The Parental Status And Academic Performance In Secondary School

Project and Seminar Material for Guidance and Counselling

The Parental Status And Academic Performance In Secondary School


This project work was undertaken to survey the influence of socio-economic background in the academic performance of students a case study of some selected secondary schools in Ikeja local government area of Lagos State. To find solution to the problems, which give to undertaking the survey questionnaire, were raised to check influence of socio-economic background on the academic performance of students in some selected public secondary school in Ikeja local government area of Lagos state. From the findings it was discovered that socio-economic performance of students in Ikeja local government area of Lagos state are affecting the students. Recommendation was therefore made as follows: the local education Boards in Ikeja should conjunction with the principals of the various school provide adequate educational facilities in schools (such as a well-stock library where the students who cannot afford the necessary textbooks and other material can borrow; Guidance and counselling service should be intensified in schools so that students could be shown and taught how to succeed despite all odds; Parents should be intimated with the adverse effects of having many children and also they should be encouraged to practice family planning, among others.

Chapter One


1.1 Background Study

The development of any nation or community depends largely on the quality of education of such a nation. It is generally believed that the basis for any true development must commence with the development of human resources (Akanle, 2007). Hence formal education remains the vehicle for social-economic development and social mobilization in any society. The difference between developed and developing nations is not on the basis of colour, race or any other criteria, but on the basis of education and knowledge. Even in a society itself, people are differentiated on the basis of the quality of education, received by them (Mumthas, 2006).

Education therefore has an immense impact on the development human society. It is through education that knowledge and information is received and spread throughout the world. In other words “without education, man is as though in a closed room and with education he finds himself in a room with all its windows open towards outside world” (Khan, 2003). Parents play an immense and significant role in the academic performance of their children. Educated parents would have increased emphasis on educational excellence. Educated parents are equipped by virtue of their education to take cognizance of the fact that parent- student- school- community relationship is important in order to promote educational attainment and academic achievement of their children and so they make the partnership a priority (Okantey, 2008).

Parent has vital roles to play in the life of a child. The involvement of a parent on a child determines the future of such child. Parenting involvement is a catch-all term for many different activities including at ‘home,’ good parenting, helping with homework, talking to teachers, attending school functions, through to taking part in school governance. When schools work together with families to support learning, children tend to succeed not just in schools but throughout life. To say the fact, the most accurate prediction of a student’s performance in school is not income or social status, but the extent to which that student’s parent is able to create a home environment that encourage learning and to express high expectations for their children’s achievement and future careers.

Academic achievement is directly related to students’ growth and development of knowledge in an educational situation where teaching and learning process takes place. Academic achievement is defined as the performance of the students in the subject they study in the school (Pandey, 2008). Academic performance determines the student’s status in the class. It gives children an opportunity to develop their talents, improve their grades and prepare for the future academic challenges. Parental involvement in promoting children’s school success has been identified as a vital factor affecting students’ academic performance in school. In particular, various aspects of parental involvement although, parents of different occupation classes often have different styles of child rearing, different ways of disciplining their children and different ways of reacting to their children. These differences do not express themselves consistently as expected in the case of every family; rather they influence the average tendencies of families for different occupational classes. (Rothestein, 2004).

Family is the primary cell of society where the child’s upbringing must begin since his birth, still in cradle. According to V. Hugo, the person’s principles established since childhood are like letters engraved in the bark of a young tree, which grow, enlarge with it making its integral part. Therefore, right beginning makes the most important part of upbringing/education. Nobody ever said that children were easy to rise. They don’t come with guidelines or instructions, and they certainly don’t come with a pause button (I’ve looked!). What they do come with is a crucial set of physical and emotional needs that must be met. Failure of the parents to meet these specific needs can have wide-ranging and long-lasting negative effects (Christheisen, 2009). This is because parent in the home are children first teacher. As a child move from infant to toddler and then to a pre-schooler, he learns how to speak, listen, write and read which latter develop the child to achieve academically.

The influence of parents on children school performance is well documented in numerous studies. Gadsden (2003) says greater parental involvement at early stage in children’s learning, positively affects the child’s school performance including higher academic achievement. Harderves (1998) review that family whose children are doing well in school exhibit the following characters:

  1. Establish a daily family routine by providing time and a quiet place to study with the children and assigning responsibility for house hold chores.
  2. Monitor out-of-school activities, for example setting limits on television watching, reduce time of playing, monitor the groups of friends the pupils walk with.
  3. Encourage children’s development and progress in school; that is maintaining a worm and supportive home, showing interest in children’s progress at school, helping him or her with homework, discussing the value of a good education and future career with children.

Upon this background, this study sets out to investigate the parental status and student academic performance in Lagos State secondary schools.

