Effect Of Birth Order On The Academic Performance Of The Adolescents, In Secondary Schools
The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of birth order on the academic performance of adolescent students, in secondary schools in Ajeromi Local Government Area, Lagos State. A total of 134 respondents were selected from the population figure out of which the sample size was determined. Data for this study was collected using a structured questionnaire. Data collected will be analyzed using frequency table, percentage and mean score analysis while the nonparametric statistical test (Chi-square) was used to test the formulated hypothesis using SPSS (statistical package for social sciences). The results show that there is no significant relationship between birth order (first, middle, and last born child) and the students’ academic performance in school along with the socio-economic status of the family. There is no relationship between family size and a child’s academic performance. It is expected that through this study the glaring effects of Birth Order be enumerated enough for parents and the society at large to make redress where necessary, and maintain an appreciated standard of breeding children so as to attain a desired result of intelligent, well-motivated children as products of good and sound education. Therefore, it is very important for educational stakeholders to be aware of these factors and know how to solve the problem so that there would be improvement in our educational system in the country.
1.1 Background to the Study
Birth order is significant in child rearing, Consequently, the family is first in the life of the child in several ways. As Cooley puts it “the family is the cradle of personality”. It is primary in point of time in the processing or induction of the child into society and culture.
The new individual’s basic drives and needs can reach fruition only with the setting provided by these people who surround him. His interpersonal relationships will be reflected not in terms of any cultural determinant alone but in terms of the various individual differentials represented by family members. Therefore it is pertinent to note that intellectual development in school subjects has to be viewed closely, putting into consideration the family unit as being the key ingredients in the formation of eventual IQ growth, along with environment variables of a student’s family.
A child’s personality or socialization trend may depend on his sibling position or birth order. The impact of ordinal birth position upon the child and sibling relationship has received considerable exploration nation wide, certain generalizations may now be made if we remember that all of their birth positions are incident to the social and emotional climate of the home. And this depends largely on the types of homes, like the nuclear family, which can be looked at as a democratic home with amount of minimum frustration, And the extended family with its accompanying frustration. Again of these types of families, the socio-economic status also counts in determining its correlation to personality development of the individual student in general and their academic performance in particular.
In this study these generalization will be grouped into the oldest child (as first born child) whose position in the family structure is a unique one though various studies and writers ascribe- different effects on the position.
The youngest child or the last child in the family whose position is also a crucial position depending on the economic condition of the family and accompanying cultural advantages for him.
The study of these age differences will go a long way in helping teachers, parents and the society at large to carry out effective investigation of the effects of birth order on academic performance of adolescent students
Birth order as an integral part of a child formative and development stages is the much that will be focused on as it affects the learning ability and assimilation rate of the students in school.
Coupled with this is the home and parental status and environmental factors militating against students achievement in school generally will also be focused as an area of study, being an essential and a strong determinant of measuring students performance in school.
Birth order or order of delivery of children in this case will be further viewed or analyzed from the perspective of the first born child, the middle born child and the last born child as earlier indicated.
Huni (1966), supports the motion that the environment of the child has a great influence on the acquisition of basic knowledge and skill.
Kernes ( 1997), points out that for the child to grow intellectually and socially with increased independence, to meet daily-life situation, the child must be provided a conducsive environment which helps him develop adequate motor skills and be motivated to learn.
The home is the foundation of education, because it plays a central role in socializing the child. The child spends his early years and learns his language at home.
The importance of the family was stressed by Data (1984) that the environment of the home remains a principal settings in which the child’s initial experience have an enduring impact on the physical, intellectual and personality development of the child”. According to Datta, the early social and physical environment that the home provides for the child has an impact on his later social and cognitive development.
Obanya (1981) further asserted that the environment of the learner affects his attitude to schooling as well as his performance in school.
Uche (1984) claims that there is enough evidence from past research findings, that a child’s school performance is related to his background and the activities which goes on in a child’s home is related to the social status of his parents.
He also believes that many lower class parents, fail to provide even the minimum level of reinforcement and stimulation for their children intellectual development.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The specific statement of the problem is to analyze the extent to which birth order of the children or their positions in the family affects their performance in school along with the socio economic status of the family.
Analysis of the position of the children, that is; the first child, middle child and the last born child in the family will be studied closely in order to determine their academic performance in school.
In order to ascertain the reasons for the different levels of performance of the students with respect to their individual positions in the family, the study is investigating the effects of birth order on adolescent students academic performance.
Miner (1969) has pointed out that the socio-economic status of the child was related to the level of achievement attained.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study is aimed at stressing the indispensable effects of birth order on adolescent students academic performance. Consequently, parents, teachers and the society will be able to appreciate the various differences in the students throughout their schooling periods. Thus, it is expected that through this study the glaring effects of ‘Birth Order’ be enumerated enough for parents and the society at large to make redress where necessary, and maintain an appreciated standard of breeding children so as to attain a desired result of intelligent, well-motivated children as products of good and sound education.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The significance of the study lies in the fact that, it would create a sort of awareness about birth order in education achievement.
