EFFECTS OF SINGLE PARENTING ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN SELECTED SECONDARY SCHOOLS
The purpose of this research is to find out the effects of single parenting on the academic performance of students in some selected secondary schools in Ado – Ekiti Local Government Area of Ekiti State.
The subjects for this research comprise 40 teachers selected from four secondary co-educational schools. Two mixed and two single – sex schools were selected with a total of 240 students. The main instrument used for this study consisted of two research questionnaires administered to teachers with different areas of specialization and students offering science in SS two and SS three of the selected schools.
The result obtained showed that children from single parents home especially those headed by mothers show deficits in cognitive performance as assessed by standardized intelligence and achievement test and as judged from school performance. This is as a result of negative home influence from the mother in particular.
The study also reveals that difference between the academic performance of students from single parent families and students from two – parent families. The study also shows differences in the performance of male students from the two family structures and also female students from the two family structures. The findings agreed with the conclusion of Hetherington and Parke (1998) that there is difference between students from single parent families and those from two parent families in terms of attitude to studies and academic performance. The negative influence from single parents leads to the poor academic performance of their children in schools. The fact given above confirms the previous research works.
Based on the findings and conclusion of the study, it is recommended here that spouses should tolerate each other for the success of their marriage, single parents should spend more time with their children; the affected children should be encouraged to learn how to accept their situation; teachers should move closer to their students to know their family problems and the government should take different homes into consideration when planning the school curriculum.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of contents
Background to the study
Statement of the Problem
Purpose of the study
Research questions raised for the study
Delimitation of the study
Significance of the study
Review of Related Literature
Major causes of single – parenting
The immediate effect of divorce on children
Long – term reaction to divorce
Effects on children
Types of singlehood
Problems facing single – parent families
Population and Sample
Validity of the Instrument
Administration of Instrument
Results and Discussion
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
Background to the study: The problem of single parenting as it affects school children cannot be over – emphasized. Co-operation between parents may dictate the level of achievement of children in life. It is generally believed that education is an investment. Its profit is in the future. Parents make sure that their children attend the best schools available, provide educational materials and give them all support and motivation.
In specific terms, differences between children enjoying the care, attention and affection of both parents and those left with only one of the parents may be viewed from various perspectives. These include finance, moral support, motivation, negative influence on children from either of their parents and inferiority complex.
As a result of too many responsibilities to be carried out by a single parent like paying house rents, provision of food, clothes and Medicare, such a parent may find it difficult to pay the children school fees on time, provide school uniforms, buy books and other necessary school materials. All these can help the children to perform brilliantly in schools.
Children need love, affection, sense of belonging and commitment from the parents. A single parent cannot alone provide all these. He/She may even fail to play his/her own part to the children because he/she devote most of his/her time for having love affairs with other men or women. A motivated learner learns better and faster than an unmotivated learner. As a result of lack of encouragement, support and commitment from single parents, children from them become slow learners and they may thereby have poor academic achievements.
Single parent may make negative and destructive remarks concerning the other children in from of their children. This may result in negative influence on such children who may thereby become socially, emotionally, morally and academically unstable.
In unfavourable home environment in which a single parent has a new relationship, the children may see the man or the woman as a rival to their other parent. They may feel threatened and, as a result, become emotionally disturbed. This may lead to rudeness, anger, cruelty, anxiety, fear and aggressiveness will surely have adverse effects on their academic performance.
All the above mentioned problems facing the children from single parent homes make them emotionally unstable, academically poor, psychologically disorganized and socially maladjusted. In summary, they tend to have relatively poor academic achievements.
Although there may be cases of some children from both parents who may have financial problems as those of single parents, they perform better in schools as a result of moral support, motivation, encouragement and joint decision n- making of the parents. As an adage goes “two (good) heads are better than one”.
The society at large would learn from this study that a cohesive family life would be of greater benefit to the children than a scattered family system where the fathers and mothers of children live apart. The ideal family life is to live together in harmony, peace, mutual understanding and co-operation.
Statement of the Problem
The academic achievement of a child are determined by the joint efforts, sense of responsibility, exposure and financial capability of the two parents. However, it has been observed that children enjoying the care of both parents are usually sent to the best schools available, given all necessary educational materials, support and motivation that can make them perform brilliantly in school.
The situation of children from single parents is completely the opposite of those of both parents in that such children lack the opportunity of being in the best schools available. They are also deprived of necessary educational materials that can make them perform brilliantly in their school work.
Purpose of the study
The study is meant to investigate the extent to which single parenting affects the academic performance of students in Ado – Ekiti Local Government Area of Ekiti State. It is also to suggest ways of improving the status of each student in order to improve his/her academic performance.
Research Questions Raised for the study
The following questions have been raised for the study
- Does single – parenting lead to inferiority complex on the part of children?
- Does unfavourable home environment have negative influence on children from single parents?
- Does negative influence from single parenting lead to poor academic performance of the single – parent children in schools?
- Does lack of moral support on the part of single parents have negative effects on the academic performance of their children in schools?
- Do the financial constraints facing single parents lead to the poor academic performance of their children in school?
- Are children raised in a single – parent home at an intellectual disadvantage in contrast to those brought up by both parents?
Delimitation of the study
The study was carried out in selected secondary schools in Ado – Ekiti Local Government of Ekiti State. The schools selected are:
- Christ’s School, Ado – Ekiti
- Christ’s Girls School, Ado – Ekiti
- Anglican High School, Ado – Ekiti
- Ado Community High School, Ado – Ekiti
Significance of the study
This study would be of great benefit to the various members of the society prominent among whom are the following: Parents, Children, teachers, guidance counsellors, policy makers and the society at large.
Parents: The study will assist couples to tolerate each other in order to avoid divorce.
Children: It will also assist children to enjoy their parents and this, in turn, will enable them to perform brilliantly in schools.
Teachers: This study will also promote teachers to work for the fact that they are dealing with children from both peaceful and broken homes. They may take advantage of this study to bear the differences in the home background of their students in mind while teaching. As such their lessons will be quickly and effectively understood.
Society: The study will also promote the quality of teaching and characters of students in schools and improve the moral standard of the society at large.
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