Investigation Of The Influence Of Family Group On Students Performance In English Language

Project and Seminar Material for English Education

Investigation Of The Influence Of Family Group On Students Performance In English Language


This study was aimed at investigating the influence of family group on students’ performance in English language. The design adopted for this study was descriptive survey design. The population of the study consists of all senior Secondary students from the fifty three secondary schools in the three local government areas in Nsukka Education Zone. Out of the fifty three schools, twelve schools were sampled using proportionate random sampling technique. In the twelve schools, all SSII students numbering eight hundred and sixteen (816) were used as the subject of the study. The research instrument was questionnaire designed by the researcher and validated by experts. The reliability of the instrument was established using Cronbach alpha method. The data collected were analyzed using mean and standard deviation. The finding of the study revealed that: Students from educated parents achieve more than those from uneducated parents in academics; students from high-income status parents enjoy considerable advantage in academic achievement than students of low income status parents because their parents were able to afford necessary materials and equipment needed for effective learning in the school. Based on these findings, the study recommended among others that parents should diversify their sources of income to be able to provide fund for their children’s schooling. Parents should equally realize the importance of using rewards and other measures to motivate their children.


Table of Content

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of Problem
  • 1.3 Research Objectives
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Definition of Terms
  • 1.8 Organization of the Study

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Concept of Family Group
  • 2.3 Concept of Performance
  • 2.4 Concept of Academic Performance
  • 2.5 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.5.1 Parental Attachment Theory
  • 2.5.2 Self-Determination Theory
  • 2.5.3 Maslow’s Motivational Theory

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Design of the Study
  • 3.2 Area of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample and Sampling Technique
  • 3.4 Instrument for Data Collection
  • 3.5 Validation and Reliability of the Instrument
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis

Chapter Four

4.0 Results and Discussion

  • 4.1 Results
  • 4.2 Discussion

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendations
  • References
  • Appendix

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Education is the best legacy a nation can give to her citizens especially the youths. This is because education is very important in the development of any nation or community. Education is the process of transmitting what is worthwhile to members of the society. According to Okafor (1981). Education embraces all those experiences of the individual through which knowledge is acquired and intellect enlightened. For Nwabachili and Egbue (1993) education is what goes on from one generation to another generation. In this context, education is the process of socializing the child to grow up as a fulfilled member of the society through informal, formal and non-formal process. Informal education is the process of acquiring knowledge about the environment and beyond through living with one another. According to Nwabachili and Egbue (1993) formal education is a consciously planned form of socialization in a formal setting such as school. They stressed that non-formal education involve all those systematic programmes and processes of education and training that is done outside formal education setting. All these forms of education cannot be achieved without the influence of the family.

Family is the first social environment the child finds itself. According to Clifford (1981) family remains the primary environment of the child. The author emphasized that family environment has more chances of increasing or decreasing the intellectual performance of the child. Akubue and Okolo (2008), defined family as a small kinship structural group with the key function of natural socialization of the new born. Similarly, in Okunniyi (2004), family is defined as a primary social group of parents, offspring and possibly other members of the household.

Family background refers to all the conditions and circumstances in the family which influence the child physically, intellectually and emotionally Muola (2010). Children coming from different family backgrounds are affected different by such family conditions, that is why some children have good family background while some have poor background. Citing fleege, Eke (1999) noted that with some families, the background way vary from time to time for the same individuals.

Formal education therefore remains the vehicle for human development which must start from the family. There are different categories of families. The major categories of families according to Anderson and Taylor (2000) includes: Traditional families–where the father is the major breadwinner and mother at home rearing children; divorced families–families that have been reconstituted following the breaking of marriage; single parent families–likely headed by women; step families–with new siblings and new parents stemming from re-marriage.

A family could also be categorized as extended or nuclear. Extended families are those in which large group of related kin in addition to parents and children live together in the same household. This is the type of families prevalent in African countries. Nuclear families are families where married couple resides together with their children. This type of family is common in Western countries (Andersen and Taylor 2000).

