Parental Characteristics and Pupils’ Academic Performance in Primary Schools

Parental Characteristics and Pupils’ Academic Performance in Primary Schools
Parental Characteristics and Pupils’ Academic Performance in Primary Schools

ABSTRACT: This study investigated the influence of Parental Characteristics and Pupils’ Academic Performance in Primary Schools. Three specific objectives, research questions and research hypothesis each were formulated to guide the study. A survey research design was adopted for the study. The population was 1503 pupils, and a sample size of 150 pupils. A Basic Science Achievement Test was the instrument used for data collection. The data collected was analyzed using independent t-test.

Parental Characteristics and Pupils’ Academic Performance in Primary Schools 



1.1     Background to the study

The role parents play in the upbringing of a child is very important, as they look up-to them for guidance, protection and motivation to live a great life. One of the best ways to achieve wholesome qualities of education is the partnership of parents and teachers in injecting valuable skills, conduct, and knowledge to the learners (Dautscher & Ibe, 2003). If parents pay attention to their children, they make more scholastic achievements than those who are ignored.  According to Lambert (2010) personal attributes of a person ranging from personality, perceptions, temperaments, attitudes, values and beliefs play a key role in children academic success. A parent’s disposition and judgment about certain phenomena, values or vices in life affects how he reacts towards his children’s activities in all areas of their growth. Some parents tend to hold distorted perceptions about some schools, teachers, administration and even their own children. This in return gives rise to making wrong decisions and actions on their children and teachers.

The characteristics portrayed by parents play a vital role in influencing their children’s learning as well as shaping their improvement in the academic attainment and achievements and their overall behaviour and attendance. Some of the characteristics such as a parent’s attitudes, aspirations and behavior are all important, as it is their ability to: understand their child’s day-to-day progress, undertake family learning together, and talk regularly with their child about their learning (Carbonel, Banggawan and Agbisit, 2013).

There are various parental characteristics which have been a major challenge or risk factors associated with underachievement which are difficult to alter.  One of the characteristics such as family backgrounds can contribute to either shaping or destroying their children performance. According to an observation made by Pinantoan (2013), pupils with two parents operating in supportive roles are likely to enjoy school and get good marks than pupils whose parents are disengaged with what’s going on at school.

In Africa, education achievement is one of the most important aspects of the society. This is because in the developing nations academic achievement is one of the keys to development and growth of both the individual and the society. Thus, the characteristics portrayed by parents or guardians in the education of their children is important in ensuring that the pupils focus on their studies and are able to have good academic performance. Khasakhala (2013) observed that various parental characteristics such as parenting behavior greatly influence how children get to interact with their friends in the outside world. That wrong parenting contributed to the prevalence of clinically depressive symptoms among children in public schools. This is an indication that parental characteristics need to be effectively looked into and how it affects the academic performance of pupils.

Naglieri (2009) in his study found that some parents are reserved and rarely socialize with their children. Parent’s academic socialization describes the way parents influence their children’s academic achievement by shaping their skills, behaviors and attitudes towards school. That, parent’s influence children through the environment and discourse they have with their children. Children academic socialization can be influenced by their parents’ socio-economic status, as highly educated parents tend to have more stimulating learning environments. He further asserted that lack of proper socialization, natural dictatorship, setting high standards and judgmental abilities tend to affect a child’s learning environment, which in turn leads to poor academic grades for children with such parents.

Parental Characteristics and Pupils’ Academic Performance in Primary Schools 

1.2     Statement of problem

Parents in Etinan Local Government Area are not that different as compared to the parents in any other Local Government Area in the state. Their impact on children’s education cannot be underrated. It can be noted that in the area, the performance of pupils in schools is not that up-to-standards. Studies indicated that the performance of children in this area have not been that impressive. For instance, Kashu indicated that poor facilities and finances affected the performance of children whereas that by Smith noted leadership issues and socio-economic status of a family which is usually linked with the family’s income, parents’ educational level, and parents’ occupation as the contributing factors to the negative performance among children in this area (Kashu 2007, Smith 2005).  However, none has been able to investigate on how exactly the parental characteristics affect the performance of children.

Secondly, it has also been observed that most financially buoyant parents in the learning process of their children has generally been limited to financial support. Once the fee is paid, they don’t feel obliged to take any further actions in terms of their children’s education. Rather they live the burden to the teachers who they believe they pay enough to take care of their children, and this contributed immensely to the poor performance of children in schools.

On the other hand, there are quite a number of studies which have been reviewed in the areas of parental background affecting children performance. However, most of these studies have had their own limitations, whereby some have been carried out in other Local Government Area outside Akwa Ibom State. Most of them were wider in scope and thus the information provided may be too general. However, no adequate studies have been carried out to investigate the influence of parental characteristics on the academic performance of pupils’ in Akwa Ibom State and with specific reference to Etinan Local Government Area. Hence, there was need for this study to be carried out to investigate on the parental characteristics influencing pupils’ academic performance in Basic Science in public primary schools.

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