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Study Level: BTech, BSc, BEng, BA, HND, ND or NCE

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         Since secondary school students come from different families, it is basic that they have different family background and experiences including academic and social values. The success of students therefore depends significantly on the family structure which provides enabling environment or otherwise where learning could be encouraged. Thus, this study investigated influence of family background on academic performance of secondary school students in Ilorin South Local Government Area (LGA) Kwara State.

          The target population for this study was secondary school students in Ilorin South Local Government Area, Kwara State. However, a sample of two hundred (200) respondents participated in the study. The simple random sampling technique was adopted to select the respondents. Five null hypotheses were formulated and tested using the t-test and analysis of variance (ANOVA) statistical measures.

          The results of the analysis revealed that low educational level of parents affects students’ academic performance because it undermines their contributions in solving students’ academic challenges. Similarly, poor accommodation at home is another factor that hinders students’ academic performance. The results of the tested hypotheses revealed that there was no significant difference in the influence of family background on academic performance of students based on religion, parents’ educational qualification, contrarily, there was significant difference in the influence of family background on academic performance of students based on gender.

          Based on the findings of this study, it was recommended that parents should adequately monitor their children’s academic performance. Also parents should ensure that cordial relationship is established between them and their children. On the part of the government, the three tiers should work out effective modality for the training of guidance counsellor and adequate employ their in schools.


Title page                                                                      i

Certification                                                                  ii      

Dedication                                                                             iii

Acknowledgement                                                         iv

Abstract                                                                        vi

Table of Contents                                                          vii

List of tables                                                                 x


Background to the study                                              1

Statement to the problem                                             16

Research questions                                                      18

Research Hypotheses                                                            19

Purpose of study                                                           20

Significance of the study                                               21

Scope of the study                                                        23

Operational definition of terms                                     24


Introduction                                                                  25

Parental environment and academic performance

of students                                                                    26

Socio-economic status and academic performance

of students                                                                    30

Family career development and students academic

performance                                                                  33

Parental Career Development and Student Academic

Performance                                                                  36

Factor responsible for divorce                                      38

Parent and child relationship and academic

performance of students                                               40

Instructional materials and academic performance of

students                                                                        41

Effect of marital problem on academic achievement

of students                                                                    42

Summary of the reviewed of related literature             44


Introduction                                                                  46

Research Design                                                           46

Sample and sampling techniques                                 47

Instrumentation                                                           48

Psychometric property of the instrument                     49

Reliability                                                                              50

Procedure for data administration and collection                 51

Method of data analysis                                                52


Introduction                                                                  53

Demographic data                                                         53

Hypotheses testing                                                       60

Summary of findings                                                    68



Introduction                                                                  69

Discussion                                                                    70

Conclusion                                                                    79

Implication of the findings                                            81

Recommendations                                                        82

Suggestions for further studies                                    83

References                                                                             85

Appendix                                                                       87


Table 1:     Distribution of respondents by gender,

religion, parents’ highest educational

qualification, family size and parents’

employment type                                         54

Table 2:     Means and rank order of responses on

influence of family background on

academic performance of secondary school

students                                                      57

Table 3:     means, standard deviation and t-test

analysis of the influence of family background

on academic performance of secondary

school students based on gender                61

Table 4:     Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) results of the

respondents’ on the factors influencing

family background on academic performance

of secondary school students on the basis

religion                                                         62

Table 5:     ANOVA results comparing responses on

influences of family background on academic

performance of secondary school students on

the basis of parental highest educational

qualification                                                 64

Table 6:     Mean standard deviation and t-value of

respondents’ expression on influence of

family background on academics performance

of secondary school students on the basis

of family size                                                65

Table 7:     ANOVA results comparing responses on

influence of family background on academic

performance of secondary school students

on the basis of parents employment type    66



Background to the study

         The singular purpose of education is to produce a useful citizen; a citizen that is useful both to himself and the society in which he lives, and generally, to the world community. It is often very difficult to give a universally definition of education. Nevertheless it is possible to define education from three perspectives vis-à-vis: from philosophical, sociological and psychological. From philosophical perspective, education can be defined as a process of initiating the individuals into a worthwhile activity to the succeeding generations. Such worthwhile activities include desirable skills, attitude and value. In sociological perspective, education can be defined as a process by which the individuals are trained in the norms and value of the society through socialization. Also from the psychological perspective, education refers to the modification of behaviour of the learners in a controlled environment.

