This research work examined the effect of Broken Home on Academic Performance of Secondary School Students in Ohimini Local Government Area of Benue State. Four hundred students were randomly selected from eight Senior Secondary Schools in Ohimini Local Government to form the sample for this study. Eighteen item opinion questionnaires was developed and administered. The questionnaire was validated by seasoned experts drawn from measurement and evaluation section of the Department of Educational Foundations and Department of Psychology, Benue State University, Makurdi. Apart from the primary data collected via questionnaire, secondary data was also used in this research. Economics results of the sampled schools terminal examination as kept by the schools were collected and used. The means and simple percentage were used to answer the research questions while the t-test and chi-square statistic were used to test the hypotheses. The result revealed that Broken Home exerts a lot of Effect on Academic Performance of Secondary School Students in Ohimini Local Government Area of Benue State. It was among others recommended that; the government and school proprietors should employ school counselors in all secondary schools to provide the necessary assistance to children from broken homes, Parents especially single and foster parents should adequately supervise children to boost their self-esteem.
1.1 Background of the Study
Education has always been an important institution in most cultures and at all times Agogo (2006), quoted Aliu (2001) as defining education as the method by which a society transmits from one generation to the next its knowledge, culture and values. It was further stressed that education is the eye of an individual, is the process by which a person learns facts, acquires skills and develops abilities and attitudes necessary for work place survival. In fact education has become a huge government venture that has witnessed a progressive evolution of government dynamic intervention and active participation (FGN 2004).
With the present system of education, people now see education as a right and not a privilege. This makes everyone to have a sense of belonging in the society because everyone sees him/herself as having a duty to perform. Therefore, it is believed by many people that education is the key to success hence against same background education is rated as the eye of an individual (Agogo 2006).
According to Hornby (2000), a home is conceived as a family living together and the way it behaves, while a family is referred to as a group consisting of one or two parents and their children (Ibid). Broken home is a term used to describe a household usually in reference to parenting in which the family unity does not properly function according to accepted social norms (Wikipedia online).
This research work is therefore aimed at researching into the influence of family units which does not function according to accepted social norms on academic performance of secondary school students in Ohimini Local Government Area.
It is opined that in any class of learner, there must be differences in individual performance. In a class of 40 children, the teacher may discover that children do not equally learn at the same rate even though he has used the same contents and methodology for the class (Mallum & Haggai 2004), therefore; there exist differences in students’ academic performance. However, several factors have been advanced for the causes of such differences in performance, personal intelligence, environment, meaningless of learning materials; learning style among others could affect the rate of learning (Ibid).
The choice of broken home as a factor affecting academic performance is not far from the fact the family is the basic unit of the society (Abah 2006), and the home has a great influence on the student’s psychological, emotional, social and economic state (Ajila and Olutola 2007). The state of the home affects the individual because the parents are the first socializing agents in an individual’s life (Ibid). The number one ingredient that lays the psychosocial, moral and spiritual foundation in the overall development of the child is his family (Uwaifo 2008).
It is ideal that the school is responsible for experiences that equip and make up the individuals life during school periods but however, the parents and the individuals’ experiences at home play tremendous roles in building the personality of the child and determining the child school life. Thus Ichado (1998) concluded that the environment in which the student comes from can greatly influence his personality and performance of secondary school students and hence the importance of education warrants the desire for this study so as to research the effect of broken home on academic performance of secondary school students and recommend possible remedies to such influence. The place of secondary education in the entire educational process is highly essential and need not to be neglected hence the quality of primary and secondary education play great role in determining the quality and sometimes the quantity of higher institutions for people (Agogo 2006). These whole facts equate this study to necessity. This study will principally examine the various aspects of broken home and how each influence children’s academic performance. It will examine issues like: to what extent do children living with their own married parents perform academically better than children living with foster parents? To what extent do children who live with single parents perform academically better than children who live with both father and mother? It will also analyze the extent to which broken home has affected the level of attention given to students by their parents, the degree to which broken homes has affected the level of academic motivation given by parents to their children. It is also intended that this work will discuss the degree of effect broken homes exert on the emotional atmosphere at homes, socio-economic status of parents and the general emotional stability of children.
1.2 Statement of the Study
Over the years, the investigations of the factors that influence academic performance of students have attracted the interest of teachers, counselors, psychologist, researchers and school administrators in Nigeria (Wiseman 1998). This is because of the public outcries concerning the low standard of education in the country (Imoge 2002). The declining quality of education in the country in general and Ohimini Local Government area of Benue State in particular as characterized by poor academic performance and the breeding of graduates with little technical know-how has resulted into serious set-back in the industrial development of the nation in general and poor turn-out of qualified students in Ohimini Local Government for admission into the various tertiary institutions in the country.
Factors such as students internal state namely intelligence, state of health, motivation, anxiety among others as well as their environment which includes availability of suitable learning environment, adequacy of educational infrastructure have been identified as possible courses of poor academic performance. For example, a daily sketch publications on “causes and curses of poor performance at West African School Certificate Examination (WASCE)” in 2006 identified and categorized problems responsible for students poor performance to problems of teachers, problems of inadequate facilities in schools, problems traceable to students, problems caused by parents and society at large and problems caused by government policies and low funding of educational sector (Ajila and Olutola, 2007).