Families are of various sizes. Family size has to do with the total number of people in a single family which may include the father, mother, children and even the extended members – all living in one hamlet. According to Alio (1995) family size has implication for education. The author emphasized that the size of the family determines to a great extent the relative amount of physical attention and time which each child gets from his parents. Large families are more common among the lower class of the society. Children in large families may suffer poverty and lack parental encouragement and stimulus which motivate their academic performance (Eamon, 2005). Similarly, smaller family size has been linked with high academic performance (Majoribank 1996) Majoribank further stressed that students with fewer siblings are likely to receive more parental attention and have support that leads to better school performance Family (small or large size) remains the primary environment of every child. The families begin the process of education and provide physical and psychological needs of the child. This supports the view of Maduewisi (1982), that the environmental experiences from family, peer group and school location have great influence in determining child’s intellectual ability. She maintained that bright children from under-privileged family environment may turn dull due to impoverished family environment. She added that mental development influence intellectual development. This is in line with Hebb (1987) who observed that the innate potentials of children cannot be attained without adequate stimulating family environment because the child cannot do well intellectually. The implication is that a proper stimulating family environment with intellectual potential and appropriate teaching methods will definitely enhance maximum performance of the child.

Durosaro and Durosaro (1990) in their study attempted to investigate the relationship between students’ family size and their academic performance; they found out that family size influenced academic performance. Their study reveals that children from small size families performed better at school than their counterparts from both average size and large size families. Furthermore, Yoloye (1989) conducted a study to see if the family background variables might be useful in explaining their academic performance. Some aspects of family background variables examined in the study include family size and parents’ educational status. His findings were that the polygamous family sizes which were naturally large, reduces the chances of children going to school in the first instance. In addition, children from such backgrounds who are in schools have reduced chances of achieving their goals. Thirdly, parents of such families are mostly illiterate and incapable of providing adequate motivation for their children in schools as compare with the literate nuclear families. It is against this background that the researcher is interested investigating the influence of family group on students’ performance in English language in Nsukka education zone of Enugu state.

1.2 Statement of Problem

Most students in Nigerian secondary schools are in greater risk of poor academic performance in both internal and external examinations (WAEC and NECO). For instance, the available records of WAEC result analysis from 2005- 2011 show a continuous decline in students overall performance in school certificate examinations, specifically in English and Mathematics. Government, parents, teachers and students blame one another for students’ poor performance in schools. Parents blame teachers for lack of dedication to duties. The teachers blame government for poor salaries hence they are poorly motivated, parents also accuse government for not equipping the schools with learning materials, government blame parents for not doing good homework and the students are blamed for lack of discipline and dedication to their studies. In light of the above issues, the outstanding and relevant question is: what is the influence of family group on students’ performance in English language?

1.3 Research Objectives

The purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of family group on students’ performance in English language.

Specifically, the objectives include:

  1. To assess the influence of parental level of education on academic performance of senior secondary school students in English language
  2. To determine the influence of parental income on academic performance of senior secondary school students in English language
  3. To evaluate the influence of family size on students’ academic performance in English language

1.4 Research Questions

This project is designed to tackle the following reach questions;

  1. What is the influence of parental level of education on academic performance of senior secondary school students in English language?
  2. What is the influence of parental income on academic performance of senior secondary school students in English language?
  3. What is the influence of family size on students’ academic performance in English language?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

The following hypotheses were formulated to guide the study the hypothesis is to be tested at 0.5 alpha levels.

  • HO1: There is no significant influence of parental level of education on academic performance of senior secondary school students in English language
  • HO2: There is no significant influence of parental income on academic performance of senior secondary school students in English language
  • HO3: There is no significant influence of family size on students’ academic performance in English language

1.6 Significance of the Study

Theoretically, the findings of this study are considered significant because it can help in providing empirical information in identifying and explaining the various family group variables and the influence of the variables on students’ academic performance. This will help in better understanding of the phenomenon. Moreover, it is expected that the findings will help to explain the functionality of the theoretical postulations Maslow’s motivational theory. According to Maslow, motivation is very important in learning, and a learner under motivated condition, exhibits purposeful behaivour aimed to achieving the set goal. The students is motivated to learn when their physiological need like shelter, food, water, rest and safety needs like love and belonging. The satisfaction of these needs leads to the quest to satisfy higher needs which boarder on self esteem and self actualization. The understanding of this theory especially as it relates to students teachers and parents would be of particular significance to researchers in the field of education and family studies.