         According to Etzioni (1984), educational institution can be defined as social unit that pursue specific goals which they are structured or organised to serve. The school as a social system and device means of evaluating its students to findout how far the school is achieving its goals. This related to the students cognitive development to determine what quality and quantity of learning has taken place in the learners, the moral standards and psychomotor development of students.

         Family is a unit made up of the father, mother and children. This pattern is known and nuclear family. On the other hand we have the extended family or kin-group mostly found in Nigeria, India, and other West African countries. Family background arising from marriage institution which is found in variety forms such as monogamy, polygamy and polyandry. The role of the family in the socialization of the child is in the area of moral training, intellectual training, character training, love for others and vocational training.

         The future of any society lies in its ability to train and socialize its young ones. The stability of its institution and political ways, this productivity of its industrial resources and the creativity of its intellectual talents reflect the degree of success of the adults in the society who have been given the responsibility for making good progress and developing its youths. These factors influence a child’s learning ability i.e. school environment home condition, peer groups and culture in the society. The two major socializing institution of the society are: – the family and the school it has been observed by (Daramola 2006) that throughout the world, there is no where that unequal access to essential facilities does not exist among people. These inequalities are recorded in all spheres of life, it could be found in education, health and other sectors with its attendant effects on social strata.

         (Stevenson, David and Baker 1987) in a study on family school relation and the child’s school performance where they used a nationally representative sample or American households, they examine the relation between parental involvement in schooling and the child’s school performance. With a sample of 179 children, parents and teachers, they investigated three hypotheses. The result shows that the higher the educational status of the mother the greater the degree of parental involvement in school activities. The younger the age of the child the greater the degree of parental involvement and the children of parents who are more involved in school activities do better in school than children with parents who are more involved in school activities do better in school than children with parents who are less involved. In an analysis of cross sectional data, they discovered support for the three hypotheses. The educational status of the mother is related to the degree of parental involvement in schooling, so that parents with more education are more involved, parental involvement is related to the child’s school performance. Also parents are more involved in school activities if the child is younger. The mother’s educational level and the age of the child are stronger predictors of parental involvement in schooling for boys than for girls. They do not, however, find a direct effect of maternal educational status on school performance independent of parental involvement in school activities; they discuss these findings in light of the relation between families and schools.

         The social development of children in modern societies increasingly occurs within an institutional context. Day care, preschool, and regular school are an important part of a tymeal child’s environment from infancy to late adolescence. Schools are environments that establish a series of developmental tasks for children. The nature of these tasks varies: schools present children with a set of new interpersonal relationships that they must incorporate into their social world: schools demand cognitive performances; and schools demand the socialization of the child to the student role (Lefton 1994) obsolete Youniss and Smollar, 1985). In all of these developmental tasks, the family is an important resource for the child. The social development of the child can be viewed as a project of the child’s parents, and the educational institution (Litwak obsolete and Meyer, 1999).

         Research on the relation between families and schools has tended to focus on creating an effective in-home learning environment for the child. The tendency of this line of research has been to examine familiar characteristics that may influence the child’s cognitive development and subsequent school performance (Scott-Jones, 1984). Another literature identifies how parents instill motivation and positive attitudes in their children and the subsequent effects such characteristics have on school performance (Bloom 1981). While these research traditions have focused on the development of the child’s cognitive skills and motivation they have been less concerned with the study of parental involvement in school activities.

         To effectively assist their child in his or her efforts to meet the demands of school, parents need to have knowledge about their child’s schooling and access to resources to help their child.

