all couples before they would marry them (Jones &
Stahmann, 1994). About 90% to 95% provided individual counselling to the
partners, and about two-thirds used some type of premarital inventory and
gave the couple counselling while group lectures and group couple counselling
were used by only about 5% of the clergy.
Couple education is a type of premarital counselling programme.
Hawley and Oslon (1995) report that a recent study compared three couple
education programmes, the programme were Preston Dyer and Genie Dyer’s
Growing Together, Edward Barders’s Learning to live Together and Don
Dinkmeyer and Jon Carlson’s Training for marriage Enrichment (TIME).
Seventy-one newly wed couples were assigned to the three programmes, and
28 couples were assigned to a control group. All three programmes were about
6 weeks long, and all focused on communication, conflict resolution, finances,
role relationship, family of origin and sexuality. Couples met in a small group
58
with about six other couples and a trainer on a weekly basis for about two
hours.
Ninety-eight percent of the couples in the couple programmes said they
would recommend the programme to another couple and ninety-six percent
said they would repeat the experience. More than eighty-five percent felt the
topics used very relevant and seventy-five percent felt their group leader was
helpful. According to Hawley and Olson (1995) there were significant
improvements in the couples’ scores on communication conflict resolution
personality issues, financial management dealing with family and friends and
marital satisfaction on some statistical tests. The couples enjoyed the
experience and felt it was helpful and beneficial.
Doherty and Simmons (1996) are of the view that it appears that
marital and family therapy is a rather cost-effective. Olson, McCubbin and
Colleagues (1989) posit that money is a source of anxiety and discomfort that
continues across the life span. They found in their study of 1000 families that
money is the most commonly reported source of stress and strain that families
face. Many families at each stage of the family life cycle felt finances were
problematic.
Mace, (1982a) in a survey of 400 physicians, mostly psychiatrists,
nearly half (49%) believed that quarrels over money occur in marriage
primarily because one spouse uses money as a way of dominating and
controlling the other. Thirty-four percent of the physicians believed that
money quarrels were primarily due to the differences in spouses’ spending
59
priorities and 14% of the physicians saw differences in spouses’ thriftiness as
the primary source of conflict.
Another study focused on how a sample of newly-married couples
handled finances and made family decisions over the first ten years of their
marriages (Schaninger & Buss, 1986). The investigators were especially
interested in differences between those couples who divorced and those who
remained happily married. They found that happily married couples practised
role specialisation. Furthermore, the wife was more influential and the
husband less dominant in the handling of family finances. There was also
greater joint decision making about family issues and more influence by the
wife in family decision making. Equality at an early stage was important for
the vitality of the marriage.
Olson and DeFrain (2000) report that according to national survey of
married couples, happy couples (in USA), as compared to unhappy couples
have less difficulty making financial decisions. They have fewer concerns
about how money is handled in their marriage. They also have fewer major
debts, and are more satisfied with their decisions about saving and agree more
often on how to spend money than their unhappy counterparts.
60
2.4
Theoretical Framework for the Study
Figure 2.1
A Figure Showing The Theoretical Framework For The
Study
Antecedents of Marriage
Mediators
Motives:
Premarital Counselling
Family Pressure;
Level of Average income
Peer Pressure;
Social Support
Attraction
Outcome
Marital Status
Married
Divorce
Four theoretical perspectives that have influenced research on Marital
Stability were evaluated by Karmey and Bradbury (1995): Social exchange
theory, behavioural theory, attachment theory, and crisis theory. These
different approaches reflect distinct research traditions within different
disciplines which have attempted to investigate the causes of marital
dissolution. Most studies have tended to be essentially empirical, looking for
predictors of Marital Stability in the form of associations or correlations
between certain characteristics and marital dissolution. Many studies utilise
aspects of social exchange theory. In this tradition, Levinger (1965) argued
that factors affecting the risk of marital success or breakdown can be classified
according to whether they affect the attractiveness of the marriage, whether
they act as barriers to marital dissolution, or whether they affect the
alternatives to marriage. The presentation of direct relationship between the
61
predictors and the likelihood of marriage and divorce can however be
misleading. For example, the experience of parental divorce may affect marital
outcomes through its effect on other variables such as socialisation in
interpersonal behaviours (Amato, 1996), but such mediating variables are
rarely examined in research studies.
In general, most studies have not attempted to understand how
demography, level of income and social support characteristics and marital
stability operate, and how marriages become more or less stable. The other
three approaches concentrate on the processes through which marriages
become less stable, focusing on such issues as marital interaction aspects of
each partner’s relationship history and family of origin, friends, attraction and
how couple cope with stressful events. Karney and Bradbury (1995) identify
the strengths and weaknesses of each approach and conclude that no single
framework satisfies all the criteria of a theory of marital development. They
suggest a more integrated framework for future research, although few studies
have attempted to combine all of these theoretical perspectives.
One recent study by Amato (1996) has shown that given sufficiently
detailed longitudinal data on married couples, it is possible to investigate the
pathways through which socio-demographic factors affect marital dissolution.
For example, this work has shown how the intergenerational transmission of
divorce risk seems to work through increased interpersonal behaviour
problems among those whose parents separated (such as lack of trust or
inability to commit) which interfere with the maintenance of rewarding
relationships (Amato, 1996).
62
CHAPTER THREE
METHODOLOGY
3.1
Introduction
This chapter describes the methodology for the study. The outline of
the sub-themes discussed is as follows:
1. The research design
2. Population
3. Sample and sampling procedures
4. Instrumentation
5. Data collection procedures
6. Method of data analysis
3.2
Research Design
The design of the study was a cross-sectional survey design using the
quantitative approach. Creswell (2003) posits that in cross-sectional surveys,
the survey information is collected at one point in time as against longitudinal
survey where information is collected over a period of time.
Osuala (1993) believes that survey research deals with the present.
Surveys are oriented towards the determination of the status of a given
phenomenon rather than towards the isolation of causative factors. Osuala
(1993) argues that surveys are generally based on large cross-sectional
samples.
A survey design according to Fowler (1988) provides a quantitative or
numeric description of some fraction of the population. The sample through
63
the data collection, in turn, enables a researcher to generalise the findings from
a sample of responses to a population.
According to Ofori and Dampson (in press) quantitative research in a
broad term can be described as “entailing the collection of numerical data and
exhibiting a view of the relationship between theory and research as deductive
and having an objectivist conception of social reality”. They argue that
generally quantitative researchers do not bother about “how things are; they
are rather interested to find out why things are the way they are”, and they are
also keen in generalising their research findings beyond the confines of the
particular context in which the research was conducted.
The analytic design of the study involved logistic regression analysis.
Logistic regression, according to Ofori and Dampson (in press) can be used to
predict one’s membership of a group based on certain factors or information.
When applied to marriage, logistic regression can use certain factors to predict
why some marriages are stable while others are not. Previous studies in this
area have not provided the needed insight mainly because most previous
studies tended to be bivariate in nature (Rice, 1999; Olson & DeFrain, 2000;
Duncan, Box & Silliman, 1996). They tend to examine two variables which do
not mimic the real world. Multivariate studies, like the present study, are
more realistic since they are based on the assumption that the factors that
sustain or break marriages are many and one factor alone, as is the assumption
underlying bivariate studies, cannot be responsible for the survival or break
down of a marriage. For example, the present study recognises that family
pressure or peer pressure or attraction alone cannot influence the sustenance of
marriage. Other factors such as Premarital Counselling, Level of Average
64
Income and Social Support, for example, may interact with Family Pressure,
Peer Pressure and Attraction to determine the outcome, survival or otherwise
of a marriage.