1.2 Statement of the problem

The role of a parent to a child at any given time cannot be over emphasized. The home is very germane and crucial to a child’s well-being and development in later life. Izzo et al (1999) studied 1205 US children from kindergarten through to grade 3 in a 3 year longitudinal research programme. Teachers rated four forms of involvement; frequency of parent-teacher contact; quality of parent teacher interaction; participation in educational activities in the home; and participation in school activities. These factors, as well as family background variables were examined to find any relationship they might have with school achievement as indexed by school grades. Consistent with other studies, Izzo et al showed that all forms of parental involvement declined with child’s age and that involvement in the home ‘predicted the widest range of performance variance.

In another longitudinal study, Dubois, (1994) showed that family support and the quality of parent child relationships significantly predicted school adjustment in a sample of 159 young US adolescents (aged 10 –12) followed in a two year longitudinal study. At-home parental involvement clearly and consistently has significant effects on pupil achievement and adjustment which far outweigh other forms of involvement. When schools work together with families to support learning, children tend to succeed not just in school, but throughout life. The challenges of single parenthood, family crises and the ever increasing involvement of women in various areas of community and national development makes one to ask questions as to whether parents are still able to be committed to their wards; or whether they are putting enough efforts towards effective learning and performance of their children.

The foregoing discussion had established that socio – economic status and host of other factors relating to home environment of students, such as educational background of parents, health status of students, parental occupation and family size could have effects on children academic achievement.Given the importance of education to development, why then it is not taken seriously as indicated by low pass rates. What then mainly determines academic performance in the specific case of secondary school students in Lagos State? Well, in factual context, many ideas come to mind if we think why some students perform better than others: is it because they study more at home? Do they have a higher capacity to learn? Does the personal background, way of life and environment of the student favour his/her performance?

1.3 Research Questions

In addressing this problem, the following research questions will be raised:

  1. To what extent is the effect of parental socio – economic status on students’ academic performance?
  2. What is the effect of parental involvement on student academic performance?
  3. Is there any impact of family background on students’ academic performance?
  4. What is effect of parent authoritativeness on student academic performance?

1.4 Research Objectives

The purpose of this study is to investigate the parental status and academic performance in secondary school. Specifically, it seeks to find out;

  1. The effect of parental socio – economic status on students’ academic performance.
  2. The effect of parental involvement on student academic performance.
  3. The impact of family background on students’ academic performance.
  4. The effect of parent authoritativeness on student academic performance.

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The following research hypotheses will be tested:

  1. There is no significant relationship between parental socio – economic status and students’ academic performance.
  2. There is no significant correlation between parental involvement and student academic performance.
  3. There is no significant relationship between family background and students’ academic performance.
  4. There is no significant influence between parent authoritativeness and student academic performance

1.6 Significance of this Study

It is envisaged that the findings of this study may expose some factors that might be responsible for poor performance 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. The importance of achieving the objectives of education programme among the general populace cannot be over emphasized.

A researcher, Laosa, (2005) had posted as follows: “The educational achievement gap has deep root; it is evident very early in child’s lives; even before they enter schools. Socio–economic differences – such as health and nutrition status, home environments that provide access to academically related experiences, mobility rates, and financial assets can certainly influence academic achievements” (Laosa, 2005). The responsibility of training a child always lies in the hand of the parents. This is congruent with the common assertion sociologist that education can be an instrument of cultural change which is being taught from home is relevant in this discuss.

It is not out of place to imagine that parental socio–economic background can have possible effects on the academic achievement of children in school. Whatsoever affect the development environment of children would possibly affect their education or disposition to it. The outcome of this study will no doubt serve as a means of enlightening on the relevance of parental status and student academic performance in Lagos State secondary schools.

1.7 Scope and Limitations of the Study

This study focuses on the issue of parental status and student academic performance in Lagos State secondary schools. Sourcing of good materials for literature review, limited finance, time frame and other logistics will pose hindrance to the study.A problem with surveys of this kind is that the survey or instrument is limited to the responses and the time each respondent put into their answers. Some respondents might have answered all the questions thoughtfully and some might have answered quickly providing little (most especially the student) information about the processes used in their school.

1.8 Definition of Operational Terms

In this study the following terms are used as defined below:

Educational Resources:

Are the materials use for teaching, learning, research that support the creation, delivery, use and improvement of learning content, searching and learning management systems, content development tools and on-line learning such as computer, textbooks, laboratory equipment’s, chalk, television and any other tools, materials or techniques used to support access to knowledge.

Parent involvement:

In general, refers to parental interactions with the schools and with their children in order to encourage academic progress and offer support with school activities (Hill & Tyson, 2009).

