A Critical Investigation On The Effect Of Parental Educational And Socioeconomic Status On The Academic Achievement Of Students In Bookkeeping

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A Critical Investigation On The Effect Of Parental Educational And Socioeconomic Status On The Academic Achievement Of Students In Bookkeeping

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

Examinations have long been utilized as the major criterion for measuring a student’s aptitude and also as a measure of selection for educational progression and employment. A lot of students do not fare well in the Junior Secondary Certificate Examinations. As a consequence, the low performance has prompted disquiet, and measures have been undertaken to figure out the causes behind it. Ndirangu (2007) attributed students’ poor performance to a lack of facilities in school, a shortage of teachers, indiscipline, an adverse home environment, low IQ, and anxiousness. However, parental socio-economic and educational background were also revealed to be crucial determinants of the academic success of students.

In addition, the home is the first place a child learns. The quality of the family environment goes a great way in defining the future personality and accomplishment of the child. Psychologists have separated the elements that impact learning into two main groups, namely, nature and nurture. It was established that the two categories perform complimentary functions. As nature defines the amount of intellect and inherent talents of the child, nurture helps to optimize these intrinsic abilities. According to Ekinne (2002), nurture includes the family, the school, the surroundings, and peer groups to which the learner belongs. The child is significantly impacted by his or her surroundings at home. Babara (1982) argued that a child’s home environment impacts achievement in school. In support of this idea, Touray (1982) stated that home contextual elements may be modified to boost students’ academic achievement.

On this note, the amount of educational attainment of parents might impact the academic accomplishment of their children. According to the European Union Monitoring Report (2013), those pupils whose parents have a postsecondary degree of education do on average substantially better on tests of reading and arithmetic than those whose parents have just basic training. In a household when both the father and mother are educated, their children are always taken excellent care of in their academic activities. Such parents appreciate the value of acquiring instructional resources for their children in school. They may go through their children’s exercise books after school, or even pay a private tutor to educate them after school. By so doing, their academic performance will be enhanced, however in the event of an illiterate family, the requirement to oversee the children’s exercise books is not there, so their children would probably have poor academic performance in school. Educated parents may also keep a library at home, packed with novels, encyclopedias, and other instructional books and instructive audio-visual cassettes. When youngsters make use of these things, it will boost their brains.

Moreover, parents of various occupational groups frequently have distinct methods of child upbringing, different ways of punishing their children, and different ways of responding to their children. These disparities do not present themselves consistently as predicted in the case of every family, but rather they impact the average tendency of families for various occupational classes (Rothestein, 2004). In accordance with the above assertion, Hill and Cantu (2004) claimed that parents’ socioeconomic position not only affects their children’s academic performance, but also allows children from poor socioeconomic backgrounds to compete successfully with their counterparts from high socioeconomic backgrounds in the same academic setting. Moreover, Smith, Fagan, and Ulvund (2002) argued that a strong predictor of intellectual performance at the age of 8 years included parental socioeconomic status (SES). In the same vein, some researches argued that parental socioeconomic position may impact schoolchildren’s flexibility in adjusting to the diverse school schedules (Guerin and Maundu 2001). In a previous local study in Nigeria, Oni (2007) and Omoegun (2007) argued that there is a substantial difference in rates of deviant behaviors between pupils from high and low socioeconomic background.

Furthermore, the health state of the children, which might also be traceable to parental socioeconomic background, can be another factor that can impact the academic achievement of the pupils. Adewale (2002) revealed that in a rural community where nutritional status is generally poor and health issues are frequent, children’s academic performance is substantially affected. This statement is again reliant on the kind of parental socioeconomic background. Furthermore, Eze (1996) thinks that when a child obtains sufficient nourishment, health care, and stimulation throughout the preschool years, his or her capacity to engage and take full use of the entire complement of resources supplied by any formal learning setting increases.

Bookkeeping is the component of accounting, which deals with the recording of business transactions and the creation of financial statements and reports for internal use by management for planning, control, and decision making, as well as external use by investors, creditors, and government agencies for investment choices and tax returns, calculation, and assessment. Furthermore, accounting gives quantitative financial information about economic entities for internal and external users to utilize in making choices such as whether to invest further or not. Its operations, according to needles (2009), comprise all the line functions done in the accounting process, which includes general financial accounting, accounting systems and designs, cost accounting, budgeting, taxes, auditing and data processing (agbo 2007).

The goal of teaching this vital topic in secondary schools is to offer students with the fundamental way of processing data to build manipulative skills and provide information for career progression in accounting; to create an economic grasp of business terminology; to assist students develop and have an awareness of basic accounting ideas and principles; and, in summary, to be self-reliant.