In the design of this study, there were six independent or predictor
variables namely, Family Pressure, Peer Pressure, Attraction, Level of
Average Income, Social Support and Premarital Counselling. Family Pressure,
Peer Pressure, Attraction, Level of Average Income and Social Support are
interval variables while Premarital Counselling is a categorical variable. The
dependent or outcome variable is Marital Stability (i.e. Married or Divorced)
which is a categorical variable. So the design meets the requirements for
logistic regression.
3.3
Population
The study was carried out in the Sunyani Municipality in the Brong
Ahafo Region of Ghana. The major economic activities there are farming and
trading. Trading, particularly, flourishes a great deal because of the presence
of second cycle and tertiary students as well as a good number of people who
work in private and government offices. The population for the study was two
thousand (2000) married and divorced men and women in the Sunyani
Municipality.
3.4
Sample and Sampling Procedure
The sample for this study was three hundred people selected using the
opportunistic, convenience and purposive sampling techniques. The purposive
sampling technique was added because the researcher had presumed that
among the population there might be some respondents who might be
65
cohabiting. But it tended out to be that there were none who were cohabiting.
All the respondents were either married or divorced. The researcher opted for
this technique, based on the accessibility of a sample available within limited
time and resources.
3.5
Instrumentation
The instrument used for the present study was a questionnaire (see
Appendix A). The questionnaire consisted of 2 sections, namely A and B.
Section A consisted of participants’ bio data, such as gender, Marital
Stability etc (see Appendix A). Section B contained four subscales that
measured Social Support, Family Pressure, Peer Pressure and Attraction. The
Social Support subscale was adopted from Zimet, Dahlem, Zimet & Farley
(1988).
The Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support Scale
comprises 13 items.
Part of the instruments was adapted from the Multidimensional Scale
of Perceived Social Support (Zimet, Dahlem, Zimet & Farley, 1988) and the
remaining items (statements) were integrated by the researcher who believed
that these would be necessary in the Ghanaian context. The other subscales on
the questionnaire were researcher-developed and consisted of Peer Pressure,
Family pressure and Attraction. The Peer pressure subscale with nine (9) items
was designed to measure peer influence; some of the items were: “I married to
stop my friends from teasing/harrassing me” and “Friends influenced my
decision to marry”. Similarly, eleven (11) items were developed to measure
family influence; two of the items were: “I will receive approval from my
family before going out with a man/woman” and “My family by way of
66
comparing me with my married friends pushed me into marriage”. In order to
measure the influence of Attraction on Marital Stability, 10 items were used:
“My partner’s beauty (physical attraction) made me choose him/her”, “My
partner’s behaviour was my main source of attraction” were two of those 10
items. In sum, the questionnaires were made up of 52 items.
3.5.1
3.5.1.2
Report on Pilot Study
Aim
The aim of the pilot study was to assess the construct validity and
reliability of the 52-item questionnaire using factor analysis. Construct validity
of a questionnaire can be regarded as the extent to which the items in a
questionnaire taps the concept that one is trying to measure.
.
Reliability may also be defined as the extent to which a questionnaire
produces similar measurement given similar conditions (Green & Salkind,
2008). The validity and reliability of the Social Support sub-scale of the
questionnaire which was adapted from Zimet, Dahlem, Zimet and Farley
(1988) were based on American and European
subjects and because of
cultural differences may not be valid and reliable when it is used for Ghanaian
subjects. Therefore, it was important to ascertain whether this instrument was
valid and reliable in the Ghanaian setting. Most of the sub-scales of the
questionnaire were researcher-developed. These items had never been tested.
It is of great importance to subject them to a test (to ascertain their validity and
reliability).
67
3.5.1.3 Method
The pilot study was conducted in two of the suburbs in Sunyani
Municipality precisely New Dormaa and Nkrankrom. A sample size of 25
respondents each from the two suburbs was selected for the study by using the
opportunistic and convenience sampling method. Before the study was
conducted, copies of an introductory letter (see Appendix C) from the
researcher’s department (Psychology and Education) were presented to the
authorities in the schools, offices and churches for permission. Participants in
the study then completed the 52 item questionnaire.
3.5.1.4
Screening data for Factor Analysis
Data collected were fed into SPSS version 16. First, the data were
screened to meet one of the assumptions underlying parametric test which says
that data should be normally distributed. This involved examining the
skewness of the distribution on each of the variables. Each distribution was
judged using the z-statistic of +/- 5. According to Ofori and Dampson (in
press), a distribution with resulting z-score of more than +/-5 after dividing its
skewness value by its standard error (SE) of skewness indicate that the
distribution is abnormally skewed. Using this criterion of +/-5, it was found
that the distributions of nineteen (19) of the questions were abnormally
skewed. These items were statements 10, 11, 13 and 18 on Family Pressure
subscale; items 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26 and 27 on Peer Pressure subscale and
items 29, 31, 32, 33, and 37 on the Attraction subscale; and items 39, and 49
on the Social Support subscale. Because these items (i.e. 10, 11, 13,18,19,20,
21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 31, 32, 33, 37 39, and 49) were abnormally skewed
and were beyond +/- 5 cut-off point they were excluded from further analysis.
68
3.5.1.5
Factor Analysis
The remaining 24 items were further subjected to factor analysis using
the Principal Component (PC) method with varimax rotation using SPSS. This
was to check or ascertain the appropriateness of the 4 factors contained in the
questionnaire. The factors were confirmed using loadings based on the content
of the items. Factor loadings exceeding 0.30 was used because the greater the
loading, the higher the variables status loading as a pure measure of the factor
and that a factor loading of 0.1 for instance is not strong enough to ascertain
the pureness of the measure of the factor (Kline 2002 cited in Ofori and
Dampson in press)
The inspection of the anti-image correlation matrix was conducted and
it was found that all the 24 items were above the .50 cut- off point suggesting
that the construct validity of all the items were very good.
The KMO (Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin) test for the Measure of Sampling
Adequacy yielded an overall value of .788 which is above the cut- off value of
0.5; therefore there was no cause for concern (George & Mallery, 1999; Ofori
& Dampson in press).
After 5 iterations, rotation converged with the extraction of four (4)
factors of predictors of Marital Stability with eigen values above 1.0. In total
all the questionnaire items accounted for 41.408 % of the variance in the data.
The rotated factor matrix or rotated components matrix using the orthogonal
or varimax is shown in Table 3.1.
69
Table 3.1: Rotated Component Matrix
Component
1
Q41 I and my partner get the emotional help and
support we need from our family.
.705
Q42 I and my partner have a special person who
is a real source of comfort to us.
.702
Q40 Our family really tries to help us.
.680
Q47 There is a special person in our life who
cares about our feelings.
.632
Q43 Our friends really try to help us.
.578
Q46 I and my partner have friends with whom
we can share joys and sorrows.
.539
Q44 I and my partner can count on our friends
when things go wrong.
.524
Q38 There is a special person who is around
when I and my partner are in need.
.504
Q48 Our family are willing to help us make
decisions.
.492
Q45 I and my partner can talk about our
problems with our family.
.460
Q50 During our marriage I and my partner
get/got support from our church/mosque.
.419
2
Q15 Without the involvement of my family I
will not have married.
.741
Q16 My family had the last say in choosing my
partner.
.681
Q14 My family helped me in the selection of
my partner.
.670
Q17 My marriage was 100% motivated by my
family.
.655
Q9
I will break up a relationship if my family
is opposed to it.
.503
Q8
I will receive approval from my family
before going out with a man/woman.
.429
Q35 Attraction makes it easy to choose a
partner.
70
3
.719
4
Q34 Attraction plays the major role in partner
selection.
.647
Q36 My partner’s kindness was the basis for my
choosing him/her.
.621
Q28 My partner’s beauty (physical attraction)
made me choose him/her.
.689
Q30 My partner’s nice figure attracted me to
him/her.
.647
Q22 Friends encouraged me to marry.
