Background of the Study

Education is the process by which a society preserves its accumulated knowledge, skill and values by imparting them to its members especially the young generation.  In federal republic of Nigeria (FRN)(2010)  education is the process by which every society attempts to preserve and upgrade the accumulated knowledge and skills in its culture in order to foster continuously the welfare of mankind and ensure its’ survival in the face of change triggered of by man and nature.

According to Adepofu, (2004), it is a weapon for acquiring skills, relevant knowledge and habits for surviving of an individual to fast changing and innovative world. In Odigbo (2000), Education is therefore the means by which an individual is developed, so that he will be able to live efficiently and effectively in the society and contribute to its advancement and upliftment.

Childhood education is an education given to children between the ages of 2 to 11 years (pre-operational and operational stages). According to Unachukwu and Ebenebe (2009), childhood education is classified into two namely: Early childhood stage (2 – 5 years), later childhood stage (5-11 years).

However, this research is concerned with the later childhood stage of a child growth and development. The is a level in Nigeria educational system designed for training of the child in preparation for secondary school. This stage of a child’s growth and development is termed the “primary education stage”. This education stage, there are certain programmes a pupil education is exposed to which includes the right to primary education programme. As stated by the National Policy in Education (NPE; 2004), the objectives of primary education programme include.

  • Developing in the child the ability to adapt to is changing environment.
  • Inculcation of permanent literacy and numeracy and the ability to communicate effectively.
  • Citizenship education as a basis for effective participation in and contribution to the lives of the society.
  • Laying of sound basis for scientific and reflective thinking.
  • Character and moral training and the development of sound.
  • Providing basic tool for further educational achievement including preparation for trades and crafts of the locality.

To achieve these objectives, every hand must be on deck in order to provide the child opportunities that will expose him or her to the even of life, this requires the active participation of government, teachers and the home environment (parent etc.)  In the achievement of desired objectives.

Family is the smallest, most sensitive and important social system which is furnished and facilitated by a society as a larger social system. Shirina (2013) Family is the child’s first place of contact with the world. The child as a result, acquires initial education and socialization from parents and other significant process in the family. Agulana (2000) prompted out that the family lays the psychological, moral and spiritual foundation in the overall development of the child.

The child’s development is influenced by many other factors among which is his/ her genetic endowment and environmental forces operative around him/her (Mishr a and Bamba, 2012). The authors further stated that two agencies that most the nature and quality of children’s educational experiences development are the family and the school.  Families vary greatly in structure and functioning. Variation exists also in school and in children themselves, given this diversity in families; there is a need to understand how children’s experiences within the family contribute to their educational outcome (Mishra and Bamba, 2012).

When families disintegrate, it is the children that are greatly affected as they often end up with intellectual, physical and emotional scars that persist for life (Anderson, 2002). Spending family time together has great benefits on children’s learning development. Most parents that practice family view this as an opportunity for family communication, bonding, child development and learning (Zabriskie and McCormick, 2001). The time parents devote to their children’ is a major for of investment that is linked with children’s will being and development (Gauthier et al, 2004). Family time is the perfect setting to naturally teach children how to do the right thing.

Structurally, family/ home is either broken or intact. A stable family creates a building block for children to progress throughout life. During block activities with a stable family, children increase their awareness of sentences, structures, linguistic, grammar and vocabularies by learning with parents (Lin, 2010). All of these practices are encouragers of early emergencies of reading and writing abilities. Children from stable homes are likely to get into fights, think about suicide, smoke, drink alcohol, use drugs and become sexually active at an early age (Eisenberg, et al, 2004). When parents separate, the children are left with no stability causing them to lose basic concept of childhood that may carry with them throughout life.

According to Hornby (2000), a home is the house, flat/ apartment that an upbringing of a child as the first environment of a family, whether it is a happy one or not. The home, which is the traditional nuclear family-father, mother and children, is the smallest unit and microcosm of the larger society. Operationally, a home is an apartment whose occupants are made of husband and wife as well as their children. When either of the parents is permanently absent on account of irreconcilable disagreement, the home is said to be broken.

A broken home is one that is not structurally intact as a result of divorce, separation of one parent and illegitimacy (Akomolafe and Olorunfemi Olabisi, 2011). Operationally, a broken home is that in which the husband and the wife are no longer living together as a result of irreconcilable disagreement. According to Frazer (2004), psychological home conditions arise mainly from illegitimacy of children, the label of adopted broken home, divorce and parental deprivation such abnormal conditions of the homes, are likely to have a detrimental effect on school performance of the child he assets broken home are defined as one in which one of the parent loses his\her spouse by separation, divorce, desertion or single parenting (Cookline, 2006). Deborah (2002) sees broken homes as a situation where two spouse separate leaving the children to the hazard of the society, broken home is a home torn apart (Momoh, 2011).

