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Research Article
Open Access Peer-reviewed

Contribution of the Divorce Revolution to Cohabitation Boom in Bayelsa State, Nigeria

UZOBO Endurance , UGOH L. Nkechi
Journal of Sociology and Anthropology. 2017, 1(1), 53-62. DOI: 10.12691/jsa-1-1-8
Published online: August 23, 2017

Abstract

The main purpose of this research work is to investigate divorce revolution and cohabitation boom in Bayelsa state. The study particularly aimed at investigating the socio-demographic characteristics of divorcees and cohabiters, exploring the trends and patterns of cohabitation in Bayelsa State, determining factors responsible for cohabitation, investigating the prevalence of cohabitation in Bayelsa State and to examine the contribution of divorce to the cohabitation boom. The modernization theory and the rational choice theory provided the theoretical framework for this study. Based on cross-sectional design and correlational study design, a sampling technique of both probability and non-probability sampling techniques were used to select community of adult population in Yenagoa, Amassoma and Ogobiri. Using the Yaro Yamane’s formula, a structured questionnaire was administered to 400 adult men and women in Yenagoa; Amassoma and Ogobiri towns. The quantitative data were analyzed using frequencies, percentages, Binary logistics regression and Pearson’s correlation. Findings from the study showed that only the socio-demographic characteristic, Age had a role to play in cohabitation. Also, the study found out that Modernization contributes to increase in cohabitation in Bayelsa state. Finally, the study found out that divorce is not responsible for the increase in cohabitation in Bayelsa state going by the Pearson’s correlation coefficient. Based on the findings, it was recommended that marriage educational programs should be made available for couples awaiting marriage and those who are married and having problems.

1. Introduction

Marriage refers to a socially approved sexual union between two or more individuals that is undertaken with some idea of permanence. In recent years this is not the case as most individuals do not marry in consideration of the idea of permanence. Marriage and family are perhaps society’s oldest and withstanding institution but this is not the case today. Presently, with the prevalence of divorce and cohabitation, marriage has deteriorated. The growing influence of western values has made divorce and cohabitation the “trend” in Nigeria, where one in three marriages fails 1.

Divorce is the termination/the formal dissolution of legally constituted marriage. Divorce rates are higher today is an indication that people place high expectations on successful marriages than their ancestors. Most persons say, “I can’t go into a marriage and suffer”. This is to suggest that where marriage is not giving the expected outcome, it is better to call it off than endure suffering 1. Couple divorce in the anticipation of creating another, more pleasurable and united, lasting relationship. In traditional societies, the norms even tend to elevate the institution of marriage, even polygamies, while frowning at divorce. But in the modern world, divorce cases are becoming rampant as couples usually troop to courts, pressing for the dissolution of their marriages even if most of their religions discourage it and place importance on the sacredness of marriage 2.

Cohabitation on the other hand, is an arrangement where two individuals live together for a specific period before considering marriage. Couples who cohabit do not have any family, social not legal obligations to one another and can therefore live their relationship in relaxed manner knowing they can walk out at any given moment if they choose to, as oppose to couples who are married. This is usually common among youths who clamour for pleasure and unrestricted freedom. It is also common among intending married couples who see it as a test for compatibility. This is a trend that the religious institutions tend to frown at. Cohabitation was not prominent and even prohibited throughout the nineteenth century and until the 1970’s. Non-marital unions have become common because the meaning of the family has been remodelled by individualistic social values that have successfully matured since the late 1940’s, (Ogunsola cited in 3.

The occurrence of cohabitation is growing rapidly in Nigeria and around the world on a day-to-day basis just like indecent dressing. It has become regular and more socially adequate in Nigeria for couples to stay together without being married 4. In Nigeria, the sacred nature of marriage cuts across every region in the country despite the culture and religion. The major kind of marriages that were present in the pre-colonial era was the cultural/traditional marriage and the Islamic/Maliki marriage. The kind of marriage practice was determined by the prevalent traditions or religions which guided the society where the parties live in or where they originated from 5.

