1.1 Background of the Study
Available statistics of separation cases in Bolgatanga indicated that one thousand, five hundred and ninety-seven (1,597) registered marriages were dissolved by the registry during the period of five (5) years (Bolga High Court Marriage Registry, 2012). The statistics showed that one hundred and ninety-four (194) marriages were dissolved in the year 2007; two hundred and twenty-nine (229) marriages were dissolved in 2008 while two hundred and eighty-seven (287) marriages were dissolved in 2009. Further to that, three hundred and twenty-four (324) marriages were dissolved in 2010 and three hundred and thirty (330) marriages were dissolved in 2011, respectively. Between January and April of 2012, the Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly (BMA) also recorded a total of two thousand, nine hundred and seventeen (2,917) dissolved customary marriages which covered a period of six years. These alarming statistics underscore the seriousness of the problem of separation no matter the factors that led to it adultery, incompatibility, poor communication, financial problem, abusive behaviour, lack of commitment to it, alcohol and drug abuse and mental illness. Parental separation rates in the U.S. are at 50% for first marriages, and subsequent marriages are 2.5 times more likely to end in separation. Academics are one of the most important aspects of a student’s life, with good grades, students are able to get into colleges and universities, and allow them to earn degrees in order to obtain jobs that they want. If the relationship between the student’s parents is unstable and filled with conflict, this can alter the student’s academic performance. (Afifi, 2013; Brown, 2012; Overland, 2012).
Udansky and Wolf (2008) identified single parenting as a major problem on the rise. Parent separations is a common phenomenon in the community today, but still represent a major life stressor for the individuals involved, with potentially strong negative consequences for the mental and physical health of all members of the family. The effect of separation on child academic performance has been the subject of research attention for several decades, and has long been viewed as the cause of a range of serious and enduring behavioural and emotional problems in children and adolescents (Kelly & Emery, 2003).
Park and Kim (2003) argued that the mother traditionally’ play substantial role in the care of the family. The mothers’ cares for them, listens to their problems and provide solutions. Mothers are very important in ensuring a happy childhood and meaningfully adult life for their children. The parent child relationship studies indicate that a father can contribute uniquely to the development of the child independently of the mother’s contribution. However, when issues on factors such as emotional, intelligence, self-esteem, competence and confidence come up, the father cannot be replaced easily by the mother (Park and Kim 2003).