Sunday, April 16, 2023


Department: International Relations and Conflict Resolution

No of Pages: 60

Project Code: CR1

References: Yes

Cost: 5,000XAF Cameroonian

         : $15 for International students

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The introduction was a brief explanation of the research carried out and the findings recorded and also explain how the research was written, the research equally comprised a number of objectives that were used to guide the research, that is to identify the causes of family conflict, to examine the effect of family conflict on children and assess the measures put in place to resolve family conflict.


The researcher also made use of a comfortable theory which was the Frustration-Aggression Theory: (NEAL MILLER, 1941) was used for the research to explain the enable a guide. At the methodology, research employed the descriptive survey research design to determine influence of family conflicts in academic performance and interpersonal relationship of the pupils under study.


The target population of the study was public primary school pupils in Limbe Municipality. The study was carried out among pupils in class seven and eight in ten public primary schools purposively selected within Limbe Municipality. There were about ten schools making the accessible population of pupils.


Questionnaires, developed by the researcher, were used to collect data. Data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences. It was presented using frequencies, percentages and cross tables because the data was descriptive. 

Also, key findings were noted out in the research that was concerning the effects that family conflicts have on academic performance and inter personal relationships among pupils. 

Further in the conclusion, more study findings indicated that both pupils and teachers agreed to the fact that family conflicts affected a pupil’s cognitive and affective growth and the researcher recommended ways which the government and the society should develop new initiatives that can help keep the family intact, since the major form of family breakdown was found to be bad.





A family is the foundation of any society. It is an entity that gives real meaning to life and existence. As such, it constitutes the cornerstone of any social system. A family is not a casual organization of people but a divinely ordained institution. The foundation of a family is based on marriage, which is a right to every human being (Hara Lambos and Holborn, 2008).



In recent decades, this consolidation has been considered to be even more necessary and urgent in view of the increasingly often conflicting values and practices that affect the life of mostly adolescent children in their families and that characterize life within families (Chow, 1996).



The family as a social unit contributes to the welfare of humanity and the developmental process worldwide. It is in this regard that the United Nations observes a family day which is celebrated on 15th May "We are all born into families and we are all attached to a family in some way or another". Usually, it is within families that we discover, develop and grow as individuals (Corey, 2009)


In the world today, The World Health Organization (1996) documented that, among women aged 15-44 years, gender violence in their families from their husbands which often leads to death and disability living their children vulnerable. In addition, studies in India, Bangladesh, the USA, Papua, New Guinea and Peru indicate high relations between family conflict and suicide rates (WHO, 1997).


In the last two decades following the other information gathered, family members that have quarreled to the extent of killing one another despite efforts to promote family. Studies conducted in 24 countries in America, Europe and Asia revealed that between 20 percent and 50 percent of the women interviewed reported that they suffered physical abuse from their male partners (Neft & Levine, 1997).


For many countries, the economic cost of intra family conflict is substantial. For example, in Canada, a 1995 study estimated that violence against women in the country 1.5 billion Canadian dollars lost in reduced labor productivity, and increased medical and community support services (UNICEF, 1997).


Often, those who experience physical abuse end up using more medical services due to later complications. Such increased demand for health care services and loss in terms of productivity has become a big milestone to economic development especially among the developing countries (UNPFA, 1999).


Looking at Africa, some reports gotten from South Africa showed that one adult woman out of every six is assaulted regularly by her mate. In at least 46 percent of these cases, the men involved also abuse the women's children (Russell, 1991).


According to Walker (1999), studies carried out have shown that when one form of violence will be found in the family, other forms are more likely to also occur and that violence in the family has a direct relationship to community violence and other forms of aggression and violence in the behavior of children.


Law enforcement in many countries will not intervene in what is often called a “domestic quarrel” even though psychological research indicates that without such intervention, abusers are unlikely to seek help to stop their bad behaviors for the sake of the children.


The problem is wide spread in sub-Saharan Africa. Further reports conducted in the region show that 40 percent in Zambia, 46 percent in Uganda and 60 percent in Tanzania women reported regular physical abuse (Heisse, 1996). In Rwanda, family conflicts are becoming a major problem to security and threaten welfare of Rwandan families.


