Childlessness and its coping strategies among couples in Lafia Local Government Area, Nasarawa State, Nigeria
Keywords:Childlessness, coping strategies, Lafia, couples, family
Background: Childlessness can steal joy in the family as it poses an overwhelming effect on the mental state of couples. Couples’ ability to cope with childlessness-related stress to a greater measure relies on which sort of coping strategies more commonly in use by childless couples. Related literature has emphasised the effects of childlessness on childless couples. However, there is no enough empirical study to investigate the effects of childlessness and its coping strategies among couples.
Objective: This study sought to examine the effects of childlessness and its coping strategies among couples.
Methodology: A descriptive cross-sectional survey design and purposive sampling method. A structured questionnaire (which served as the instrument for the study) was developed by the researcher. A total of 120 couples facing difficulties in having children responded to the instrument that provided data for the study. Descriptive statistics such as frequency counts, percentages and mean scores were used to answer the research questions.
Result: The findings revealed that the use of self-controlling strategy such as trying trying to control emotions, Positive reappraisal coping strategies such as channelling couples effort to do something creative, seeking social support such as reading/listening or watching programs on television on infertility and emotional support coping strategies were important to help couples to cope with their situation.
Unique contribution: This study has provided additional empirical data to support the position that childlessness can be managed effectively through the coping strategies.
Conclusion: The types of coping mechanisms childless couples utilize more frequently has a significant impact on their ability to adapt to the stress caused by childlessness.
Key recommendation: Couples who are childless must be tolerated, couples should always communicate to themselves, couples with childlessness issue should be given support by their family members and friends and should be encouraged to go for counselling.
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