Gbubemi God’s Covenant Snr
The state of moral decay and dearth of ethics in leadership and professional circles, especially in government and the judiciary have been traced to broken and dysfunctional family structure back in time.
Structurally, family/homes are either broken or intact. A broken home in this context is one that is not structurally intact, as a result of divorce, separation, death of one of parent and illegitimacy.
According to researcher Frazer (2004), psychological home conditions arise mainly from illegitimacy of children, the label of adopted child, broken homes, divorce and parental deprivation. Such abnormal conditions of the home have a detrimental effect on school performance of the child.
Broken homes on academic performance of children
In a study of Iguekhiho Community in Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo State, some social and academic maladjustment which are likely to affect a child’s performance in school, were identified.
Parents in Iguelahia community were selected and a total of 50 parents were used which formed representative and sample for the study. It was discovered that children from broken homes perform badly than children from stable and happy homes.
Furthermore, the findings proved that children from monogamous homes perform better in schools than their counterparts from polygamous homes. The study proffered suggestions to alleviate the identified problems.
The importance of education cannot be over emphasised. The problems in this research are that education has a tremendous impact on one’s life. Therefore, the home is the primary source of education for a child. Every child has his or her own home background.
Education is of vital importance to the individual as well as to the nation. Therefore, the home background of a child dictates the progress of an individual in a learning situation.
One cause of broken homes is hinged on time management.
Retired principal and counsellor in a prison ministry in Lagos, Lawrence Ikeguonu said child (and eventually) adult delinquency is a product of unsettled or uncaring family structure.
“Many parents neglect their homes at the expense of their work. I can’t imagine homes that care less about their children just because they must meet official and business appointments. Everyone is busy but the ability to draw up good working schedule makes a perfect parent and therefore a perfect home,” he told The Daily Times.
The corruption and insurgency factor
Social scientists in series of investigative studies have revealed that corruption, insurgency and all forms of vices in societies across the globe are manifestations of adult delinquency as well as hallmarks of broken homes which, the researchers say, are direct products of dysfunctional family structure.
In a comparative assessment of the impact of family structure/quality on delinquency and functional factors in the human persona, author and Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati, Patricia Van Voorhis and colleagues, authors Francis Cullen (Professor of Criminal Justice and Sociology at the University of Cincinnati), Richard A. Mathers (Chair of the Department of Sociology and Associate Professor at Western Illinois University) and Connie Chenoweth Gamer, a Sociology Professor from Western Illinois University, revealed that despite the plethora of studies of broken homes, multivariate studies comparing the effects of the broken home and other theoretically relevant measures of the quality of family life are rare.
In a paper presented at the annual meeting of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, St. Louis, Missouri, USA, the researchers examined the family structure versus family function issue by testing the comparative effects on self-reported delinquency of family structure and five measures of family function.
Of five types of delinquency discussed, two types of family structure examined include presence of both biological parents in the home versus other and single versus two-parent homes.
The data were obtained from a survey of 152 high school students in a small Midwestern town. Item analysis and data reduction techniques were employed to construct six family quality indices and five delinquency indices.
Family size was also cited as a factor which can differentiate between delinquents and non-delinquents, with delinquents seen as more likely to come from larger families. The study found that there exists a significant difference between a mean of 6.85 children in the delinquents’ families and 5.90 in the non-delinquents’ families.
‘Most delinquent” boys were classified more often from large families, but it was found that no such relationship for existed for girls.
This differential in the relationship between family size and delinquency is not restricted to sex differences. Several writers have suggested that large families may have a varying relationship to different types of delinquent offenses.
One of the most important aspects of family relations, closely related to the concept of broken or unbroken homes, is the quality of parental marital adjustment.
Author Browning (1990) dealt with marital adjustment and family solidarity and found that both of these bore a significant relationship to truancy and auto theft; the two types of delinquency he studied.
Among boys and girls from completely “happy” homes — 23 and 22 percent, respectively, were “most delinquent’; from “unhappy homes” — 46 and 49 percent.
