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  • NGN 3000

Background to the Study

There have been several studies done within and outside Nigeria on the effects of home environment as well as the socio-economic status of parents on the academic achievement of students (Ajila  & Olutola,  2007; Uwaifo, 2012).  Research has found many factors that influence how well a student does in school and the amount of confidence the students have for themselves. However, in Nigeria, like other growing economies, families are finding it more difficult to stay connected with their children’s education. This is most common to families living in mega cities such as Lagos where both parents work outside of the home Carmen, (2007) noted that the extended family has become significantly less extended as mobility has increased. Parents are becoming isolated from their children and finding it difficult to keep a careful watch on what needs to be done to help them succeed in school. Many families are not even led by a parent, but by a grandparent, guardian, or some other adult.

With the changes in family life and indeed in societal makeup, schools are now finding it increasingly difficult to keep parents informed of and actively engaged in the day-to-day progress of their children (Deslandes & Bertrand, 2005). Teachers and administrators are discovering that the support they once received in getting students to do their homework is not there, because the parents are not home to insist that students complete their assignments.

It must be noted that while there are so many factors influencing the ability of students to progress academically, Ozmert (2005) emphasized the importance of environmental influence as a major factor in the development of student’s academic performance. The educational background of the parents’, however is the most important factor that affects the student’s academic performance. In view of this, Hussain (2006) noted that secondary school students in public schools often come from economically poor and average income families. These families face various problems causing emotional disturbance among their children. They have poor academic performance. This singular factor shows how important the family is to academic achievement of students in secondary schools as well as the centrality of parents to the academic performance of students.

According to Ndubuisi (2005) there is a positive correlation between parental attitude and children's social orientation and academic achievement. Ndubuisi is of the opinion that parents' dimensions of value placement on their children's well-being or otherwise, significantly affects the child's positive or negative adaptation to his/her society and even the way he/she carry out his/her  may academic work in school.

Many factors contribute directly or indirectly to the educational development of a child both within and outside the school system. These factors stem from either heredity or environment. Many psychologists such as Freud and Adler now de-emphasize the significant role of heredity in the total development of the child while underlining the prominence of the environment. Craft et al (2002), made some contributions to the understanding of the relationship between the child's home background and his academic performance in school. A child is the product and reflection of the society. While the school runs the formal education system, the home provides formal and in formal educational experiences.

Many psychologists have advocated that the immediate environment (Home) should be made quite stimulating so as to enhance the development of a child's intellect and good academic performance. According to Locke (1970) we are like a clean slate at birth and that the environmental influences determine what fills the vacuum.

This is what he referred to as "Tabula Rasa". In other words, whatever we inherited from our parents may be enhanced or dampened by the kind of environment we live in.

In some situations, parents adopt care free attitude towards the learning of their children, even their social orientation, and this has in many instances, caused the low academic performance of children even their maladaptive behaviours in their immediate society (Rake, 1999).

The quality of students' performance remains at the top priority for educators. The variables affecting students academic performances are both inside and outside the school. There are a number of factors that affect students' performance like parental parent's education and their involvement in child's studies, student's gender, time allocation, technology, available facilities and lots more.

Studies carried out by Mudock and Mudock (2004), show that the first six years of a child are very important because whatever goes wrong at this stage will have long lasting effect on the child when he grows up. It is during this early period that the personal characteristics and mental health of the child are established. The child learns how to love and be loved and how to cope with sibling rivalry. Also, it is at this time that the child develops feelings of hostility and aggression if the environment is not conducive. This early socialization process is important because it helps a child adjust to places outside his home.

Psychologists and sociologists like Jersild (2005) and Hurlock (2006), believe that if solid foundations are not laid for the acquisition of basic skill when the child is young, learning becomes a problem later in life as it is often unsuccessful. This should involve parents monitoring efforts to accountability and acting as advisors in school improvement efforts. This may be achieved by having parents serve on standing and ad-hoc special committees and boards of the school such as special events committee, disciplinary committee and governing board. This way, parents get firsthand knowledge of the needs and problems of the school and work co-operatively with the school in resolving them (Aloe, 2006). When parents possess the necessary knowledge and skills relevant to the school curriculum such parents may serve as information sources, the audience for school academic activities and/or class assistants. There also seems to be ample evidence to suggest that parental involvement in home work and assignments may improve children's performance in school.

Parental positive and co-operative attitude towards the development of the school has been found to influence positively on children's learning outcomes in school. Such parental behaviours are reflected in good attendance at PT A meetings, sending children to school on time, fees are paid on time, children are made to complete homework on time and parents visit the school regularly to monitor the progress of their children. Teachers have a remarkably difficult job and will appreciate anyone who supports them and acknowledges their work.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The idea that good educational qualification of parents translates directly to good academic achievement and poor parental educational qualification  translate  to poor academics for children to be a general consensus . This study hereby seeks to find out from teachers their perception of parental educational qualification and children academic achievement

The problem of low socio-economic status and low educational status among parents, and its attendant effect on the academic performance of students cannot be overemphasized. Most parents in Nigeria today are poor, uneducated, and majority of them are unemployed (Jimoh, 2006). This can be linked to poor economic situation in the country and the world economic recession. As a result, parents lack the wherewithal to maintain themselves and their children (Jimoh, 2006). Most Nigerian parents fail in their duties to send their children to school. Many of them whose children are in school, do not take adequate care of them because they lack the financial power to carry or foot their children's school bills. This has caused many children whose parents are poor and not educated to constantly absent themselves from school, while majority of the children have finally dropped out of school. These parents do not purchase relevant books for their children or foot other school expenses for the child (Jimoh, 2006).