Cohabitation to a large extent is an outgrowth of the sexual revolution that started in the 1960s, a revolution which significantly gave premarital sex a social imprint of approval. The transformation basically changed the sexual behaviour of women; men had been disregarding the condemnation against premarital sex for decades, even centuries, maybe since the very invention of marriage, howbeit secretive and with prostitutes if required. But before the 1960s most women, distinct from men, stayed virgins until marriage. And men longed to marry and have children with women who had no sexual experience 6. Cohabitation also grew vogue in the closing of the twentieth century and has persisted. However, the force and sturdiness of this unofficial unification has come under fire in recent tears. Earlier studies on the reasons for cohabitation (two persons who stay together and have passionate relationship without conjugality) discovered that cohabiters without child report diverse reasons for living together including to ‘spend more time undisturbed’ and to ‘test run’ the relationship 7. Preceding qualitative studies on cohabiting partners with offspring discovered that most cohabiting parents started cohabiting regarding pregnancy – imperatively ‘shot-term cohabitation’ – and report that staying together makes it simple to co-parent and split living expenditure. Since cohabiting couples usually run the risk of high displeasure, it has been discovered that the reasons couples prefer to cohabit is associated with the nature of their relationship 7.

Exponents of the Second Demographic Transition theory assert that the rise in cohabitation is because of change in values about ‘secular, egalitarian, and anti-authoritarian aspects’. Cohabiters attribute to values that emphasize individual free-will but also ‘high gender harmony, less dogmatism to all types of minorities and infringement of civil virtue’. These wrangles indicate cohabiters are more emotional as to expressive values such as freedom and individualism, and are likely to decline customary institutions such as the church, but as well as marriage. As these expressive values extend throughout societies and across countries, family behaviour advances through several stages, leading to cohabitation becoming indistinguishable from marriage. Presumably, Northern Europe is the furthest along this trajectory, because this region has increased rate of cohabitation prior to marriage and increased birth rates within cohabitation. Nevertheless countries in other regions, such as Southern and Eastern Europe also appear to be ensuing this trend 8.

Whereas cohabitation has increased in almost every European country, it is not clear that the fundamental reasons for the increasing agreement with the wrangle of the Second Demographic Transition. Cohabiting couples might not be declining marriage generally, but rather delaying it until later in life course 8. The reasons for this delay are not clear, specifically because the benefits of marriage are no longer as distinguishable as before. However, with reference to the U.S. literature in which cohabiters agitate that they are waiting to marry until their financial situation improve, whether by having sufficient money for a wedding, purchasing a house, or paying of debt, cohabiters may not have the means, whether financial or emotional, to transform their relationships into marriage 8. This lack of means, maybe particularly prominent for those with the least education and income. More usually, the increase in economic uncertainty due to globalization and change in the labour market may bring about unstable live that leads to couples choosing cohabitation over marriage, particularly when making decisions to have children. Therefore, the rise in cohabitation may be less about the change as regards to new values of self-actualization and rejection of institutions and more about rise in instability and uncertainty 8.

Individualism mutiny alongside augmented emphasis on the development of the self, self-actualization, individual choice, forbearance, and self-determination are often referenced in cultural illustration for family change and the rise in cohabitation. More precise aspects of ideational change that can be put in consideration include increasingly egalitarian attitudes about gender roles; the sexual rebellion of the 1960’s, decreasing most of the earlier stigma accorded with living together outside of matrimony; the increase in independent living in young adulthood, accompanying it reductions in family supervision, and a decline in the perceived influence of religious institutions 9.

Conceptualizing relationships status has become more difficult with the far-reaching acceptance and exercise of cohabitation in the west in modern time. Like marriage, cohabitation is an intricate class containing individuals with different views, aims and relationships 10.

Some researchers argued that what makes cohabitation so important is not just its prevalence but also its extensive and large acceptance. They went further to explain that present students’ representational survey, almost 66% of high school senior boys and 61% of girls signified that they concur or mostly approved the statement claiming that it is generally a good idea for a couple to live together prior to the marriage to know whether they are compatible. Almost three quarters of the students slightly more girls than boys declared that ‘a male and female who stayed together without being married are either testing with worthy alternative lifestyle or ‘minding their business and not including anyone else’ 11.