.445
Q12 I find it unacceptable to be going out with a
man/woman against my family’s wish.
.442
Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis.
Rotation Method: Varimax with Kaiser Normalization.
a. Rotation converged in 5 iterations.
Table 3.1 shows the pattern of factor loadings as supporting the
existence of the four hypothesised factors namely, Social Support, Family
Pressure, Attraction and Peer Pressure. As can be seen in table 3.1, all the
hypothesised Social Support variables items (41, 42, 40, 47, 43, 46, 44, 38, 48,
45 and 50), which should have loaded on Social Support factor, which is
factor one, loaded highly on factor one.
This factor (Social Support)
accounted for 15.84 % of the total variance in the data when rotated.
Items (15, 16, 14, 17, and 9), which should have loaded on the Family
Pressure variable (factor two) loaded highly on the same variable (factor two)
and accounted for 11.40% of the total variance.
Also, items (34, 35 and 36) on the Attraction variable loaded highly on
the same factor three (attraction) and accounted for 7.32 % of the total
variance. Item 22 from the Peer Pressure component also loaded on the same
factor four and accounted for 6.84 % of the total variance.
71
The 19 items comprising the Social Support, Family Pressure,
Attraction and Peer Pressure with their loadings and communalities values
representing the variance in each variable accounted for by the four-factor PC
solution are presented in Table 3.2.
Table 3.2: Item Listings, Factor Loadings and Communalities for the
Four PC Solution
Factor
Factor Loading
1
2
Communalities
3
4
Factor 1- Social Support
(alpha= .81)
Q41 I and my partner get the
emotional help and support
we need from our family.
.71
.52
Q42 I and my partner have a
special person who is a real
source of comfort to us.
.70
.52
Q40 Our family really tries to help
us.
.68
.50
Q47 There is a special person in
our life who cares about our
feelings.
.63
.44
Q43 Our friends really try to help
us.
.58
Q46 I and my partner have friends
with whom we can share joys
and sorrows.
.55
.33
Q44 I and my partner can count on
our friends when things go
wrong.
.52
.33
Q38 There is a special person who
is around when I and my
partner are in need.
.50
.36
Q48 Our family are willing to help
us make decisions.
.49
.33
72
.38
Q45 I and my partner can talk
about our problems with our
family.
.46
.32
Q50 During our marriage I and my
partner get/got support from
our church/mosque.
.42
.26
Factor 2- Family Pressure
(alpha= .72)
Q15 Without the involvement of
my family I will not have
married.
.74
.56
Q16 My family had the last say in
choosing my partner.
.68
.49
Q17 My marriage was 100%
motivated by my family.
.66
.48
.50
.29
Q9
I will break up a relationship
if my family is opposed to it.
Factor 3- Attraction
(alpha= .54)
Q35 Attraction makes it easy to
choose a partner.
.73
.55
Q34 Attraction plays the major
role in partner selection.
.65
.47
Q36 My partner’s kindness was the
basis for my choosing
him/her.
.62
.43
Factor 4- Peer Pressure
(alpha= .41)
Q22 Friends
marry.
encouraged
me
to
.45
73
.28
3.5.1.6
Reliability Analysis
In assessing the reliability of this questionnaire the 4 factors, namely
Social Support, Family Pressure, Attraction and Peer Pressure were run
differently. According to Ofori & Dampson (in Press), the value of reliability
is good at 0.5. Therefore the reliability coefficient of the 11 items (statements)
under Social Support which yielded an overall alpha (reliability) coefficient of
.810 indicates that the Social Support subscale was highly reliable. Table 3.3
shows the results.
Table 3.3
Reliability Statistics for Social Support
Cronbach's Alpha
Number of Items
.810
11
The Family Pressure subscale of 4 items (statements) yielded an
overall alpha (reliability) co-efficient of .718 indicating that the Family
Pressure subscale was very good and reliable. This is shown in Table 3.4
Table 3.4 Reliability Statistics for Family Pressure
Cronbach's Alpha
Number of Items
.718
4
The reliability co-efficient of the three items (statements) under
attraction yielded an overall alpha (reliability) co-efficient of .543 indicating
that attraction subscale was good and reliable. This is shown in Table 3.5
74
Table 3.5 Reliability Statistics for Attraction
Cronbach's Alpha
Number of Items
.543
3
Finally, the Peer Pressure subscale of 1 item (statements) yielded an
overall alpha (reliability) co-efficient of .413 indicating that the Peer Pressure
subscale was not good enough therefore non-reliable. This is shown in Table
3.6.
Table 3.6 Reliability Statistics for Peer Pressure
Cronbach's Alpha
Number of Items
.413
1
Taken together, all the 19 items (statements) covering the 4 factor
loadings namely
Social Support, Family Pressure, Peer Pressure, and
Attraction the overall alpha (reliability) co-efficient obtained was .806 (shown
in Table 3.7). This makes the questionnaire highly acceptable (George &
Mallery, 1999). The questionnaire were therefore used for the study.
Table 3.7 Overall reliability co-efficient
Cronbach's Alpha
Number of Items
.806
19
3.6
Data Collection Procedure
With regard to the distribution and collection of the questionnaires,
copies of an introductory letter from researcher’s department (Psychology and
Education) were sent to the authorities of the sampled institutions to be aware
of researcher’s intended study. With permission granted, the researcher
introduced himself, made his intentions known, distributed the questionnaire
75
(after sampling out the targeted population) and asked for their co-operation.
The researcher assisted when misunderstanding problems arose.
3.7
Data Analysis Procedure
The data was analysed with the Statistical Package for Social Sciences
(SPSS) software version 16. The data was analysed in two sections (A & B).
Section A took care of distribution of demographic details of the samples. This
involved tables and simple percentages to clearly display the sociodemographic information such as, gender, highest level of education, Marital
Stability and duration of marriage/divorce. The second section was conducted
using Logistic regression to test the study hypotheses.
76
CHAPTER FOUR
PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION OF RESULTS
4.1
Background Information
This chapter presents the empirical results of the study through a series
of data analysis. The first section of the results which captures the
demography of the respondents is analysed using simple percentages. This
section discusses sex and Marital Stability distribution of respondents. The
second section of the results presents the main analysis conducted to test the
theoretical model using Logistic regression. Results of supplementary analysis
conducted to investigate bivariate relationships among the variables are also
reported.
4.2
Demography of Respondents
4.2.1
Sex Distribution
Table 4.1 shows the sex distribution of the respondents. It was
observed that from the 300 selected respondents, 131 (43.7%) were male and
169 (56.3%) were female. The sex distribution of the sample would appear to
be representative of the population from which it was drawn. The estimated
census for 2010 statistics from the Sunyani Municipality shows that 50.4 % of
the population are women and 49.6 % are men (Source: 2000 Population and
Housing Census, MPCU Computation, 2010).
77
Table 4.1:
Sex distribution
Frequency
Percent
Male
131
43.7
Female
169
56.3
Total
300
100
4.2.2
Marital Status
Table 4.2 presents the distribution of the respondents’ Marital Status.
The table reveals that two hundred and forty-one (241) of the respondents
were married, representing 80.3%, while fifty nine (59) were divorced,
representing 19.7% of the total number. Statistics from the Sunyani High
Court shows that in 2009, there were 257 registered marriages representing
95.5% and 12 dissolutions representing 4.5%. Therefore, the Marital Status
distribution of the sample drawn for the present study could be described as
being representative of the population in the Sunyani Municipality.
