Correlates of Academic Achievement and Family Environment of Under-Graduate Students

By Gartia, Radhakanta | Journal of Psychosocial Research, January-June 2012 | Go to article overview

Correlates of Academic Achievement and Family Environment of Under-Graduate Students


Gartia, Radhakanta, Journal of Psychosocial Research


INTRODUCTION

Today's modern society expects everyone to be a high achiever. The key criteria to judge one's true potentialities and capabilities are perhaps scholastic /academic achievement (Siwach, 2008). Academic achievement has become an index of a child's future. Research studies have proved that a good, supportive environment in home, school and neighbourhood could enhance a child's scholastic achievement. Family being the first and major agency of socialization has great influence and bearing on the development of the child. It has been shown by various studies that most of the children who are great achievers and well adjusted come from the families where sustaining wholesome relationships exist. According to Jong (1993) family environment plays a pivotal role in a child's academic achievement. Cassidy and Lynn (1991) included a specific factor of the family's socioeconomic status, crowding, as an indicator of how being disadvantaged affects educational attainment. They found that a less physically crowded environment, along with motivation and parental support, were associated with higher educational levels of children. Niebuhr's (1995) findings suggest that the elements of both school climate and family environment have a stronger effect on academic achievement. According to Hammer (2003) the home environment is as important as what goes on in the school. Achievement gap is not only about what goes on once students get into the classroom. It's also about what happens to them before and after school. Studies of Paul (1988) revealed that families of successful students showed high achievement orientation and organization in the family regardless of social class. Steven (1990) showed a concomitant relationship between family environment and school outcome variables. The results of Whitehead and Deborah (1991) study indicated that best predictor of grade point average was the intellectual cultural orientation of the family environment. So, it is the home which sets the pattern for the Childs' attitude towards people and society, aids intellectual growth in the child and supports his aspirations and achievements. A highly significant positive relationship between the variables of academic achievement and family scores has been assessed (Shaha and Sharma, 1984). Studies have revealed that high home environment groups achieved greater success than middle and low home environment groups (Jagannathan, 1986). The home environment or family has been recognized as having a lot of influence on the academic performance of students (Nzewuawah, 1995; Ajila and Olutola 2007).

Reviewed literature indicated that there is an awareness of the importance of family environment on student's academic achievement. In the view of Ajila and Olutola (2007), the state of the home affects the individual since the parents are the first socializing agents in an individual's life. This is because the family background and context of a child affect his reaction to life situations and his level of performance. Although, the school is responsible for the experiences that make up the individual's life during school periods, yet parents and the individual's experiences at home play tremendous roles in building the personality of the child and making the child what he is. Thus, Ichado (1998) concluded that the environment in which the student comes from can greatly influence his performance at school. Taking the prominence of family environment on the life of students into consideration, an attempt has been made to explore the correlates of academic achievement with family environment of undergraduate students.

HYPOTHESES OF THE STUDY

In pursuit of the research problems and to realize the objectives of this study, the following hypotheses were raised and tested:

1. There exists a significant relationship between family environment and academic achievement of under-graduate students.

2. There exists significant difference between the academic achievement of undergraduate students from nuclear families and joint families. …

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