In the United States, the increase in cohabitation in recent decades is predominantly adequate to offset an essential fraction of the decrease in marriage. Trends in cohabitation have been the same in most of the countries of Northern Europe and in countries with solid European roots, with the prevalence of cohabitation rising sooner and reaching extensively greater levels in some countries such as Sweden than in the United States 10. It is surprising that the attempt and success of the church and the state throughout hundreds of years to control marriage and intimate relations have been greatly reverted in the final several decades, as individuals and couples practice more self-determination and regulation of their private lives 10.

The rising prevalence of cohabitation in Botswana has increased interest among policy makers for example, Women’s Affairs Department and Social Scientists and has added to their request for complete research to investigate this phenomena within the wider societal setting 12. Cohabitation has become increasingly a widespread activity of the early adult family life course, partly because the age at marriage in the United States is at an increasingly high point, the median is 25.5 for women and 27.5 for men. Even though young adult is waiting longer to get married, does not mean the fact that young adults are refraining from living together 12. A significant reason for the decrease of marriage rate is exactly the rise of cohabitation. Without the prospect of cohabitation, a much-increased percentage of the population would be married; there has been little decline in recent period in the tendency of young people to want to “turn to couples” 6.

Cohabitation is on the increase in different parts of the world like in the United States, the function of cohabitation in the family network of many of these nations is unclear. In not many countries, such as Sweden, cohabitation seems to be a fixed and embedded alternative to marriage. In additional countries, such as New Zealand, cohabitations are temporary and unfixed, same with cohabitations in the United States. Cohabitation has extended rapidly around much of Europe, as well as the United Kingdom, but the practice has been slowly extended in Italy and Spain 13. In Latin America, cohabitation has a long history since informal unions have for a long period been an alternative to marriage. Some indications, nevertheless, imply that in countries such as Mexico, cohabitation is turning into a normative forerunner to marriage as well as an alternative. Little studies have been conducted on cohabitation in Asia, where estimation has been typically low. Some proof in Japan indicates that increases in cohabitation may be pending, as Japanese young adults report taking increased rates than older adults do. Less is known about cohabitation in the Middle East, though it is evidently low in customary Muslim countries. Cohabitation rates have increased in Sub-Saharan Africa lately, with most countries, such as Botswana, display dramatic increase 13.

During the past 30 years, the society has transformed dramatically enough that cohabitation has become a ‘value too lightly’ living arrangement. Young adults presently were socialized in surroundings distinguished by the already high levels of divorce of the preceding generation. Many have been open to these surroundings directly through divorce in their own families, homes or that of friends, others have simply taken up the widely attainable information that many marriages end in divorce, it is something ‘everybody is aware of’. Research has shown that young adult view cohabitation to be almost a necessity because of fear of divorce. By cohabiting they feel they are decreasing the danger of marital disruption, people are involving in a risk control plan for romantic affinity in an age of uncertainty 9.

It is significant to acknowledge, nevertheless, that the connection between divorce and cohabitation is most likely not moving in a single direction, but instead could run both ways and affect each trend through feedback loops. In general, the experience of cohabitation as a less lasting relationship may result in high union instability. Some researchers have shown that premarital cohabitation is associated with high divorce after marriage. Although, this association is likely due partially to selection, maybe based on the level of cohabitation in a country and seen to have inverted more recently in some countries in to a deduction or stabilization of divorce, as seen to have happen very recently in the U.S. and possibly in the UK 8.

2. Theoretical Framework

Theories are set of interrelated concepts and ideas that have been scientifically tested and combined to magnify, widen, clarify and increase our scope of understanding of human beings. The theories applied in this research work are to help explain the research and enable prediction about future events, and to sever as a guideline for further analysis of the work.

