EFFECT OF SINGLE PARENTHOOD ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

The family is the child’s first place of contact with the world. The child as a result, acquires initial education and socialization from parents and other significant persons in the family. Agulana (2000) pointed out that the family lays the psychological, moral, and spiritual foundation in the overall development of the child. Structurally, family/homes are either broken or intact. A broken home in this context is one that is not structurally intact, as a result of divorce, separation, death of one of parent and illegitimacy. Frazer (2004) posits that psychological home conditions arise mainly from illegitimacy of children, the label of adopted child, broken homes, divorce and parental deprivation. Such abnormal conditions of the home are likely to have a detrimental effect on school performance of the child.

Life, in a single parent family or broken home can be stressful for both the child and the parent. Such families are faced with challenges of inadequate financial resources (children defense find 2004). Schults (2006) noted that if adolescents from unstable homes are to be compared with those from stable homes, it would be seen that the former have more social, academic and emotional problems. Rochlkepartain (2003) is of the opinion that the family and its structure play a great role in children’s academic performance. Levin (2001) states that parents are probably the actor with the clearest undimentionals interest in a high level of their children’s academic performance. To some extent, there is simple evidence to show that marital instability brings about stress, tension, lack of motivation and frustration obviously, these manifestations act negatively on a child’s academic performance.

Single-parenthood can be defined as when one out of two people who is responsible for the nurturing and child rearing is not available, and the work meant for two people, is now been carried out by only one person. According to the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, single-parenting is been defined as a mother or father who looks after children on their own, without the other partner. Single-parenting can be defined as a situation in which one of the two individuals involved in the conception of the child is being responsible for the upbringing of the child (Osunloye, 2008). Single-parenthood may arise when either the male or the female decides to produce and rear a child or children outside wedlock (Ortesse, 1998).

In Nigeria, the existence of single-parenthood was unknown and where they existed they were ignored as exceptional cases. However, nowadays, they are fast growing family patterns both inside and outside Nigeria. In Nigeria, among Yoruba’s, the parental roles are culturally determined and distributed. The maternal roles are that of child-rearing, home training and playing of complimentary roles, while the paternal roles are that of economic responsibilities and disciplines of children. The child is morally, mentally upright and emotionally balanced when the caring responsibilities are carried out by both parents. Therefore this study will investigate the effect of Single Parenthood on the Academic Performance of Secondary School students in Business Education in education district V of Lagos State.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Academic attainment is an important parameter in measuring success in students. Observations and reports have shown that success or high academic achievement has become a herculean task to accomplish by students in recent times. Poor academic performance are being recorded annually both at the secondary and tertiary levels of education in Nigeria (Tenibiaje, 2009). The performance of students at all levels in educational institutions in Nigeria has attracted much criticisms from all and sundry from time immemorial. This trend has made observers to opine that that Poor academic performance recorded by business studies students may not be unconnected to the family structure where the child is being raised.

In Nigeria, most home are not intact as a result of issues of incompatibility of the couples, death of a parent and the quest for the oversea trips to make more money, and at times due to marital infidelity. This has resulted in the separation of couples and children. In some states in the federation, this is quite clear, in that most young ladies abandon their homes, and embark on oversea trips with a view to making money. Some men who travel abroad, abandon their homes and would not communicate with the families back-home so children from such homes are in dilemma, especially in terms of adjustment.

Moreover, a single parent faces doubled responsibilities requiring time, attention and money of the parent. Hence, less attention is paid to the education of the child. The teachers commonly describe children from single parent as more hostile, aggressive, anxious, fearful, hyperactive and distractive than children from intact family (Tenibiaje, 2011).

In order to ensure that children acquire appropriate and balanced social, psychological, moral and academic development. Each of the parents has indispensable and unique responsibility for the psychological, educational and career development of their children. However the advent and subsequent societal acceptance of single parenthood has distorted these complementary roles. This has in turn impacted adversely on the total upbringing of the children including their psycho well-being and educational performance. It on this premise that this research study seeks to investigate the effect of Single Parenthood on the Academic Performance of Secondary School students in Business Studies in education district V of Lagos State.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The general purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between single parenthood and academic performance of students in Business Studies in Lagos State. Other specific objectives of this study are:

i) To examine the effect of single parenthood on academic performance of secondary school students in Business Studies.

ii) To find out the effect of a broken home on students academic achievement.

iii) To examine the relationship between academic performance of students from intact and single parent homes.

1.4 Research Questions

The study was guided by the following research questions;

Q1: Does single parenthood have effect on academic performance of secondary school students in Business Studies?

Q2: What is the effect of a broken home on students’ academic achievement?

Q3: What is the difference between the academic performance of students from intact and single parent homes?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The following research hypotheses were formulated and tested in the study:

H01: There is no significant relationship between single parenthood and academicperformance of secondary school students in Business Studies.

H02: There is no significant relationship between broken home and students’ academic achievement in Business Studies.