Relationship between Broken Homes and Academic Achievement of Secondary School Students in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria

Article excerpt

The study investigated the relationship between broken homes and academic achievement of students. Three research hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. The study was correlational because the study sought to establish the extent of relationship between broken homes and academic achievement. The statistical method used in analyzing the data was the Pearson product moment correlation coefficient (r). Reliable and validated questionnaires which were designed to elicit information on the hypotheses of study were used. Six senior secondary schools were randomly selected for the study. One hundred and fifty respondents from single parent homes were used for the study. 25 respondents were randomly selected from six schools. Results showed a significant relationship between broken homes and academic achievement of students. It was also discovered that female students from broken homes perform better in their studies than the male students, moreover, the result showed that low socio-economic status, also had an adverse effect on the academic performance of children from broken homes. It is recommended that personal social counselling should be rendered to students from broken homes, with a view to counselling students who are experiencing some challenges

Keywords: Stable homes, broken homes, Academic achievement, gender and socio-economic status.

Introduction

The 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 persons in the family. Agulana (1999) pointed out that the family lays the psychological, moral, and spiritual foundation in the overall development of the child. Structurally, family/homes is either broken or intact. A broken home in this context, is one that is not structurally intact, as a result of divorce, separation, death of one parent and illegitimacy. According to Frazer (2001), psychological home conditions arise mainly from illegitimacy of children, the label of adopted child, broken home, divorce and parental deprivation. Such abnormal conditions of the home, are likely to have a detrimental effect on school performance of the child he asserts.

Life, in a single parent family or broken home can be stressful for both the child and the parent. Such families are faced with challenges of inadequate financial resources (children defense fund, 1994). Schultz (2006) noted that if adolescents from unstable homes are to be compared with those from stable homes, it would be seen that the former have more social, academic and emotional problems. Scales and Roehlkepartain (2003), are of the opinion that the family and its structure play a great role in children's academic performance. Levin (2001), also states that parents are probably the actors with the clearest undimentional interest in a high level of their children's academic performance. To some extent, there is simple evidence to show that marital instability brings about stress, tension, lack of motivation and frustration. Obviously, these manifestations act negatively on a child's academic performance. Johnson (2005) asserts that children of unmarried parents/separated families often fail and are at risk emotionally. However, this may not be completely applicable in all instances of broken homes. Some children irrespective of home background or structure may work hard and become successful in life. Moreover, Ayodele (2006) stated that the environment where a child finds himself/herself goes a long way in determining his learning ability and ultimately his academic performance in school.

Gender and Academic Performance

The influence of sex (gender) on academic performance has, also, been an issue of concern to most researchers. This is because "gender" appear to have some powerful effect on learning. However, studies by Fausto-Sterling (1995) and Friedman (1985) suggest no significant difference in cognitive ability between males and females. …