2.1. Modernization Theory

Modernization theory is a model of a gradual transition/change from a ‘traditional’ to a ‘contemporary’ society. Modernization theory asserts that traditional societies will evolve as they embrace more modern practices.

In the research work modernization theory is made manifest as it created a vacuum for marriage to deteriorate in the society during the transition of the society from primitive to a modern society. Divorce and cohabitation were an abomination in the previous years, in recent times this trend is the order of the day. The churches are even unable to stop these trends because of secularization. The churches even wed couples who have cohabited; some even perceive these trends as a precursor to marriage. Divorce which was not permitted in the past is now legalized and legal procedures have been established for couples who are willing to dissolve their marriage to carry out 5.

Modernization being the vehicle behind the increased rates of divorce and cohabitation has introduced pressure on customary marriage practices also such as arranged marriage; early marriages, morality etc. for instance in the past, when society was primitive parents betroth their children especially their female child to friends, wealthy persons, some gave their children out for payment of debt or in exchange for a valuable item, etc. People usually marry at an early stage like 16-18 years of age and young adults or teenagers do not involve in sexual relationship until they are married because it was part of the society. Whereas in the modern society this is put in consideration less as most partners prefer checkmate the fertility capacity of their partners and most people like to postpone their marriages with the idea that they are not ready to go into such commitment then at the time they are ready it might be too late. Modernization had also increased the sense of individualism; one is more interested in his/her own benefits than others involved in the relationship; personal independence. Most individuals cohabit because they cannot handle their financial problems on their own they need the help of their partners, others because they want to test the compatibility of their partners thereby making them to be involved in several relationships due to their search for a compatible partner, most individuals divorce because they are not getting the result they had expected from their marriages, some have lost interest in their partners or want to be on their own, etc 14.

Modernization promotes globalization and urbanization. These trends however bring with them technology which has made it possible through the mass media to expose people to Western world and their practices. These practices that include divorce and cohabitation are then adopted by people as a way of life thereby promoting the widespread of these practices. Other modernization trends, such as education is related to cohabitation and divorce. As most individuals divorce because their marriage might be hindering the pursuit of their career though educated people are usually associated with high standards of marriage in times of relationship crisis that blocks their personal fulfilment divorce is usually the case. Also, participation of women in the labour force tends to increase the tendency for divorce. For instance, when women are involved in high pay jobs; they tend to forget their gender roles in the family. This is because most of them become engrossed in the jobs as they are accorded maximum respect in their place of work than they are in their homes 14.

Modernization has brought about the Westernization of Nigerians as well as the disappearance of African values. In the past decades, wives and mothers would stay married even if it cost their lives. Presently, the cases of divorce are predominant as most couples who cannot solve their problems fall back to it as a solution. Whereas cohabitation is prevalent and even at a higher level than divorce as couples who fear that their relationship may end in dissolution prefer living together without marriage 5.

Modernization through the increasing levels of divorce brought about high percentage of orphans and foster children scattered across many societies. As divorce and cohabitation leaves children stuck in the middle of the situation, they are usually neglected as though they do not exist. Cohabitation increases the rate of children born out of wedlock and this most times in turn makes the children to see these trends as a normative in life.

2.2. Rational Choice Theory

Rational choice theory maintains that the society is conditioned in ways that structure the alternatives and consequences confronting individuals that they react rationally. In accordance with the theory, individuals are driven by their personal desires and objectives. Because it is not easy to attain all the various things they desire, they make alternatives related to both their objectives and the intermediary for achieving those objectives.

In the research work, individuals apply rational choice in their relationship as it is when individuals do not achieve the gains they wanted to achieve in their marriage that they opt out. Many individuals who are in a relationship have different expectations/perception of how they want their relationship to be. If they are not seeing results, those that cannot endure tend to leave these relationships even if the relationship had produced an offspring. Most women decide to be single parents notwithstanding the consequence; this is rational choice in play 14.

