Assessment of the pyschological impact of distant marriages on families among teachers in Mazabuka, Zambia.

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Nyendwa, Maria
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The University of Zambia
The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of distant marriages on families among teachers in Mazabuka, Zambia. In order to assess the impact of distant marriages on families among teachers in selected schools in Mazabuka, four objectives guided this study that is; To assess the prevalence of distance marriages in study district, establish factors that might have led to distance marriages in the study district, to assess the psychological impact of distant marriages on families of teachers in the district and finally to ascertain measures that ought to be taken to reduce on the psychological impacts of distance marriages. Four main components of family focused on this study were; couples relationship, psychological impact, parenting, finances and communication. This study adopted a descriptive survey research design. The target population comprised of teachers and families of teachers. In this study a non-random sampling procedure known as Purposive sampling was appropriate used to select the Head teacher’s, Teachers, families of teachers in the targeted schools of Mazabuka district. 10 Head teachers were randomly selected using simple random sampling, 20 Primary and Secondary school class teachers and 10 families of teachers. A total sample of 40 respondents were selected. School class teachers and families of teachers randomly selected while head teachers were purposively selected. Questionnaires, interview guide, focused group discussions were used to collect data. In this study the qualitative and quantitative data that was collected was coded using thematic analysis to ensure fast and efficient processing and identification of themes. The data collected in this research was also analyzed using excel. Findings were presented by use of percentages, tables, and pie charts. Three main factors contributed to distant marriages among teachers were employment, economic factor and career advancement. Specifically the absence of a spouse impacted negatively on a couples sexual relationships, where most of the respondents were sexually unfulfilled, others were emotionally distant with absent spouse while others cited the existence of infidelity in the family and frequent conflicts. Children who were significant members of the family were equally affected by the absence of a parent. Financial pressures and communication were aspects of a family affected by absence of spouse/parent as recorded by the respondents. Respondents indicated that issuing of transfers to couples involved in distance marriages can be one solution that can reduce the increase in distance marriages. The conclusion of this study was that distance marriage is an emotional issue that needs to address using the measures mentioned above by the relevant authority. Based on the findings, the following recommendations were made; improvement on transfer systems, the need to train more teachers, during postings teachers should be given opportunities to choose were to be posted, teachers should be allowed to seek the aid of on or off-base social service and finally families should prepare for experiences in distance marriages by attending counselling. Further, students should be conducted focusing on the absent spouse and singles in long distance relationships.
Distant marriages.