Abstract: The study on parental economic status and academic performance in Social Studies among primary school pupils was conducted in Uruan Local Government Area. The population for the study consisted of one thousand pupils drawn from nine (9) public primary schools in the study area. Stratified random sampling technique was used to select two hundred and forty (240) pupils randomly selected from six primary schools using a stratified random sampling technique. Five null hypotheses were formulated in line with the purpose of the study. Two instruments were used for the study: Social Studies Achievement Test (SSAT) and Parental Economic Status Questionnaire (PESQ) to determine the parental economic status of the pupils. The result showed that all the null hypotheses were rejected. Data collected were analyzed using independent t-test statistics. The findings of the study revealed that parental educational attainment, occupation, family income, family size and parental poverty influenced pupils’ academic performance in Social Studies in Uruan Local Government Area. Based on the findings of this study, it was recommended among others, that parents should monitor the academic progress of their children by working hand-in-hand with their teachers and also encourage them to take their home work serious. Parents should motivate their wards by providing home library, learning materials and conducive leaning atmosphere.





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1.1       Background to the Study

The family is the first, the smallest and the most important unit of a child’s social organization. It is responsible for the development of the child’s physical, mental and moral dispositions. Asikhia (2010) also agreed that the family educational background and economic status play pivotal roles in the learning process of the child. She stressed further that the child’s performance whether in the positive or negative could be attributed to the type of family such a child comes from. Ushie, Owolabi and Emeka (2012) confirmed that family type, size, socio-economic status and educational background play important role in children’s educational attainment and social integration.

Ajila and Olutola (2000) posited that the home affects the individual since the parents are the first socializing agents in an individual life. Uwaifo (2008) affirmed that family background of a child affects his reaction to life situations and his level of performance. Ndem in Omirin and Adeyinka (2009) confirmed that parental support financially and morally have been found to be potent in improving students’ performance. Ebenuwa-Okoh (2010) opined that if the finances of students are not adequate, the situation may affect their academic performance. Egbule in Ebenuwa-Okoh (2010) added that student’s academic performance may be enhanced if their financial needs are adequately met.

The United States Department of Education (2000) discovered that the relationship between poverty of parents and students’ performance is not simple and direct. It confirmed that poverty is an important factor accounting for differences in performance and achievement across rural, sub-urban and urban districts. Danesty and Okediran (2002) lamented that maternal and paternal deprivations of the essential needs of the young students have prompted their poor performance in public examinations such as Junior Secondary School Certificate Examinations (JSSCE), West African School Certificate Examinations (WASCE) and National Examination Council (NECO). Shittu (2004) asserted that poor parental care with gross deprivation of social and economic needs of a child usually leads to poor academic performance of the child.

Caro (2009) found that the relationship between family socio-economic status and academic achievement is cordial. Chen (2009) also posited that parental education is the key determinant of student’s achievement. They noted that there is gap in academic achievement between students of high and low socioeconomic families. They stressed further that because children from low socio-economic status have relatively poor skills, they are prone to leave school early and less likely to gain admission to college. Udida, Ukway and Ogodo (2012) also agreed that family characteristics are major source of disparity in student’s educational outcomes. They stressed further that student’s academic performance is influenced by the socio-economic background of their parents; as parents that earn high income can take absolute responsibilities of their children’s education compared with parents that earn meager salaries. Huang (2007) confirmed that there is a correlation between parents’ education level and children’s motivation and achievement at upper secondary schools. Hansen and Masterkaasa (2006) discovered that students who originated in a farm household show the lowest educational attainment while those who originated in academic household perform best. Unity, Osagioba and Edith (2013) emphasized that a child is affected negatively if he/she comes from an economically disadvantaged family. They stressed further that such children are faced with overwhelming challenges that leads to poor school performance.

In their study, Farooq, Chaudhry, Shafiq and Berhanu (2011) asserted that students whose parents are educated score higher on standardised tests than those whose parents were not educated at secondary school level in a metropolitan city of Pakistan. They affirmed that educated parents can better communicate with their children regarding school works and activities. Hill, Castelino, Lansford, Nowlin, Dodge, Bates and Pettit (2004) attested that the status of parents does not only affect the academic performance of students, but also make it impossible for children from low socio-economic background to compete well with their counterparts from high economic background under the same environment.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

Poor academic performance of students in Social Studies in Akwa Ibom State has been of much concern to all and sundries. The problem is so much that it has led to the widely academic fallen standard in education in Uruan Local Government Area in particular.

Bassey (2010) added that the problem include among others inadequate provision of textbooks, instructional materials and parental involvement toward child’s education as a result of low level of parental education attainment, most a time those from low family income who cannot provide the needed equipment and material for their children to use in learning. As a result of the poor academic performance of the pupils observed, Bassey (2012) maintain that the overall poor performance at public examination in Uruan Local Government Area in particular at the primary school level reveal the rising low quality of education being provided against planned expectation. Thus, the question is to what extent does parental economic status influence academic performance of pupils in Social Studies?

This researcher is interested to investigate whether parent’s economic status really influence pupils’ academic performance in Social Studies in primary schools in Uruan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.


1.3       Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of the study was to examine the influence of parental economic status on academic performance of pupils in Social Studies in Uruan Local Government Area. The specific purposes of the study were:

  1. To assess the influence of parent’s educational background and academic performance in Social Studies among primary school pupils.
  2. To investigate the influence of parental income and academic performance in Social Studies among primary school pupils.
  3. To examine the influence of family size and academic performance in Social Studies among primary school pupils.

1.4       Significance of the Study

The findings of this will be of immense benefit to the following:

  1. To teachers, the knowledge gain from the findings will assist them to be resourceful in handling the various pupils irrespective of their family background in order to equip them for a successful academic achievement in subject area.
  2. To State Ministry of Education, through this study they should make provision for training teachers, organize induction courses, seminars, conferences and workshops on new teaching method.
  3. To researchers through this study, other researchers will gain by using it as a reference material for more research work, and this will also help the future researchers to have ideas on those factors affecting academic performance of pupils.

Originally posted on May 24, 2021 @ 3:28 pm

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