         (Coleman 1997) proposes that family influence can be separated into components such as economic, human, and social capital, Economic capital refers to the financial resources human capital provides parents with the knowledge resources necessary to create supportive learning environments for their children. In contrast, family social capital is defined by the relationships that develop between family members. It is through these relationships that children gain access to the economic, human, and cultural resources of their families. Similarly, (Pierre 1998) suggests social status and ethnic/racial group have differing degrees of access to those forms of cultural capital that support academic success. Within social groups, parents provide experiences that result in children developing similar tastes, preferences. Eventually, these attributes are related to social status and ethnic/racial group differences in academic and occupational outcomes. A number of theories have been developed to examine those parent-child interactions that provide children with differential access to family resources.

         Steinberg’s family model. In a set of investigating, proposes that in understanding family influences, it is important to disentangle three different aspects of parenting. These include parenting style, which provide the emotional context in which parent- child interacting occur. The goals that parents establish for their children; and the practical adopted by parents to help children attain those goals. It has been shown, for example, that a parenting style defined as authoritative is related to positive academic achievement (Darling and Stenberg 1993). Such a style creates a context in which parents encourage their children’s independence and individuality, provide opportunities for children to be involved in family decision making, expect high standards for their children, and have warm relationships with their children. (Redding 1999) indicates that in relation too academics outcomes, the potential limitations associated with poor economic circumstances can be overcomes by parents who provide stimulating, supportive, and language rich experiences for their children. It is important, however, to recognise the nature of the interrelationships between family background characteristics and more refined family Influences. In the development of a model of human development, for example, Stephen J. Cerci and his colleagues (1997) propose that the efficacy of a family Influence for academic success is determined to a large degree by a child’s family background.  They observe that parent-child interactions are the focus that leads to academic performance. In addition, they claim that academic success is achieved only if family background resources can be accessed to maximize the association between family Influences and outcomes relationships between family Influences and academic achievement need to take into account the potentially constraining or expanding or expanding opportunities provided by children’s family backgrounds. Analyses of the relations between families and academic achievement also need to consider children’s family structure. A mother does homework with her children. It is generally acknowledge that family environment is the most powerful influence in determining a child’s academic motivation and achievement. Research suggests that differences in the academic achievement of children from single-and two-parent families can be related to changes in the economic circumstances of families and to variations in the quality of parent- child interactions in the different family structure.

         Sibling structure. There has been along standing fascination with exploring associations between sibling variables, such as the number of children in a family and a child’s birth- order position in the family, typically these sibling variables have small but significant inverse associations with academic outcomes, especially verbal measures of achievement. A number of theoretical perspectives have been proposed to explain these relationships including the resources dilution hypothesis and the confluence model.

         The resources dilution hypothesis proposes that sibling variables are related to the quality and quantity of parent-child interacting in families, and that such variation in parent resource are associated with sibling difference in academic achievement. That is, the greater the number of children in a family or the later the birth- under position, the more those children has to share family resources. As a result, children have lower score on those academic outcomes affected by the diluted family influences. An alternate perspective is the confluence model which proposes that children’s academic development is affected by the number of children in the families, the age-spacing among children and whether children are only, first, or last born in families. The model claims, for examples that with short birth intervals between children, increasing birth order have related to lower academics performance in contrast, with sufficiently large intervals, the birth- order pattern may be instigated or even reversed.

         Generally, sibling research suggests that relationships between sibling structure variables and children’s academics performance can be attributed to differences in family background, variation in family economics resources, and variations in the quality of parent-child interactions.

         Programme international students Assessment (PISA 2000) stated that influence of academics and education success of students and school work which reinforce the activities and functioning of the teachers and students, the quality of parents and home background of students goes a long way to predict the quality and regularity of the satisfaction and provision academics needs. Poor parental care with gross deprivation of social and economics need of a child suffers parental and mental deprivation and care due to divorce or death or abscarding of one of the parents, the child’s schooling may be affected as the financially buoyant to pay school fee, purchase books and uniforms. Such student might play truancy and the performance in the school may be adversely affected.

