The Influence of Family Factors on Students Academic Achievement in Biology

The Influence of Family Factors on Students Academic Achievement in Biology
The Influence of Family Factors on Students Academic Achievement in Biology

The Influence of Family Factors on Students Academic Achievement in Biology

ABSTRACT: The study examined The Influence of Family Factors on Students Academic Achievement in Biology. Three research questions and three research hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. A survey research design was used for the study. The population of the study comprised 1246 senior secondary two (SS2) Biology students in three (3) public secondary schools in Etim Ekpo. The sample size used for the study was one hundred students (100) draw from two public schools using simple random sampling technique. Family Factors Questionnaire (FFQ) and Biology Achievement Test (BAT) were the instruments for data collection. Reliability indices of 0.74 and 0.75 were obtained using Pearson Product Moment Correlation. Mean, standard deviation and independent t-test statistics were used to analyze the data. The result revealed that parental education, income and parental assistance of students in doing homework significantly influence the academic achievement of students in Biology. Based on the findings, it is recommended that parents should show greater interest and support to the education of their children irrespective of their income and educational level.

The Influence of Family Factors on Students Academic Achievement in Biology



1.1       Background of the Study

Education, in its broadest sense, is a process designed to inculcate knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to enable individuals to cope effectively with their environment. Its primary purpose is to foster and promote the fullest individual self-realization for all people. It is indispensable to normal living, without education the individual would be unqualified for group life. According to Aremu (2000), education is the process of developing the capacities and potentials of the individuals as to prepare that individual to be successful in a specific society or culture. Notably, it is often said to be the powerful tool for developing intellectual abilities, shaping cultural attributes, acquiring knowledge and skills as well as a favourable tool to move a nation towards developing it scientific and technological culture.

A home is a place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a home or household. It is a place of residence or refuge. A home is not a mere transient shelter. Its essence lies in the personalities of the people who live in it. Home factors comprise of all human and materials factors that affect an individual development in the home where one live.

According to Anene, (2005) home factors are the aggregate of all internal and external conditions affecting the existence, growth and welfare of organisms. It is an influence an individual came in contact with after the hereditary has been through the gene plasma. The home as a basic social unit of the society is the first social group that a child meets on earth. A number of conditions prevailing in the home have some effects on child’s upbringing and his way of behaving. Hence, the social climate or environment in which an individual finds him or her to a large extent determines his or her behaviour and personality development. Home factors have been of a great important in shaping the performance of children in schools worldwide. This is because academic performance is usually as a result of motivation that children get from the people they interact with in their initial stages of life.

Home factors comprises of the level of education of parents, parental socio-economic status, home size and other factors which are essential aspects in development of student’s personality and academic function (Higbea & Thompson 2010).

The socio-economic status of parents is capable of affecting the behaviour of the children and determines their aspiration. Parents with high socio-economic status often have more success in preparing their children for school because they typically have access to wide range of providing their young children with high quality child-care, books and encourage children in various learning activities at home. They also have easy access to information regarding their children’s health, as well as social, emotional and cognitive development (Ojo and Yilma 2010), Ojo and Yilma also noted that in all socio-economic groups, parents face major challenges when it comes to providing optimal care  and education for their children and  these challenges are more pronounced in poor families. This, according to them, is because sometimes, when the basic necessities are lacking, parents must place top priority on housing, food, clothing and health care, regarding education materials and books as luxuries.

Parents’ education is another home background factor which influences the academic achievement of students. Students under motivated condition, exhibits purposeful behaviour aimed at achieving academic set goals. The achievement of these goals determines the motive. The situational perspective according to the scholars focuses on learning context. These scholars further identified to factors that greatly influence students’ motivation. These are: interpersonal factors such as curiosity, perseverance, and autonomy (intrinsic-factors) and environmental factors such as parents, peers and sibling (extrinsic factors).

Research shows the supportive and attentive parenting practices positively affect academic achievement (Eamon, 2005). In addition, high parental aspirations have been associated with increasing students’ interest in education (Majoribanks, 2005). The effect of parental motivation and involvement in their children’s school has on academic achievement is less clear (Domina 2005), parental motivation and involvement in school has been linked to both positive and negative influences on academic achievement (McNeal, 2001, Domina, 2005). Explanations for this discrepancy are not conclusive. It is thought that the type of involvement and motivation may make a difference and that in some cases parents become involved after their child has already had academic difficulties (Domina, 2005).

Parents of different occupational classes often have different styles of child rearing, and disciplining their children as well as reacting to their children educational needs. These differences do not express themselves consistently as expected in the case of every home; rather they influence the average tendencies of parents for different occupational classes and the educational outcome of the children (Rothestain, 2004).Another socio-economic background of the parents is the parents’ education which is an important factor found in literature to have a positive relationship with students’ academic performance.

According to Smith and Francesconi (2010), in a study on impact of home background on educational attainment in high schools in San-Francisco, the finding showed that there is a significant relationship between each parent’s educational level and their children performance in school. They further explained that mother education has a strong association with the children academic achievement than that of the father. This therefore means that children from parents who attain formal education do show self-involvement in the education of their children and this becomes the motivational factor for the students to study hard and aim high because their home environment has not expose them to the kinds of materials used in schools. If home environment is not intellectually stimulating, students find it difficult to cope in school and may eventually drop-out of school.

Thus researchers have shown that socio-economic status and host of other factor relating to home environments of students, such as educational level, income level, environment, means of recreation and parent’s interest in education could have effect on children academic performance(Okon, 2017, Anietie, 2015 and Edem, 2014).

