Molyko, Southwest Region - Buea, Cameroon


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Background to the study
It is a universal, cultural idea that life should be orderly and that families, like clocks, should run smoothly, quietly leading to continuity of life.

But this do not seem to be so in many societies, where all forms of marital instability are the order of the day.

Various forms of marital instability, which reflect disruptive events that undermine the continuity, cohesiveness, and predictability of family life from the child’s perspective, have been shown to increase children’s vulnerability to psychological problems Ackerman, el al (1999).

For example, residential changes, parental illness, parental romantic relationship, transitions, and changes in caregivers are specific disruptive events that have been associated with a wide range of maladjustment among both children.

Thus, any single disruptive event, such as divorce, is part of a larger constellation of marital instability characterized by parental marital transitions, frequent moving, income and occupational changes, and disruptions in family routines.
Becker, (2002) Marriage is very important in humans’ life as said by the holy Prophet Muhammad that whoever that refuses to marry is not among my people, therefore marriage is very vital purposely for our faith to be completed.
Uka, Obidoa & Uzoechina, (2013) Parents expect his or her child later in life to engage in marriage for procreation and continuity.

Marriage is a basic institution in every society designed by God as a social agreement between two individual to become husband and wife.

Ryan & Powelson, (2010) it is an institution that gives legitimacy to sexual relationship and reproduction of legitimate children. Gbenda, & Akume, (2002) Abane, (2003).

Bumpass, (2009) affirm that Marriage involves joining in matrimony two individuals of different genders to become one flesh as husband and wife, given the need for companionship, procreation, continuing and sustaining family ties.
Omoniyi, et al, (2014) Nevertheless, marital instability in the present day society is of huge concern as it is associated with separation, divorce and widowhood.
Uka, et al., (2013), stated that marriage is a legalizing of a special relationship between a man and woman to which the society gives approval; and it places partners under legal and social obligations to themselves and the society.

Although the concepts of marriage and family are often used synonymously, they are not same but have distinct meanings. Sarker, (2007) the term family is defined as any two people who are related to each other.

Onwuasoanya (2006) the family is the household and those who live in one house and a network of persons such as the couple, their offspring and kin intimately held together by a bond of social and kinship relationship.
Becker, 2002; Sarker, (2007; Uka et al., 2013; Omoniyi-Oyafunke et al., (2014) The effects of the family devoid of instability is recognized by researches locally and worldwide.

This is because the family with relative stability grows and is one where positive relationship is promoted and sustained.

As a consequence, Sarker (2007) refers to marital instability as the interpersonal association and interaction within the marital relationship.

Moreover, Lesmin & Sarker (2008) defined marital instability as the process whereby marriages break down through separation, desertion or divorce.

Hence, the increasing incidence of marital disharmony such as the occurrence of divorce shows that there is marital instability in a number of families in the Nigerian context Ezennay, (2006).

Marital instability occurs as an attempt of one individual or partner to checkmate the behavior and anticipations of the other Uka et al., (2013).

This threatens the household stability as well as the well-being of the children, as it often impacts on their academic adjustment and achievement.

A number of people in the contemporary society believe that the educational system has failed, but evidently, the schooling system has not failed but rather it is the partnership that has failed, with schools taking on the responsibility that families, communities once assumed Castro-Martin & Bumpass, (2009).
The family stability often has a marked influence on the student’s motivation for learning and on her to cope with academics.

The home environment is a strong pointer to the academic adjustment and achievement of children. This is because a number of children’s academic potentials are now confronted with increasing difficulties as a result of parental marital instability (Sarker, 2007).

The contact between the parent, teachers and students makes a lot of impact on the academic performance of the students.

So those who do not regularly attend lectures because of lack of proper monitoring by the parents could experience challenges adjusting academically Bumpass, (2009).

Marriage is both Qur’anically and prophetically allowed to the extent that the prophet said “marriage is my practice and anybody who go out of it is not part of my people (Imam Malik vol.1).
Marriage is an institution approved and ordained by God. Jaiyeola(2005).

According to an Islamic scholar Al-Sayid Nadir (2003), marital instability can be caused by so many factors like financial problems, unsatisfactory sexual relationship and cultural differences.

Marital instability affected the marriage institution.

According to Broom (1990), family is a social system in which the creation of one member affects the other. Student from home where there is instability usually associated with anti-social behavior and poor performance in Education.

Salam (1998) Students from unstable home often pass through a period of great disturbance and they witness bitterness and emotional tension in their parents which often leave them with feeling of insecurity.

Nwabachi and Egbue(1993).
Instability in the marital status has much more influences on the students’ performance than any other thinking factors as expressed by the teachers, and the parents.
Statement of the problem
The research work is designed in order to point out the impact of marital instability on Islamic studies students’ academic performance in Ilorin West Local Government area, Kwara State. Various educationists have asserted that marital relationship of parents has influence on the students’ behaviors and academic performance.

Among the adverse effects suffered by students from unstable home include emotional disturbance, depression and poor cognitive functioning.

Many studied have carried out on influence of marital instability on academic performance in secondary school, this include: Uka et al, (2013) Who Wrote on Marital disharmony: Causes and Resolution strategies in Enugu, who supported that marital instability threatens the household stability as well as the well-being of the children, as it often impacts on their academic adjustment and achievement.

Abu & Kolawale, (2012) also wrote on family patter and marital Education in Lagos and argue that parents who expressed more conflict at home fail to provide a regular supervision for their children, resulting in poorer school adjustment and academic performance.

Major banks (2003) wrote on the role of gender in family instability in Nigerian Journal, who confirmed that both male and female adolescents from divorced families‟ exhibit higher rates of conduct disorder, which affect their academic performance.
Therefore, to the best knowledge of this researcher, no work has been carried out on effect of marital instability on academic performance on Islamic studies students’ in secondary school in Ilorin west Local government Kwara State. This is the gap that this research is trying to fill.

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