Cohabitation among the catholic youths in Nyando deanery, Kisumu diocese, Kisumu County
Wamukoya, Jackline M.
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ABSTRACT Cohabitation is a common practice in many parts of the world including America, Europe and Africa. Cohabitation violates the teaching of the Catholic Church on the sacrament of marriage. In spite of the efforts by the Catholic Church to instill chastity, many youths in the Catholic Church do not go through church marriage, instead they choose to cohabit. The main objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of cohabitation among the Catholic youths in Nyando Deanery; Kisumu Diocese, Kenya. Other objectives of the study were to evaluate the Catholic Church teachings on chastity, and to identify the factors leading to cohabitation among the Catholic youths in Nyando Deanery. The conceptual framework of this study was derived from Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory. The target population was 2022 which comprised of 2000 youths and 22 church leaders. The sample population consisted of 210 participants who were sampled through the simple random sampling technique from five parishes in Nyando deanery. The survey design with the use of questionnaires was adopted to gather information from the respondents. Interviews and Focus Group Discussions were also used. The quantitative data was analyzed by the aid of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) using frequencies, percentages, means and Chi-Square test of significance. The study found that the Catholic Church teaches about chastity and marriage as a sacrament and that there is a relationship between church teachings on chastity and cohabitation (χ2 = 4.973; p = 0.018). The study also found that significant numbers of the youth were cohabiting which depicts the high prevalence of cohabiting practices among the youth. Some of the reasons for cohabitation include influence from the family background, peers and education level. On economic situation of the youth in the Church and cohabitation, the study concludes that being employed or being unemployed had an influence on cohabitation. The study recommends that the Catholic Church should strengthen its structures on premarital counseling to the youth so that they can embrace church marriage. Future studies should be done on socio-demographic factors influencing cohabitation among the Catholic youths. Other studies can also be done on the attitude and perception of youths on cohabitation.