Table 4.2: Marital Status of Respondents
Frequency
Percentage
Divorced
59
19.7
Married
241
80.3
Total
300
100
4.3 Tests of the Study Hypotheses
The present study sought to test a hypothetical model of Marital
Stability in which factors constituting the facilitators of Marital Stability such
78
as Social Support, Family Pressure, Attraction and Peer Pressure are
logistically regressed on Marital Stability. To test for the study hypothesis, a
direct logistic regression analysis was performed through SPSS BINARY
LOGISTIC to assess predictors of the respondents being married or divorced
on the basis of their Social Support, Family Pressure, Attraction and Peer
Pressure. The logistic regression ran after three iterations in an attempt to
classify the respondents by Marital Stability is reported in Table 4.3.
As can be seen in Table 4.3 the third iteration reduced the divorced
respondents from 59 to 26 and the married respondents by only one. Table 4.3
also provides the baseline prediction table, and because more of the subjects
were married than divorced (ie 26 divorced and 240 married) the prediction
assumed that every participant belonged to the married category and therefore
this prediction would be correct 240 times out of the total sample of 266 which
is 90.2%. So the constant only model (ie the model without the predictors)
gives a 90.2% prediction rate as the baseline from where the logistic
regression model will be run.
The zero (0) % correct column in Table 4.3 means that no one was
divorced. Therefore this baseline model classified that 90.2 % of the subjects
have been predicted to be married. This is the initial prediction without the
predictors in the model.
79
Table 4.3
Classification Table (a)
Predicted
Marital Stability
Step 0
Observed
Divorced
Married
Percentage
Correct
Marital Stability Divorced
0
26
.0
0
240
100.0
Married
Overall Percentage
90.2
Table 4.4 shows the final classification table and over-all success rate
when the predictors are in the model. As shown in Table 4.4, out of the 26
respondents who were divorced, the model predicted three correctly and 23
incorrectly to be married. Therefore for the divorced respondents, the model
had a poor prediction rate of 11.3 %. However, out of 240 married
respondents, the model predicted only 5 incorrectly to be divorced and 235
correctly to be married. Therefore for the married respondents, the model had
a very good prediction rate of 97.9 %. In total the model had an overall
percentage correct prediction of 80.5 % which was not far from the constant
only model in Table 4.3 with correct overall percentage of 90.2 %.
Table 4.4 Final Classification Prediction Table
Predicted
Marital Stability
Observed
Step 1
Marital Stability
Divorced
Married
Percentage Correct
Divorced
3
23
11.3
Married
5
235
97.9
Overall Percentage
89.5
80
Summary of the Results of the Logistic Regression Model
In summary a direct logistic regression analysis was performed
through SPSS BINARY LOGISTIC to assess prediction of participants’
Marital Status (divorced or married) on the basis of their Social Support,
Family Pressure, Attraction and Peer Pressure.
Variables in the Equation
Table 4.5 shows the results of the analysis when our predictors are in
the equation. The model with all the predictors in the equation produced a
Nagelkerke R-square of .313, which means that the model explained 31 % of
the variance in Marital Stability. Table 4.5 also shows the individual
contribution of the variables to identify the married respondents from the
divorced respondents. The following are the interpretation of the predictors in
the equation.
Social Support: It can be seen from the table that Social Support has
a b-value of 1.459 and Wald statistics of 14.679, which is highly significant at
the less than 0.001 level (Sig=0.000). The Exp(B) for Social Support is 4.3
and the coefficient (b-value) of 1.459 for Social Support means that on
average as Social Support increases by one unit, the odds (this is obtained by
the probability of staying
married divided by
the probability of being
divorced) of sustaining a marriage increases by four times or four-fold. In
other words, the probability of a couple without Social Support divorcing is
slightly over four times greater than a couple with social support. This is true
if Family Pressure, Attraction and Peer Pressure are held constant. The Bvalue of 1.459 will also suggest that Social Support accounted for a
81
considerable amount of the 31 % (Nagelkerke R-square of .313 of the variance
in Marital Stability explained by the four predictors.
Family Pressure: The b-value of -1.385 and Wald statistics of 16.216,
which is also highly significant at the less than 0.001 level (Sig=0.000) would
suggest that Family Pressure also made a significant contribution to the
prediction of Marital Stability. The odds ratio (Exp B) value of .250 means
that as Family Pressure decreases by one unit the odds of a couple staying
married also decrease by .250 or 25 %. In other words, the probability of a
couple staying married increases by 25 % when they are under more Family
Pressure than when they are not. The B-value of -1.385 will also suggest that
similar to Social Support, Family Pressure also accounted for a considerable
amount of the 31 % (Nagelkerke R-square of .313) of the variance in Marital
Stability explained by the four predictors. Of course, these conclusions are
true if the effect of Social Support, Attraction and Peer Pressure are controlled
for.
Attraction: This predictor has a b-value of -.948 and with the
significant value (Sig=0.002) and Wald statistic of 9.837 would suggest that
attraction also made a significant contribution to the prediction of Marital
Stability. The odds ratio (Exp B) value of .387 means that as attraction
decreases by one unit the odds of a couple staying in marriage also decreases
by .387 which is almost 39%. In other words, being no more attracted by the
things that attracted a couple to marry could lead to divorce.
This is true if the effect of Social Support, Family Pressure and Peer
Pressure are held constant. The B-value of -.948 would also suggest that
Attraction did not contribute as much as Social Support and Family Pressure
82
to explain the 31% variance in Marital Stability. However, the significance
level of 0.002 suggests that it also made a significant contribution.
Peer Pressure: The b-value -.444 and the significance value of 0.010
Wald test statistic of 6.559, would suggest that Peer Pressure also made a
significant contribution to the prediction of Marital Stability. The odds ratio
(Exp B) of .641 suggests that as Peer Pressure decreases by one unit, the odds
of a couple who married under Peer Pressure still being married decreases by
.641 (ie 64 %). In other words, friends are important in sustaining marriages.
The B-value of -.444 indicates that Peer Pressure accounted for the least of the
31% variance explained in Marital Stability.
Table 4.5
Variables in the Equation
Variables
B
S.E
Wald
df
Sig.
Exp (B)
Step
Social
1.459
.381
14.679
1
.000
4.300
1a
Support
-1.385
.344
16.214
1
.000
.250
Attraction
-.948
.302
9.837
1
.002
.387
Peer Pressure
-.444
.174
6.559
1
.010
.641
Constant
7.165
1.620
19.574
1
.000
1.294E3
Family
Pressure
Homer and Lemeshow’s goodness-of-fit test which compared observed
with predicted number of cases for the two categories of Marital Stability,
using all the predictors in the model showed a good fit with x 2=9.809, df=8,
p=.301.
83
The goodness of fit of the model shows that the ability of the model to
correctly classify the respondents in terms of their Marital Stability was found
to be reasonable (89.5 %). The model’s sensitivity was quite high (ie. 97.9 %
of the respondents who were married were correctly classified), but the
model’s specificity was low (ie. Only11.5 % of respondents who were
divorced were also correctly classified).
The model predicted that as Social Support increases by one unit, the
odds of a marriage being sustained also increases by 4.3 times. The prediction
for Family Pressure also suggested that as Family Pressure decreases by one
unit, the odds of a couple staying married also decreases by .250 or 25 %. In
other words the probability of a couple staying married increased by 25%
when they are under more Family Pressure than when they are not.
The model also predicted that as Attraction decreases by one unit the
odds of a couple staying in marriage also decreases by almost 39 %. However,
Peer Pressure was found by the model to be a poor predictor of Marital
Stability.
Casewise Listings of Participants
In addition to the above observations, an inspection of cases for which
the model predicted most poorly, that is, cases with standardised residuals
(z)=+/-2 or above, revealed that there were seven respondents, who were
actually divorced but the model predicted them to be married and this is
presented in Table 4.6.
Table 4.6 shows the casewise listings of participants who were all
divorced but the model predicted them to be married. These were participants
numbers 144, 148, 155, 156, 157, 162 and 165. This would suggest that there
84
is one factor which appears to be more predictive of Marital Stability than the
others. To find that factor, participants 156 and 165 were taken as examples.
