Sociological Perspective Of Spouse Behaviour And It’s Effects On Academic Performance Of Students

Project and Seminar Material for Sociology

Sociological Perspective Of Spouse Behaviour And It’s Effects On Academic Performance Of Students


Abstract


The main purpose of this study was to investigate the sociological spouse behavior and its effect on students’ academic performance in public secondary schools in lagos state. The study was further guided by the following research objectives: to determine how the education level of parents influences the academic performance of students in public secondary schools, to examine the influence of parent’s attitude to education on the academic performance of students in public secondary schools, to determine how parents’ economic status affects the performance of students in public secondary and to establish the extent to which family type affect the academic performance of the students in public secondary schools. A descriptive survey research design was adopted in this study. The sample of this study included;42 PTA members, 150 students and 4 principals in public secondary schools. In total, the sample size was 189. Questionnaires and interview guides were used as the main instruments of data collection. The data was analyzed using both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Quantitative data analysis was used to analyze the data collected from the questionnaires, which were coded into the computer with the help of the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Data was presented in tables and graphs. Qualitative approach was used to analyze the data retrieved from the interview guides. From the analysis the following key findings were made: positive attitude encourages as well as enables the students to know the role of education in their future. Additionally, parental attitude encouraged students to love their studies and perform well in school. Slightly less than a third of the students indicated that parental level of education affected their academic performance to some extent. The educational level of parents encourages the students to work harder and achieve their goals whereas others indicated that it helped the students to aim higher in their educational circles. Parents who were economically stable were in a position to provide resources and materials and enroll students to the schools of their choice. However, this was not the case among most of the parents who were not economically stable. Family structure did affect the academic performance of students either to some extent or to a greater extent. The following recommendation was given: The Ministry of Education, school administrators and the local authorities need to come up with frequent community based forums that are specifically structured towards enhancing parental participation in their children’s education. During these forums, the parents may be highlighted on the importance of education not only in the child development but also community growth. There is also need for policy formulation and implementation that encourage parents who have never attained any formal education to get the opportunity. These policies need to be introduced in the rural areas such as lagosand parents encouraged to enroll.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Considerable researches such as Williams and Williams 2005, Simon 2006, Giddens 1998, and Beck 1992, 1994, now reveals the contribution of parental involvement in learning activities of student as well as the school programme to positive outcomes. However, one cannot really ascertain the contribution of either spouse in this regards. Nonetheless, if one evaluates the social influences upon the development of individuals, one may not likely find any other with greater influence than the family.

The Family thus have a great role to play in the personality of their children. The family includes the parents (father mother and siblings) as well as the forces that come to play on the family- Sociological, economical and personality of the parents.

The family as a social unit is usually recognized for its importance in many roles. The psychological role of parent within the family needs to be understood by parents. They cater and provide for their children during the early years of growth, a segment of many others roles to be performed. It is pertinent to say that intense maternal love at infancy is as important to a child as adequate nutrition is. In other words the mother is not just expected to provide the necessary nutritional diets, but should as well show concern and attention for the child from the infant age and be interested to what happens to the child.

In recent years a great deal of attention has been focused on the assertion that children reared or raised by single mothers are believed to be prone to delinquency, Dennis and Erdos (1993). This is usually seen in terms of a father. The implication of this inadequacy is that such children are likely to have a below average academic achievement. Perhaps one may argue that it is not the gender of the parents that matters but rather the quality of and determination with which they take their roles. Despite this, some researchers have posited that the single mothers are somehow raising children in inferior settings. Thus, young and Smith (1999) conducted a research on single mothers and came out with these; That 56% children were more likely to be poor and delinquents than those living with both parents who are 11% likely to be delinquents.

On the other hand the paternal behavior also affects the academic performance of students. The influence of the father in the family is of equal importance. The attitude of the father towards the mother has been observed to have an indirect effect on the child, during the nursing period.

Moreso, the working patterns of men have been observed to have adverse effect on children. Shift work and workaholism can all eat into the time available to spend with the children. Obviously the nature of parental work is likely to impact upon children, a bad day at work is often a consequent of high temperament, and aggression is often extended to the children. Consequently the child becomes withdrawn and does not get the right stimulation in his or her academic activities.

Put differently, some people have argued that fatherhood and fathering are two different things. Fatherhood refers to the normal biological affiliation while fathering refers to the continuous role of a “father” being provided by the male figure in terms of living to his responsibilities. The provider for the family is the tenet behind an old style fathering identity and although slowly altering, it is still very strong in the contemporary society.