Studies that studied the reasons contributing to university enrollment decreases of accounting majors reveal that such losses have been mostly related to the attitudes held by secondary school students about the accounting profession (Tan and Laswad, 2005 & Saudagaran, 1996). Some additional research have found that accounting teachers themselves may be important in students’ judgments in accounting (Tan and Laswad 2005; Paolillo and Estes, 1982; Cangelosi, Condie, and Luthy 1985). This shows that, as an extension of the teacher’s influence, the instructional techniques employed by the teacher for conveying the topics of accounting are key features in forming students’ proclivities for accounting. Accounting students in secondary school have been recognized as the category of students most likely to be challenged or put off by the topic of accounting, according to Saudagaran (1996). Concerned administrators and designers of secondary school accounting administration programs must be aware of the essential role that strategic teaching techniques play in shaping secondary school students’ perspectives of accounting.

Moreover, it is also considered that better socioeconomic position and high levels of education may boost parents’ capacity to get active in their children’s education and also help parents to learn and model social skills and problem-solving tactics favorable to children’s school performance. Thus, students whose parents have a higher socio-economic status and higher levels of education may have an enhanced regard for learning, more positive ability beliefs, a stronger work orientation, and they may use more effective learning strategies than children of parents with lower socio-economic status and lower levels of education (Joan, 2009). It is consequently against this backdrop that this research is dedicated to the influence of parental educational and socioeconomic level on the academic success of bookkeeping students.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Many authors have considered the negative and positive effects of differences in home background on the formal form of education in terms of student academic performance over the years. Many of these researchers asserted that parent education qualification is one of the major determinants of students academic engagement, many of whom suggested that students from illiterate parents face a lack of motivation from parents who have little or no education.

Also, parental socio-economic condition of students is what many have determined to be the explanation for students’ low academic attainment. They argue that when parents are affluent, youngsters are more likely to do well because they will attend a better school and interact with students from the same quality of parents who are from high socio-economic class and give education a greater priority. Thus, they will engage better in their academic career than those from impoverished homes, who they feel likely to experience the reverse. This study explores the influence of parental educational and socioeconomic level on the academic achievement of students in bookkeeping.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The generally aim of this study is to investigate the effect of parental educational and socioeconomic status on the academic achievement of students in bookkeeping.

The specific objectives are outlined below;

  1. Ascertain whether parental poor socioeconomic level results to students lack of motivation for bookkeeping studies.
  2. Determine whether any positive significant correlation exist between poor family background and students academic attainment in bookkeeping.
  3. Ascertain whether parental illiteracy contributes to students lack of interest in bookkeeping.
  4. Determine whether parental poor educational background affects students level of attainment in book keeping.

1.4 Research Hypothesis

The following null hypotheses will be tested in the course of this study;

  1. H01: Parental poor socioeconomic level does not result to students lack of motivation for bookkeeping studies.
  2. H02: Poor family background does not affect students academic attainment in bookkeeping.
  3. H03: Parental illiteracy does not contribute to students lack of interest in bookkeeping.
  4. H04: Parental poor educational background does not affect students level of attainment in book keeping.

1.5 Significance of the Study

It has been envisaged that the findings of this study may expose some factors that might be responsible for poor engagement of students in school. The identified areas where government at different levels could come in will be brought into focus in other to bridge the gap of educational attainment of children of low and high income earners in the society as well as student from illiterate parents home. The study will also encourage the policy makers to make a Social and economic policies to put in place and enable children from parents of low economic status to have equal opportunity of advancing the cause of education of their children. It will help Parents who are not educated or has low educational qualification on the importance of allowing their children to attend remedial summer coaching provided by non–governmental organization during holidays to supplement the regular school programmed.

1.6 Scope of the Study

The study will focus on parental educational and socioeconomic status, and their effect on the academic achievement of students in bookkeeping. The study majorly intends to unveil how parental education and socioeconomic level affects the performance of students in bookkeeping. The study will be carried out in Benue State, whereby two Government secondary schools for this study.

1.7 Limitation of the Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researcher encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. More so, the researcher simultaneously engaged in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.

1.8 Definition of Terms

Education Background:

These refers to the past educational achievement or level of educational attainment of a child’s parents.


These refer to the person who act as a parent or responsible for fatherly and motherly role of a child.

Socio Economic Status:

This when use simply refer to the class of the parent in term of income, position held and educational level of such parent.

Book Keeping:

This is one of the subjects in secondary school which was designed to help prepare student for accounting as a course in higher institution.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How does parental socioeconomic status affect student performance in school?

Eamon (2005) revealed that students whose parental socioeconomic status is low do not show effective performance in school. Findings also showed that the academic achievement of students is negatively correlated with the low parental socioeconomic status level as it prevents the individual in gaining access to sources and resources of learning.

Does parental involvement affect student academic achievement?

The results demonstrated that SES negatively moderated both the relationship between academic socialization and academic achievement, and that between home-based involvement and school behavior. The findings imply that parental involvement activities are highly beneficial for children and junior school students in families with low SES.

Is parental involvement associated with student academic success in families with low SES?

The findings imply that parental involvement activities are highly beneficial for children and junior school students in families with low SES. Academic socialization is generally associated with academic success, and home-based involvement closely relates to school behavior.

Does socioeconomic status affect student academic achievement?

Significant differences were found between the students with (high and low) and (high and middle) socioeconomic status. On the other hand insignificant difference was found between the students with middle and low socioeconomic status in respect to academic achievement. 


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