influence of family background on the academic performance of secondary school students in Nigeria

Abstract: The aim of this study was to examine the influence of family background on the academic performance of secondary school students in Nigeria. A survey research was adopted for the study. The population of the study consisted of 1,831 primary five pupils in all the eleven public primary schools in the area, using a stratified and sample random sampling method, six (6) schools were selected two hundred and forty (240) pupils were sample for the study. Two research questions and two hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. Data were obtained using family variable questionnaire (FVQ) and first term Social Study Examination Result, 2016. The data were analyzed using Pearson Product Moment Correlation (PPMC).  The findings showed that family variables such as socio-economic status, educational background of parents and family type significantly correlates with academic performance of pupils. Therefore, it was recommended that teachers, counselors and school administrators should give adequate attention to the emotional and academic need of students who are influenced by family variables.


1.1 Background to the study.

Family setting and structure are playing a crucial role in strengthening pupils academic performance family is the primary socializing agent which mould the child in the society. Academic attainments is an important parameter in measuring success in pupils observation and reports have shown that success or high academic achievement has become a herculean task to accomplish by pupils in recent times. Every parent want his or her child to do well in school, parent expect children to imbibe acceptable norms value and attitude of the society. No parent is happy to see his or her child live country to the norms of the society or family.

The society in general expect its citizen to be loyal and literate this is why the formal National Policy on Education (2002) has among its aim is out “to inculcate the right type of values and attitudes in the child” the school is a mirror of the society and parent depend upon the school to make their children what they are suppose to be. Many informal Nigerians, government, educationist and public alike are deeply worried over the problem of poor performance in schools as reported in the 1999 joint admission and matriculation board examination result (Jamb 1999) they argue that if the issues of poor performance in Nigeria school is left unchecked in our school system that the aims and objectives of education as stipulated in the national policy on education (2006) would perpetually remain illusion.

However, the blame of this poor performance is place only on the school, for example the poor performances in West African Examination council researched by Albert (2001) University of Nsukka Nigeria. It is necessary to realize that the school is not the only agency for the child, equally plays significant role and background of family-school relationship model, Ryan and Adams (2002). It is within the family that the child acquire and organize his first experience and the move to the school for his or her secondary experience Ryan (2002). It is also a proven fact in psychology that intelligence and most types of ability are not necessarily innate but that they are usually modified by environmental factors such as learning motivation Nutrition and encouragement of the alike Spencer and Aber (2004).

The well-being of Nigeria children has become a focal concern for a Variety of political governmental, school and parenting groups. One question of ten addressed by such groups focuses on children`s academic success and the effectiveness of school in assisting intellectual development mental health and well-being.  As community leaders, teachers and parent become more involved in their children academic growth, there is increased consideration of how the parent and school have unique and attracting influences on children`s academic success.

Some researcher like Powell and Steelman (2003) and Van Ejick and Decieaf (2006) argued that children`s attainment depend on inputs of time and money from their parents: the more children are in the family the less of both inputs.  These pupils are not alone, but other essential variables like time, attention resources dilution and so on.  Other confirmed that children from larger families have lower levels of education.

It is intending and explicitly clears that poor performance of some social studies pupils may entirely not be attributed to the social environment alone.  It is generally acknowledge that family variable is the most powerful influence in determining a child`s academic success and motivation.  This is a result of the confusing situation that promoted the researcher to carry out the study.  The interest of the researcher is in determining it parents socioeconomic status, parental attitude towards the child academic success , the family structure a child is reared, have similar or different predictable influence on primary school pupils personal characteristic and academic success.


1.2 Statement of the problem

Poor academic performance among primary school pupils in Social Studies has constituted a serious problem and has become a cause for concern to most parents in different ways (Udoh 2002). The internal and external examination result of educational statistics in the period between 2012 and 2014 made parents anxious to know the performance of their children even when result were not released.  It frustrates both the pupils and their teachers. Pupils become frustrated because they cannot cope with their final examination to meet their proposed career.  Government and school heads have been unable to provide adequate solution to the pupils poor academic performance.  Parents have been partly blames for failing to lay the right foundation in their children through informal education.  This problem has contributed to a loss of reputation by affected higher institutions of learning in the area.

Originally posted on February 17, 2021 @ 3:13 am

About Peter Lawson 2732 Articles
Peter Hezekiah Lawson (Sir Pee). The CEO of A reputable researcher, Web Developer, ICT Instructor and a publisher of many research works in Education.

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