Both rated Family Pressure, Attraction and Peer Pressure almost the same.
However, inspection of their ratings for Social Support differed significantly
from each other. This would suggest that the factor that is more influential in
predicting Marital Stability is Social Support. This is supported by the results
of the logistic regression in which Social Support was 4.3 times more to
predict Marital Stability.
Table 4.6: Casewise List
Participants
Observed Marital Stability
Predicted
Stability
144
Divorced
Married
148
Divorced
Married
155
Divorced
Married
156
Divorced
Married
157
Divorced
Married
162
Divorced
Married
165
Divorced
Married
4.4
Marital
Supplementary Analysis
Normally in a logistic regression, categorical data are used as the
Dependent variable whereas Interval data are normally used as the
Independent variable. Because the study had Marital Stability which was a
categorical data as the Dependent variable it meant that data on Premarital
Counselling, Level of Education and Level of Income which were categorical
85
data could not be used in the logistic regression model and therefore were
analysed as supplementary.
4.4.1
Premarital Counselling and Marital Stability
The study also investigated the relationship between Premarital
Counselling and Marital Stability by generating the hypothesis that Premarital
Counselling will significantly relate to Marital Stability. Table 4.7a is a 2X2
contingency table showing Marital Stability and Premarital Counselling. The
table shows that 62.7% (151) of the married respondents had experienced
premarital counselling while 37.3% (90) had not. In the divorced respondents
44.1% (26) had experienced Premarital Counselling whilst 55.9 (123) had not.
The differences in the respondents’ experiences of premarital counselling were
tested for significance using the chi-square.
As Table 4.7a shows the chi square test reveals there was a significant
difference within the cells (chi-square=6.770, 4=1 Exact sq.=0.012). To find
the cell responsible for the significant difference in chi-square the expected
count in the cells of Table 4.9a were inspected. An inspection of Table 4.7a
shows that the significant difference might be coming from the divorced cells.
As can be seen in Table 4.7a, 26 of the divorced respondents have had
Premarital Counselling but this should have been more (34.8). But 33 divorced
participants did not have Premarital Counselling but should have been less
(24.2).
In other words, the significant difference in chi-square seems to
suggest that there was a relationship between divorced and Premarital
Counselling which suggests that the divorced respondents sought significantly
less Premarital Counselling than their married counterparts.
86
Table 4.7a Marital Stability * Have you had Premarital Counseling Before? Cross Tabulation
Have you had
counseling before?
Marital
Stability
Married
premarital
Yes
No
Total
Count
151
90
241
Expected Count
142.2
98.8
241.0
62.7%
37.3%
100.0%
26
33
59
34.8
24.2
59.0
44.1%
55.9%
100.0%
%
within
Stability
Marital
Divorced Count
Expected Count
%
within
Stability
Marital
Table 4.7 b Chi-Square Tests
Pearson Chi-Square
Continuity Correction
Likelihood Ratio
b
Asymp. Sig. Exact Sig. Exact Sig.
(2-sided)
(2-sided) (1-sided)
Value
df
6.770a
1
.009
6.023
1
.014
6.668
1
.010
Fisher's Exact Test
Linear-by-Linear
Association
6.747c
N of Valid Cases
300
1
.009
.012
.007
.012
.007
.012
.007
.012
.007
a. 0 cells (.0%) have expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is
24.19.
b. Computed only for a 2x2 table
c. The standardized statistic is 2.598.
4.4.2
Level of Education and Marital Stability
The study also investigated the relationship between respondents’
Marital Stability and Level of Education. Table 4.8 shows the results of the
chi-square test of Level of Education. The Pearson Chi-square gave a P-value
87
Point
Probability
.004
greater than 0.05 meaning there is no possible relationship between Marital
Stability and Level of Education.
Table 4.8
Chi-Square Tests, Marital Stability by Level of Education
Value
df
Asymp. Sig. (2sided)
a
Pearson Chi-Square
2.785
5
.733
Likelihood Ratio
3.012
5
.698
Linear-by-Linear
1.173
1
.279
Association
N of Valid Cases
300
4.4.3
Level of Income and Marital Stability
The relationship between Level of Income and Marital Stability was
also investigated using chi-square test and as Table 4.9 shows there was no
significant relationship and (chi-square value-df-B-value).
Table 4.9
Chi-Square Tests, Marital Stability by Level of Income
Value
df
Asymp. Sig. (2sided)
a
Pearson Chi-Square
9.350
5
.096
Likelihood Ratio
9.739
5
.083
Linear-by-Linear
.014
1
.904
Association
N of Valid Cases
300
4.5.
Discussion of Results
4.5.1. Introduction
The purpose of the study as stated elsewhere in this paper was to investigate
the factors that promote and /or sustain marriages or break marriages in the
Sunyani Municipality in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana. The findings of
the present study have been discussed in relation to the findings from previous
studies. In addition, explanations for contradictory findings have also been
88
discussed. The present findings show that multivariate studies such as the
present study can reveal the complex nature of marital relationships in the real
world. The present findings have revealed that Social Support that couples get,
to a large extent, enhances the quality of their marriages.
4.5.2. Social Support and Marital Stability
According to Wikipedia (2010), ‘Social Support’ refers to the function
and quality of social relationships, such as perceived availability of help or
support actually received from friends and relatives; it may also be regarded as
resources provided by others as coping assistance. It may be instrumental, for
example, assist with a problem; it may be tangible, for example, donate goods
or it may be informational such as give advice; and it may also be emotional,
for example, give assurance.
Marital Stability, on the other hand, refers to people who are married
or divorced. The question then is: What are the odds of a marriage that was
based on Social Support surviving?
The logistic regression analysis revealed that Social Support was
significantly related to Marital Stability and that as Social Support increases,
sustenance of marriages also increases even when the effects of Family
Pressure, Attraction and Peer Pressure are controlled for.
This means that the findings suggest that Social Support has positive
influence on marriages that were based on it despite the effects of Family
Pressure, Attraction and Peer pressure. So Social Support is a sustenance of
marriage more than Family Pressure, Attraction and Peer Pressure.
These
findings are consistent with Olson’s and DeFrain’s (2000) research that Social
Support such as arranged marriages are usually very stable because it is the
89
duty of the network of family members and friends and association members
to help the new couple to get established in life.
Again, the present findings are consistent with other previous
researchers in the literature. For example, Githinji (2005) also found that as
relationship grows, money has power to break or strengthen the marriage
relationship bond. According to Glick’s (1976), research shows that money
can be a source of security or anxiety. This therefore means that financial
support from the network of family members including parents, friends and
association members as well as well-wishers to married couples indirectly
serve as Social Support which go a long way to bring about couple’s financial
security and thus make their marriages stable and peaceful.
Again, the present study supports Olson’s and DeFrain’s (2000)
findings that couples need Social Support indirectly in a form of emotional
support from family members, friends, members of associations, and even
from the society at large during bereavement or when couples are hit by
disasters such as a rainstorm or fire outbreak.
In the light of the foregoing, it can be concluded that Social Support
encompassing different types: emotional, esteem, informational, and tangible
(Wikipedia 2010) is a predictor for Marital Stability of couples in the Sunyani
Municipality.
4.5.3
Family Pressure and Marital Stability
A plethora of authors including Lamna and Reidman (2003), Murdock
(1949), Maxwell (1996), Mikulincer and Shaver (2003), Mair (1969), Olson
and DeFrain (2003), Fox (1980), and Stover and Hope (1993) and Wikipedia
90
(2010) argue that Family Pressure is the position that members of a family
including biological parents take to the extent that they believe that they must
select marriage partners for their children at all cost. Their reason is that they
think that it is not only their responsibility to do so, but also they believe that
as the more experienced people in society, they have the wisdom to select the
appropriate spouses for their children. Marital Stability, on the other hand,
refers to people who are in marriage or divorced. The question then is: What
are the odds of a marriage that was based on Family Pressure surviving?