With regards to problems caused by parent, Ichado (1998) said that parents constant disagreement affects children emotionally and could lead to poor academic performance while Bichlery 1996, and Agbo (1997) revealed that children from broken home exhibit lower self-esteem, lower achievement motivation and lover tolerance for delay of gratification and lower academic achievement than those from intact homes where both parents are present.
It is on the basis of the above that the researcher intends to carry-out this study on the effects of Broken Homes on Academic Performance of Secondary School Students in Ohimini Local Government Area of Benue State. The researcher intends to find out the magnitude of adverse effect the broken homes has on the academic performance of secondary school students.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
This study is primarily focused on achieving certain objectives which are as follows:
- To determine the extent to which children living with their own married parents perform academically better than children living with foster parents.
- To determine the extent to which children who live with both parents perform academically better than children who live with single parent(s).
III. To determine the extent to which broken home influence the level of parental attention given to children.
- To determine the degree of effect broken home exert on the level of academic motivation given by parents to their children.
- To determine the influence of broken home on the emotional atmosphere in homes.
- To assess the degree in which broken home affect the socio-economic status of parents.
VII. To assess the effect of broken home on the emotional stability of children.
1.4 Research Questions
The problem of this study centers on determination of the effects broken home has on academic performance of secondary school students with reference to some selected secondary schools in Ohimini Local Government Area of Benue State. This problem has given rise to the following research questions and assumptions which this investigation is meant to address:
- To what extent do children living with their own married parents perform academically better than children living with foster parents?
- To what extent do children who live with single parent perform academically better than children who live with both father and mother?
- To what extent have broken homes affected the level of attention given to students by their parents?
- To what degree have broken homes affected the level of academic motivation given by parents to their children?
- To what degree have broken homes affected the emotional atmosphere in homes?
- To what degree do broken homes affect the socio-economic status of parents?
- To what degree do broken homes affect the emotional stability of children?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
The following null hypothesis has been formulated to guide the study:
There is no significant difference between the academic performance of children living with their own married parents and children living with foster parents.
There is no significant difference between the academic performance of children living with their father and mother and their counter-part living with single parent.
There is no significant difference between the level of parental attention received by children from broken homes and their counter-part from intact homes.
There is no significant difference between the level of academic motivation given by broken homes to their children and that given by intact homes.
There is no significant difference between the level of emotional stability of children from broken homes and their counter-part from intact homes.
1.6 Significance of the Study
It is hoped that at the end of this study, many stakeholders in education will benefit from the findings. Teachers, curriculum planners, educational administrators, students and even the government will find this study useful. The findings of this study may form the frame work for organizing seminars aiming at correcting deficiencies especially in homes and the marriage process and also improve teacher’s performance in the schools. This study will also be useful to the government in formulating educational policies. Curriculum planners and educational guidance and counselors will also use this study as a guide to their actions.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study is specifically limited to the investigation into the effects of broken homes on the academic performance of secondary school students in Ohimini Local Government Area of Benue State with emphasis on eight selected senior secondary schools from the area. This study is particularly concerned with student’s performance in Economics as a subject studied at the Senior Secondary School level. The researcher’s choice of Economics as a subject is not just because the subject is within his discipline but based on the fact that Economics is a social science that has element of both science and arts and whatever affects the learning of Economics can also be said to have effect on every other science and arts subjects. The work is limited to aspect of broken home influences such as disparity in academic performance of children from intact homes and their counter-part from foster homes, intact homes and their counter-parts from single parents. It also examine specific aspects like the influence of broken home on the level of parental attention to their children, influence of broken home on the degree of emotional atmosphere at homes, effect of broken homes on the parents socio-economic status and the effect of same on the children’s level of emotional stability.
1.8 Operational Definition of terms
- Academic Performance: This is defined as an objective score of attainment after a specified instructional programme.
- Secondary School: Learning institution which comes after the primary school for children over eleven years where systematic training and instructions takes place.
- Senior Secondary School: The last three years in the secondary school that comes after the first three years. That is the last three years in secondary school that comes after junior secondary or basic education. It is usually for children over 14 years.
- School Drop-out: To discontinue schooling or stop going to school as a result of hindering factors such as inadequate finance, emotional problem, inadequate motivation and intellectual decline.
- Achievement Motivation Training: A training that is given to a student to enhance greater rate of progress or improve academic performance.
- Foster Home: Living with persons that are not one’s own biological parents.
- Intact Home: Living with one’s own married mother and father. An intact home is a home with both parents present.
- Single-Parent Family: A family that comprises either only the father or the mother caring and showing parental responsibilities to children or child.
- Parental Attention: Parents ability to listen to children’s needs and problems and provide adequate solutions. That is parent’s ability to have enough time for children’s affair.
- Academically Motivated Homes: Homes that provides the child with all his/her necessary needs such as school fee, textbooks, writing materials, school uniform, pocket money, food, shelter among others.
- Emotional Stability: One’s ability to feel happy loved and act freely without fear or anger.