Cohabitation or premarital cohabitation is a rational choice made by individuals concerning their relationships. This, however, might be a risk factor but they choose to take these step as some say, ‘they do not have the financial means to marry, they are not ready or they are not yet compatible’ as a reason for making this delicate choice. Some individuals are afraid of marriage commitment that they make this choice in other to protect themselves thereby having greater benefits or gains 9.

3. Methodology

This research study used cross-sectional survey research design and correlational study design. Cross-sectional survey design in this study is therefore targeted at discovering the prevalence of cohabitation phenomenon, situation, problem, attitude or issue, by taking a cross-section of the population at a time. The correlational study design is concerned with showing the relationship between two variables, to describe behaviour as well as how strongly these variables relate to one another. In this study, the two variables that this research work seeks to correlate are divorce and cohabitation.

The population included in the study is selected members of the adult population in Bayelsa state. Based on the 2010 projected population of the National Population Commission, the adult population of Bayelsa state is about 63.3% of the population which when calculated is 1,211,66 of the entire population of 1,914,163. The Yaro Yamane’s formula was used in selecting the sample size which gave a sample size of 400.

Considering the nature of the research study both the probability and non-probability sampling techniques were used for selecting the required sample for the study. Firstly, this research method made use of the cluster sampling technique to group Local Government Areas in Bayelsa state into eight LGA namely; (1) Brass (2) Ekeremor (3) Kolokuma/ Opokuma (4) Nembe (5) Ogbia (6) Sagbama (7) Southern Ijaw (8) Yenagoa. Thereafter, the simple random sampling technique was then used to select two Local Government Areas which are Southern Ijaw Local Government and Yenagoa Local Government Areas. In Southern Ijaw LGA, two communities were selected through purposive sampling from one of the districts in the Southern Ijaw local government area which are; Amassoma and Ogobiri towns in the Oporoma District. These towns were purposively selected because of easy access that the researcher will have to these communities given the limited resources and time available for the study while Yenagoa town was purposively selected in Yenagoa LGA. Again, the purposive sampling technique was used to draw out the sample populations from Amassoma, Ogobiri and Yenagoa. This was done to get the population that possess the required characteristics, in this case; cohabiting or have cohabited.

The method of data collection adopted for the study was mainly a structured questionnaire. The questionnaire was structured in a way that satisfactory information was raised from the research questions, objectives and hypothesis. Based on the sample population calculated for the study, four hundred copies of questionnaire were made and administered to the respondents. However, the questionnaire was structured into four (4). Section A covered questions on the socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents, section B covered questions on trends in cohabitation and prevalence of cohabitation; section C covered questions on the factors responsible for cohabitation; section D covered questions on Divorce. A 5-point likert scale category of response was used–strongly agree (5), agree (4), undecided (3), disagree (2), strongly disagree (1).

The method of data analysis adopted was the quantitative data analysis since the data for the study involved mainly quantitative data. In analysing the quantitative data, the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 21.0 was used to run various statistical packages necessary for the study. Univariate statistical tools were used to analyse descriptive data. The Univariate analysis involved the use of frequency table, percentages, mean, standard deviation, etc. In analyzing the socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents, the simple percentage was used, while Bivariate analysis was used to test the hypothesis for the study with the use of Pearson correlation and Binary Logistics Regression. Inferential statistics was used to test the association of the dependent variable and other independent variables.