Obviously, it would give an insight into the reasons why certain students perform excellently in social studies, than the others. At the long run, the finding of this study will help educationists, parents and teachers and the society at large to realize the fact that students’ academic performance is not based on intelligence alone, neither is it base solely on the socio-economic back ground of the students not on family size.
Thus, this study may be useful to educational planners, administrators, educational policy makers and other societal issues Planners. This will make them to be aware of the fact that apart from Intelligent, Quotient(IQ), attitude of the child and the parents’ education and standard of the school the child attends, others factors such as socio-economic status of the family, Birth order have impact on the academic performance of students in the school.
To the parents, this study will also be significant in child rearing. Parents tend to discipline their first born more than their other children and give them more attention.
Bringing out the real picture of the contribution of the family to the academic performance of the child, thus making the parents to bear a part of the blame that would normally be on the child alone for his or her poor performance in school.
The school principals will find the study invaluable in that it will help in understanding the child better so as to know why he or she performs in a particular way.
1.5 Research Questions
The fundamental question which are considered in this study are –
- Is there any significant relationship between birth order and students educational development?
- Is there any significant relationship between family size and students academic performance?
- Is there be any significant relationship between socio-economic status and adolescent students academic performance?
- Is there any significant difference in the academic performance of adolescent students of the first child, middle child and the last child?
1.6 Hypothesis of the Study
- There is no significant relationship between birth order (first, middle and last born child) and adolescent students academic performance
- There is no significant relationship between family size and adolescent academic performance.
- There is no significant relationship between socio-economic status of a child family and his academic performance.
- There is no significant difference in the academic performance of the first child, middle child and the last born.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study take a look at the effect of Birth order on students performance and educational development in Ajeromi Local Government Area, Lagos State.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
The research experienced some forms of limitation in the process of the study. The researcher experienced financial constraints which inhibited the number of contacts that were made at the various destinations and the number of questionnaires that were provided and administered.
There was also general reluctance to give information and other factors like accessibility to source of information due to the formal protocols required by the Principals. Also insufficient availability of Secondary data poses a constraint to the study.
The research is also limited to Mainland Local Government Area of Lagos State. Thus there is a limit to which the result of the students could be generalized.
1.9 Definition of Terms
A family which consists of a man, his wife and children. This is a smaller family unit living a separate existence, in contact with relatives but not inter-dependent on them.
The extended family may be a nuclear family or a polygamous family, it includes, aunts, uncles, cousins, grand parents, wives of sons and their children as all members of the family.
In a polygamous family a man is legally married to more than one wife. Thus polygamous family is made up of a man, his wives and their children.
This refers to the social and economic position an individual can find himself or herself. It is regarded as the most significant predicting factor responsible for the academic achievement of students depending on the family.
This is the immediate physical surrounding of the child in the physical environment. There exist forces such as temperature, humidity and pressure which affect the individual and consequently, his learning.
It can be defined as the result or outcome of a student during the course of study. It can also be said to be a phenomenon used to grade the successful outcomes of students in particular.
Can be said to mean Judgment, good sense, the ability to comprehend and to reason well and to adapt one self to circumstances.
This is used to refer to the atmospheric nature of an environment of which a family lives.
This include the total number of children and parents in an immediate family or extended family.
It is the order of child delivery, the position in which a child comes e.g. first, second and third etc.
This refers to how far a child is able to go academically and how well he does in every aspect or area of his academics.
The major tool used in gathering data in the study was a set of questionnaire.
Person’s Product Moment Correlation Co-efficient and Chi-Square analysis were used in analyzing the data.
Findings were made, conclusions drawn and recommendation made based on the findings of the study.
Conclusion and Recommendations
Conclusively, there are many factors that affect the academic performance of school pupils; one of these factors is birth order which greatly predict the academic performance of pupils. The first schools which every child attend is the home, every individual in the society should be aware of the fact that the home play a significant role in the academic performance of a child. The position of the child in the family affect performance of pupils positively or negatively.
Overcrowding of families, the position in the families, environments, all these have influence on the pupils academic performance and since any educational program me depends on the pupils good academic performance for its success, so it is very important for educational stakeholders to be aware of these factors and know how to solve the problem so that there would be improvement in our educational system in the country.
The main purpose of this study is to identify the effects of birth order on the academic performance of the pupils. The findings of these study will be of great use to the pupils involved, they should try and use the findings of the study to improve on their academic performance, they should not allow their background to discourage, they should make use of the little opportunity that may come their way to achieve academic excellent despite their families’ sizes and position in the families.
Parents should try and make use of the findings of the study, especially those that comes from large families. They should try and be aware of the fact that the situation within the families goes a very long way positively in affecting their children academic performance.
Teachers are placed in good positions to educate parents on how to ensure proper child development by giving attention to the factors dealt with in these studies. Since as a result of modernization, children now spend almost as much time in schools as they spend at home, teacher should be aware of the factors that predict poor academic performance. They should detect this factor early enough in other to give every necessary assistance to the affected pupils by directing them to counselor and teach them in a way that they will easily understand.
Lastly, parents should try and work with the schools the combined force can accomplish educational goals when the parents and schools unite in an effort to find what is best for their children.
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