ASSESSMENT OF THE INFLUENCE OF SINGLEHOOD ON PSYCHOLOGICAL WELL-BEING OF SECONDARY SCHOOL TEACHERS IN PLATEAU STATE, NIGERIA
The research work is on assessment of the influence of singlehood on psychological well-being of secondary school teachers in plateau state, Nigeria. The study had five specific objectives, five research questions and four null hypotheses. Descriptive survey research design was used for the study. The population of the study was 827 single teachers in secondary schools in Plateau state. 182 single teachers were used as sample for the study. Structured questionnaire was used as instrument for data collection. Face to face method of delivery was used to distribute the questionnaire with the help of four research assistants. 182 copies of questionnaire were distributed and all were duly completed and returned. Frequency and percentages were used to describe the bio-data of the respondents. Mean score and standard deviation were used to answer the research questions earlier raised in chapter one of the study, t-test statistics was used to test all the null hypothesis at p= 0.05 (5%) level of significance. Based on the findings the result revealed that lack of desperateness to get married among teachers, high expectations concerning ho to marry, looking for someone with the right qualities, arrange marriage problems by parents and not realizing that time was not by their side are the main causes of singlehood among secondary school teachers in Plateau State. It was also revealed that singlehood has no difference in harmonious relationship among male and female secondary school teachers with their family members, friends and colleagues in Plateau State. The result further indicated that singlehood has no difference in interdependence among male and female secondary school single teachers with their family members, friends and colleagues in Plateau State. It was also revealed that singlehood has no difference in acceptance among male and female secondary school single teachers. Based on the findings of this study it was concluded that singlehood has no significance difference in the psychological wellbeing of male and female secondary school single teachers
with their family members friends and colleagues in Plateau State
1.1 Background to the Study
Singlehood is a unique stage of life in every individual; it is characterized by a lot of things. Such as; non-involvement in a stable romantic, sexual, intimate and committed relationship or marriage. However, this stage of life is viewed differently, by some as most challenging, tempting and very crucial stage of life. This is also viewed as the peak period; if not careful any decision taken at this stage can either make or mar an individual. During this period, achievable goals for the future are determined and the opportunity to set the pace for a better/greater future be it career choice, financial management, marriage prospect and the need to live a purposeful, successful and fulfilled future or destiny are arrived at.
Singlehood is defined as the state of being unmarried, Noel, (2017). It also describes the status of an individual who is under no legal, traditional or spiritual binding called marriage; this is for both males and females Inemeh, (2015). At this stage in life there is always a high level of family, friends, societal pressures, tension, worries and signals to be involved in a relationship that can possibly lead to marriage, This is however, a challenge to young people. The anxiety of making the right choice, making decision on spousal or marital partner becomes very paramount on the singles’ priority list.
Psychological well-being has been described as the cornerstone of mental health. According to the World Health Organization (2011), mental health is, ―a state of wellbeing in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community‖, While traditionally, psychological wellbeing has been defined by a lack of symptom distress (i.e., lack of depression, anxiety, and other symptoms of mental disorders), over time, the term has taken on a more positive definition (Keyes & Magyar-Moe, 2003). Psychological well-being is usually conceptualized as some combination of positive affective states such as happiness and functioning with optimal effectiveness in individual and social life Deci & Ryan, (2008). Huppert (2009) defined ―Psychological well-being as life going well. It is the combination of feeling good and functioning effectively.‖ Psychological well-being has become increasingly recognized as more than just an absence of distressful symptoms, but now includes positive qualities individuals possess that can lead to mental health. A person who is considered as having good mental health is one who assumes the responsibilities that a person of his or her age intellectual and physical capacity should assume as well as carry them out Udoh and Ajala, (2005).
