Socio-economic factors influencing single parenting among unmarried mothers In Nigeria
Owolabi, Temitope Joshua
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The adoption of single-parent households, when compared to the traditional nuclear family, has increased over the years. Despite the fact that single parenting is not a recent phenomenon in Nigeria, little is known and recorded about single women who were never married. Therefore, this study focuses on, and investigates single, unmarried mothers, analyzing their experiences with particular regard to why they chose not to get married despite having children. In order to better understand how single parenting affects unmarried mothers in Nigeria, socio-economic aspects must be examined. The study also aims to investigate how single parenting among unmarried mothers in Nigeria is influenced by factors like as age, education, family history, and perceived economic benefits. The theoretical framework was drawn largely from some micro sociological theories which explain the actions of individuals within their social space. The study drew on the symbolic interactionism theory, theories of social exchange, economic hardship, and intersectional feminism. By using the descriptive meanings that individuals have ascribed to things, happenings, and actions, symbolic interactionists examine society. The study utilized a non-experimental mixed research method in investigating the role of socio-economic factors on single parenting in Nigeria. A combination of quantitative and qualitative methods was used. Facebook was the tool used to reach out to gather quantitative data from 450 respondents. Skype and WhatsApp calls were also used to gather qualitative data among 30 single mothers who served as participants. Findings showed that certain unmarried single mothers opted not to remain with a partner due to their experiences as children and the fact that they were at some time mistreated and molested by males. Secondly, one significant factor in why women refuse marriage is the globalization of women's economic empowerment. Economic freedom and opportunity lessen women's interest in marriage for financial gain, particularly if women have a reliable and steady source of income. Some women were pregnant while still dating their partners, and the man virtually always rejected the pregnancy. Due to such circumstances, some women had to take care for their children on their own, with some of them receiving minimal assistance from some of their significant others. It was also shown that women did, in fact, want to remain as single mothers and to avoid getting married. The major argument was that they were unable to withstand the suffering and sorrow that other women experienced under the authority of their men, particularly those who abused and molested their wives. Because women did not want to be under men's abusive rule of thumb or have to cope with any emotional problems, several participants indicated they appreciated single parenting and the freedom that comes along with it. Therefore, the study suggests that interventions should emphasize encouraging contraceptive usage to prevent undesired pregnancies, as they have been linked to teen and adolescent premarital childbirth, which often results in single parenting. Because girls are the ones most negatively impacted by single parenting, every female child has to be encouraged to pursue an education, get credentials and develop skills that will improve their life as adults. Finally, the study suggests the need to create awareness programs on the value of marriage as a social institution, which is gravely undervalued among many young adult women and single moms in Nigeria.
- Humanities