Licencing Abstract The study examined prevalence and factors responsible for cohabitation among undergraduates of Adekunle Ajasin University, Ondo State, Nigeria. The population for the study consisted of all the undergraduates of the university, four hundred and fifty students were randomly selected from the six faculties. One research question was raised and three hypotheses were generated based on variables of age, gender and religious affiliation.
The findings showed that the first and third hypotheses indicated no significant difference in cohabitation on the basis of age and faculties. Whereas, the second hypothesis indicated that significant difference existed on the basis of religious affiliation. The study therefore recommended that counselling should be given on regular basis to students on the need for good moral and chaste living. Parents, University authority and religious bodies should try to alleviate the problem of cohabitation by providing suitable, conducive and affordable accommodation within the University environment.
Background to the Study Cohabitation among students has now become very rampant in most institutions of higher learning. The non-residential accommodation in many higher institutions tend to encourage this new trend of students cohabiting, unlike what was in operation in the olden times. Thus within a short time, Nigerian tertiary institutions began to experience challenge of inadequate hostel accommodation 5 , because the population of students continues to grow without corresponding growth in the number of halls of residence and other physical facilities.
Therefore, cohabitation became the order of the day among the students in higher institutions of learning. Cohabitation is an act of a man and woman living together and sometimes sharing marital intimacy without being legally married Alo 3 asserted that premarital cohabitation has become a common phenomenon among Nigerian University Undergraduates.
Cohabitation among individuals of opposite sex is a predisposing factor to the initiation of sexual activities Cohabitation results in two independent people almost like room-mate, who are sexually involved, instead of being committed to one another for the rest of their lives Students who should to be engaged in serious academic pursuit often end up performing below expectation because of all these distractions.
Martin, Martin and Martin 13 corroborated this idea that the number of young adults engaging in premarital sexual behavior has increased to 60 percent in the last 20years. The World Health Organizations 20 equally observed that premarital sexual activities among young adults are high and increasing in Africa with the inclusion of Nigeria.
According to Arisukwu 6 , cohabitation has serious health effect on the female students who may indulge in the use of oral contraceptive in order to avoid unwanted pregnancy which may truncate their educational aspirations. Should pregnancy occur, such female students are more likely to seek abortion as an alternative 6. This has serious health challenges for such students who may visit quack doctors and medical practitioners without adequate experiences and qualifications Some may frown at abortion and thus give birth to unwanted babies who may not be properly catered for by these students.
Cohabitation among university students has led to moral decadence in the society. According to the AAUA Vice Chancellor , living together and having sexual relationship without being married is a trend that has virtually eroded the level of morality among youth, particularly students of higher institutions.
It has been observed that many of these students cohabiting do not necessarily get to the level of marriage after all. Many of such relationship often end abruptly. Rena 18 confirmed that couples who cohabit before marriage have a 50 percent high divorce rate than those who do not. Ogunsola 16 in his research findings on premarital behaviours as determinant of marital stability observed that premarital cohabitations has no positive effect on marital stability of the couples in Oyo state, Nigeria.
Cohabitation is totally against the norms and values of African society. Allowing young unmarried couple live together especially where they do not have family affinity is often regarded as an albatross 6. Whereas, some students cohabit without allowing their parents to know about it, some parents are the ones encouraging their children to do so due to their inability to meet their basic needs.
Many of these students are exposed to risk and harm as they cohabit. Students who cohabit are vulnerable and susceptible to attack and abuse by both outsiders and even their partners. Formerly, the culture of premarital sexual behaviours used to be a taboo in Nigeria 3. Unfortunately however, the contemporary youths have abandoned this valued tradition for inglorious culture of premarital sexual activities 1. Age is an important factor that could influence cohabitation among university students.
Now, there are many students that entered the university being very young, hence many of them are naive. This is buttressed by the findings of Ogunbamila 15 that indicated that early young adults were mostly prone to premarital sexual behaviours.
Cohabitation is common among undergraduates because many of them are being free for the first time; hence, they tend to enjoy the freedom, independence and are less monitored by either their parents or guardians.
