Effect Of Broken Homes On Students’ Academic Performance In Tertiary Institution (A Case Study Of Students From Broken Homes At Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Owerri)

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Effect Of Broken Homes On Students’ Academic Performance In Tertiary Institution (A Case Study Of Students From Broken Homes At Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Owerri)


This study investigated the relationship between broken home and student’s academic performance in Tertiary Institution with a case study of students from broken homes at Federal Polytechnic Nekede Owerri .Four departments were randomly selected.  A survey research design was adopted. A research instrument – the questionnaire – was developed to collect factual and perceptual information, from educational administrators, staff and students of the selected departments. The data collected were analyzed using the parentage and frequency table.

The study found out that broken home affects the academic performer of student’s but is not the only determining factors of such performance. Psychological state of the students and the availability and adequacy of educational resources were found also be among the factors that determine the academic performance of student. Some suggestions and recommendation were made that can improve the academic performances of student in tertiary institution.

Table Of Content

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title page
  • Approval page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of contents

Chapter One:


  • 1.1 Background of the study
  • 1.2 Statement of the problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the study
  • 1.4 Significance of the study
  • 1.5 Research question
  • 1.6 Scope of the study
  • 1.7 Definition of terms

Chapter Two:

Literature Review

  • 2.1 Meaning and Causes of Broken Homes
  • 2.2 Effects of Broken Homes on Academic Performance
  • 2.3 Relationship Between Broken Home, Psychological Support and Academic Performance
  • 2.4 Educational Resources and Academic Performance

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of Study
  • 3.3 Sampling Technique
  • 3.4 Sample Size
  • 3.5 Instrument For Data Collection
  • 3.6 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.7 Limitations of the Study

Chapter Four:

Presentation and Interpretation of Findings

  • 4.1 Description of Data Relevant to each Research Questions
  • 4.2 Discussion and Interpretation of Results

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • Reference
  • Appendix

Chapter One

1.0  Introduction

1.1 Background Of The Study

One of the most traumatizing experiences a student could have in life is a broken home. While the effects of broken home may be different on academic performance of the students, according to their stage of development, age and gender, Moneme (2001, p. 49) noted that “despite reconciliation efforts via family counseling most children suffer during and after the process. When their parents divorce, children feel as if their stability, their security and their world are all falling apart.” This unquestionably will affect the academic performance of such student.

According to Isude (2007, p. 16) “most student that came from broken homes react differently to the situation some can become very sad, showing symptoms of depression, unable to eat, sleep, read nor even attend classes. Their levels of anxiety can be very high as they experience feelings of being rejected or abandoned by one parent and sometimes, even both. Some cases of broken homes can even end up making students feel extremely lonely which is usually because one parent may be absent for  long time. The resultant effect of their situation on the child’s learning is lack of concentration and misplacement of priority”.

It is clear that a student in a broken home is most likely going to have a low academic performance when compared to other student with both parents.

Okwuha (2003, p. 17) pointed out the following effect of broken home in a students’ performance ability. According to him a student feels he is not loved anymore by his parents and experience feelings of desertion and desolation. This feeling gets worst once he understands that he cannot get his parents back together, thus he experience feelings of helpless and powerless. Even though such person cannot display feelings of anger, he obviously feels angry. Often he feels that it is his fault, believing that it is because of something he said or did that has resulted in a parent leaving.

Divorce or broken marriage is not only a loss in the parent’s lives but also in the children’s life and their academic performance as well. Hence they experience feelings of grief which is akin to the mourning of death. They also feel guilty about the loyalty conflict they experience.

A student who is faced by these realities will obviously have a challenge performing creditably academic. It is an established fact that family stability is a must for an excellent academic performance.

The home has a great influence on the students’ psychological, emotional, social and economic state. In the view of Ajila and Olutola (2007, p. 103), the state of the home affects the individuals since the parents are the first socializing agents in an individual’s life. This is because the family background and context of a child affect his reaction to life situations and his level of performance.

The school is responsible for the experiences that make up the individuals life during school period, yet parents and individuals experience at home play tremendous roles in building the personality of the student and that  the environment in which the students comes from can greatly influence his performance at school.

Although the home environment or family has been recognized as having a lot of influence on the academic performance of students. (Nzewuawah, 1995); Ajila and Olutola (2007), previous studies have concentrated in the area of Scio-economic status of parent which is one of the factors that induces divorce or causes a broken home. Other aspects of the parental environment such as the structure of the family have been grossly neglected. Yet,

Ichado (1998) stated that parents’ constant disagreement affects the academic performance of the students emotionally and this could lead to poor academic performance in the tertiary institution.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

The family lays the psychological, moral and spiritual foundations in the overall development of the student. While the mother’s significant role in this cannot be over-emphasized, studies on father-child relationship suggest that the presence of a father in the home influences significantly the development of a child (Agulanna, 1999). Thus, parathyroid is a responsibility regaining the full cooperation of both parents who must insure the total development of the offspring (s). Structurally a family is either broken or intact.

