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Cohabitation, as a living arrangement, refers to when two romantically involved individuals choose to reside together without formalizing their commitment through marriage. It typically involves sharing not only a physical space but also intimate emotional and sexual connections. While the term can encompass both same-sex and heterosexual partnerships, it is commonly associated with heterosexual couples. Historically viewed as an alternative lifestyle, cohabitation has become increasingly prevalent and socially accepted, transitioning from deviance to a normative experience, particularly among young adults (Abullahi, 2013). The concept of male and female campus cohabitation refers to the practice of allowing students of different genders to live together in the same living spaces on college or university campuses. This arrangement challenges traditional gender-based housing policies that typically separate students based on their assigned sex at birth.

Proponents argue that male and female campus cohabitation fosters a more inclusive and diverse environment, promotes gender equality, and prepares students for real-world cohabitation experiences. They claim that it allows for meaningful interactions and friendships between genders, breaks down gender stereotypes, and creates a sense of mutual respect and understanding. Critics, on the other hand, express concerns about potential privacy issues, increased risks of sexual harassment or assault, and the erosion of traditional values and norms associated with gender segregation. They argue that separate housing options provide a safer and more comfortable living environment for students, particularly in terms of shared bathrooms and sleeping arrangements. Additionally, critics raise concerns about potential distractions and the potential for romantic relationships to negatively impact the academic focus of students.

Student cohabitation has emerged as a notable phenomenon within higher education institutions, reflecting broader shifts in cultural norms and economic realities. Rising tuition fees and inadequate on-campus housing options have pushed students towards off-campus living arrangements, including cohabitation. This trend has been particularly pronounced in Nigerian universities, where rapid enrollment growth has outpaced the expansion of campus infrastructure (Pat-Mbano, 2012). Consequently, many students find themselves renting off-campus accommodations, often sharing living spaces with peers to mitigate costs and address housing shortages (Svodziwa & Kurete, 2017). According to Idris (2019) the causes of male and female campus cohabitation in tertiary institutions in Nigeria can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, societal and cultural changes have played a significant role. Nigeria is experiencing a shift towards more progressive attitudes regarding gender roles and relationships, influenced by global trends and increased exposure to Western ideals. This has led to a desire for greater gender equality and the breaking down of traditional barriers. Secondly, the demand for mixed-gender housing arises from practical considerations.

Tertiary institutions in Nigeria often face limited accommodation options, leading to overcrowding and inadequate facilities. Allowing male and female students to live together in the same dormitories or apartments helps to maximize the use of available housing spaces and address the accommodation shortage. Additionally, the increasing number of female students enrolling in tertiary institutions has impacted housing policies. As more women pursue higher education, the need for gender-inclusive housing becomes apparent to ensure equal access and opportunities for female students (Smith, 2020). Lastly, the influence of international educational models and the desire to align with global standards also contribute to the adoption of male and female campus cohabitation. Many countries around the world have embraced coeducational housing on campuses, and Nigerian institutions may see it as a way to enhance their reputation, attract international students, and align with global best practices.

The effects of cohabitation extend beyond housing dynamics, influencing individuals’ well-being and academic performance. Cohabitation’s increasing social acceptance has reshaped traditional attitudes towards relationships and marriage, contributing to the deinstitutionalization of marriage and the relaxation of social norms surrounding cohabitation (Arisukwu, 2013). Moreover, cohabitation among students has raised concerns about its impact on academic engagement and achievement. Studies have shown correlations between cohabitation and distractions from academic responsibilities, as well as a decline in adherence to traditional values of chastity and purity (Alo & Akinde, 2014). Critics raise concerns about potential distractions and the impact of romantic relationships on academic focus. They argue that cohabitation can create social pressures and distractions that may divert students’ attention away from their studies. Moreover, critics express concerns about the potential for increased interpersonal conflicts or tensions arising from living in close proximity with students of the opposite gender, which could negatively impact academic performance.

The prevalence of cohabitation among unmarried students has prompted calls for intervention from various stakeholders, including educational institutions, parents, and religious leaders. Concerns about the potential societal consequences of unchecked cohabitation, such as increased promiscuity and erosion of moral values, underscore the urgency of addressing this issue (Adeyomi, 2018). Recognizing the need for empirical research to inform policy and intervention strategies, scholars have undertaken studies to explore the relationship between campus cohabitation and students’ academic performance. This research seeks to shed light on the complex interplay between living arrangements, social dynamics, and educational outcomes, with the aim of guiding effective responses to this contemporary challenge in higher education settings (Ekpenyong, 2012).