Human Resources:

Are knowledge, skills, attitudes, physical and managerial efforts required to manipulate capital, technology and land amongst others to produce goods and services for human consumption (UNESCO, 1990).They are students, teaching staff, non-teaching staff, bursar, librarian, laboratory attendants, clerks, messengers, gatekeepers, gardeners and cooks as well as educational planners and administrators.


A teacher is a person who provides education for pupils (children) and student (Adults). The roles of teacher are often formal and on-going carried out at a school or other place of formal education

Academic Performance:

Is the ability to study and remember facts and being able to communicate your knowledge verbally or down on paper.


Can be referred to as an act or process of developing and cultivating, (whether physically, mentally, or morally) ones mental activities or senses; the expansion, strengthening, and discipline, of one’s mind, faculty, etc.; the forming and regulation of principles and character in order to prepare and fit for any calling or business by systematic instruction

Public School:

These are school that are funded by government and are not based on the ability to pay privately instituted fees.


This is the orderly and systematic investigation of a phenomenon for the purpose of adding to knowledge.


This involves the general weighing of the value or worth of something in terms of the objective sought or in comparison with other programs, curricula, organizational schemes

Chapter Five

Summary of Findings, Recommendations and References

5.0 Summary of Findings

The first two hypothesis i.e. academic performance of students in relationship to the parental socio-economic background and Involvement were not statistically significant.

However, the students’ mean score was observed to be higher with Involved parents and high socio-economic status compared with students from parents of low socio-economic status than the students from not Involved parents and low economic status. The last two hypothesis i.e. performance of students relationship to family background and student parent authoritativeness revealed statistical significant factors that affect the students’ academic performance. These two variables nonetheless indicate nature of home environment of students which necessarily affect academic performance.

The result of the two hypotheses which examined the parental socio-economic statuses and Involvement and the effects on students’ academic performance indicated that there was significant relationship. This finding differs from what was obtained by other researchers. Eze (2002), Craig Ronald (2003). Hill et al (2004) and Rothstein (2004) had asserted that status of parents does not only affect the academic performance of students but also make it impossible for children from low socio-economic background to compete well with their counterpart from high socio-economic background under the same academic environment.

They had also posited further that illiterate and semi-illiterate parents with feeling of inadequacy may not be able to their children out of different academic problems. Thus the academic performance of such children is greatly or significantly hindered. There are two possible explanations that could be proffered to account for the variation from the previous findings. Firstly, this research setting which is purely rural, there is very marginal difference in the socio-economic of the various parents. Secondly, it could be that the parents that were with low socio-economic background might be sufficient enlightened about the needed success of their children education in such a case, they assist and encourage their children to be adequately involved in their academic activities and hence provide them with basic needs that might enhance their performance. In the same community both categories knew each other and educating the children becomes competitive to close gap of disparity among the children in the same community.

In could generally be inferred that in spite of the none significance of the effect of the two factors being considered in the on-going discussion, it is apparent that the variables still play slight role in the students’ academic performance. This is because the m still play slight role in the students’ academic performance. This is because the mean scores of students from non –Involved and Involved on one hand and low socio – economic status and high status are still relatively different, (see tables 2 and 3).

The results of the third hypothesis as shown in tables 4 and 5 indicate significant influence of family background on students’ performance. This finding substantiate the earlier assertion of Rothestein (2004) and Hill et al (2004) who had opined that children who raised by parents with higher qualification are more inquisitive toward learning toward learning comp compared to those children from low educational qualification. Moreover, according to Craig and Ronald (2004) “Parental cognitive ability was substantially associated and parental education and parental occupation only trivially associated with offspring.

With regard to the finding on students’ parent authoritativenes where there is significant impact on academic performance, this finding does not differ from the works of some previous researchers. Adewale (2002) had observed that where nutritional status and health problems are prevalent, children academic achievement are hindered. Moreover, Levinger (Quoted by Eze, 1996) had noted that when a child gets proper nutrition and health care, the ability to interact with and take optimal advantage of the full complement of resources offered by any formal or information learning environment is enhanced.

5.1 Recommendations

In view of the finding of this study, the following recommendations are here presented:

  1. Social and economic policies should be put in place to enable children from parents of low economic status to have equal opportunity of advancing the cause of education of their children.
  2. Health care services for lower class children should be made to narrow the gap of inequality in Nigerians and hence the attendant effects on the coming generation.
  3. Parents who are not Involved or has low educational qualification should Endeavour to allow their children to attend remedial summer coaching provided by non – governmental organization during holidays to supplement the regular school programmed.
  4. The need for the intake of balanced diet should be emphasized. The government can do a lot in this regard by providing mid – day fortified meal for the school – age children.

5.2 Conclusion

It can be reasonably inferred that socio–economic and education background of parents in this research setting is not significant factors in students’ academic performance. However, educational qualification of parents and parent authoritativenes of students are significant factors that affect the academic performance of students.

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