Life in broken home can be stressful for both children and their parents. Most people from broken homes suffer from emotional problems such as depression, negative self-conception and aggression. Children from broken homes suffer from lack of concentration resulting to poor academic achievement and maladaptive behavior such as truancy, Lateness to school, examination malpractice and drug abuse. (Ikechukwu,2010)

Consequently divorce has to do with either-one of the partner quitting or saying ‘’bye bye” or his/her spouse as a result of infidelity, pride, superstition, religious disagreement in-law interferences, alcoholism and disrespect for one another or bulling (violence) According to Johnson (2006) twenty-nine percent (29%) of woman who had ever been married or have lived with a man in common law –relationship, had experienced of least one episode of  violence / bullying by a husband; such relationship are more likely to end in diversity rather than peaceful atmosphere (Daily, 2004). When families break, it is the children that suffer. Children are important assets to the society. Every child is unique. Children are at the center of whole process of education and the all-round development of the personality of the child is the ultimate goal of education. Therefore, the learning experiences provided to him right from birth by the family contribute towards the achievement of this goal. However, across the globe, there are homes that are incomplete in one way or the other.

Unfortunately, the growth in the number of children born into broken homes is increasingly by day, especially in Nigeria (Nwachukwu, 2008).over the year, the investigation of the  factor that influences academic performance of student have attracted interest and concern of teachers, counselors, psychologist, researchers and school administration in Nigeria (Wiseman, 2003). Broken home has more impact on the academic performance of students in Urban are than in remote villages. This is because those students/ pupils from broken homes in these cities are affected by change of school due to inadequate financial resources or poverty, poor study habit and low self-concept. Parents from broken homes are usually found in low status job because they enter work place early with few skills and little or no experience. They begin parenting in poverty and likely remain in poverty which has an impact on academic performance of their children (Dowd, 2007).

Consequently, academic performance is seen as the knowledge attained or skills, shown in the school subjects. To indicate such achievement, test, scores or marks are assigned by the teachers. It is the schools evaluation of the classroom work on the basis of the grades awarded. Academic performance according to Akinboye (2004), is of two types that is positive and negative (poor) performance, habits, Family background, preservance, attitude, interest all these affects academic achievement in school. He concluded that if these variables are modified and attitude changed positively, then the level of individual’s academic performance would improve. Academic performance is an objective score of attainment after a specified instructional programme. Academic performance can be influenced by many factors, the impact family relationships plays on a child’s scholastic achievement alongside the development of the child cannot be over emphasized. The tension in the home, family discord or family instability all cumulatively produce an emotionally unpleasant atmosphere in the home. The relationship between the husband and wife, parent and children, relationship among siblings if not cordial, can result to conflict especially between husband and wife. If this persists, it can lead to a stretch of frequent quarrels and antagonism of both parties from time to time and thereby resulting to broken homes (Yara and Tunde-Yara, 2010).

Statement of the Problem 

  An overwhelming numbers of poor and minority pupils are victims of separated parent trying to meet up with the struggles of life. However, most home are not intact as a result of issues of incompatibility of the couples and the quest for the oversea trips to make more money, and at times marital infidelity. These set of pupils are confronted with many problems such as lack of parental care, domestic violence, teenage pregnancy etc. this has resulted in the separation of couples and children.

In our society, children are sometimes exposed at all sorts of dangers arising from malnutrition, diseases and various temptation of surviving due to the absence of one or both parent, Pupils life in broken home is observed to be associated with emotional stress that can impair intellectual development thereby giving way for such children to grow up without being trained properly. Parents often take decisions concerning separation with little or no considerations of their kids who suffer the brunt of such decisions. However the absence of one or both parent deprive young children of the stable love, care, security and total support they have been accustomed to and tend to make them different in the eye of their peers bearing in mind the role of the family in the child’s education. The failure of the family to perform its duties could hinder the child’s academic achievement. If such children are asked where the missing parent is or why they have a new parent to replace the missing parent they became embarrassed and ashamed .They also feel guilty and unwanted by the society and such stressful situation leads to psychological, emotional and in intellectual imbalance in growing children. These subsequently result to quitting from school or poor education of children as education requires critical thinking, relaxed mind and proper family support to be able to achieve the expected goal.

