Parental Decision Making and Growing Issue of Late Marriages in Pakistan

Iqra Akram (MPhil, 2016-2018) Supervisor: Saima Ghazal, PhD

The present study was conducted to explore the reasons of late marriages and parental decision-making towards growing issue of late marriages in Pakistan. It was comprised of two studies. In the first study, reasons for late marriages and the role of parents in decision making toward this growing issue of late marriages in Pakistan have been explored, and in second study, comparison in parental decision-making skill of those who were facing late marriage issues of their children and those who got their children married well in time (within accepted age frame) have been explored. Reasons for late marriages and parental decision-making skills were explored via interviews with the sample of (N = 14) participants in a qualitative research design. Data were analyzed through interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) by Pietkiewicz and Smith (2012). Results of the present study revealed that two superordinate (master) themes and seventeen subordinate themes were generated from the data. In the second study, the sample comprised of (N = 60) including (n = 30) parents (having minimum 28 age of daughter and 32 of son, who is still unmarried) and (n = 30) parents who have married their children timely. Decision Making Questionnaire (French, 1993) was used to assess the decision-making ability of the parents. Pearson product moment correlation was used to assess relationship between demographics and all the dimensions of decision-making. The results indicated that age had a negative correlation with thoroughness, control, optimizing, instinctiveness and positive correlation with principle and no correlation with social resistance. Marital timing of children was positively correlated with thoroughness, social resistance, optimizing and instinctiveness but negatively correlated with other dimensions (Control, hesitancy, and principled). Results also showed that untimely married had a negative relationship with thoroughness, control, principled but no relationship with other dimensions (hesitancy, social resistance, optimism and instinctiveness). Furthermore, regression analysis was conducted to predict the decision-making skills of parents. The results showed that marriage timing has appeared as significant positive predictor of decision making indicating that parents who married their children on time are better in decision-making skills as compared to parents with children who were married with delayed time. Independent sample t-test was conducted to find out the differences in parental decision-making skill. The results revealed a significant difference between decision-making skills of parents. Parents who had good decision-making skills married their children timely as compared to those parents who had facing late marriage issue of their children. The study holds implications for further researches in Pakistan and would be helpful for people to identify root causes of delay in marriage and how to overcome this problem. It would be helpful for parents so that they can make timely decisions about their children’s marriages. Moreover, the study findings would be beneficial for psychologists, counselors in a manner that they can help parents improve their decision-making skill.

Keywords: Late marriages, parental decision-making skill.

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