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This study explored the causes and consequences of marital conflicts in the Cameroon Development Corporation (C.D.C.) on families in Bota Middle Farms.  The main objective of the study is to ascertain the causes and consequences of marital conflicts in the C.D.C Bota Middle Farms Camp, with specific objectives being; to check on the causes of marital conflicts in this milieu, to examine the consequences of marital conflicts on children in this milieu, to determine the impact of marital conflicts on families in this milieu as well as to identify the types of marital conflicts common in this Camp. 

This study has as main hypothesis stating that, the settlement pattern may account for the rate of marital conflicts in the C.D.C. Bota Middle Farms Camp. The specific research hypothesis are; literacy level in this milieu is one of the causes of marital conflicts in Bota Middle Farms, high rate of promiscuity among workers can also be a cause, financial aspect cannot be over-looked when it comes to milieu like this as well as parental irresponsibility which is expressed through the refusal to assume family responsibilities may also be another cause. To arrive at an empirical finding, the study employed the questionnaire to collection data from a total of 75 respondents, using the purposive sampling technique and the data was analysed electronically using the software.

This helped in confirming some of the hypothesis raised earlier and adding some other causes of marital conflicts in the study area like lack of communication, in-law interference, sexual incompatibility, childlessness, religious differences, alcoholism, and lack of appreciation, rated variedly by the different respondents. The responses gathered also revealed that marital conflicts have greater impact on children in this milieu. In a bid to find out if marital conflicts have any positive outcome, the majority of the respondents strongly disagreed that marital conflicts have any positive outcomes. To them it spells doom to families in the Bota Middle Farms Camp. However, I hereby recommend that the Social Welfare Service of the Corporation intensifies sensitization on the need for good conflict management skills for C.D.C workers in general because so far the presence of conflicts in this milieu has proven detrimental even to the workers’ output.



This piece of work is on the causes and consequences of marital conflicts in the Cameroon Development Corporation, with the case study being the Bota Middle Farms Camp in Limbe. The work has been divided into five main chapters, with each of the chapters comprising of sub-headings which presents complementary information for the work. Chapter One is divided into nine sub-headings which are: The background of the study, Statement of the problem, the research questions, the research objectives, the research hypothesis, the scope of the study, significance of the study and definition of terms in that order.    

  1.1Background of the study

Marriage as an institution is an ancient one, during prehistoric times, there was nothing called “marriage”. The Caveman simply dragged the woman of his choice to mate with and procreate. Despite the absence of rituals and ceremonies, the Caveman was as possessive of his woman as today’s husbands.(Makinde&Adeyinke, 2014)

As the world became civilized, humans realized that primitive ways had to be discarded and a more sophisticated way of doing things adopted. This brought about a kind of selectivity and sticking around with one partner, thus developing the system of marriage.  Much later, rules and laws of marriage and societal norms began to appear.  With the passage of time, the very concept and meaning of marriage changed. Thus giving rise to issues and conflicts in this institution in different context and magnitude as seen below.Marital conflicts can be defined as the state of tension or stress between marital partners as the couple try to carry out their marital roles. Marital conflicts may also be described as struggles, clash, strife, disagreement or quarrel between husband and wife, and sometimes with other members of the household over opposing needs, ideas, beliefs, values or goals.

Cummings (2008) defined marital conflicts as any major or minor interpersonal interaction that involved a difference of opinion, between a couple, whether it was mostly negative or even mostly positive.The fact that two people agree or plan to live together as husband and wife calls for different expectations and hopes, some of which  might be fulfilled while other might not be. Whenever two people get together eventually some of the belief system and personal habits of one will annoy the other, regardless of the degree of love.

Conflict is natural and inevitable in marriages and other close relationships. Ironically, one’s experience of interpersonal conflict is often highest with one’s spouse, compared to other long-term relationships (Argyle and Furnham, 1983). In healthy relationships couples learnt to accept and resolve conflict. But in the case of unhealthy relationship marital conflicts arise due to several reasons. When there is conflict between role performance and role expectation of the spouses it leads to maladjustment of husband-wife relationship and to marital disruption.  Thus, making conflicts in marriages inevitable. The latter differs in context and time, as studies have revealed over more than two decades (Gottman, 1994).

