African Journal of Social Work

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Prevalence, causes and consequences of divorce in Bahir Dar city, Ethiopia

Yeshiwork Mekonnen, Koye Kassa, Meseret Ayalew


This study investigated the prevalence, causes and consequences of  divorce in Bahir Dar City, Ethiopia. Mixed methods design was employed for the study and both qualitative and quantitative data were collected. For the quantitative data 361 randomly selected households and for the qualitative part 8 divorcees and 8 purposively selected community and religious  leaders participated. Questionnaires were used to collect quantitative data while qualitative data were collected through interviews, focus group  discussions and document analysis. The quantitative data were analyzed quantitatively using percentage and mean while the qualitative data were narrated and paraphrased. The result of the study indicated that the prevalence of divorce in three consecutive years (2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16) were 24%, 26.28% and 49.72% respectively. Moreover, the data from questionnaire respondents indicate that 46.5% of households were divorced. The major causes of divorce fall under psychological, social and economical issues respectively. The conclusion of the study is that unless interventions are made the rate of divorce will continue resulting in the psychosocial and economic crises. Hence based on the findings of the study, it is recommended that short term training on marriage counseling need to be designed for elderly and religious leaders. Intervention and prevention programs need to be established where married people access professional family counseling services in their surroundings. Additionally, different community based and nongovernmental organizations are  expected to give pre-marriage counseling and training for couples on child care responsibilities, communication and conflict management skills.

Key terms: divorce, prevalence, causes, consequences

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