Field (1996) and Green (1998) also reveals that in new labour philosophy (NLP) fathers must be responsible for the financial provision of their family and themselves. These provisions range from the financial needs, emotional and psychological needs of the child. The financial needs of the children thus, are the educational needs of the child. In line with this, world conference on education for all (NCEFA) declared in Thailand in1990 that “Every child person, youth and adult shall be able to benefit from educational opportunities designed to meet their basic learning needs”. These needs comprise both essential learning tools such as (knowledge, skills, values and attitudes) required by human beings to be able to survive and develop their full capacities. This affirmation was later echoed that year at the world summit for Children (WSC) who in its final declaration also stated that all children should have access to basic education by the year 2000

From the foregoing we can say then, that it is the right and privilege of the child to be educated. Hence the parents must provide the means for these rights. According to Child Right Act of 2003 section 15 sub section (1) states:-

“Every child has the right to free compulsory and universal basic education and it shall be the duty of the Government in Nigeria to provide such education.”

Every parent or guardian shall ensure that his child or ward attends and complete this:

  1. Primary school education and
  2. Junior secondary school education

Every parent guardian or person who has the care and custody of a child who has completed his basic education shall Endeavour to send the child to a senior secondary school, except as provided for by sub section (4) of this section.

It follows too that the child’s educational right is entrenched in the constitution and anything contrary to this, is tantamount to infringement of the child’s rights.

However the financial status of the parents could sometimes hinder this rights and this inadequacy could necessitate the behaviour of either spouse as the case may be towards the educational needs of the child.

Following this one can identify some areas in which social economic status (SES) plays a significant role on the academic performance of students. They could be summed up as basic needs and experience, parental environment, attitudes and values. Each of this will be discussed in the subsequent paragraphs

One of the basic needs of the child is to be catered for by the parent, besides bringing the children into the world. It is the responsibility of the parent to provide them with the following-shelter, clothing and safety as well as food and other educational requirements. Mc Lloyd (1998) revealed that economic problems can lead to family and marital conflicts which results in unstable home. Take for instance a child who goes to school on an empty stomach may not likely be attentive in school or a child who cannot do his assignment for lack of textbooks, or who lives in a congested environment, may likely not get the right stimulation or reinforcement to excel academically. Hence social economic status (SES) influences children background experience. Trawik- Smith (1997) as well as McLoyd (1998) in their findings posits that when children are provided with educational activities outside the school, which helps to complement the efforts of the teachers, only then will the student perform optimally in their academics. This experience ranges from visits to Museums, Art galleries, concerts and travels to historical places and learning materials like computer system, encyclopedias, magazines, news bulletins, and Atlas e.t.c.

Parental involvement is another area in which social economic status plays a role in academic performance of students. This could be considered from the perspective of parent-child interaction. Oko (1999) says that the way a child is groomed contributes to his development and formation of achievement motives in life itself. Desforges and Aboucher (2003) in their findings also revealed that parental involvement takes many forms amongst which are good parenting in the home as well as stable environment and secured home.

Lastly, the spouse behaviour and values poses a problem to the children especially if the paternal figure is a Laissez- faire kind of person (Abari and Mohammed 2006). The parent tends to play a passive role towards the academic performance of their wards. There is virtually no guidance and direction of any sort. If either of the parent’s academic status is below average it may likely affect the child in that the children may not be motivated or stimulated to learn. Such parents might be indifferent towards the academic achievement of their children.

According to UNICEF’s report (2001), Many Nigerian parents often send their children on the street to hawk because of their economic and educational background. Some Nigerian parents according to Okeke (1996) as cited in UNICEF report (2001) also affirmed that attitudes and values of the society and parents tends towards misplaced priorities and values. Perhaps this explains why some parents are now interested in wealth acquisition rather than giving the right legacy to the child, which is education.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Available researches according to Obemeta (1995) reveals that there has been a downward trend of academic achievement of pupils in secondary schools, especially in West African School Certificate Examination. A cursory look at the records of result reveals that less than 50% credit pass was achieved in English and mathematics as well as other subject in the last few years.

Moreso, the attitude of parents as it involves the academic performance of their children is said to be dwindling, owing to the nature of work and personality of parent. Thus, it is pertinent to research into the behavioural attitude of spouse as it affects the academic achievement of their children. This is imperative in order to bring about a probable solution to boost the academic achievement of pupils as well as enhance good relationship between parents and children.


1.3. Research Question

  1. What is the attitude of parent towards student’s academic activities?
  2. What is the role of either spouse towards the learning activities of their children?
  3. What is the effect of the economic status of spouse on learning activities of students?

1.4. Research Hypothesis

H1. There will be no significant effect of parental behaviour on the academic performance of student.

H2. There will be no significant effect on maternal behaviour on the academic achievement of students.