Whatever the structure of the family is, it has an effect on the academic performance of students from that family. The educational; issue of poor academic performance of most students in tertiary institution gave rise to this study. This study among other thing will find out the following

  1. The relationship between a student’s family background and his academic performance
  2. The relationship between parental care and academic performance
  3. If it is possible for student’s from broken homes to perform better than students from intact homes in academics.

1.3 Objective Of The Study

What this study aims to achieve is to examine the academic performance of students from broken homes visa – vis their counterparts from intact homes. In other words, this research tends to find out the connection existing between broken home realties and academic performance. It will also look into ways of enhancing the academic performance of students of broken home in particular in tertiary institutions in general. On the overall basis this research will find out the relationship between a student’s family background and his academic performance.

1.4 Significance Of The Study

Ohaja (2003), Based on this, the significance of this study cannot be over-emphasized, especially owing to increasing low standard of education in our tertiary institution. The study will provide a background upon which lecturers, counselor and academics planner will base their administration of students from broken homes.

The result of this study will provide insight to curriculum planners/formulators, researchers, and institute of education into the academic performance of students from broken homes. Above all, it is hoped that this research work serve as a guide and reference materials for students of public administration and researchers and that it will equally contribute to existing literature dealing with the subject matter and also suggest further areas of research into the effects of broken homes on students’ academic performance.

1.5 Research Question

The following questions are provided to help provide answers to the issues of effects of broken homes on students’ academic performance.

  1. Is there any relationship between a students’ family background and his academic performance.
  2. What is the effect of non-provision of school materials and lack of psychological support occasioned by broken homes on the academic performance of students from, such homes?
  3. All thing being equal, do students from stable homes perform better than students from broken homes academically?

1.6 Scope Of The Study

This study is focused on the effect of broken home on the academic performance of students in tertiary institution with special interest in ways of cushioning the negative effects of broken home on students’ academic performance.

Four departments were carefully and randomly selected within Federal Polytechnic Nekede Owerri. They include: Accountancy, Office Technology and Management, Business Administration and Management, and Banking and Finance. The first departments are co-educational while the other two are not. The reason for such selection is for thoroughness and comprehensiveness. It is also to ensure objectively and all-round representation.

1.7 Definition Of Terms

For the purpose of the enhancing the understanding of the key terms and concepts used in this research, here are the operational definitions of terms and concepts used in the context of the meaning assigned to them for the purpose of this study. These include:


This simply means the consequence or result of an action, event or process.


Family is a group of people related by blood. The family is also referred to as home in this study.


This is a legal dissolution on marriage already contacted.

Broken Home:

A broken home in the context of this study is one that is not structurally intact for various reasons; death of a parent devoices, separation, dissertation and intimacy in which case the family was never competed (Coukline 1996). Broken home and broken families were used interchangeably in this study.


A student refers to a person who is studying at school: secondary, university or college.

Academic Performance:

In this study, academic performance refers to extend a leaner/student achieve the systematic learning of instruction in school.

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion, And Recommendation

5.1 Summary

This study revealed the effect of broken homes on the academic performance of students. It also investigates the place of psychological and emotional support as well as educational resources on teaching and learning and consequently, in academic performance of students.

Giwa (2000) discussed the problems militating against the excellent academic performance or human resources of learning. According to him, the roles of inspections constraints, the good number of inspectors and monitoring officers who are newly employed with no practical experience in the job are being posted to the inspectorate unit of the ministry of education.

The duty of this group of staff cannot be overlooked. It is their responsibility among other things, to find out the causes of poor academic performance and find ways of improving it. A situation where they are non-existent or non-functional, the true cause of poor academic performance of students can hardly be ascertained. To inspect and supervise schools effectively required regular school; visits of well experienced officers with adequate provisions of resource to forestall ineffectiveness in performing their duties.

Human resources (teaching and non-teaching staff) has a positive significant effect in student’s academic performance Bajah (1979), Oni (1995) and Adesina (1980) discovered that human resources played the most important role in the teaching – learning situation than any other factors of production in the school system. Also, Anderson (1999) discovered that teachers who regular monitor and supervise the students learning but checking students’ work and helping individual student to overcome errors and learning difficulties are likely to have students who exhibit higher level of academic achievement.