Mental health includes both emotional stability and maturity of character, and also the strength to withstand stress inherent in living in today’s society without undue physical and psychological discomfort. Mental health also implies the ability to judge reality accurately and to see things in terms of long range rather than short term values. With regards to interpersonal relationships, mental health means the ability to love, to be able to sustain affectionate relationships with other persons. Mental health also demands satisfaction of needs such as hunger, thirst, sex, self assertiveness, self-esteem and self actualization in such a way that neither self nor other persons are hurt. Recent models of positive functioning have been designed that explain key aspects of psychological well-being. Major concepts include empowerment; recovery-oriented elements such as hope, self-initiation, and purpose in life; individual, environmental, and systems based sources of psychological well-being; and subjectively perceived dimensions of positive functioning (Autonomy, Environmental Mastery, Self- Acceptance, etc.). Models of positive functioning are based on the notion that cultivating and promoting an individual’s strengths and capabilities can potentially enhance one’s psychological well-being as well as protect individuals from symptoms of psychological distress (Office of the Surgeon General, 1999).
Sinha and Verma in Bhagchandani (2017) said that Psychological well-being is a multidimensional concept. After factor analysis, it was revealed that cheerfulness, optimism, playfulness, self-control, a sense of detachment and freedom from frustration, anxiety and loneliness are indicators of psychological well-being. A person, who has a high degree of psychological well-being, excels in all fields, carries higher levels of satisfaction and self-esteem and has able thoughts about oneself or others. It emphasizes positive characteristics of growth and development. In recent times psychologists and social scientists have conducted surveys to measure psychological well-being and subjective well-being among people. Psychological wellbeing generally means how people evaluate their own lives. It means a person’s own perspective regarding their social life, relationships, job satisfaction etc. These persons can be male or female. According to Diener (2011) these evaluations can be from two perspectives i.e. Cognitive and Affective. The Cognitive evaluation includes information based appraisal. This means that the evaluation is mostly fact based, about the amount of satisfaction that a person has with his current life status. The Affective evaluation is the indulgent kind. It is mostly a feelings based evaluation. This kind of evaluation includes how many times a person experiences the feelings of happiness and sadness. The assumption behind this is that people give a lot of importance to good and bad; and hence, they evaluate their lives in the same way i.e. good or bad which also affect how they relate harmoniously with others in the society.
Harmonious relationship is understood to be relationships and interactions between two or more people, and involve communicating between people and their social world. People can have harmonious relations with their immediate and/or extended family and with non-family members
(e.g., friends, co-workers, and community members). It is also believed that single individuals’ relationship with others including the way they interact, communicate, converse and cohabit is not as harmonious as expected thereby affecting their psychological wellbeing. Other indices of psychological wellbeing of singlehood that may be affected include interdependence and acceptance. The interdependence of singlehood involves how the singles mutually depend and rely on one another, their ability to assist friends, families, coworkers and the society at large. The acceptance of singlehood has to do with the ability of the singles to accept and subdue situations they found themselves in, and relinquishing upsetting thought, Therefore, people with high Psychological well-being will report feeling happy, capable, well-supported, satisfied with life, and so on.
The dimensions of psychological well-being this research study will look into include harmony (experiencing peaceful and happy interactions with others), interdependence (providing assistance to and receiving assistance from family members and others) and acceptance
(relinquishing upsetting thoughts and accepting life’s circumstances).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Singlehood is a normative and expected social role in youth and early adulthood; however, with increased age, the likelihood of marrying diminishes, and the meaning of singlehood often changes, as it may be seen as a permanent state. A close interaction with some unmarried friends revealed that, singlehood is associated with different types of problems, ranging from emotional insecurity, loneliness, inferiority complex, societal pressure, among others. Singles feel insecure and experience various mental conflicts and the pain of living life of utter loneliness Udoh and Ajala, (2005). These singles complained of having no one with whom they will share their deep concerns with, their happiness and sorrows, They are sometimes forced to stay late in their places of work, most especially those of them teaching in boarding secondary schools so that they can while away time, but they still admit to be unsatisfied with that, even while family and friends sufficed for the aspect of companionship in some events, some ladies explained why having a romantic partner is different.