Alo and Akinde 4 stated that cohabitation and sexual behaiours are more common with them, since their age range falls between 15 — 24 years. Adeoye et al 1 in their study on premarital sexual behaviours among undergraduates in Nigerian universities found the age categories of 14 years and 19 — 25 years to have experienced premarital sexual behaviour at the same level.
Martin, Martin and Martin 13 found that individuals within the ages of 15 — 17 years were more involved in premarital sexual behaviours than those in the late young adulthood.
The issue of religion is equally an important variable in cohabitation among undergraduates. Studies indicated that those with religious affiliations are less likely to cohabit than those without religious affiliations 10 , Gault-Sherman and Draper 9 equally observed that individual religiosity is positively associated with more traditional family attitudes and behaviour.
They further stated that norms regarding family formation, behaviour of individual are commonly shaped and reinforced by religious institutions. It seems there is a decline in religious authority and there are dramatic changes in religious structures 8 , 11 , Religious inclination notwithstanding, contemporary adolescents tend to do what they desire without any serious consideration for their religious beliefs.
Statement of Problem Cohabitation among undergraduates has become a contemporary issue plaguing many higher institutions of learning. Many students tend to lose sight of why they are in school and are preoccupied with the unessential issues. This tends to course lots of distraction for many students. The purpose why they are in school is forgotten to other responsibilities not related to learning. Alo and Akinde 4 observed that cohabitation and sexual behaviours are more common with these youths.
The culture of chastity and purity is no longer promoted and encouraged among these youths. Admission to higher institution is considered liberty and freedom to do whatever they like. This has turned many ladies to street girls and prostitutes. AAUA VC 2 asserted that cohabitation among unmarried students has been on the rise and if deliberate and pragmatic steps are not taken by all stakeholders including management of tertiary institutions, parents and religious leaders, this anomaly will continue to rise unabated and the society will ultimately suffer for it.
This is a serious call, hence something drastic must be done to stop this menace which is threatening the survival of our youths in higher institutions. Although some work have been done by Bello and Ogunsanwo 7 on psychological consequences of cohabitation among Tai Solarin University of Education, Ogun State, Nigeria, 6 researched on cohabitation among University of Ibadan undergraduate students.
Ogungbamila 15 worked on demographic predictors of premarital sexual behaviours among undergraduates. Despite all these research efforts the incidence of cohabitation still persist among students in higher institutions especially students in Adekunle Ajasin University. Hence these researchers are interested in assessing the prevalence and factors responsible for cohabitation among AAUA students. One research question and three hypotheses were formulated to guide the study.
What is the prevalence of cohabitation among the university students? Research Hypotheses 1 There is no significant difference in cohabitation on the basis of age among undergraduates in the university. Methodology The research design adopted for this study is descriptive survey. The population for the study includes all the university undergraduates of Adekunle Ajasin University, Ondo State, Nigeria.
The sample comprised four hundred and fifty students randomly stratified from six faculties in the University. This involves random selection of male and female students from each of the six faculties. The questionnaire was constructed using items from reviewed literature.
Twenty items were used to elicit response from the respondents. Four points Likert-type scale format of strongly agreed, agreed, disagreed and strongly disagreed were used to elicit response from the respondents.
To ascertain the validity and reliability of the instruments it was given to experts in the departments of Guidance and Counselling and Test and Measurement. Suggestions were made and correction effected to enhance the efficiency and usability of the instrument.
The reliability of 0. The questionnaire was administered by the researchers and other co-opted research assistants to the undergraduates. The students were administered with the questionnaire and it was retrieved immediately. Result The result on Table 1 indicate item by item analysis of rank orders on the prevalence of cohabitation among AAUA undergraduates items, 6,1,12,20,4 and 2 were ranked 1st-6th positions respectively.
Item6 has the highest mean of 3. The last in the serial number is item 2 which had the mean of 2. Hypothesis 1 — There is no significant difference between cohabitation on the basis of age among undergraduates in the university. Mean and rank order of prevalence of cohabitation among University undergraduates Download as.