Parental educational status refers to the level which the father and mother attain educationally and it is the qualification of the parents (father and mother). Some parents are formally educated which means they have formal education while some parents are not formally educated. Formal education involves education carried out in schools while the non-formal education is any organized educational activity that takes place outside the conventional school system with no specific target group such as carpentry, mechanics, tailoring, shoe mending, computer operating and blacksmithing (Inyang, 2016).

According to Percus (2011), the relationship between parental educational status and students’ academic achievement in science has been widely reported that students from educated parents with good occupation perform better in schools. Formally educated parents do, however, share some unique demographic characteristics that differentiate them from non-formally educated parents. Formally educated parents assist the children in doing their assignment at home, pay for home teachers to teach the children at home after school, buy books that the children will read at home and monitor the level of their children academic achievement in school in comparison to non-formally educated parents. 

On the contrary, formally educated parents do also tend to have specific challenges that impede their ability to effectively educate their children. These challenges may be evidenced across all homes, they are perhaps most potent in formally educated parents that they are too busy and handover the children to be taken care of by caregivers and home teachers without paying keen attention to children educational development, lack of motivation to the children and lack of steady parental care for their children (King, 2011).

The level of income of the parent is another factor which assists parents to be classified socially to different strata in the society which may play important role in the academic achievement of the students in secondary schools and universities. According to Samuel (2014) the level of income is the amount of money the parents (father and mother) receive monthly, weekly or daily from their occupational activities. Samuel emphasized that the level of income of the parents may be determined by the level of education the parents attain and this may influence the level of exposure of the parents which make the parents to be versatile in encouraging the children academically. The children from these rich parents may be inherently motivated to be like their parents when they grow and this will make them to study well in school.

On the other hand children from poor parents are likely to experience learning disabilities and developmental delays than children from rich parents. Although some students from poor background are motivated and encouraged by their parents academically by providing home teachers for these children at home, this tends to increase the intrinsic motivation of the children and increase the academic achievement in school.

Children from rich parents tend to be exposed to good learning materials at home which assist them in doing their homework and assignment as some parents have personal libraries at home where the children can sit and read comfortably. These students live mostly in the urban areas where there are adequate basic amenities like hospitals, public libraries, research centers and other educational resource centers. Contrary, parents who are poor may not be exposed to good learning materials at home to assist the children in doing their homework and assignment. These poor parents may not have personal libraries at home where the children can sit and read comfortably. These sorts of students live mostly in the rural areas where there are no adequate basic amenities (Utah, 2015).

Byoung (2012) stated that the students need safe, healthy and stimulating environment in which they grow and learn at home. During the secondary school stage, the students can spend long time at home where the environment plays a critical role in children’s formation and development. According to Enang (2012), the actions and how people behave depends on who the people stay with and where they stay; since the development of the child is determined by the environment and the biological make up of the child. This condition requires careful planning and arrangement of educational related activities at home such as home lesson to optimized experiences that support learning. Therefore, the home environment is of paramount importance in shaping and reshaping intellectual ability of the students.

This implies that supportive and favorable home environment enriched with enough learning facilities, favourable climate makes students more comfortable, concentrated on their academic activities that resulted in high academic performance. This educational process occurs in physical, social, cultural and psychological environment. A proper and adequate learning environment is very much necessary for a meaningful learning. Kainuwa and Yusuf (2013) stated that the home environment and home processes food preparation and washing of clothes provide a network of physical, social and intellectual forces and factors which affect the student’s learning. According to them, the home’s level of encouragement, expectations and educational activities in the home are related to socio-economic status of parents.

Apart from the socio-economic status such as educational status, income level and interest in education by parents, another socio-economic factor is the availability of facilities in the home which enable children to develop problem solving skills and promote interest in learning science. When students are not exposed to good facilities like home library, play materials, information and communication technology and garden precisely in the home, they tend to be performing high in school. These material like the information and communication technology facilities and play materials can be used by the students with their parents to during recreation and these may influence their performance in school. Udom (2009) identified recreational facilities as the major factor contributing to children motivation to learn at home and increases students’ academic achievement in the school system.

Sign (2014) posited that learning takes place in a conducive environment within a web of social relationship as parents and children interacts. All aspects of the home environment provide survival, protection, development and participation in the learning process to the students. This means that the focus is on learning which strengthens the capacities of students to act progressively on their own behalf through the acquisition of relevant knowledge, useful skills and appropriate attitudes which help them to create for themselves and others a safety place, security and healthy intervention in promoting students’ academic achievement in Biology. It is against this background that this work is being undertaken to empirically investigate the possible influence of parental factors on student’s academic achievement in Biology in secondary schools.

The Influence of Family Factors on Students Academic Achievement in Biology

1.2       Statement of the Problem

Home is the first point of contact of children in the world and the home consist of two important adults’ father and mother of which each of them occupy a specific position and function in the overall development of the children. When both parents are present, it implies that the child would derive much care from them and according to psychology; these children develop emotional and psychological attachment to their parents. However, in some homes a gap in a child’s life may be created when the child loses the support that would have emanated from the parent due to poverty, lack of formal education of the parents, poor environment and place of recreation of the parents.

Experience has shown that among the secondary school students, there exist some differences which influence student’s academic performance, such as some students being able to pay their school fees promptly, while others are often being sent away for non-payment of school fees. Some student have problem with the provision of school uniform but others do not. Likewise, some students are motivated by their parents through the provision of educational materials like text books and exercise books and other parents do not; equally some students come to school properly fed, others do not. These then motivated the researcher to ask whether these differences among students which arises as a result of different home socio-economic background could influence the students’ academic achievement in school. In the quest to provide answer to this question, triggers the investigation into the influence of the influence of family factors on students’ academic achievement in biology.

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