Family Relations and the Problems of University Students

M. A. N. Rasanjalee Perera


Family influence on a person is greater than other institutions. Hence, family is akey determinant of students‟ education too. Family type, parental style, familymembers‟ life style, family members‟ education level and occupation status, rural/urbanliving pattern, demographic structure and parental problems etc are some facets offamilies that determine its members‟ socialization process. The way of socialization offamily members and their personality types ultimately influence on how they face theirlife challenges. Accordingly, the main objective of this study is to investigate theuniversity students‟ problems and relationship with their family backgrounds. This wasachieved through examining students‟ personal backgrounds, university environment,and students‟ family backgrounds. This paper, however, discusses only the familyrelated problems.

A stratified sample was selected from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura,including 1000 undergraduates from all faculties. Questionnaire survey, groupdiscussions, in-depth interviews, and experts‟ interviews were used for data collection.It was descriptively analyzed using elementary statistics. SPSS software was used fordata tabulation and analysis.

While deeply investigating major problems faced by the students as personal,social, psychological, and economic and education problems, it could be clearlyidentified that the root causes of many problems were based on their familybackgrounds. It was also revealed that 1/5th of students have to face various types offamily problems frequently. Some prominent family problems identified are “economicdifficulties”, “broken families/single parent families”, “fathers‟ addiction todrugs/alcohol”, “parental conflicts”, “illnesses”, “problems of looking after youngersiblings”. However, most of students‟ problems were directly related with economicbackground of families.

Key words: Education, Family, Relationship, Students‟ Problems, University Students

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