PREVALENCE AND PERCEPTION OF COHABITATION AMONG THE UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS IN NIGERIA
Keywords:Cohabitation, Health, Undergraduate, Students, Culture
Cohabitation which was once considered unwholesome in the African culture is becoming prevalent among students in Nigerian tertiary institution with a vast array of consequences. This study investigated the prevalence, perceived factors and health-related problems of cohabitation among students in University of Nigeria. Five specific objectives guided the study. Multi-stage sampling technique was employed in the selection of 746 students from a population of 26,629.
An interview and a standardized questionnaire titled “Students’ Cohabitation Questionnaire” were used as instruments for data collection. Findings showed that 74.1% of the students had close friends of the opposite sex. More than half (54.8%) of those who had opposite sex friends visited each other’s residence regularly. The result for objective 2, shows that a total of 27% of the respondents were found to be cohabiting. Among this group, 16% were partly cohabiting while eleven percent (11%) were fully cohabiting. Factors responsible for cohabitation as rated by the respondents included financial problem, need for academic assistance, lack of parental
training, disregard for African culture and peer pressure. A greater proportion of the respondents disagreed that cohabitation increases the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, drug abuse, suicidal attempt, unwanted pregnancy and abortion. Strategies for minimizing the incidence of cohabitation among university students as rated by the students included keeping away from bad friends, reduction in school and accommodation fees, proper parental upbringing. Cohabitation is prevalent among undergraduate students in Nigeria. University administration should therefore make accommodations available and affordable for students.