The Researcher’s interaction with some unmarried individuals revealed that the singles would like to know that there is someone there for them, who love them and has chosen to spend his or her life time with him or her. Therefore, stability, safety, support, and comfort are all attributes a man or woman wants and believes a romantic relationship can bring. Also, the researcher witnessed a situation where by an unmarried lady decided to have two children outside wedlock because she was approaching menopause. Under such circumstances, it is natural that the never married suffer from numerous psychological problems like depression, social isolation, loneliness, societal pressures, among others, that may affect their psychological well-being. It was based on this background that the researcher assessed the influence of singlehood on psychological well-being of secondary school teachers in Plateau State, Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The major objective of the study was to assess the influence of singlehood on psychological well-being of secondary school teachers in plateau state, Nigeria. Specific objectives of the study were to:
- assess the causes of singlehood among male and female secondary school teachers in
- assess the differences in singlehood on harmonious relationship (communication, agreement), among male and female secondary school teachers and their family members, friends and colleagues in Plateau State.
- evaluate the differences in singlehood on interdependence (mutual dependence, reliance on one another), among male and female secondary school teachers and their family members, friends and colleagues in Plateau State.
- evaluate the differences in singlehood on acceptance (receive, admit and consent) among male and female secondary school teachers and their family members, friends and colleagues in Plateau State.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions were raised and answered.
- What are the causes of singlehood among male and female secondary school teachers in Plateau State?
- What is the difference in singlehood on harmonious relationship (communication, agreement) among male and female secondary school single teachers and their family members, friends and colleagues in Plateau State?
- What is the difference in singlehood on interdependence (mutual dependence, reliance on one another) among male and female secondary single school teachers and their family members, friends and colleagues in Plateau State?
- What is the difference in singlehood on acceptance (receive, admit and consent) among male and female secondary school single teachers and their family members, friends and colleagues in Plateau State?
1.5 Null Hypotheses
The following null hypotheses were formulated and tested at 0.05 levels of significance.
HO1 There is no significant difference in the causes of singlehood among male and female secondary school single teachers.
HO2 There is no significant difference in harmonious relationship among male and female secondary school single teachers and their family members, friends and colleagues.
HO3 There is no significant difference in interdependence among male and female unmarried secondary school teachers and their family members, friends and colleagues.
HO4 There is no significant difference in acceptance among male and female unmarried secondary school teachers and their family members, friends and colleagues.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The result of this study is beneficial to all unmarried teachers, future researchers Home Economics teachers, Curriculum planners and the community.
It is expected that the result of these findings will benefit the single teachers to adjust their life style; this would be through making a copy of this research available in their school libraries for them to have access to.
The future researchers also stand a better chance of benefiting from this research as they will make use of the findings and literature for further research on closely and distant related problems. This work will reach the future researchers through their respective institutional libraries and the internet.
The community will also benefit from the result of this work through the media e.g. radio and television, so that they can accept and bear with the feelings of the singles.
The Home Economics teachers will benefit from the findings of this work through the Home Economics teachers’ Association conferences, seminars and workshops both at the national and state levels, as it will help them to know how best to teach their students especially when they are treating topics on courtship and marriage.
The result of this work will benefit the curriculum planners through the media, as it will help them in the development of the curriculum so that the topics that are appropriate for a particular age and class are included in the curriculum.
1.7 Basic Assumptions
This study was based on the assumptions that:
- Single teachers have low self esteem and so they are unfriendly in terms of
communication with their family members, co-workers, friends, and others in the society.
- Single teachers seem not to give and receive assistance from friends, family members and co-workers.
- Single teachers vary themselves, as they are devoted on their job.
1.8. Delimitation of the Study
This study was delimited to the assessment of the influence of singlehood on psychological wellbeing of secondary school teachers in Plateau State, Nigeria. The study was also delimited to harmonious relationship, interdependence and acceptance as indices of psychological well-being. It was also delimited to male and female single teachers who are between ages 35-58years and are teaching in secondary schools in Plateau State, Nigeria. The reason for this focus was because, teachers are responsible for imparting knowledge, so they are suppose to be in good condition of well-being , they should enjoy physical, spiritual, mental, and social well-being, once any of these is affected , the quality of teaching received by the students is also affected.
The reason for the focus in the age limit between 35-58 years is because, at these ages, the secondary school teachers are still in Government service.
ASSESSMENT OF THE INFLUENCE OF SINGLEHOOD ON PSYCHOLOGICAL WELL-BEING OF SECONDARY SCHOOL TEACHERS IN PLATEAU STATE, NIGERIA