Logistic regression analysis reveals that as Family Pressure increases,
the odds of a marriage which survival is based on Family Pressure decreases.
This means that family pressure has negative influence on marriages that are
based on it. In fact, the findings of the present study suggest that Social
Support, Attraction and Peer Pressure will have no effect on such marriages
breaking up. They have no influence on such marriages at all. The findings
suggest that family pressure is emphatically negative.
Interestingly, studies by Olson and DeFrain (2000), Fox (1980) and
Stover and Hope (1983) contradict these findings. They reported that in the
past, in most cultures, the parents of the bride and groom corroborated to
select the future spouse and made most of the arrangements for the marriage.
A promising economic future and good health among others generally
informed their choices. Mair (1969) also reports that from the point of view of
indigenous law and custom of African marriages, for example, a marriage was
to be regarded mainly as an alliance between two kinship groups. Thus, they
regarded the union between two persons (the couple) in a sense, as a
secondary matter. The reason was that African marriages, in particular, are
91
regarded as an association between two families for mutual support. The
present study rejects these claims.
The present findings also contradict that of Lee and Stone (1980). The
result of their study explained that parents-arranged marriages based their
decision on the principle that elders in the community have the wisdom and
foresight to select the appropriate spouse on economic, political and social
status considerations to enhance the family’s status and positions.
Again, the present findings contradict an argument put forward by
Chin and Chong (2006) that because parents are older and more experienced
in life, they research the background of potential partners to ensure a
successful marriage for their children. They make sure that partners they select
match their children’s characteristics, not blinded by infatuation, lust and
romance that characterise youth marriages these days. Findings of the present
study also did not support Olson’s and DeFrain’s (2000) claim that arranged
marriages are usually stable. The present study has disproved all that.
In view of the above findings, Boakye’s (2006) and Mikulincer and
Shaver’s (2003) studies have been credited. Boakye’s argument is that in the
present day, it is the child who should solely look for a spouse with parents
consenting only. Mikulincer and Shaver (2003), on their part, found that
although in times past, it was the responsibility of parents to look for partners
for their children, yet today many children prefer taking their destiny into their
own hands. The present study, however, supports Kazembe’s findings that
times have changed, and the researcher realised that all the contradictory
research findings related to the past. But what about now? Could parents still
92
influence their children’s choices of partners? Children of today do not listen
to advice any more; they always like to do what seems good in their own eyes
and this could be one of the possible reasons why couples in the Sunyani
Municipality did not allow themselves to be influenced in their choices of
partners.
4.5.4. Attraction and Marital Stability
Levinger (1965) defines ‘Attractions’ as those elements of the
marriage that draw people towards one another. For example, the major
attractions of traditional marriage are practical attractions such as economic
survival and the production of legitimate offspring. To Rice (1999) the most
important element in attraction, at least in the initial encounters of a
relationship, is physical attractiveness. Marital Stability, on the other hand,
refers to people who are married or divorced. One may ask the question: what
are the odds of a marriage that was based on Attraction surviving?
Findings from the present study reveal that as Attraction increases the
odds of a marriage based on it surviving decreases. This means that Attraction
alone cannot keep a marriage going, other factors like Social Support, Peer
Pressure, and Family Pressure are all important in the sustenance of marriages.
In support of the present findings, Levinger’s (1965) findings have
established that economic survival and the production of legitimate children or
offspring are major attractions of traditional marriage. Since all days are not
equal and fortunes change, attraction that brought couples together may
decrease if the fortunes of the senior partner in the marriage are no more. In
the same way, if the desire for children was the main attraction that brought
couples together, that Attraction is likely to decrease when expectations for
93
issues turn out to be a mirage. When these happen the marriage can break.
This study also supports Olson’s and DeFrain’s (2000) and Smith’s and
Apicelli’s (1982) research that some people purposely marry for wealth and or
procreation and therefore when they are not realised divorce could follow.
The present study supports Rice’s (1999) findings that people are
attracted positively to those who are pleasing to look at such as people with
good builds and well proportioned bodies as well as a display of other physical
characteristics. The most important element in attraction, in Rice’s study, was
Physical Attraction. This then presupposes that if overweight and or some
menopausal challenges make some people (especially women spouses) lose
personal charm, Attraction is likely to decrease and this can lead to
termination of marriage.
South’s (1991) research findings point out that men especially place a
higher value than women on physical attractiveness and youthfulness. This
study then may suggest that some older men tend to chase younger women
(i.e. teenage girls) at the annoyance of their legitimate older wives and this can
lead to divorce. The teenage girls are more pleasing to look at because of their
growing beauty. Conversely, South’s (1999) findings also point out that
women too look for men with wealth, fame, power, and high positions (i.e. for
security). Perhaps this too may explain why some women abandon their
husbands later in life who were once wealthy, famous in high positions.
The present study is also in consonance with Olson and DeFrain’s
(2000) findings that when people are physically attractive, others assume that
they also have positive personal qualities such as sincerity, honesty, warmth,
94
affection, empathy and fidelity. Later on, when these qualities are seen to be
non-existent in a partner, attraction definitely will decrease and this can lead to
divorce.
4.5.5. Peer Pressure and Marital Stability
Sasse (1997) sees Peer Pressure as an attempt to influence someone in
a similar group. That is, someone experiences Peer Pressure when someone’s
friends want him or her to join in their activities, actions or belief. In our
context it means friends who are married who want their friends who are not
yet married and are not yet ready to also marry soonest at all cost. Marital
Stability on the other hand refers to people who are either married or divorced.
The question is: what are the odds of a marriage that was based on Peer
Pressure surviving?
The logistic regression analysis revealed that as Peer Pressure
increases the odds of a marriage based on Peer Pressure surviving decreases.
This suggests that Attraction, Social Support and Family Pressure will have no
effect on a marriage that is on the verge of collapse following Peer Pressure.
Adjabeng (2002) found that when friends and neighbours of equal
status or age group get married, the person who has not got married yet is
persuaded by his friends’ decisions and actions and then gets ready to marry
too. But this risk to marry can be dangerous because marrying when one is not
yet ready does not guarantee happy marriage.
The present findings, however, appreciate a wide and a deep body of
research (Wiki 2010) conducted over 20 years, which has consistently found
95
that married people are better of than people who remain single, people who
divorce, or people who are widowed. All the same marrying under pressure is
not necessarily the best way forward in marriage.
Rice’s (1999) study seems to suggest that some people rush into
marriage because they feel left out when their friends are constantly
announcing their engagements and getting married. To succumb to such Peer
Pressure is certainly a negative attitude. But considering the fact that life is too
short to delay marriage, and the fact that getting married early enables one to
educate one’s children well before retiring from employment, then Peer
Pressure here should be taken as a wake-up call for eligible singles to be up
and doing.
Sasse’s (1997) findings noted that Peer Pressure can be challenging,
extremely strong and compelling to the adolescent. His findings further
revealed that because adolescents have not yet formed a strong personal
identity, they are often not sure exactly what they are worth. This uncertainty
often results in a lack of inner strength to resist if friends pressurise them to
follow certain negative behaviours. But the present findings are contradictory
to Sasse’s. Findings from the present study rather support the results of the
study of (Wiki 2010) that parents who support the growing process of their
children and get involved in their lives produce adolescents who have the
confidence to resist negative Peer Pressure, accepting and using only the
positive pressure to their advantage. To conclude, it can be said that the model
is a good predictor of Marital Stability.
