ABSTRACT: The study Parents’ Social Status and Students’ Self-Concept in Secondary Schools. Three research questions were raised in the study and questionnaire was administered on selected students from the selected schools out of the 14 public secondary schools in the study area in order to collect appropriate data for the study. The sub-variables used to indicate parents’ socio-economic status were parental education, occupation and income level. The findings of the study confirmed the conclusion drawn from the literature review which established a positive relationship between parents’ education, occupation and income level and students’ perception of themselves.
Parents’ Social Status and Students’ Self-Concept in Secondary Schools
1.1 Background to the Study
Education is the best legacy parents can give to their children. The development of the nation starts from the family. When the family succeeds in teaching and impacting good values in their children, the country becomes a better place to live. According to Compbell and WU (1914), home environment and family processes provide a network of physical, social and intellectual forces and factors which affect the students’ learning.
Song and Hattie (2004) agreed that families from different socio- economic groups create different learning environments. There is no doubt that parents’ attitudes help to condition their children’s attitudes.
One of the key variables when discussing the influence of the home on self-concept is the parental socio- economic background. Socio- economic background, according to Schaeter (2003), refers to the relative position occupied by an individual in a society in comparison to others. It deals with education, occupation, wealth and fame of the family. Several studies have revealed that, there is a positive relationship between parental socio- economic status and the children’s self- concept.
Cole,2004, Hearn, (2001). As noted by Woadard (2001), agreed that the child self concept is a function of the learning environment among which is the parents.
According to Fraser (2006), students’ self-concept is affected by parents’ educational qualification, family size, general standard of living, cognitive and behavioral influences, academic motivation, available medical and health care, and some other parental background factors which may affect students’ self-concept.
Due to the persistent falling in students’ academic performance, there is a need to examine the influence of parents’ characteristics on the students’ self concept and the relationship between student’ home environment and their personality development that could also influence their academic performance.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The gap in performance between students and academic excellence constitute a great source of worry and serious concern as well as discomfiture to both parents, school agencies, policy makers and various governments responsible for the education of students in secondary schools.
Experience has shown that among the secondary school students‘ there exist some differences in students’ academic performance, such as some students being able to pay their fees promptly, while others were often sent away for nonpayment of school fees, some students have problem with the provision of uniform but others do not.
Likewise, some students were motivated by their parents through the provision of educational materials like text books and exercise books, others were not, where as some students come to school properly feed, others not. One then wonders whether the influence of family background had played in these issues. Therefore, it became necessary to examine how parents’ educational, economic and occupational background and the kind of self-concept they developed in comparison to others in terms of academic performance in Oruk Anam Local Government Area in Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria. This study was an attempt to find reasonable answer to this question.