The finding of the study will be of immense help to the teachers. The teachers will realize the necessity of individualizing their teaching by structuring their teaching methods and instructional resources to take care of the divergent parental backgrounds of the students. This method may yield more positive result than the traditional system which assumes that all children have similar family background. The findings of the study will also help teachers to exercise patience with slow-learners as they vary methods of instruction to accommodate divergent family background.

The findings will be of immense importance to students. The students will realize that their poor performance might not necessarily be their fault alone, especially those from low status families. Such knowledge will go a long way to reduce frustration in the students and also reduce drop-outs which occur as a result of frustration. Rather, the students should be made to adjust and help themselves by studying hard at home and also make proper of the books and materials that are provided for them at the school library. Through the findings of this study, parents will realize the importance of improving their educational standard so as to influence their children’s academic performance. Parents will also understand the need for them to improve their socioeconomic status so as to be able to provide the necessary motivation in form of learning materials and other things which will enhance their children’s learning and their academic performance. They will equally acknowledge the importance of positive motivations and encouragement and provide some, by making the family environment more conducive for their children.

1.7 Definition of Terms


The action of investigating something or someone; formal or systematic examination or research.


The capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something, or the effect itself.

Family Group:

A group of persons united by the ties of marriage, blood, or adoption, constituting a single household and interacting with each other in their respective social positions, usually those of spouses, parents, children, and siblings.

Academic Performance:

Is the measurement of student performance across various academic subjects. Teachers and education officials typically measure performance using classroom performance, graduation rates and results from standardized tests.

English Language:

Is an Indo-European language in the West Germanic language group. Modern English is widely considered to be the lingua franca of the world and is the standard language in a wide variety of fields, including computer coding, international business, and higher education.

1.8 Organization of the Study

This study is divided into five chapters. The first chapter is the introduction which contains the background, research problems and objectives. The second chapter is the literature review and the third chapter is the research methodology. In the fourth chapter, the researcher analyses the data and discusses the results. The fifth chapter is the last chapter which presents the summary, conclusion and recommendations.

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Summary

Based on the data analyzed, the findings of the study are presented and summarized below. The findings of the study showed that:

  1. Parents who are educated want their children to be educated. Educated parents provide most of the recommended text books and other learning aids for their children. Educated parents provide conducive atmosphere for their children’s studies at home.
  2. Students from high-income status parents achieve better academically. Parents on high income status can afford to provide the basic necessities required for students’ education. Students whose parents are on high-income status have higher career aspiration. D) Influence of family size on students’ academic achievement
  3. Students from small size families are not always better achievers in academics. The size of the family does not determine the ability of the parents to provide books and learning materials for their children’s education.

5.2 Conclusion

From the findings of the study, it was concluded that family group factor influence academic performance of students in English Language. Prominent among the family group factors include parental educational level, parental income and family size. Educational statuses of the parents and students’ academic achievement have a close relationship between them. This is because parents themselves having being to school realized the importance of being educated. They stand better chance to support their children for better academic achievement. Again, a child from large family size, who has strong determination can compete favorably with another child from small family size. Moreover, most children from small families are over pampered and undetermined.

5.3 Recommendations

  1. One of the major findings of this study is that parental income level has a great influence on students’ academic performance. In this case, it is recommended that parents as a matter of importance should diversify their sources of income so that they can be able to provide fund their children in school for better academic achievement.
  2. Parents should be made to realize the importance of motivation in determining their children academic achievement in schools, especially the realization that most of the male students are abandoning school for business. Parents should be actively involved in encouraging students to learn and also in supervising students academic work at home
  3. Students’ should give serious attention to studies at home, in addition to other various works done, since the amount of effort they put in their studies influence their academic achievement.

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