4. Results and Discussions

4.1. Socio-Demographic Characteristics of Respondents

From Table 1 below it reveals that greater numbers of the respondents were from Amassoma (175) with 53.4% compared to the lowest Ogobiri (40) with 12.4%, others from Yenagoa (107) with 33.2%. This shows that the respondents from Amassoma participated more than the respondents from Ogobiri in the research exercise. From the table, the age of the respondents revealed that respondents numbering 200 within the age bracket of (15-29) with 62.1 were of the majority in relation to the minority within the age bracket of 60 and above with 0.6% and a total number of 2 respondents; other age brackets were (30-44) with a number of 110 respondents and a percentage of 34.2 and (45-59) with a number of 10 respondents and percentage of 3.1. This is a clear indication that the younger population were more than the older population in the research exercise. In the sex of respondents from the table shows that there were more female respondents (55.6%) than male respondents (44.4%), numbering 179 and 143 respectively. This shows that there were more female respondents than male respondents. Also in the Religion of the respondents, the table shows that Christian respondents were 317 with 98.4 percentage, Muslim respondents were 3 with a percentage of 0.9 and then the African Traditional Religion were 2 respondents with 0.6%. This shows that there was more Christian faith than Muslims or African Traditional Religion practitioners in the study area. In the education level of respondents, the table indicates that 71.7%of the respondents numbering 231 had tertiary education qualification, 21 respondents with a percentage of 6.5 had received primary education, 50 respondents with a percentage of 15.5 had received secondary education while 20 respondents with a percentage had other educational qualification. In marital status of respondents, the table shows that respondents with a total number of 216 were singles with 67.1%, 40 respondents were divorced with 12.4%, 51 respondents with 15.8% were married, 10 respondents with 3.1% were separated while 5 respondents with 1.6% were widowed.

4.2. Trends and Prevalence in Cohabitation

From the objective of study in which involves the exploration of the trends and the investigation of the prevalence of cohabitation in Bayelsa state. The table shows how the opinions of the respondents reflect the presence of cohabitation trends and its prevalence in Bayelsa state. From the table, the study revealed that the mean score of respondent opinion of cohabitation as a norm is 4.51 with a standard deviation of 2.12. This means that the respondents’ opinion of cohabitation as a norm is high. Also, in analysing the respondents’ opinion that cohabitation should be banned, a mean score of 2.29 and a standard deviation of 1.58 were arrived at showing that the opinion that cohabitation should ban is low. Additionally, in other to analyse the respondents’ opinion that cohabitation is learnt from older adults, a mean score of 3.78 and a standard deviation of 1.94 was arrived at showing that the opinion that cohabitation is learnt from older adults is high. Finally, in analysing the respondents’ opinion that cohabitation is determined by the society, a mean score of 4.33 and a standard deviation of 1.44 was arrived at showing that the opinion that cohabitation is determined by the society is high.

4.3. Factors responsible for cohabitation

Another objective of study is to determine the factors that are responsible for cohabitation. The Table 3 below shows the likely factors that are responsible for cohabitation. From the table below, the research reveals those respondents’ who cohabit because of independence have a mean score of 2.48 and a standard deviation of 1.57 showing that the respondents’ decision to cohabit because of independence is low. Also, in analysing those who cohabit because of infidelity a mean score of 4.21 and a standard deviation of 2.05 was arrived at showing that the respondents’ decision to cohabit because of this factor is high. Furthermore, the analysis of respondents who cohabit because of financial status obtained a mean score of 3.91 and a standard deviation of 1.98 showing that the respondents’ decision to cohabit because of financial status is high. Additionally, in other to analyse the respondents that cohabit as a test for compatibility a mean score of 4.43 and a standard deviation of 2.10 were arrived at, showing that the respondents’ decision to cohabit as a test for compatibility is high. Again, in analysing the respondents that cohabit because of modernization, a mean score of 4.27 and a standard deviation of 2.07 was obtained, showing that the respondents’ decision to cohabit because of this factor is high. Finally, a mean score of 3.27 and a standard deviation of 1.81 were arrived at in analysing the decision of the respondents to cohabit because of stability and certainty factor.

4.4. Factors Associated with Divorce

The Table 4 below shows the opinions of respondents on divorce. From the table, it shows a mean score of 3.23 and a standard deviation of 1.79 of respondents who believe early marriages result in divorce. This means that respondents’ who are of this opinion is high. Also, in analysing the respondents with the opinion that parental divorce is a cause of divorce a mean score of 3.43 and a standard deviation of 1.85 were obtained showing that the respondents’ opinion that parental divorce is a cause of divorce is high. Furthermore, in other to analyse the respondents with the opinion that financial breakdown determines divorce a mean score of 4.85 and a standard deviation of 2.20 was obtained showing that the respondents’ opinion of financial breakdown determining divorce is high. Additionally, in other to analyse the respondents’ opinion of previous marriage experience as an influence to divorce a mean score of 3.38 with a standard deviation of 1.83 was obtained showing that the respondents’ opinion on previous marriage as an influence on divorce is high. Again, a mean score of 3.69 with a standard deviation of 1.92 was obtained in analysing the opinion of respondent’ on social status as a determinant to divorce. Finally, a mean score of 4.04 with a standard deviation of 2.00 were arrived at in analysing the opinion of respondents on health status as a criterion to divorce.