96
4.5.6
Relationships Between Marital Stability and Level of Education,
Premarital Counselling and Level of Income
In the present study, it has been demonstrated that Family Pressure,
Attraction and Peer Pressure significantly bring people (couples) together.
Social Support and Premarital Counselling significantly and abundantly help
to sustain marriages. However, Education and Levels of Average Income or
money, for short, do not in any way have impact on the sustenance of the
marriages in the Brong Ahafo region.
The data obtained showed that there was no relationship between
Marital Stability and Level of Income. This finding contradicts findings by
Raschke (1987) which believed that socioeconomic status is probably the most
important correlate of divorce, because over all, the higher the socioeconomic
the less likelihood is divorce. Similarly, research by Githinji (2005) also found
that as relationship grows, the issue of money has the ability to make or break
the relationship bond. Money is best known as means to survival; however, its
influence in relationships can reach into other areas, some of which may have
nothing to do with survival. Research conducted by Carter and Glick (1976)
also contradicts the findings. Money is intrinsically neutral, but it can mean so
much. It can be a source of security or anxiety. It can be an opportunity for
power or a reminder of impotence. It can be used to improve lives or destroy
them. It can lead to greater freedom or serve as a yoke around our necks. Even
though money is a strong factor in life, it does not control the way couples in
the Sunyani Municipality run their life.
97
On the other hand, the present study showed that Marital Stability
could be influenced by Premarital Counselling. This confirms research
findings by Rice (1999) which found that adequate preparation for marriage
ensures marital success. Duncan, Box and Silliman (1996) agreed that
marriage preparation programmes are effective but they are under attended (ie
not enough). To Olson and Defrain (2000) marital preparation is therefore to
be seen as essential to making the new marriage work. Too often couples are
so concentrated on the wedding day that little, if any, thought is given to what
they want for their marriage. They spend thousands of Ghana cedis on a single
day for a ceremony and reception, but cringe at the thought of investing time
and money in the union that is supposed to last a life time. Premarital
Counselling is an investment in future. There are no guarantees, even with
Pre-marriage Counselling, but it is about putting the odds in their favour.
During the counselling sessions couples learn important problem solving
skills, discuss expectations, learn about their strengths and areas for growth,
and they learn about how their families of origin will potentially influence
their marriage. This helps them to be tolerant and be ready for all situations.
The more couples attend premarital courses the less divorce becomes
contemplative.
Rice’s (1999) argument that the three formal ways of preparing for
marriage are crucial for successful marriages is food for thought. These formal
ways include Premarital Education, Premarital Assessment and Premarital
Counselling. Commenting on Rice’s (1999) recommendations above, Mace
(1987) explains that premarital education should include an academic course
in marriage and family living at the college level. This, in the researcher’s
98
view, is a step in the right direction because as explained elsewhere in this
paper getting the right orientation for any human endeavour provides the right
insight into anything that one wants to do which ensures success at the end.
For example, just as a medical officer or a nurse or a teacher (just to mention a
few) all need training to ensure efficiency, good performance, commitment,
and satisfaction which eventually lead to success, in the same way, adequate
marriage education in the form of short courses involving lectures,
audiovisuals, discussions, role playing etc will certainly expose couples to
proper marital stability (Mace 1987).
Hohman, Larson and Harmer’s (1994) argument that Premarital
Assessment or an evaluation of the extent to which the couple is fit and ready
for marriage is a necessary prerequisite for successful marriages for the
researcher, need not be overemphasised. They cite a common form of
assessment as health assessment involving physical examination and blood
tests for sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis, HIV/AIDS and
gonorrhoea; these tests are meant to ensure health safety and the avoidance or
prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. Additionally, according to
Holman, Larson and Harmer (1994) it is appropriate that couples take a
critical look at some of the problem areas in marriage such as relationships
with friends, family, in-laws, religion, values, recreation, finances, children
and their upbringing, sex and affection. This is important because it is
important to resolve differences in these areas before marriage to forestall a
stalemate after their coming together when it will be too late for them to agree
to disagree.
99
Also, a third goal according to Holman, Larson and Harmer (1994) is
to help the couple feel comfortable in seeking professional help in the future
for marital or family problems. To the researcher, this is very important
because from the researcher’s observations, in the Ghanaian context, seeking
professional assistance by couples is not common. It is an entirely new
phenomenon. Usually in trouble or otherwise, couples either keep their
problems to themselves until they mess up after being swallowed up by the
problems or they seek help from in-laws and friends who most often take sides
and consequently succeed in ruining couples’ marriages.
100
CHAPTER FIVE
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS AND
RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1
Introduction
In this chapter, the findings of the present study have been
summarised. In addition, implications, recommendations and limitations have
been given. Suggestions for future research have also been made. And finally,
conclusions have been drawn.
5.2
Summary of Findings
The logistic regression analysis revealed that Social Support was
significantly related to Marital Stability and that as Social Support increases,
sustenance of marriages also increases even when the effects of Family
Pressure, Attraction and Peer Pressure are controlled for. The findings
therefore suggest that Social Support has positive influence on marriages that
were based on it despite the effects of Family Pressure, Attraction and Peer
Pressure.
The findings further showed from logistic regression analysis that
Family Pressure has negative influence in marriages that were based on it. The
findings suggest that even Social Support, Attraction and Peer Pressure will
have no effect on such marriages breaking up.
The findings from the present study again revealed that as Attraction
increases the odds of a marriage based on it surviving decreases. This means
that attraction alone cannot keep a marriage intact; other factors like Social
101
Support, Family Pressure and Peer Pressure are all important for the
sustenance of marriages.
The results also revealed that as Peer Pressure increases the odds of a
marriage based on Peer Pressure surviving decreases, suggesting that
Attraction, Social Support and Family Pressure will have no effect on a
marriage that is on the verge of collapse following Peer Pressure. It has a
powerful, negative effect on marriages.
Using chi-square analysis, it was revealed that Level of Income and
Level of Education did not have any impact on respondents’ Marital Stability.
This is clearly shown in Table 4.8 and 4.9. Table 4.7a and 4.7b, however,
clearly established that Premarital Counselling has a great deal of positive
influence on marriages in that the more respondents attended Premarital
Counselling the less divorce became possible.
5.3
Conclusions
On the basis of the findings, the following conclusions are drawn:
i. as peer pressure increases the odds of marriages decrease
ii. the level of income and level of education do not have any impact on
marital stability
iii. the more married couples got involved in pre-marital counselling, the
less divorce become possible
iv. attraction alone cannot guarantee the success of a marriage
102
5.4
Recommendations
On the basis of the findings and conclusions the following recommendations
were made:
1. Students should be encouraged to take courses in marriage relationship
skills.
2. Marriage enrichment programmes should from time to time be
organized for both newly married, already married and pre-marital
couples.
3. That the youth should be brought up in such a way that they
established themselves in their chosen professions before making
marriage commitments.
4. Traditional transitional rites like ‘bragoro’, boys’ circumcision and
training for warfare should be refined and revisited for the youth.
5.5
Suggestions for Further Research
The study was limited to only the Sunyani Municipality in the Brong
Ahafo Region of Ghana. For that matter, the findings may not be applicable to
either the entire region or the whole country. Due to the academic timelines,
the research was limited to a small sample size of 300. It is therefore
suggested that firstly, multivariate studies like the present one need to be
conducted on a larger scale with a larger sample;
1. To confirm the present findings or otherwise, and
2. To cover the entire region and possibly the whole country.
103
Secondly, religion as a predictor and Marital Stability may also be
investigated.
5.5
Limitation
Convenience sampling is sample bias because the sample is not truly
representative of the population. Convenience sampling therefore becomes a
big disadvantage because it creates problems and also lends itself to criticisms.
One of such criticisms is its limitation in generalising its findings to cover the
entire population. However, in spite of these limitations, the validity of the
research findings and conclusions has not been compromised.
