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This study, EARLY MARRIAGE AND ITS IMPLICATIONS ON MARITAL INSTABILITY IN UVWIE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF DELTA STATE contains concise information that will serve as a framework or guide for your project work. The project study is well-researched for academic purposes and are usually provided in complete chapters with adequate References.

Keywords: early marriage, implication on marital instability




Background to the Study

The concept of marriage is as old as man. Christians believe that God instituted the first marriage. This is recorded by Genesis 2:24 saying “therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife and they shall be one flesh”.

Generally marriage is a universal concept with principles and practices that vary from one community to the other.

Ofoegbu (2002) defined marriage simply as an arrangement of social structure which results in the establishment of a relationship of a legal customary or religious bound between a man and his wife for the propagation of the family root through procreation and the sharing of various degree of other acceptable relationship norms.

Uwe (2000) noted that God designed the relationship between sex to complement each other and give to the other what each lacks.

Okorodudu (2010) defined the concept of marriage as a social group and a social system which has certain structure that serve various functions in society right from the origin of the world. He also stated that psychologist and psychiatrist believed that marriage is a complex social system that thrive to satisfy huge emotional and sexual needs of the couples which is the aspect of the id which Freud talked about in the human personality structure.

According to Okorodudu and Okorodudu (2004) “right from the time of creation, marriage is regarded as the oldest institution on earth. God ordained marriage, it is the union of man and woman who have agreed to come together to build a family, marriage served the three pronged utility of addressing the psychological, physiological and social needs of man. These three aspects of marriage are geared towards the sexual survival and emotional instincts which form integrated part of nature and indeed their organisms”.

According to Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, marriage is defined as a legal relationship between a husband and wife.

The Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) explained that the concept of early marriage refers to any form of marriage that takes place before a child reached 18 years.

The form of marriage and the rights of women and girls (2003) sees early marriage as more prevalent in developing countries particularly in the poor rural section of the community and that early marriage often include some elements of force.

According to Lehre (2008) early marriage are for relatively low survival rates. The Interventional Bill of Rights for General recommendation 21, Article 16 (2) states that the minimum age for marriage for both male and female should be 18 years, the age when “they under the law attain full maturity and capacity to act”. The bill went further to state that any marriage of child should not have legal standing.

The right of choice in marriage has been established in the International human right law yet a lot of young adults become married without information about the implications of marriage itself. They may have given what passes for “consent” in the eyes of custom or the law, but in reality consent to their binding union has been made by others on their behalf.

There is an assumption that once a girl or boy married they become matured and are seen at automatically as adult who must put away childish things while the age of marriage is generally on the rise, early marriage is still widely practiced.

For both girls and boys, early marriage has profound physical, intellectual, psychological and emotional impact cutting off educational opportunity and chances of personal growth.

According to John N. Edwards of Virginia Polytechnic institute and state university in the Journal of marriage and family (2009) he stated that the age at marriage and marital instability relationship is found to be largely explained by inadequacies in performance differ somewhat for the early and later married. He continued by saying that studies have shown that marital binding has effect on the quality of the marriage itself.

Sauder (2000) proposed the alternative explanation. This is to examine how the effect of marital timing may be mediated by the adequacy of role performance, the availability of alternative to the marital relationship and the external pressure impinging on the married pair.

Most early marriage is caused by the fact that the immediate young adult sees marriage as a means of escaping and a way of being independent. The age which a young woman marries appears to be relied strongly on the probability that the marriage remains intact.

The forum of marriage and the rights of women and girls (2003) sees early marriage as more prevalent individual developing countries. Also studies show that most early marriage is as a result of direct and indirect sources.

According to Okorodudu (2010) marital instability can be as a result of an empty shell or unsatisfactory and unstable marriage. An empty shell marriage is a marriage characterised by the history of dissatisfactions on the part of the couples. It is a marriage devoid of love, common interest and even companionship.

The fact as stated by Okorodudu (2010) remains that marriages have problems because of the fact that they feel unaccomplished due to the disillusionment they get after they get married. Prior to the union both spouses have preconceived ideas of how the marriage will be like and the both have personal expectation from themselves from the marriage institution and even from the respective families. When these expectations are not realised the couple feel unaccomplished.

Statement of Problem          

Early marriage is a problem prominent among adolescent girls attaining lower school level, experiencing psychological and emotional stress resulting from forced sexual relationship, denial of freedom, high rate of maternal mortality rates, and increased rate of threat to contracting sexually transmitted disease (STD). Moreover, it leads to denial of personal development.

In the case of the male adolescent child if forced into early marriage they also experience emotional and psychological stress, frustration and pressure due to the number of expectations required of him as the bread winner and role provider of the home. From the above statement, early marriage is associated with so many undesirable outcomes. What then can be done to reduce incidence of early marriage and the negative implications of the Nigerian child and the society?

Research Questions

The following are the research questions to which the study would attempt to provide solution:

  1. Does the socio-economic status of family members lead to early marriage and its instability?
  2. Does the level of maturity at marriage affect marital instability?
  3. Does early marriage have adverse effect on the male and female members of family on marital instability?
  4. Does religious and cultural practices lead to early marriage?

Research Hypothesis

The researcher designed and stated the following hypothesis to serve as guide in realization of the research objectives.

Ho1: there is no significant relationship between low socio economic statures of family and marital stability

Ho2: there is no significant relationship between level of maturity and marital instability

Ho­3: there is no significant relationship between male and female members of family and marital instability

Ho4: there is no significant relationship between religious and cultural practices on early marriage.

Significance of Study

The study is useful on the basis that policy makers and human right advocators as well as the government can use it to make recommendations in enacting laws to eradicate the practices of early marriage and enforce legal sanction on parents that force their children into marriage before the standard age of consent. Also to help in reducing incidences of marital instability caused by early marriage.

Scope and Delimitation of the Study

This work attempts to assess and evaluate the implications of early marriage on marital instability and possible ways of solving such problems in Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State.

Thus it is delimited to couples in Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State.

Keywords: early marriage, implication on marital instability

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