A student’s family is also involved in the monitoring of the sole responsibility of the teacher. This study discovered that 96% of the broken homes care less about the performance of the students in school. This is attributed the version of priority of the single parent to other family issues since he/she is the only one responsible for the survival of the family. Aside supervision a student’s family is responsible for financing of the students academic. The importance and adequacy of this cannot be over flogged. This study also showed that a financial resource has significant effect on students’ academic performance. Through the government provides the major fund, for education in an ideal stake, the students family takes in school that are well funded than those that are poorly financed. This result is in line with earlier findings by Beeby (1966) and Adeogun (2001). This study discovered that funds handicaps principles in their administration and academic functions. Adeogun (2001) asserted that education as a socials service requires adequate findings, by both the family and government, to procure maintain and keep the school services going.

The involvement of the family in financial education was given support by Obasi (2000) when he defined private costs of education as “cost borne by individuals or families for choosing to go to school; or send their children to school” it takes an intact home to effectively play those all – important education role.

Oni (1995) in striking a balance between a family’s financial support and high academic performance submitted that the quality of education resource by the learners in school, to a availability of the materials resources and of curse the overall atmosphere in which learning activity takes place. In summary up this argument, Wiseman (1973), Sogbetan (1981) and Hassan (1983) pointed out that part of the major causes of poor academic performance in the family, poor family structure and anxiety.

5.2 Conclusion

This research found out that there is no significant difference in the academic performance of students from single parent family and those from two parent family. The data in table 6 indicates that the academic performance of students do not have direct bearing on their family background.

Therefore, higher academic performance among students can be achieved, it the psychological/emotional stale of the student is stable, and there is adequate provision of educational resources and an effective supervisor of the learning process. Whether from a broke or intact home, if the above mentioned factors are well put in place, a student is most likely to attain a very high academic performance.

5.3 Recommendation

There is interplay of nature and nurture on quality of education and students’ academic performance. In the light of the findings of this research, it is recommended that both, the government parent (family) and private organizations should rally round to provide educational resources for effective teaching and learning. This world impact on the academic performance of the students, Teachers should be encouraged to attend seminars workshops, and sandwich programme to update their knowledge for efficiency and effectiveness in their jobs. Government should reduce its responsibility to monitoring of what transpires in the schools to ensure quality.

Anything that should lead to a broken home should be avoided since it is one of the factors that affect student’s academic performance. My humble submission is that couples should love themselves; there should be freedom of speech. Every problem should be talked over or discussed to find a lasting solution to it. Couples should be sexually faithfully to each other. Whatever a person fancies in another man or woman, as the case may be, can be gotten from his/her spouse. Sex is good, but excess of its with many partners is very dangerous. Time consuming jobs is not good for the family. Undue attachment to one’s work at the expense of the family has caused a lot of havoc in many homes. When a man or woman stays too long at work, the other partner will state feeling lonely, neglected, abandon and sometimes frustrated. Striking a balance will be a good idea.

In addition teacher should identify students from broken homes for special attention. Close monitoring by the teachers is very important because it would help alleviate the consequences of broken home on the students. Boarding houses should be established in all tertiary institution to minimize the effect arising from broken homes. Effective socialization should be encouraged among students so that those wit psychological problems can be expressing themselves and overcome their handicap. Also, government should make guidance and counselors available in schools so that they will help those children from broken homes. Guidance and counselors should come to the aid of these children when necessary in order to avoid mistake when choosing the life partner. They should also help those students that are emotionally and psychological traumatized as a result of their parents separation.
For single parents, I want to advise thus: if your child is having difficulties learning or has a low academic performance, consult with a psychology. Obtaining proper placement for your child is difficult and time consuming but well worth the effort. If you are not satisfied with your child’s schools assessment, request a reassessment by an outside source. Work with the school until your child is proper placed. Don’t leave everything concerning your child’s learning in the hands of teachers and school administration. Get involved personally; help your child with counseling and proper academic placement. Ask your school for counseling referrals, if necessary. Take the lead in panning your child’s education. Except for may be the other parents, no one will be as motivated and satisfied as you are.

Government, private organizations and individuals concerned with the business of education should endeavor to address the obstacles hindering effective academic performance of students. This can be done by developing motivation in students though achievement motivation training. There is need for the recognition of individual differences in students and the need to deal with them accordingly.

Counselors should provide the necessary assistance and psychological support for students from single parent family so as to overcome their emotional problems. There is also the need to keep enlightening the parents of the importance of the home structure on students’ academic performance. This is necessary so that parents can understand the implications and consequences of parental separation and thus mobilized all resources to curtsies the problems arising from the situation. Generally, there us need to combat the continuing declining stale of education by providing more founds and materials for the enlightened of our educational system.

Finally, schools counselors should be employed in institutions of learning and adequate supervision to be put in place to ensure provision of necessary guidance service to students.

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