Since living together goes against societal conventions and beliefs, the majority of students who live together keep it a secret from their parents. Because of this, the kids who continue to live together run the risk of suffering injury of any kind. The concerning component of the issue is its health dimension. Students living together will probably have unprotected sex, increasing their risk of contracting STDs and the much-feared HIV/AIDS epidemic (Ogunsola 2014). To prevent unintended pregnancy, female students are allowed to use oral contraceptives. However, if a female student becomes pregnant, she may consider getting an abortion as a solution. The female students could be exposed to unlicensed quack physicians as a result, which could lead to a septic abortion that could risk their lives along with haemorrhage, sepsis, and severe renal failure.

One of the main effects of cohabitation is melancholy, and for some young people, the hurt from these kinds of sexual breakups contributes to their despair and suicidal thoughts. According to Bulanda and Lee (2015), cohabiting women showed noticeably greater signs of depression than married women. It is in line with the above discussion that this study seeks to examine the impact of campus cohabitation on student’s academic performance in Federal College of Education, Pankshin.


The ideal situation is for students at the tertiary level of education to have excellent academic performance, enabling them to acquire and demonstrate knowledge effectively, achieve high grades, and excel in their educational pursuits. However, this is not the case for most tertiary education students in Nigeria as their academic performance keeps deteriorating year in year out. One of the causes of these academic failure include cohabitation. Efforts have been made by the college administration and staff to create a conducive learning environment, establish academic support programs, and promote student engagement in extracurricular activities. These measures aim to support students in their academic journey and enhance their overall learning experience.

Despite these efforts, the issue of campus cohabitation continues to affect students’ academic performance negatively. Many students struggle to balance their academic responsibilities with the challenges and distractions associated with living in close proximity to their peers. The effects of campus cohabitation on academic performance may include decreased focus and concentration during study time, increased distractions from social activities or noise within the living environment, difficulties in managing time effectively, compromised study habits, and reduced academic motivation. These factors can significantly impact students’ ability to comprehend and retain course material, perform well in assessments, and meet academic expectations.

There is a pressing need to understand the specific impact of campus cohabitation on students’ academic performance at the Federal College of Education, Pankshin. By gaining deeper insights into the factors contributing to the decline in academic performance, the college can develop targeted interventions and support systems to address these challenges effectively. Although previous research has examined various factors influencing academic performance, there is a significant gap in comprehensive research specifically investigating the impact of campus cohabitation on students’ academic performance in the context of the Federal College of Education, Pankshin. This study aims to fill this gap by exploring the unique challenges and experiences faced by students living in shared accommodations on campus and their direct influence on academic performance.


The main aim of the study is to examine the impact of campus cohabitation on students’ academic performance at Federal College of Education, Pankshin, Plateau State Nigeria.  The specific objectives of the study are to:

  1. Investigate the causes of campus cohabitation among students at the tertiary level of education.
  2. Analyse how campus cohabitation affects students’ academic performance at the tertiary level of education
  3. Make some recommendations for potential solutions to reduce the effect of campus cohabitation on the academic performance of students at the tertiary level of education.

This study is guided by the following research questions:

  1. What are the factors responsible for campus cohabitation among students at the tertiary level of education?
  2. What is the effects of campus cohabitation on students’ academic performance at the tertiary level of education?
  3. What are the possible remedies to minimize the effects of campus cohabitation on students’ academic performance at the tertiary level of education?


H01: There is no significant relationship between various factors and campus cohabitation among students at the tertiary level of education.

H02: There is no significant relationship between campus cohabitation and students’ academic performance at the tertiary level of education.

H03: There is no significant relationship between possible remedies and the minimization of the effects of campus cohabitation on students’ academic performance at the tertiary level of education.


Hopefully the study will benefit the following stakeholders: Policy makers, researchers, counselors, administrators, teachers, students and the public at large.

The findings of this study will significantly benefit policy makers by providing them data-driven insights to inform policies related to student housing, relationships, and support services. This will include adjustments to on-campus accommodation availability, implementing relationship education programs, or offering targeted counseling resources. Identifying potential correlations between cohabitation and academic performance can help policymakers allocate resources more effectively toward initiatives that specifically address these challenges.

Researchers will significantly benefit from the study by contributing to the existing body of research on cohabitation and its impact on academic performance. This will pave the way for further investigation and inform future research questions and methodologies. Comparing findings with similar studies in other regions or countries can enrich understanding of the complexities involved and identify context-specific nuances.

The study’s findings will equip counselors with valuable information to tailor their approaches to students facing challenges related to cohabitation. This would involve individual counseling, workshops, or group discussions focused on time management, communication skills, and healthy relationship dynamics. By understanding potential risks associated with cohabitation, counselors can be more proactive in identifying students who might require additional support and intervene early to prevent academic decline.

