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TITLE: What are the causes of disintegration of the family unit?

The family is the basic unit of society. It plays a major role in the
development of each and every family member in conformity with the
norms and values of the society. Amongst various social issues
prevailing in our modern society, the breakdown of the family is an
alarming one. This trend has attracted attention because of the familys
primary role in the production of upright individuals to society.

As varied are the effects to the society of disintegrated families, the

causes are numerous and each one should be analysed independently
from the other as each cause is distinctive and causes a different degree
of effect to the breakdown of the family unit. Accordingly, family
disintegration is a private tragedy but on a wider scale, is also a matter of
public concern. Looking at the social instability shows that disintegration
of the family structure contributes to a myriad of social problems causing
distress for individuals, families and communities.

In modern times, parental fighting and domestic violence often cause a

feeling of alienation or neglect in children. This gives rise to juvenile
delinquency that causes great harm to the society. It is a fact that the
more the frequent conflict, the more the child is hurt emotionally. This
continuous domestic violence that prevails within the family in a regular
basis leads to marital breakdown. Surveys have shown that the
breakdown of parents marriage during the first five years of a childs life
places him at high risk of becoming a juvenile delinquent.

Moreover, at a more common perspective, the vicious circle of poverty

plays a big role in the breaking up of a family. The pressure of having to
meet the entire familys needs of everyday places upon the parent a
heavy load and often, caused neglect in caring for children and lack of
attention given to ones spouse. This may lead to habitual drinking or
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drug addiction which in many instances, provokes the disintegration of

the family unit.

Besides, another important factor which is taking its toll on the

cohesiveness of the family is that in contemporary societies, children are
no longer receiving a decent moral education. Basic moral values, for
instance simple respect for parents and elders are no longer being
taught at school. Instead, children are being taught to be assertive and
fiercely independent. Thus, as the child grows up, he begins to distance
himself from the family unit.

Furthermore, as our society has modernised, there has undoubtedly

been significant development of the standard of living and quality of life.
The provision of welfare services provided by the state for security
against illness, poverty and unemployment has meant that people
become less and less dependent on their children in old age. Some
elderly persons, who do not benefit from these, are put into homes by
their own children. As a result, this has further weakened the role of the
family in modern societies.

In addition, at the beginning of the few last decades, mankind has been
witnessing the era of industrialisation. Nowadays, well developed and
industrialised society require a geographically mobile labour force with
people willing and able to move to other areas of the country to find well
paid employment, improve their education and benefit from better
promotion prospects. Also, nowadays many students leave their country
of origin especially developing ones to further studies in developed
countries and immigrate there to benefit from higher living standards and
quality of life.

As a further issue, changes in modern technologies coupled with new

scientific breakthroughs have also contributed to the disintegration of the
family. Contemporarily, reproductive technology available to women,
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enabling them to bear children without a male partner, has weakened the
reproductive function of the family. Women can now have children
through surrogate motherhood and fertility treatment like in-vitro
fertilisation. Also, with easy and safer access to abortion in most
countries have meant that nowadays, women are less pressurised to get
married if the fall pregnant before marriage.

Over a greater expanse, changes in law concerning divorce have

increased the number of family breakdown in our society. More people
can have access to the law in breaking up a family. Nowadays, true love
is considered as a myth, not a reality. It is also said that love is blind and
marriage is the eye open up. It is also difficult for a partner to remain
loyal with his or her love as many factors can unexpectedly make him or
her take the wrong path. As cited in the book A good woman by
Danielle Steel, a famous author, being married is an amazing adventure.
Brilliant, charismatic, but wholly unpredictable. This is why cases of
infidelity and divorce are increasing at an alarming rate. In addition,
arranged marriage worsens the things because partners do not
experience marital bliss as there are often incompatibilities.

Nevertheless, the growth of secularisation has meant that the power and
influence of religion is declining considerably in modern times. Many
couples now choose to marry in a legal registry office rather than taking
sacred vows before God, to stay together till death do us part. This has
weakened the marriage knot and reduced pressure on people to live
within the family. Thus, since this religious barrier has weakened,
families eventually break up.

In a mature way of conclusion, it can be said that with modernisation and

changes in overall environment has led to the disintegration of the family
unit. This has nurtured many social evils. Thus, it is the duty of each
and everyone to toil hard for the preservation of the family unit.

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