5. Hypotheses

HO 1: There is no relationship between Socio-demographic status and cohabitation

In this hypothesis, the socio-demographic characteristics were analysed using the Binary Logistics Regression to determine whether socio-demographic characteristics play a role in cohabitation. From Table 5 below, only age is significant and so has a role to play in cohabitation. Other socio-demographic characteristics; Sex with 0.989, Religion with 0.646, Education with 0.187, Marital status with 0.988 and Location with 0.991 are not significant, therefore they do not have a role to play in cohabitation.

HO 2: Modernization does not contribute to the increase in cohabitation

Showing in the Table 6 below, the Pearson correlation is 0.856 while the coefficient significant level is 0.000. According to these values, the null hypothesis of modernization not contributing to the increase in cohabitation in Bayelsa state is rejected, while the alternate hypothesis stating that modernization contributes to the increase in cohabitation in Bayelsa state is accepted.

HO 3: Divorce does not contribute to the increase in cohabitation

From Table 7 below, it shows the Pearson correlation coefficient to be 0.282 while the coefficient significant level is 0.000. Based on these values, the null hypothesis of high rate of divorce is not responsible for the increase in cohabitation in Bayelsa state is accepted, while the alternate hypothesis which states that high rate of divorce is responsible for the increase in cohabitation in Bayelsa state is rejected.

6. Conclusion and Recommendations

This study of Divorce revolution and Cohabitation boom in Bayelsa state has widened the scope of our knowledge on the trends and patterns in cohabitation in Nigeria. Having revealed in the study that contemporary trends in the past are far different from present trends and that cohabitation has risen in an atmosphere where customary marriage is clearly spelt out and a prevailing social institution. It reveals that the trends among adults have important implication for children’s family experiences and cohabitation has rapidly become a societal norm.

The finding has made a clear indication of the socio-demographic characteristics of divorcees and cohabiters. The finding indicated that cohabitation is prominent among younger people; cohabiters are more likely to be divorced or separated rather than never married. Individuals with strong religious affiliation also cohabit as do those who do not have strong religious affiliation. Cohabitation is also common amongst the educated and the least educated. Also, the finding reveals that the socio-demographic factors such as age at marriage, past marital history and premarital cohabitation are strong predictors of divorce.

Also, the finding has made a clear indication of some of the factors that are responsible for cohabitation in the society which are namely; lack of marital communication character, reduced marital satisfaction, increase in domestic violence and absence of trust in society and relationship. However, in the aspect of divorce, finding has shown that divorce can be because of early marriage, parental divorce can also cause an individual to file for divorce i.e. if the individual notices the cause of his/her parent divorce is taking place in the individual’s marriage. Financial breakdown has also shown in the finding to be a determinant of divorce. Also, previous marriage experience has been found to influence divorce as one’s marriage may replay the awful incidence of the previous marriage one had been divorced from, so also the position an individual occupies in the society and his/her health status can determine if the individual’s spouse can divorce the individual.

Finally, despite all indication of the proliferation of the prevalence of cohabitation and divorce the finding has made it clear that the increase in cohabitation is not because of the high rate of divorce. It is the decision an individual makes according to the views of society.

Based on the conclusion reached, the following recommendations have been made; Firstly, the young people should be educated about marriage and its strong relationship with successful child-rearing outcomes from early school years onward, so that it becomes a lifetime goal at least for those who desire children.

Due to the many difficulties of maintaining marriages today, all couples who are anticipating marriage or who are married and having problems should be encouraged to take “marriage education” courses.

