Family Size and Academic Performance in Social Studies among Primary School Pupils

Family Size and Academic Performance in Social Studies among Primary School Pupils
Family Size and Academic Performance in Social Studies among Primary School Pupils

ABSTRACT: This research investigated “Family size and Academic performance in social studies among primary school pupils in Oruk Anam Local Government Area”. The population for the study consisted of 2,760 primary school pupils in Oruk Anam Local Government Area. The research design adopted was survey method. Simple random sampling was used to select 276 pupils from six (6) selected primary schools in the study area to form the sample size. Questionnaire was used for data collection. The data was analyzed using simple percentage technique. The findings reveal that family sizes have significant effects on pupil’s academic performance in social studies; while small family sizes have affected positively, on the other hand, large family sizes have adversely affected the academic performance of pupils’ in social studies. It was recommended that parents should show greater involvement in the education of their children, parents should give birth to the number of children they will be able to train up, among others.

Family Size and Academic Performance in Social Studies among Primary School Pupils



1.1 Background of the Study

Family setting and structure are playing a crucial role in strengthening or devastating pupil’s academic performance. Family is the primary socializing agent which moulds the child in the society. Academic attainment is an important parameter in measuring success in pupils. Observations and reports have shown that successes or high academic achievement has become a herculean task to accomplish by pupils in recent times.

The performance of students at all levels in educational institutions in Nigeria has attracted much criticisms from all and sundry from time in memorial. The decline in the academic performance of students in Nigerian Universities had been observed by Soyinka (2013), that educational system in Nigeria needed restructuring. He went further to say that academic standard had fallen drastically and the quality of graduates being produced by Nigerian Schools is questionable and subject to re-examination. Despite all the guidance programmes and counseling strategies mounted in schools to improve the students’ academic performances yet poor performances were recorded yearly.

It becomes necessary to find out the causes of such poor performance in social studies in  primary school in Oruk Anam local government area. Though, these poor performances have been attributed to a lot of indicators such as pupils’ factors, like pupils’ attitudes to school, approach to learning and academic self-concept. Apart from pupils’ factors, school factors and parents’ factors  are other indicators that causes poor performance.  One of these is family size of the individual child. Family size in this context refers to the total number of children in the child’s family in addition to the child himself. However, the family type that a child comes from either monogamous or polygamous family usually has impact on the child academic performance. It is important to note that either of the family type (monogamous or polygamous, family dictates the size of the family.

Spears (2014) in his study, which investigated that birth order have effects on intelligence with later born children, revealed that later children were less capable than earlier siblings, when birth order effects were controlled, family size was found to be negatively related to intelligence.

However, Powell and Steelman (2014) and Van Ejick and DeGraaf (2013) argued that children’s attainment depends on inputs of time and money from their parents: the more children are in the family, the less of both inputs. These inputs are not money alone, but other essential things like time, attention, resource dilution and so on. However, Booth and Kee (2014) confirmed that children from larger families have lower levels of education. Research on the effect of sibling’s size and position has been based on the theory of the allocation of parental resources as presented in Becker (2014), and Spauta and Paulson (2012) confirmed that differences were found in birth order and family size of adolescent’s achievement in academic.

Family Size and Academic Performance in Social Studies among Primary School Pupils

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Today, teachers are often blamed for low academic performance of the students, without actually finding out other related factors that can contribute to the students’ problem as far as academic is concerned. Most people are quick in pointing accusing fingers on both the child and the teachers, should the whole blame be heaped on the teachers who always want the best from their students? One would like to find out the justification the people have for blaming the teachers as regard the low performance of the students in their academic work. The truth is that the foundation of the child’s socialization process is laid at home; moreso, children spend more time at home than in school.

Many factors associated with the family could have contributed to the high or low performance of the students with the family size as one of them. The family size in one way or the other contributes to the failure or success of a student in school, in the same way that when the family is large, there will not be adequate concentration on the child by their parents, based on the academic performance of the child.

This study therefore considered family size and academic performance in Social Studies among primary school pupils in OrukAnam Local Government Area.

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