104
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APPENDIX A
UNIVERSITY OF EDUCATION, WINNEBA
Department of Psychology and Education
Multi-Dimensional Questionnaire
This questionnaire is for academic purposes and so you are assured of high
confidentiality. It is hoped that you would furnish the research with accurate and
necessary information as frankly as you can. Thank you.
INSTRUCTIONS
Kindly answer each question as sincerely as possible by ticking (√ ) in the appropriate
box.
SECTION A: DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION
1.
Sex:
Male
2
Female
1
2. Highest level of education:
a. None 1
b. Basic 2
3
c. JHS
d. SHS
4
5
e. Tertiary
f. Professional/Training/Vocational
6
3.
Marital Stability:
a. Married
4.
How long have you been married?
a.. 11 – 15 years
5.
3
1
b. Divorced
a. 1 – 5 years
b. More than 15 years
How long have you been divorced? a. 1 – 5 years
c. 11 – 15 years
3
1
More than 15 years
b. 6 – 10 years
2
4
b.
1 6 – 10 years
2
4
6.
Have you had premarital counselling before?
a. Yes
7.
How much are/were you getting per month?
a. Less than GH¢100
118
2
1
b. No
2
1
b. GH¢100 – GH¢200
– GH¢400
2
c. GH¢ 200 – GH¢300
e. GH¢400 – GH¢500
5
f. Above GH¢ 500
3
d. GH¢300 4
6
8.
If you are married, how much money do you think was coming into the house
a month?
……………………………………………………………
9.
If you are divorced, how much money was coming to the house a month?
………………………………………………………………………………
SECTION B
Please respond to the statements below by ticking the box which you consider most
appropriate.
Key: 1. Strongly Disagree 2. Disagree
Strongly Agree
S/N
QUESTION
3. Not Sure
Strongly
Disagree
1
8.
I will receive approval from
my family before going out
with a man/woman.
9.
I will break up a relationship
if my family is opposed to it.
10.
My
family
forced
man/woman on me
11.
My family by way of
comparing me with my
married friends pushed me
into marriage.
12.
I find it unacceptable to be
going out with a man/woman
against my family’s wish.
13.
My marriage was to stop
harassment from my parents.
14.
My family helped me in the
selection of my partner.
a
119
4. Agree
5.
Disagree
Not Sure
Agree
2
3
4
Strongly
Agree
5
15.
Without the involvement of
my family I will not have
married.
16.
My family had the last say in
choosing my partner.
17.
My marriage was 100%
motivated by my family.
18.
My family arranged for my
partner.
19.
I married to stop my friends
from teasing (harrassing) me.
20.
Always attending my friends’
weddings made me feel the
need for a partner.
21.
I got married to appear
responsible in the sight of my
friends.
22.
Friends encouraged me to
marry.
23.
The change (attitude) in my
married friends made me
decide to marry.
24.
The loneliness felt when my
married friends were away
from me made we decide to
enter marriage.
25.
Friends
influenced
decision to marry.
26.
My friends arranged my first `
meeting with my partner.
27.
My friends were criticising
me for not marrying.
28.
My partner’s beauty (physical
attraction) made me choose
him/her.
29.
My partner’s good behaviour
attracted me to him/her.
my
120
QUESTION
30.
My partner’s nice figure
attracted me to him/her.
31.
Attraction cannot be ignored
(left out) in the selection of
life partners.
32.
My partner’s behavior was
my main source of attraction.
33.
My first criterion for the
selection of a partner is
beauty.
34.
Attraction plays the major
role in partner selection.
35.
Attraction makes it easy to
choose a partner.
36.
My partner’s kindness was
the basis for my choosing
him/her.
37.
My partner’s good manners
made me attracted to him/her.
38.
There is/was a special person
who is around when I and my
partner are/were in need.
39.
There is/was a special person
with whom I and my partner
can/could share joys and
sorrow.
40.
Our family really tries/tried to
help us.
41.
I and my partner get/got the
emotional help and support
we need/needed from our
family.
42.
I and my partner have/had a
special person who is/was a
real source of comfort to us.
Strongly
Disagree
1
121
Disagree
Not Sure
Agree
2
3
4
Strongly
Agree
5
43.
Our friends really try/tried to
help us.
QUESTION
44.
I and my partner can/could
count on our friends when
things go/went wrong.
45.
I and my partner can/could
talk about our problems with
our family.
46.
I and my partner have/had
friends with whom we
can/could share joys and
sorrows.
47.
There is/was a special person
in our life who cares/cared
about our feelings.
48.
Our families are/were willing
to help us make decisions.
49.
I and my partner can/could
talk about our problems with
my friends.
50.
During our marriage I and my
partner get/got support from
our church/mosque.
Strongly
Disagree
1
122
Disagree
Not Sure
Agree
2
3
4
APPENDIX B
UNIVERSITY OF EDUCATION, WINNEBA
Department of Psychology and Education
Validated Multi-dimensional Questionnaire
This questionnaire is for academic purposes and so you are assured of high
confidentiality. It is hoped that you would furnish the research with accurate and
necessary information as frankly as you can. Thank you.
INSTRUCTIONS
Kindly answer each question as sincerely as possible by ticking (√ ) in the appropriate
box.
SECTION A: DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION
1.
Sex:
Male
2.
Highest level of education: a. None
3.
Marital Stability:
4.
How long have you been married? a.. 1 – 5 years
a.. 11 – 15 years
5.
Female
a. Married
3
b. Basic
c. JHS
b. Divorced
1
1
c. 11 – 15 years
3
b. 6 – 10 years
b. More than 15 years
How long have you been divorced? a. 1 – 5 years
More than 15 years
2
4
3
b. 6 – 10 years
2
4
6.
Have you had premarital counseling before?
a. Yes
7.
How much are/were you getting per month?
a. Less than GH¢100
b. GH¢100 – GH¢200
– GH¢400
2
c. GH¢200 – GH¢300
e. GH¢400 – GH¢500
5
f. Above GH¢ 500
1
3
b. No
3
1
d. GH¢300 4
6
8.
If you are married, how much money do you think was coming into the house
a month?
………………………………………………………………
9.
If you are divorced, how much money was coming to the house a month?
…………………………………………………………………………………
123
2
SECTION B
Please respond to the statements below by ticking the box which you consider most
appropriate.
Key: 1. Strongly Disagree 2. Disagree
Strongly Agree
S/N
QUESTION
1.
I and my partner get the
emotional help and
support we need from
our family.
2.
I and my partner have a
special person who is a
real source of comfort to
us.
3.
Our family really tries to
help us.
4.
There is a special person
in our life who cares
about our feelings.
5.
Our friends really try to
help us.
6.
I and my partner have
friends with whom we
can share joys and
sorrows.
7.
I and my partner can
count on our friends
when things go wrong.
8.
There is a special person
who is around when I
and my partner are in
need.
Strongly
Disagree
1
124
3. Not Sure
4. Agree
5.
Disagree
Not Sure
Agree
2
3
4
Strongly
Agree
5
QUESTION
9.
Our family are willing
to help us make
decisions.
10.
I and my partner can
talk about our problems
with our family.
11.
During our marriage I
and my partner get/got
support
from
our
church/mosque.
12.
Without
the
involvement of my
family I will not have
married.
13.
My family had the last
say in choosing my
partner.
14.
My marriage was 100%
motivated by my family.
15.
I will break up a
relationship if my family
is opposed to it.
16.
Attraction makes it easy
to choose a partner.
17.
Attraction plays the
major role in partner
selection.
18.
My partner’s kindness
was the basis for my
choosing him/her.
19.
Friends encouraged me
to marry.
Strongly
Disagree
1
125
Disagree
Not Sure
Agree
2
3
4
Strongly
Agree
5
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