A national program of parenthood education and family assistance should be developed to help parents in the all-important task of raising young children. The many stresses of raising children today have become a contributor to later marital breakup.

Continue to indicate support for married couples especially those with children, in public programs such as economic assistance, tax benefits and inheritance rights. Also, modify divorce laws so that they better take account the needs of children.

Avoid the legal establishment of new institutions that compete with marriage. These give to unmarried couple’s similar rights and obligations to those of married couples, and thus inevitably tend to weaken the institution of marriage.

Acknowledgements

We would like to appreciate our respondents who painstakingly participated in this study. Our sincere appreciation also goes the Lecturers and Students of the Department of Sociology, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State, Nigeria who validated the instruments of data collection and served as research assistants respectively. Special thanks also go to Prof. Edet M. Abasiekong, and Dr. E.A Sibiri for their role as assessors of the research methodology adopted for this study.

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[11]  Bello, M. O. & Ogunsanwo, B. A. (2013). The psychological consequences of Cohabitation among students of Tai Solarin University of Education Ijagun, Ogun state. Ozean Journal of Applied Sciences 6(2).
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[12]  Mokomane, Z. (2004). Cohabitation in Botswana: An Alternative or a prelude to marriage? Department of population Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Botswana.
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[13]  Raley, R.K (2001). Increasing fertility in cohabiting unions: Evidence for the second Demographic Transition in the United States? Demography. 38: 59-66.
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[14]  De Wet N., Ntoimo L. F. C., Odimegwu C. O., & Olarewaju O. K. (2015). Divorce and Separation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Life- Table Estimates and context. University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
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UZOBO Endurance, UGOH L. Nkechi. Contribution of the Divorce Revolution to Cohabitation Boom in Bayelsa State, Nigeria. Journal of Sociology and Anthropology. Vol. 1, No. 1, 2017, pp 53-62. http://pubs.sciepub.com/jsa/1/1/8
MLA Style
Endurance, UZOBO, and UGOH L. Nkechi. "Contribution of the Divorce Revolution to Cohabitation Boom in Bayelsa State, Nigeria." Journal of Sociology and Anthropology 1.1 (2017): 53-62.
APA Style
Endurance, U. , & Nkechi, U. L. (2017). Contribution of the Divorce Revolution to Cohabitation Boom in Bayelsa State, Nigeria. Journal of Sociology and Anthropology, 1(1), 53-62.
Chicago Style
Endurance, UZOBO, and UGOH L. Nkechi. "Contribution of the Divorce Revolution to Cohabitation Boom in Bayelsa State, Nigeria." Journal of Sociology and Anthropology 1, no. 1 (2017): 53-62.
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[8]  Perelli-Harris B., Gassen, N. S., Galezewska, P., Berrington, A., & Holland, J. (2015). The link between the Divorce Revolution and the Cohabitation Boom. University of Southampton.
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[9]  Casper M. L., Smock J. P., Wyse J. (2008). Non-marital Cohabitation: Current Knowledge and Future Directions for research. Population Studies Center Report 08-648, University of Michigan.
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[10]  Thronton, A., Axinn, W. G., & Xie, Y. (2007). Marriage and Cohabitation. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
In article      View Article
 
[11]  Bello, M. O. & Ogunsanwo, B. A. (2013). The psychological consequences of Cohabitation among students of Tai Solarin University of Education Ijagun, Ogun state. Ozean Journal of Applied Sciences 6(2).
In article      
 
[12]  Mokomane, Z. (2004). Cohabitation in Botswana: An Alternative or a prelude to marriage? Department of population Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Botswana.
In article      View Article
 
[13]  Raley, R.K (2001). Increasing fertility in cohabiting unions: Evidence for the second Demographic Transition in the United States? Demography. 38: 59-66.
In article      View Article  PubMed
 
[14]  De Wet N., Ntoimo L. F. C., Odimegwu C. O., & Olarewaju O. K. (2015). Divorce and Separation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Life- Table Estimates and context. University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
In article