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THE EFFECT OF FAMILY BACKGROUND ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN NIGERIA

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THE EFFECT OF FAMILY BACKGROUND ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN NIGERIA

 

ABSTRACT

This research study focuses on the effects of family type on the academic performance of secondary school students in Osogbo metropolis, Osun state. A total of 100 students were sampled from two randomly selected secondary schools. Questionnaires were used to obtain vital information from the respondents. In addition, all data collected were tested and analyzed by percentage and the t-test statistical method. The finding revealed that students from the monogamous families perform better than students from polygamous families. In the light of the findings, conclusions were drawn and recommendations were made.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1   Background of the Study

Education is the best legacy a nation can give to her citizens especially the youths. This is because education is very important in the development of any nation or community. Education is the process of transmitting what is worthwhile to members of the society. According to Okafor (2014). Education embraces all those experiences of the individual through which knowledge is acquired and intellect enlightened. For Nwabachili and Egbue (2013) education is what goes on from one generation to another generation. In this context, education is the process of socializing the child to grow up as a fulfilled member of the society through informal, formal and non-formal process. Informal education is the process of acquiring knowledge about the environment and beyond through living with one another. According to Nwabachili and Egbue (2013) formal education is a consciously planned form of socialization in a formal setting such as school. They stressed that non-formal education involve all those systematic programmes and processes of education and training that is done outside formal education setting. All these forms of education cannot be achieved without the influence of the family.  Family is the first social environment the child finds itself.

According to Clifford (2011) family remains the primary environment of the child. The author emphasized that family environment has more chances of increasing or decreasing the intellectual performance of the child. Akubue and Okolo (2008), defined family as a small kinship structural group with the key function of natural socialization of the new born. Similarly, in Okunniyi (2014), family is defined as a primary social group of parents, offspring and possibly other members of the household.   Family background refers to all the conditions and circumstances in the family which influence the child physically, intellectually and emotionally Muola (2010). Children coming from different family backgrounds are affected different by such family conditions, that is why some children have good family background while some have poor background. Citing Eke (2009) noted that with some families, the background may vary from time to time for the same individuals.  Formal education therefore remains the vehicle for human development which must start from the family. There are different categories of families. The major categories of families according to Anderson and Taylor (2010) includes: Traditional families–where the father is the major breadwinner and mother at home rearing children; divorced families–families that have been reconstituted following the breaking of marriage; single parent families–likely headed by women; step families–with new siblings and new parents stemming from re-marriage. A family could also be categorized as extended or nuclear. Extended families are those in which large group of related kin in addition to parents and children live together in the same household. This is the type of families prevalent in African countries.

Nuclear families are families where married couple resides together with their children. This type of family is common in Western countries (Andersen and Taylor 2010). Families are of various sizes. Family size has to do with the total number of people in a single family which may include the father, mother, children and even the extended members – all living in one hamlet. According to Alio (2015) family size has implication for education. The author emphasized that the size of the family determines to a great extent the relative amount of physical attention and time which each child gets from his parents. Large families are more common among the lower class of the society. Children in large families may suffer poverty and lack parental encouragement and stimulus which motivate their academic performance. Similarly, smaller family size has been linked with high academic performance (Majoribank 2006) Majoribank further stressed that students with fewer siblings are likely to receive more parental attention and have support that leads to better school performance. Family (small or large size) remains the primary environment of every child. The families begin the process of education and provide physical and psychological needs of the child. This supports the view of Maduewisi (2012), that the environmental experiences from family, peer group and school location have great influence in determining child’s intellectual ability. She maintained that bright children from under-privileged family environment may turn dull due to impoverished family environment. She added that mental development influence intellectual development. This is in line with Hebb (2007) who observed that the innate potentials of children cannot be attained without adequate stimulating family environment because the child cannot do well intellectually. The implication is that a proper stimulating family environment with intellectual potential and appropriate teaching methods will definitely enhance maximum performance of the child. Durosaro and Durosaro (2010) in their study attempted to investigate the relationship between students’ family size and their academic performance; they found out that family size influenced academic performance. Their study reveals that children from small size families performed better at school than their counterparts from both average size and large size families. Furthermore, Yoloye (2009) conducted a study to see if the family background variables might be useful in explaining their academic performance.

Some aspects of family background variables examined in the study include family size and parents’ educational status. His findings were that the polygamous family sizes which were naturally large, reduces the chances of children going to school in the first instance. In addition, children from such backgrounds who are in schools have reduced chances of achieving their goals. Thirdly, parents of such families are mostly illiterate and incapable of providing adequate motivation for their children in schools as compare with the literate nuclear families. The economic implication of large family size is better explained in Okunyi (2014) who observed from his study that as families get larger, parents cannot give their children the same amount of individual attention. They could not afford to provide them with so many of the things which will help them to make the best possible use of their years at school such as educational aids, and quiet comfortable rooms in which to do homework undisturbed by the television, outings to places of interest, leisure time pursuits, and opportunities for traveling. What is most probably important of all, according to him is the fact that the parents of large families were found not to talk with their children to the same extent as parents of small families. 

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