Hence, it becomes necessary to investigate the  influence of broken homes on the academic performance of primary school pupils with a view to determine the extent of its influence on a child’s academic performance and the psychological wellbeing of growing children in our society. The teachers commonly describe children from single parent as more hostile, aggressive, anxious, fearful, hyperactive and distractive than children from intact family. (Nwachukwu, 2002).

Thus the researchers were motivation to carry out a research on the influence of broken homes on the academic performance of primary school pupils in Awka south local government area of Anambra state with a view of determine:

  1. The influence of broken homes on the behavior of children
  2. Broken homes affect the academic performances of primary school pupils
  3. Broken homes affect personality development of a child.
  4. The implication of broken homes to the society at large.

Purpose of the study.

The purpose of the study is to identify;

  1. The effect of broken homes on the behavioural development of primary school children in Awka South Local Government Area.
  2. The effect of broken homes on the personality development public primary school children in Awka South L.G.A of Anambra State.
  3. The influence of broken home on the academic performance of primary school pupils in Awka South Government Area.
  4. The implication of broken homes to the society at large.

Significance of the Study

The need to carry out a research work on the influence of broken homes on the academic performance of primary school pupil cannot be overemphasized. As known by educators, the home play a significant role in child’s personality, formation and socialization process, in this regard, any deformity or loopholes regarding the home environment affects a child’s personality and consequently affect a child performance. The concern of education is to look after the socialization process of the child, personality, formation as well as his academic performance. This research work will be of immense benefit to:

  • Parents
  • Teachers
  • Counselors
  • Government
  • Society
  • Educational planners
  • Government agents
  • Children from broken homes
  • Pupils from stable homes
  • The schools
  • Future researchers

          The findings of this study will help in educating parents on the dangers they expose their children to as a result of broken and how it affects their perceptive ability, personality development, behavior and general performance. Parent will realize that the absence of one or both parent of a child may deprive him of stable love, care, security etc. and thus makes the child different the eyes of his peer, thereby subjecting him to taunts, humiliation etc. which end up demoralizing and bringing the child esteem down. It will also enlighten parents on the fact that their absence can affect the child’s educational career and family life. It will profess ideas which can be utilized by parent in ensuring stability in homes for the betterment of growing children and society at large.

To the classroom teacher he will learn about the challenges faced by children from broken homes and help them overcome their offer emotional support and integrate them into school setting and society at large.

The study will help to improve the services of guidance counselors to pupils. Findings from the study will be utilized by the counselors in addressing psychological issues of affected pupils for the wellbeing of such children.

The researchers are of view that the findings of this study will enable government organizations and institutions; by providing funds to poverty alleviation programs as well as enacting and implementing policies and programs that will impede the menace of broken homes in the country. Also to create awareness for the society to understand the influence of broken home on children as well as counsel young couples on how to maintain a stable home.

It will help the society to understand more, the impact of home environment on the character formation of a child and help reduce the presence of maladjusted behavior in the society. The society will be aware of the problems facing a child from broken home and thereby, endeavor to tolerate his/ her shortcomings.

Furthermore, the school is not left out as the result of this finding will help schools in offering proper care and support of children from  homes so as to help improve their performance and help them in realizing their potentials, thus, performing to the expectation of the school.

In addition, educational planners will realize the need to include counseling in the curriculum as well as see the need for inclusion of sex education in school curriculum. Government agents like social welfare division and marriage tribunals will also learn to treat divorce cases with caution.

The study will suggest areas of interest of students from broken homes which in turn will enhance social, intellectual and physical status of such students thereby solving a natural biting problem of juvenile delinquency while pupils from stable homes through the study will be able to appreciate some pattern of behavior exhibited by pupils from broken homes.

Finally, it will be of immense benefit to future researchers as it will serve as a source of literature review.

Scope of the Study.

The research is limited to Anambra state. Specifically, the study is geared towards providing a statistical basis for explaining the survey design based on the topic “influence of broken homes on the academic of primary school pupils in Awka South Local Government area of Anambra state”. 

Research Questions.

  • What are the effects of broken home on the behavioral development of primary school pupils in Awka south L.G.A of Anambra State?
  • What are the effects of broken homes on the personality development of public primary school children in Awka South L.G.A of Anambra State?
  • To what extent does broken home influence the academic performance of primary school pupils.
  • What are the implication of broken home to the society at large?


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