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INVESTIGATION OF FAMILY TYPE AND RELIGIOSITY, ITS IMPACT ON ALCOHOL USE IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN UYO METROPOLIS
1.1 Background of the Study
The effect of alcohol use among students of secondary schools today and the youth at large in our society, has craved the attention of parents, school authorities and the government, to be concern about the level of unruly behaviour accompanied the after effect of alcohol use by students on the norms of the society, educational pursuit and expected goal actualization. Alcohol use seems to be so common among students in secondary schools, and in our society. Alcohol use is observed as the commonest source of our societal issues and a seeming unending social problem in recent times (Spillane and Smith, 2007). Furthermore, the immediate sources to the use of this amount of alcohol are not far fetch from the locations where the students may have access to alcohol such as; Common beer parlours, Occasion grounds, Event places, Clubs, Local sitouts (aka joint bars), and where they could derive their gratification or find pleasantries among themselves without any obstruction.
So many people from diverse cultures and communities use alcohol for their own different reasons, and many people also use alcohol to be accepted into a group. Others, like the adolescence or the likes of college students’ ages, may use alcohol to be accepted and recognize by group members. Some of the students may engage in alcohol use for the purpose of social interactions. A lot of them use alcohol to avoid being frustrated in the community, gain freedom from suppression and relieve loneliness and fatigue. The parental influences are not ruled out of adolescence use of alcohol in that, a parent who is alcohol dependence may likely send his child to get him a bottle of gin or whisky from the drawer, and the child having brought the bottle, may be told to open the drink and turn a little into a glass and have a sip.
World Health Organization (WHO, 2004) asserts that alcohol use among youth is due to certain factors, such as the environment, friends, or peer group, social wellbeing and uncontrollable drinking habits of an individual. Moreso, students use alcohol due to curiosity, urge and excessive desire to succeed in certain competition. They may also use alcohol to upset a kind of emotional disturbances as being anxious due to stress. Alcohol is seen as a substance in a harmful strength such as cocaine and heroin (Bennett, 1997). He further posits that instead of alcohol loosing it magnification of use due to its danger on health, it rather gains much approval from the government, the media and the manufacturers. The government also derived tax revenue from the sales of this same alcohol, even during the period of economic recession in Nigeria, breweries still records and declare heavy sales profit which maximizes productivity of the industry (Bennett, 1997). According to World Health Organization (WHO, 2004), the effect of alcohol use ranges from psychological disorders, increase in early mortality rate, and health issues. Aside from the negative impact of alcohol, it is more celebrated virtually in every occasion such as child dedication, weddings (tradition and White) birthday parties, burial and after a successful promotion exercise, put together triggers young adolescence desire to use much alcohol even without control.Furthermore, factors that aids the use alcohol by students are dysfunction families such as the single parenting type, may be due to separation or divorce and death, dual parenting that are so loose or ignorance of better upbringing of their children due to job carrier, incongruity between the two parents at home. Moreso, availability of cheap alcohol, genetic factor, gender, ethnicity and race, custom and tradition. (Johnson& Johnson, 2000). These family types are some reasons adolescence adopted to the use of alcohol from the early stage. Most especially, when there are issues of divorce or broken marriage, young adult of such upbringing may not have parental control over their unwholesome social behaviour in life. (Johnson & Johnson, 2000).
Quine and Stephenson (1990) posit that the attitude of parents towards alcohol may also affect how the children will feel about it. A lot of students might be involved in the use of alcohol primarily because of inactive parental care and emotional support on the children, lack of proper monitoring of their children activities in and out of the home, inability to advise and counsel their children with reference to previous experience of the consequences of alcohol use, incongruity between the dual parents may be due to poor level of family communication, i.e. always nagging at each other, waywardness in the part of either parent and inability to solve immediate family problems which could influence the child’s behaviour in accessibility to alcohol use. Another important factor affecting students’ use of alcohol is religiosity. This simply entails a person’s obtrusively or excessive involvement in religious activities. Every religious group has their stipulated norms or rules guiding their activities. This religious body may intend to administer their set rules to monitor the activities of their members where ever they may be involved, thereby transferring these guiding principles to their members habit of alcohol use. A lot of adolescence who may not want to be rejected may likely participate in active religious activity rather than being identified with alcoholics due to their rules. According to Crocker (2002), he observed that a serious religious students could report less alcohol use than a non religious students.
Moos (1976) found that students increase their level of alcohol use every day in order to gain satisfaction, which also affects their behaviour in the community. The environmental factors such as acceptance of alcohol use by the community through mass media, role modeling, also contribute greatly to students’ alcohol use.Due to lack of adequate law enforcement to regulate the acceptance and enforce discipline on those who engage in much alcohol use, or create problem when drunk, adolescence derived much pleasure in the use of alcohol.