H3. There will be no significant effect of economic status of parent on learning activities of their children.


1.5.Scope of the Study

This research work will be focused on spouse reactions, contributions, commitment towards the academic achievement of their children as well as the perception of students in some selected secondary schools in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State.


1.6 Significance of the Study

The findings of this research work will be useful to parent, students, teachers and the society at large.

The outcome would further sensitize and educate the parents on the need to stir a better relationship with their children. Moreso, the research work will serve as a stimulant for further research in the area of parental orientation and guidance as it relates to their children’s academic performance.

It would also be useful for international journal and publication.


1.7 Definition of Terms

Laissez – faire:

In this study, it means care free, in difference attitude of parent.

Stimulation:

In this study, it means making something develop or become more active.

Delinquents:

In this study, it implies bad or criminal behaviour, usually of young people.

Workaholism:

In this study, it means a person who works very hard and finds it difficult to do other things.

Maternal:

In this study, it implies having feeling that are typical of a caring mother towards a child.

Paternal:

In this study, it is connected with being a father, a kind father.

Spouse:

in this study, it implies a husband or wife.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations

5.1 Introduction

This chapter presents the summary, conclusions and recommendations of this study on the parental characteristics influencing students’ academic performance in public secondary schools in, Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State.


5.2 Summary of the Study

The main purpose of this study was to investigate the parental characteristics influencing students’ academic performance in public secondary schools in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State. The study was further guided by the following research objectives: to determine how the education level of parents influences the academic performance of students in public secondary schools in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State, to examine the influence of parent’s attitude to education on the academic performance of students in public secondary schools in the LGA, to determine how parents’ economic status affects the performance of students in public secondary schools In Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State. and to establish the extent to which family type affect the academic performance of the students in public secondary schools in Isinya District,
Kajiado County.

A survey research design was adopted in this study. The sample of this study included forty-two PTA members, one hundred and fifty students and four principals in public secondary schools. In total, the sample size was one hundred and eight-nine (N=189). Questionnaires and interview guides were used as the main instruments of data collection. The responses in the questionnaires were assigned numerical values. Quantitative data obtained from questionnaires for students was done by assigning numbers to responses for the items or questions in the questionnaire that will be closed-ended. On the other hand items or questions in the questionnaires and interview schedules that were open-ended were categorized according to the themes that immerged form the research questions and all the responses were analyzed in a narrative form.

The data was analyzed using both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Quantitative data analysis was used to analyze the data collected from the questionnaires, which were be coded into the computer with the help of the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). From this the data was represented in tables and graphs. On the other hand qualitative approach was used to analyze the data retrieved from the interview guides. This data was used to reinforce the quantitative data from the questionnaire. From the analysis the following key findings were made:
Slightly more than a third of the students agreed that they performed very well since their parents helped them in doing their homework after school. Majority of the students strongly disagreed with the statement that their parents never attended school, hence did not bother about their academic performance in school. When asked to indicate whether their parents checked their books and home works, majority of the students either strongly agreed or agreed. However, a few of them were negative to the statement by disagreeing and strongly disagreeing respectively.

Slightly less than a third of the students indicated that parental level of education affected their academic performance to some extent whereas 23.8 percent of them indicated to a greater extent. A good percentage of them indicated that the educational level of parents encourage the students to work harder and achieve their goals whereas others indicated that it helped the students to aim higher in their educational circles.

Slightly more than two thirds of the students either strongly agreed or agreed with the statements that their parents rewarded and gave the positive remarks about their academics. Slightly more than half of the students strongly agreed that their parents take an active role involving themselves to their academics requirements.

Slightly more than half of the students strongly agreed with the statement that parents show a positive attitude towards their school’s teaching/learning progress. When asked to indicate whether their parents are a source of academic inspiration and motivation, slightly more than half of the students strongly agreed whereas 26.5 percent of them agreed with the statement.

Slighlty more than two thirds of the studetns were positive by indicating that th parental attitude on educaiton affected their academic performance either to a greater extent or to some extent. Slightly more than a third of the PTA members indicated positive attitude encourages as well as enables the students to know the role of education in their future. Additionally, 30.6 percent of them also indicated that in have influence, parental attitude encouraged students to love their studies and perform well in school.

Slightly more than a third of the students indicated that their parents earned their source of income from employement salary whereas 33.8 percent of them indicated businesses as being the main source of income to their parents/guardians. On whether they were sent home for school fees and other levies, majority of the students were negative by either strongly disagreeing or disagreeing with the statement.

