AN EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS OF THE EFFECT OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC ON MARRIAGE SUSTAINABILITY
BACKGROUNG OF THE STUDY
Marriage is a formal and legal union of a man and a woman by which they become husband and wife [Addis et al 1993]. Marriage is contracted to provide a socially approved sexual and economic union, as a way of establishing a family of procreation, companionship, mutual assistance, peace and social cohesion and also to enhance social status of the couple among others (joseph f 2003). marriage sustainability entails the sum of the activities married couples do to ensure that the marriage do not go into depletion nor go sour to the point of breaking the union (Torty V. 2019)
The covid-19 pandemic brought changes in social behavior in the first three months after COVID-19 emerged Wuhan City, Hubei Province. And it was finally declared as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 2020 (WHO 2020). Evidence indicates that COVID-19 transmitted through respiratory droplets via contact routes such as the mouth, nose, and conjunctiva or eyes (UNICEF 2020). However it was necessary for countries to effect total lockdown of virtually every type of gathering place, stay-at-home measures instituted to combat the spread of the virus, which forced many families and couples to live in much closer and continual contact than normally experienced. This affected adults living alone, whether those who opted never to marry or married and separated or divorced; and those who are considered “seniors” and are living alone because of the loss of a spouse(Richard S. 2020). while most marriages suffer due to economic hardship, others due to inability of one spouse to provide for the family continuously lead to nagging, misunderstanding and at extreme violence among couples which stained the marriage relationship and more to their children if any.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in individuals and groups modifying their actions and reactions. In Offa local government Kwara State Nigeria, the most common family structures are the single-parent family (particularly single-mother families), followed by step families and grandparent-led families. The impact of COVID-19 on these families and their social interactions is like the two sides of a coin, both positive and negative.A positive impact has been an increase in social interactions within the family, with parents spending more time with their children and spouse due to the stay-at-home guidelines. On the other hand, negative impact on family structures and marriage interactions have led to domestic violence, disrupting former family structures with a ripple effect on communities. In some single parent families, cases of single mothers having illicit sexual relationship with men in a bid to get liitle fund to take care of themselves, and among married couples, the financial hardships often lead to couple fights, disrespect to the man as the family head, hunger among children and numerous disputes in the community. This is also true among stepchildren in step families. Owing to proximity, some step siblings have been caught in the act of incestuous relationships and sometimes stepfathers being erroneously accused. An increase in expenditure as a result of increase in price of commodities while family incomes reduce is painfully felt. Most families manage limited resources by skipping some meals. Another negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is on family members’ social interactions, where some members complained about others’ laziness and TV addiction. In polygamous families where wives are not staying in same community, husbands cannot travel due to government movement restrictions, which has led to emotional and psychological stress to other wives. Although husbands might try to keep in touch by calling via mobile phones, most co-wives are not happy about the situation. However it is against this backdrop that this research is set to examine the effect of covid-19 on marriage sustainability.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
This study is aimed at showing an empirical analysis of he effect of covid-19 and marriage sustainability. Specifically it is meant
To examine the impact of covid-19 on family structure
To determine ways which covid-19 affected marriage and family
To investigate the rate at which covid-19 affected marriage sustainability
1.4 Significance Of The Study
This study in general will contribute to the body of knowledge. Specifically it will equip families and couples on activities to engage in in order to strengthen family ties especially in pandemic situations in order to live happily and sustain their marriages. More so it will enable marriage counselors on developing strategies for happy family life and marriage sustainability. It will also aid the unmarried on the need for high preparedness before entering into any form of marriage relationship and family life consequently.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study is meant to examine the effect of covid-19 on marriage sustainability using selected families in Offa Local Government Kwara State as a case study.
1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
1. H0: There is no significant effect of covid-19 on family relationships
2. H0: There is no significant effect of covid-19 on marriage sustainability.
1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
During the course of the study challenges encountered were exclusively but not delimited to the following numerous. These are
Inadequate finance: the research was face with problem of inadequate fund which hinder the researcher from shuttering to Access Banks within Lagos more so in printing and collation of questionnaires
Time constrain: time factor pose another constraint since having to cope in this research which went simultaneously within the time schedule of other academic work making it impossible to undertake this study in large more representative skill
1.8 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION
Covid-19: COVID-19:Corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is defined as illness caused by a novel corona virus called severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2.
Marriage: Marriage is a legally and socially sanctioned union, usually between a man and a woman, that is regulated by laws, rules, customs, beliefs, and attitudes that prescribe the rights and duties of the partners and accords status to their offspring (if any).
Sustainability: Sustainability means meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In addition to natural resources, we also need social and economic resources. It is the ability to maintain a thing or a course at a rate or level where it does not deplete or destroy
Family:a group of one or more parents and their children living together as a unit