The research found that significantly, more delinquents than non-delinquents had parents with poor conjugal relations (31.2 percent: 14.9 percent). It was also found that marked family cohesiveness was present in 61.8 percent of the non-delinquents’ homes but in only 16 percent of the delinquents’.
In a report study of Washington State schoolchildren, 52 percent of the ‘most delinquent” boys called their families “uncooperative”, compared to 16 percent of the boys in the “conformist” category.
Some causes of broken homes
In many homes, it was found that some partners are pathologically secretive in their attitude and way of life. They smile when you expect them to react to something serious you know that hurt them. Instead of opening up, they bottle up their emotions and never share their feelings about any issue with their partners.
Others would even go to the extent of over monitoring the schedule of their partners. This shows the lack of trust and confidence in the home.
“If partners will learn to overlook some issues and be openly conversational with one another, relationships will be more stable,” Social worker,” Dr. Maxwell Onifede said in the course of this study. “Money is good but interaction will never let a family down”.
Liberty over exercised
The spirit of the letters of the word “help-mate” in the home has lost its meaning as a result of “right” and liberty between couples.
“Some spouses sees their partners as slaves putting all duties especially the house chores on them. I see no evil if a man decides to cook dinner for his family. But over-consciousness of being called a fool is affecting the
mentality of most people,” he added.
To err is human
Humans are bound to make mistakes. Over reaction to these mistakes may sometimes determine the structure and duration of a home. Some people react irrationally to some issues that need to be settled amicably. When the man is angry, what is expected of the wife is to be quiet and vice versa because two mad people cannot build a house,
instead, they will set it on fire.
Two is company
Since there is bound to be disagreement in the home, the cautious thing to do is, settle it amicably in the four corners of the house and not calling on outsiders or members of the extended family because it will not always work out that way. The best way is to settle it between yourselves.
In a separate study, early researchers found that tests of the relationships between broken homes and delinquency were not significant, except for a moderate relationship between broken homes and status offences.
For example, a bivariate relation between single-parent homes and delinquency was observed for status offences
only. Other forms of family dysfunction all were significantly related to overall delinquency and to status offences.
As a result of methodological limitations, prior research may have artificially attenuated the magnitude of the broken homes/delinquency relationship. As a result of theoretical limitations also, prior research has achieved only limited success in identifying the mechanism through which broken homes may promote delinquency.
The present study addresses both issues using a national probability sample of 1, 725 adolescents.
Results suggest that divorce/separation early in life course may be more strongly related to delinquency than prior research implies and that remarriage during adolescence may be strongly associated with status offending.
Overall, results also suggest that association with defiant peers and attitudes favourable to delinquency account for the broken homes/delinquency relationship better than do a number of alternative explanations.
Family structure and anti-social behaviour
On the relationship between parental cohabitation and blended households (on the one part) and correlation fragments between family structure and anti-social behaviour (on the other part), authors Robert Apel and Catherine Kaukinen in a paper jointly presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) and at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) drew these conclusions:
Intact and non-intact families
The American family in the last few decades has undergone considerable change, with less than half of all adolescents residing with two married biological parents.
Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, the researchers constructed an elaborate measure of family structure and found considerable heterogeneity in the risk of antisocial and delinquent behavior among groups of youth who reside in what are traditionally dichotomized as intact and non-intact families.
In particular, it was found that youth in “intact” families differ in important ways, depending on whether the two biological parents are married or cohabiting and on whether they have children from a previous relationship.
In addition, it was found that youth who reside with a single biological parent who cohabits with a non-biological partner exhibit an unusually high rate of anti-social behavior, especially if the custodial parent is the biological father.
With governments across the world struggling to accommodate and raise delinquent youths in correction and bolster homes for boys and girls as well as curtail the ever rising crime by offspring of broken homes in the society, no glimmer of light appears to be shining at the end of the long tunnel of a stable family, crime free society, in the foreseeable future.