Not only that the children of the poor are not properly cared for. For instance, children whose parents are not rich do not feed well before and after school. Thus most of them go to school in an empty stomach, and while in school, they do not pay attention to what is going on in the classroom. A child needs proper feeding to complement cognition, but children of the poor and uneducated do not feed adequately not to talk of balanced diet. For lack of money, children whose parents are poor and uneducated are meant to live in an unfriendly environment where they are incapable of reading freely and the materials to study are not available for them to carry out meaningful academic work. As a result of these, the children record poor academic performance at school. The above problems therefore, necessitated this study.

1.3 Theoretical of Problem

This work is underpinned under Bradley Wright theory of social causation and social selection. This theory advances that human beings who possess some certain characteristics may have the tendency to perform better in some certain areas due to their possession. In this wise, it becomes clear that having literate parents may be the reason why some children will perform better than children of the illiterate. If parents exhibit positive values in terms of providing for their children's education, such children who are well catered for, will no doubt, be high academic achievers, while those whose parents place negative values on their education will grow up to be low achievers in their educational career. This will equally show in their poor social adjustment to the larger community. (Uzomah, 2006).

Startup (1992) defined social class as a level in society made up of people who consider themselves equals due to similarities in educational background, level of education, occupation race an attitudes towards social values. Researchers such as Mundi and Arnold (1999) have revealed that there is a close relationship between the educational and socio-economic status of parents and academic performance of their children. Afred (2004), also supported the fact that socio-economic status of the family influences the academic performance of the child in school and that there are several ways in which extreme poverty exert influence on school performance. Malnutrition and poor living conditions are bound to have an influence on the health of the child and his ability to learn. Poor housing and overcrowding cannot only impede on the child's ability to complete home-work but even his ability for reading or engaging in constructive play.

Studies have also confirmed that the higher the income level of the parents, the greater the ability to finance the children's education and vice versa especially in Nigeria where the ability to buy educational materials depends on one's income. According to Fraser (1993), there is correlation between income and good student performance. According to her, the standard of living is dependent on income, the nutritional state of a child and possibly also the sense of tension and insecurity in a family living on the brink of poverty may all contribute to the poor performance of the child.

Stone (2005), is also of the opinion that children from poor homes are likely to show to a great extent the effects of under-nourishment, illness' and lack of sleep. She went further to state that there is likely to be negative attitude to school which manifests itself in truancy thereby lowering the academic achievement.

Swell and Hauser (1996), found out that youths whose parents enjoy more prestigious positions perform better than those whose parents occupy low socio-economic status. They do everything possible to cater for their children.

1.4  Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study was to examine the effect of educational status of parents on student academic performance in five selected senior secondary schools in Oshodi Local Government Area of Lagos State.

The specific objectives of the study included:

i. To examine the effect of parental educational background on children performance

ii. To ascertain whether education of children from high educational background will perform better than those from low educational background

1.5 Research Questions

The following research questions were raised for this study:

i. What is the effect of parent’s educational background on children academic performance?

ii. Will children of parents with high educational background perform better than those with low educational background?

1.6 Research Hypotheses

The following research hypotheses were formulated to guide this study.

H01: Parental educational background does not have a significant effect on children’s academic performance

H02: Children of parents from with high educational background will not significantly perform better than those from parents with low educational background.

1.7 Significance of the Study

This study will be of great benefit to the various segments of individuals and group of individuals in the society. For instance

(1) The students will benefit from this study because its findings and recommendations will help them to appreciate that they need parental care and positive values for them to be successful in school and society at large. It will make the students to be more adaptive to parental control and care.

(2) Parents would also benefit from this study because it will enable them to be up and doing in the upbringing of their children if they want them to be successful in academic and in life. This study will enlighten parents on the best methods of bringing up a child in the home.

(3) Teachers would be beneficiaries of this study because; it will enable them to be more enlightened on how best to train their children in the home and at school, as surrogate parents.

(4) The society will undoubtedly, benefit from this study because it will enable the adult members of the society to learn that parental value system has something to do with the child's behaviour and his/her academic success in the school.

1.8 Scope of the Study

The study examined the effect of socio-economic status of parents on student academic performance in five selected senior secondary schools in Oshodi Local Government Area of Lagos State.

1.9 Definition of Terms

Operational definitions of terms were appropriately provided in this study. Virtually, all the variables in the study were defined accordingly.

Academic Performance: This refers to the level or rate at which students in school perform in their academic career. It also shows the level at which students carry out their school works at a given period of time and the result of it.

Educational Status: This term is used for social processes in which one achieve social competence and individual growth, carried on in a selected, controlled sitting which can be institutionalized as a school or college.

Educational Upbringing: This refers to education of children and how they perform in academics when subjected to test or examination.

Effects: Isthe result or outcome of anything be it positive or negative.

Home Environment: This refers to parental experience and aspirations for children, objects and material conditions in the home for comfort and also specific behavioral processes conducive to learning.

Low Educational Status: Refers to little or no academic background of parents.

High Educational Status: Simply means parents who have quality education.

Occupational Status: Person's trade, vocation or principal means of earning living.

Parental Attitude: Parents disposition to respond in a characteristics way to some stimulus in their social environment. Some responses determine the way and manner their children are brought up by them.

Parents: This means father, mother or ancestors e.g. our first parents (Adam and Eve).

Socio-Economic Status: This refers to the level of social stratification of individuals in a given society. It is the socio-economic distinction amongst members of the society.

Students: This means a person who is studying at a college, polytechnic or university; boy or girl attending schools; anyone who studies or who is devoted to the acquisition of knowledge

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