Conflict within families, such as disagreements and arguments, do not always result in physical and verbal abuse; often it can be dealt with appropriately (Minze, McDonald, Rosen Traub & Jouriles, 2010).


However, the inconsistency of how family conflict is dealt with, still affect children’s ability to understand family conflict in an organized manner, which may be a cause for externalizing behavior (Minze et al., 2010).


This view is consistent with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (American Psychiatric Association, 2013), which asserts that exposure to violence involving feelings of helplessness, common to family conflict, cannot be minimized, as it can affect people of all ages, behaviorally and emotionally.


This implies that family conflict may result in looking deeply at behaviors that are more harmful to the self or externalizing behaviors that tend to have a negative impact on the environment (Liu, Chen & Lewis, 2011). This adjustment alone may cause conflict within the family, as family members may disagree on what is acceptable behavior and emotional expression, and what is not. 

Family conflict may intensify preadolescent’s reactions to challenging experiences, as they may feel overwhelmed with the emotional, physical and social changes occurring during this period (Lewisohn, Roberts, Seeley, Rohde, Gotlib & Hops (1994). This hampers the satisfaction of their basic psychological needs, which results in externalizing behavior.



In the City of Limbe Southwest Region of Cameroon research on family conflict and its effects on the basic psychological life and needs of preadolescents, as well as how the results those effects or causes bad personal behavior.


In addition, research places lesser emphasis on preadolescents as opposed to children in other developmental age groups (Kitzmann, Gaylord, Holt & Kenny, 2003; Santiago & Wadsworth, 2009; Saxbe et al., 2014). 

Often, preadolescents are included in these groupings, but it is important to study preadolescents independently, as preadolescence is a critical period that is characterized by certain behavioral and emotional responses (Uhls & Greenfield, 2012).


Therefore, in an effort to understand this phase of development, the research proposes or determines the effects of family conflict on preadolescents’ basic psychological needs and externalizing behavior.



Our Christian religions in the country do not only care about the nuclear family that consists of just parents and children, but they are also 10 concerned with the concept of extended family that covers children, parents, grandparents as well as in-laws. 

The divine importance of the family comes from its selected function in preserving the human race by procreation. Also, the family is responsible for protecting morals and values of individuals and, indeed, society at large (Chow, 1996).


Cameroon also recognizes the importance and role of families in safeguarding cultural values. The concept of family generally goes beyond the definition which conceives it as a group of people united by marriage, blood or adoption, characterized by a common residence.



Childhood exposure to family conflict may manifest itself in many ways (Habib, Toum, (2014); World Health Organization {WHO, 2014}. Witnessing family conflict may result in dysfunction later in life.


More importantly, children, who witness conflict, display certain psychological and behavioral responses, which are direct results of family conflict (Saxbe et al., 2014). This research is of particular interest in solving the problems also faced by Registered Counselor at an NGO that assists children with challenging behaviors.


The research suggests that family conflict has a negative effect on children’s behavior. Teachers often complain that these challenged children have anger outbursts, temper tantrums, display violent behavior in the class (externalizing behavior) and generally display hyperactivity and concentration difficulties, which affect their sense of competence in the class.


The family members claim that the children do not respect boundaries or spend much time at home, which affects their sense of autonomy and relatedness. The preadolescents claim that they are not able to express themselves. 

They are unhappy at home and are aware of their behavior, but it helped them to cope, as it was the type of behavior they had often witnessed in their homes.  


Many families in Limbe experience this kind of behavior and family environment as normal, because it is common in their communities. This study was of particular interest to the researcher, who sought to assess these families’ perceptions of family conflict – do they perceive what happens in the home as family conflict, which has a negative effect on preadolescents’ behavior, or simply as normal and expected behavior?



In addition, the researcher was keen to conduct this research study, in order to contribute to the knowledge and understanding of teachers, parents, and others, who interact with the preadolescent. 

The research hopes to reveal that the preadolescent challenging behavior was a consequence of his/her circumstances and not a conscious decision to make others’ lives difficult.


Not all responsibility should be removed from the preadolescent, but it is necessary to acknowledge the effects, if any, of the family environment on a preadolescent’s psychological needs and externalizing behavior.



  • To identify the causes of family conflict.
  • To examine the effect of family conflict on children.
  • Assess the measures put in place to resolve family conflict.