Much has been written about and different studies have been carried out on marital conflicts at the global, African and local contexts. For the most part, this literature deals with reproductive related behavior and gender relations. With emphasis laid on marital conflicts, this study explores the factors influencing one indicator of marital conflict at different levels – that is, the macro, messo and micro levels. The theoretical arguments draw on a number of institutional and non-institutional factors that are believe to affect marital stability in general. However, the causes and consequences of marital conflicts may differ in magnitude and degree in contexts (Fitzpatrick 1988; Gottman 1994; Raush et al. 1974).

Marriage and marital conflicts have taken different forms in different context over time. In the world, marriage remains a universal institution that entails two persons. However, with civilization and the passage of time, marriage has been viewed differently at the global level, with heated debates on acceptable forms of marriage and unacceptable ones taking central stage. This issue has greatly animated the social life in the Western World especially, as they tend to be rapidly modernized. As such, the types of marital conflicts recorded at this level are prompted by factors that are related to the form of marriage and possibly the notions attached to such a union. This is to say that the factors that account for marital conflicts in the Western World are issues that have mostly arisen from nature of their culture. (Ting-Toomey et al. 1991).

Meanwhile, at the African Context, the institution of marriage has always been sacred in time past. But with the infiltration of other variables into the African setting, marriage is gradually being sacrificed on the altar of civilization. With these, it is worth saying here that, in pre-colonial days, marital conflicts and marriage were handled more at the family or village level with defaulters quickly admitting their shortcomings and changing for the betterment of the marriage. Also, the types of conflicts experienced then, were totally different in form and magnitude to those experienced in the West. With the rise in globalization and civilization, certain mores have been eroded, giving way for modern way of life to take over.

The Cameroonian context does not really differ a great deal, when it comes to marital conflicts causes, form and management with the entire African setting. Unlike in pre-colonial times, now marital conflicts have taken an upsurge in number, form and mode of management. Things have become more institutionalized, with legal frameworks put in place to sanction or probe into these issues. Many researchers both local and foreign have conducted studies on the cause of marital conflicts across communities, societies and cultures

1.2 Statement of problem

The Cameroon Development Corporation being a milieu within another milieu, it has its own specificities and ways of interaction that is peculiar to its setting. This milieu has a very complex social and population composition, ranging from people with little or no educational level at all, those with average levels of education and some who have been exposed to a certain level of education, those who are officially married and those who are just co-habiting, working couples and some families with just one of the partners working, etc. There is also the aspect of large family size, with most of the children being minors and the better part of the population made up of people in the active working age. It is also a melting pot of people from both Cameroon and Nigerian. The Cameroonian population in this milieu is mostly comprised of people from the North West, who make up the General Labour sector of the Corporation, then people from the other regions both those of the English speaking and those from the French speaking regions.

In this setting, there is a high rate of marital conflicts recorded in families, it goes without saying that these conflicts are accompanied by repercussions at different levels. This study is to look at the causes of these conflicts and their consequences in this area of study (Bota Middle Farms Camp). Looking at the aspects raised in the above paragraph, one would quickly jump into assumptions as to why there is a high and varied range of marital conflicts recorded in this milieu. However, this is not scientific enough, because it has not been systematically and objectively done to be communicated. It is in this regard that this study has been conceived to probe into the aspect of marital conflicts which from observation is very rampant in the Cameroon Development Corporation in general and case study Bota Middle Farms Camp.

1.3. Research Question (s)

In so far as research is concerned, this part which comes from the research topic must reflect the research objectives as seen below:

1.3.1. Main Research Question

What are the causes and consequences of marital conflicts in the C.D.C. Bota Middle Farms Camp?

1.3.2.Specific Research Questions

  • What are the impacts of marital conflicts on families in Middle Farms Camp?
  • What are the consequences of marital conflicts on children in C.D.C. Bota Middle Farms Camp?
  • What are the different types of marital conflicts that are common in the Middle farms Camp?

1.4 Research Objectives

1.4.1. Main Objective

The main objective of this study is to ascertain the Causes and Consequences of marital conflicts in the C.D.C. Bota Middle Farms Camp.

1.4.2. Specific Objectives

  • To check on the causes of marital conflicts in this milieu.
  • To examine the consequences of marital conflicts on children in Middle Farms Camp.
  • To determine the impact of marital conflicts on families in Middle Farms Camp
  • To identify the different types of marital conflicts common in this Camp.

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