ROLE OF MARRIAGE AND FAMILY COUNSELLING IN PROMOTING MARITAL SATISFACTION FOR MARRIED CAREER INDIVIDUALS IN KERICHO COUNTY, KENYA
MUTAI, GLADYS C.
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Marital satisfaction has remained a topic of great interest worldwide, and a relationship has been advanced between marital satisfaction, job satisfaction and life satisfaction. Studies have shown that the often competing demands of the occupational structure and those of a rich family life present a number of challenges for married career individuals. There was, however, a paucity of research on marital satisfaction in Kericho, particularly in relation to the role of marriage and family counselling in promoting marital satisfaction for married career individuals. Marital quality affects the probability of divorce and separation, which has serious consequences. Therefore finding solutions and alternatives to divorce is imperative. This study sought to investigate the role of marriage and family counselling in promoting marital satisfaction for married career individuals in Kericho County. The study was guided by the following objectives: to investigate the role of marriage and family counselling in promoting marital relationship, to establish the role of marriage and family counselling in promoting marital adjustment, to examine the role of marriage and family counselling in promoting marital intimacy and to find out the role of selected socio-demographic factors on marital satisfaction. The theories guiding the study were Dynamic Goal Theory, Family Systems Theory and Common Factors Theory. This research utilised a Descriptive Survey Design and Phenomenological Design. The study location was Kericho County. The population of the study consisted of 9113 married career individuals, and a sample size of 358 was used. The sample was identified using Kreicjei and Morgan (2004) sampling technique. The pilot study was conducted in Bureti Sub-county, Kericho County with 40 participants who were not included in the sample. Construct validity was ensured through intensive review of literature and comparison made with prior validated studies and content validity through operationalisation, research peers and psychology experts. External reliability coefficients of the questionnaires were determined by test-retest method and found to be 0.86 and 0.76 for marriage and family counselling and marital satisfaction respectively. The data obtained was analysed by use of descriptive (frequencies, means, standard deviations) and inferential statistics using Pearson correlation and Multiple Regressions. Marriage and family counselling was shown to play a significant role in marital relationship (r = 0.302**, p = 0.000 p<0.05) and marital adjustment (r =0.388** = p=0.000 p<0.05) but did not play a significant role in marital intimacy (r = 0.006 p = 0.906 p > 0.05). The joint contribution of the socio-demographic factors on marital satisfaction was significant (F (5, 349) = 0.019 p<0.05). Qualitative data showed that the issues facing career individuals are lack of time, exhaustion, pressure from work, role conflict and too much work. Counselling helps couples to recognise and resolve conflicts caused by too much responsibility arising from careers, family and improve their relationships. It was concluded that marriage and family counselling plays an important role in promoting married career individuals marital satisfaction through helping them in sustaining positive influence; enhancing capability to make right career decisions; including acquiring skills, attitudes and knowledge that contribute to marital satisfaction. This study recommends that marriage and family counselling, with an emphasis on promoting awareness in marital happiness and satisfaction, would be helpful in addressing marital conflicts and help enhance marital satisfaction.