INFLUENCE OF MATE SELECTION AND SELF-DISCLOSURE ON MARITAL STABILITY AMONG COUPLES. A RESEARCH PROJECT TOPICS ON GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING
The descriptive research design was used in the study. The questionnaire was used to assess the opinions of the selected respondents with the collection of relevant data from them, while the sampling technique was used to select the sample size of the study.
A total of 120 (One hundred and twenty) respondents were selected by the application of the stratified sampling technique. Also, a total of four (4) null hypotheses were stated and tested with the application of independent t-test statistical tool at 0.05 level of significance.
At the end of the tests, it was found that a significant relationship between mate selection and couples marital stability exist; and that a significant relationship exists between self-disclosure and marital stability among couples. Furthermore, the findings showed that no significant gender difference exists in self-disclosure among couples, and it was finally found that there is no significant difference in marital stability between couples who disclosed themselves and those who did not. All the hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance. Two null hypotheses were accepted and two were rejected.
1.1 Background to the Study
The choice of a mate is a problem that human beings share with most other animals, because successful reproduction is central to natural selection. Peahens choose among most attractive peacocks, female elephant seals and even promiscuous chimpanzees exercise choice about their chimps with which they will be promiscuous (Broude, 1994). In every human society in the world, methods have been evolved for people to pair up and eventually get married in order to establish their own families. For most of the societies, this process was largely controlled by parents and kins in early days. Parents usually had direct control through strong community and kinship networks that exerted pressure on youths to conform to traditional norms. Only few societies, if there is any, allow young people to choose partners without the approval of parents and/or other relatives. It is when people remain in their communities or places of birth, that the bond of strong kin, networks is crucial in mate selection (Ekiran, 1996). Although mate selection process was once controlled by parents, it has now become much a matter of personal choice by the young lovers.
Blossfed (1994), identified some methods of mate selection among individuals which include:
a. Arranged method of mate selection.
b. Self-selection method.
c. Mate selection by friends.
d. Mate selection through others.
According to Blossfed, parents choose spouses. Bankole (1991) observed that the general practice is for a father to look for a girl for his son to marry. the preliminary steps usually begin around puberty. According to Fadipe (1990) the usual age for girl’s betrothal start from ten years. Sometimes girls are said to have been marked out from childhood as intended wife for a particular young man with or without her knowledge. This however, may begin as a kind of joke between the two families involved, but with time the intention becomes more serious and often times, results to marriage. According to Fadipe (1990), this method of mate selection is true of the Yoruba people of the South-West Nigeria, and other ethnic groups in the nation during the early days.
As Adesomoju (2000) puts it, when an individual chooses his or her marital partner, this could be regarded as the self-selection method. This method was very uncommon in the early days, although it seldomly happened. Self-choice is the most prevailing method today. This is because since young people in search of higher education and better employment opportunities leave the rural areas for the urban centres, they are largely out of the control of their parents and as such, they choose marital partners by themselves. The factors at work can be summed up as: a change in economy, the decline of rural areas, the rapid growth of some occupations and the decline of others, the lure of the cities, the new opportunities far from home, the importance of education, and the relative emancipation of women, all of which led young men and women to seek more independence from their parents. Self-selection method is more pronounced among remarried couples than first marriage couples.