Slightly more than a third of the students strongly disagreed with the statement that they sought external support to meet their education needs since their parents cannot afford. This was however not the case among a few of them who strongly agreed and agreed that their educational needs were met through external support since their parents could not afford. Third of the students indicated that parental economic status did affect their academic performance to some extent whereas 20.5 percent of them indicated to a greater extent. Slightly more than a third of the PTA members indicated that having adequate finances, parents could be able to buy the students the best learning materials and other resources that could facilitate in improving their performance. Additionally, 30.6% of them also indicated that adequacy of financial resources would enable parents to pay their school fees on time hence no interruption of the studies when send home for school fees and thus reducing time wastage.

The principals through the interview session reported that parents who were economically stable were in a position of providing resources and materials and enrolling students to the schools of their choice. However, this was not the case among most of the parents who were not economically stable.

Majority of the students (71.5%) indicated that they came from families that constituted of both parents. However, a few of them indicated that their families were polygamous in nature. Slightly less than half of the students were positive to the statement by strongly agreeing and agreeing that students from single parents are so stress full and this affects their academic performance.

Slightly more than half of the respondents either strongly disagreed or disagreed that students from step or single-parent families in their school tend to have very low expectations in their academic performance. On whether students from polygamous families are not able to concentrate in their studies affectively because they have divided attention, slightly more than a quarter of the students agreed whereas 25.2% of them disagreed.

Slightly less than a third of the students indicated that their family structure did affect their academic performance to some extent whereas 21.2% of them indicated to a greater extent. A good percentage of the PTA members indicated that a family structure where both parents were available influenced positively the academic performance of the students in that the guidance and counseling of both parents mentored them. Additionally, the PTA members also indicated that strong bounded nuclear family ensures that children get all they want.


5.3 Conclusions

From the analysis and summary of this study on the parental characteristics affecting the academic performance of students in public secondary schools, there are a number of conclusions that can be made. To begin with, the educational level of parents as observed in this study is a vital characteristic that affects the academic performance of students to a greater extent. Parents who lack education may not see its importance in their children and hence they may not be that supportive as compared to those parents who have some level of education and know in the importance of education in their children’s life.

It can also be concluded that the attitude parents on education is a vital characteristic among parents that may determine the progress of their children in their educational goals. Parents who have negative attitude towards education do not support their children fully and thus this affects their performance. Some of these parents may not follow up on the progress of their children in schools, assist them in doing their homework assignments or even visiting the schools for academic meetings. This negatively kills the moral of the student in their education and thus affecting their performance as well.

The economic status of parents can also be concluded as to affect the academic performance of some of the students in public secondary schools in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State. This whereby some of the students who come from families which are not economically stable tend to be chased out of school for fees whereas others are not able to purchase some of the reading materials. This affects their performance to a greater extent. Moreover, poor economical backgrounds limit the parents from sending their children to schools that have adequate facilities or of high standards simply because they are not able to meet the educational cost required.

The family structure was another parental characteristic that was raised in this study as to have an effect on the academic performance of students in secondary schools. It is reported that students who come from families with both parents tend to perform much better as compared to those who come from single parenthood families. This is because those from both parents have adequate support both psychologically and financially. Moreover, those children from polygamous families are affected in their academic performance to some extent.


5.4 Recommendations

From the analysis, summary and conclusion of this study on the effects of parental characteristics on the academic performance of students, there are a number of recommendations that can be given. These include but may not be limited to: The school administration in public secondary schools needs to come up with strategies which are geared towards identifying the various backgrounds of different students in their schools. This may enable the administration to understand clearly the nature of each student and thus being able to handle them with ease and appropriateness so as not to hamper with their educational progress.

The school administration should also organize for functions and ensure that all the parents get to attend. During these functions, the administration may be able to address on the parents on some of the roles that they can play so as to enhance the academic performance of their children. Moreover, they may also highlight on some of the parental characteristics that hamper the educational progress of the children.

Parents on the other hand need to be encouraged in participating in the education of their children. The teachers may assign some tasks to the students that require the direct participation of the parents. These assignments may enable the parents to get involved in the educational process of their children and thus being able to review on what the children are learning while at school.

The Ministry of Education, school administrators and the local authorities need to come up with frequent community based forums that are specifically structured towards enhancing parental participation in their children’s education. During these forums, the parents may be highlighted on the importance of education not only in the child development but also community growth.

There is also need for policy formulation and implementation that encourage parents who have never attained any formal education to get the opportunity. These policies need to be introduced in the rural areas such as lagos state and parents encouraged to enroll. It is through these trainings that those parents who have not received any educational training may be able to increase on their knowledge as well as develop a positive attitude towards learning.

There is also need for guidance and counseling processes to be introduced in the public secondary schools. The main role of these counseling sessions may be to encourage and motivate the students to see beyond their limitations and put more focus on the future through persistence and determination in their education.


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