The findings of this study will significantly benefit administrators by informing them with the development of campus resources and programs that support healthy relationships and promote academic success. This could include creating designated study spaces, offering conflict resolution workshops, or establishing peer mentoring programs. Understanding the potential impact of cohabitation will also help administrators tailor existing support services to better address student needs. This would involve expanding counseling hours, offering online resources, or developing outreach programs specifically targeting cohabiting students.

Awareness of the challenges faced by cohabiting students will help teachers be more sensitive and understanding in their interactions. This will involve offering flexible accommodations, providing additional support during stressful periods, or creating a more inclusive classroom environment. The findings will also equip teachers with knowledge to effectively communicate with students about potential academic struggles related to cohabitation and encourage them to seek help when needed.

The study will raise awareness among students about the potential impact of cohabitation on their academic performance. This will encourage them to make informed decisions and proactively seek support if needed. Understanding the potential distractions and challenges associated with cohabitation can empower students to develop better time management skills and communication strategies within their relationships.

The findings will significantly benefit government to recognize the potential impact of cohabitation on academic success can inform government decisions regarding resource allocation toward student support services and infrastructure development. This will contribute to improved educational outcomes and enhance graduate employability.

Finally, the findings will contribute to a more informed public discourse about the complexities of student life and the challenges faced by young adults navigating relationships and academics. This will foster understanding and support for initiatives aimed at improving student well-being and educational attainment.


Attachment Theory:

Attachment theory can provide a valuable theoretical framework for understanding the potential impact of campus cohabitation on students’ academic performance at the tertiary level. Developed by John Bowlby in 1969, attachment theory focuses on the formation and quality of emotional bonds between individuals, particularly in the context of early caregiver-infant relationships.

Applying attachment theory to the topic of campus cohabitation, it can be argued that the transition to living together with a romantic partner or roommates in a campus setting may influence students’ attachment dynamics and subsequently affect their academic performance. According to attachment theory, individuals develop internal working models based on their early attachment experiences, which shape their expectations, beliefs, and behaviors in subsequent relationships.

When students engage in cohabitation, their attachment dynamics may be activated as they navigate the challenges and demands of living together. Positive and secure attachment experiences in the cohabitation context, characterized by open communication, emotional support, and a sense of safety, may facilitate a conducive environment for academic success. Students who feel secure and supported in their cohabitation arrangements may experience less stress and emotional distress, allowing them to focus on their studies and perform well academically.

Conversely, negative or insecure attachment experiences in campus cohabitation, such as conflict, lack of emotional availability, or inconsistent support, may contribute to emotional distress, interpersonal difficulties, and compromised academic performance. Students who experience relationship difficulties or distress within their cohabitation arrangements may find it challenging to concentrate on their studies, leading to decreased motivation, increased stress levels, and lower academic achievement.

Moreover, attachment theory suggests that individuals may seek to replicate familiar attachment patterns in their adult relationships. If students have experienced insecure or unhealthy attachment dynamics in their early life, they may unintentionally recreate similar patterns in their cohabitation relationships, potentially leading to negative outcomes for their academic performance.

By utilizing attachment theory as a theoretical framework, researchers can explore the various ways in which attachment dynamics within campus cohabitation relationships may impact students’ academic performance. This framework allows for the examination of factors such as emotional support, communication patterns, conflict resolution strategies, and the influence of past attachment experiences on students’ adjustment and academic outcomes. Understanding the role of attachment dynamics in the context of campus cohabitation can inform interventions and support systems that promote positive relationship experiences and optimize students’ academic success.


The scope of this study is to examine the impact of campus cohabitation on students’ academic performance at the tertiary level of education in Plateau State Nigeria. The study is delimitated to Christian Religious studies department of both NCE and undergraduate level in federal College of education Pankshin. The study is also delimitated in examine the factors responsible for cohabitation among students in federal college of education Pankshin, examine the impact of cohabitation on students health in federal college of education Pankshin and suggest some possible remedies to minimize cohabitation among the students in federal college of education Pankshin.


Impact:Refers to the wider consequences or changes something causes. This could be positive or negative, and it can affect individuals, groups, or even entire systems

Cohabitation: In this research, cohabitation refers to the state of living together and having a sexual or romantic relationship as a couple without being married. Cohabiting individuals, often referred to as “cohabiting partners” or “cohabitants,” share a common residence and may engage in a domestic partnership, which can include sharing expenses, responsibilities, and family life

Students: Students are individuals who are enrolled in an educational institution, such as a school, college, university, or other learning centers, to pursue academic or vocational studies.  

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