Marital Closeness: Psychological Differences among Ibibios and Yorubas of Nigeria


Authors: Iboro F. A. Ottu, University of Uyo, Nigeria
Email: [email protected]
Published: December 14, 2017

Citation: Ottu, I. F. A. (2017). Marital Closeness: Psychological Differences among Ibibios and Yorubas of Nigeria. IAFOR Journal of Psychology & the Behavioral Sciences, 3(2).


The paper investigated marital closeness between two Nigerian socio-lingual groups: the Ibibios and the Yorubas, using a number of psychosocial factors as independent variables. Two comparative studies with 129 and 91 participants respectively, were carried out using the survey design. Correlation analysis indicated that attachment style and attitude towards marriage, as psychosocial variables, showed no relationship with marital closeness in the two cultural settings. However, there was a significant relationship between marriage work with friends and marriage work with spouse and marital closeness in the Yoruba and Ibibio cultural groups respectively. A test of prediction in the direction of marriage work was then performed using the Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) in the two cultural settings. Results indicate that though marriage work was important within the two groups, marital closeness was more significantly enhanced by marriage work with friends in the Yoruba group than with marriage work with spouse. On the other hand, marriage work with spouse significantly promoted marital closeness among the Ibibios more than marriage work with friends. Further analysis using hierarchical regression confirmed these results, with an additional explanation that marital closeness was independent of the length of marriage and age of marital partners. It was recommended that couples’ routine promotion of balance in honest exchanges between their friends and spouses will serve as a reservoir of wellness in their union.


martial closeness, attitude towards marriage, marriage work, attachment style, psychosocial differences