         Musgrave (2005) stated children from broken homes tend to have in contrast to the norms of the society. The incidence to broken home greatly tells on student’s academics performance. According to Ortese (2006) a child from homes where the father and mother are present will be well taken are of and sociable in the best way possible. Children from single- parent home are likely to suffer deprivation and denial of some right and opportunities. Also children whose parents cannot afford to provide them their needs often enter into delinquent activities. The economics distress may also compel students to result crime in order to make ends meet. It has been reviewed that the success of children may depend on the economic resources and equivalent service that parents provide and predicted that children period in a two-parent family (Biological or step family) may have the highest attainments. Single- parent families are likely to yield less income from work and have less time for the provision of honest hood service and educational materials.

         It is apparent that family environment has been recognised on the student’s academics performance through the ages, the family value have long been regarded as fundamental source of morality and decent conduct of much that warrant measure against any behaviour that violated them. The family is the institutions where the existence of society is brought into focus.

Statement of the problem

Since secondary school students come from different families, they are sure to have different family background and experiences including academics and social life experiences. This makes it necessary for the researcher to investigate the different family background as influenced by multifarious socio-economic state such as educational level of parents, the types of employment, number of children in the family, types of family-monogamy or polygamy, how regular parents supervise their children’s with regards to emotional dispositions and temperamental traits, educational gadgets available in the family.

         Family is a mechanism of socialization in all human cultures. Daramola (2006) status that the family plays the most significant role in the development of children. Success of children may depend on the economic resources and predicted that children who spend most of their childhood period in a two-parent family (biological) will have the highest attainment. Essien (2001) did a study on the effects of broken homes on a child academic performance. Azodo (2002) researched on comparative achievement of students from monogamous and polygamous families in Ilorin metropolis.

         Alawode and Salami (2000) stated the influence of single parenting on the academic performance of adolescents in secondary schools while other researcher like Sokan and Akinode (2001) and Agbo (2002) found that children from single parent homes exhibited lower self-esteem lower academic performance than those from two parent homes. However, despite this finings, much of the findings only focus on the concern variables without actually investigating how he affects students studying within metropolitan areas. These researches in adequacies justify the need for the current study which found out the variability of secondary school students academic performances on the base of family background variables.

Research Questions

         The following research questions are raised and answered in the study.

  1. To what extent does family background influence academic performance of secondary school students?
  2. Is there difference in the influence of family background on academic performance of students based on ender?
  3. Is there difference in the influence of family background on academic performance of students based on religion?
  4. Is there difference in the influence of family of students based on parent’s highest qualification?
  5. Is there difference in the influence of family background on academic performance of students based on family size?
  6. Is there difference in the influence of family background on academic performance of students based on parent’s employment type?

Research Hypotheses

         The following null hypotheses are formulated for this study.

  1. There is no significant difference in the influence of family background on academic performance of secondary school students on the basis of gender.
  2. There is no significant difference in the influence of family background on academic performance of secondary school students on the basis of religion.
  3. There is no significant difference in the influence of family background on academic performance of secondary school students on the basis of parent’s highest qualification.
  4. There is no significant difference in the influence of family background on academic performance of secondary school students on the basis of family size.
  5. There is no significant difference in the influence of family background on academic performance of secondary school students in the basis of parents employment type.

Purpose of the study

The main purpose of study is to examine the influence of family background school students in Ilorin South Local Government Area, Kwara state. (A Case Study of Okaka District) to achieve are set out as following specific objectives are set out as following.

         Examine the socio-economic and academic status of the secondary school students in the selected school in Okaka district, group the families of the sampled secondary school students into children from rich homes, poor homes and broken homes an the basis of the economic, social, academic and material status of their parents.

Using the performances of the sample students in the last two sessions, to determine the relationship between the home environment type and the academic performance of the children.

         Draw inferences from the result and make suitable recommendation to enhance academic performance in the study area.

Significance of the study

Students perform differently in their class work and other intellectual activities even though they exposed to the sane teaching experience. These individual differences teaching experience, these individual differences of students are supposed to be caused not only by hereditary/inborn factors but also by other factors. This study hopes to look at one of these factors which are the home background and its effect on the academic performance of students. This research study will be of tremendous help to mothers, class teachers and school administrators. 

The study will also assist to improve child care by mothers to know the importance of child students’ proper upbringing in relation to academic performance. The research study shows that students from rich homes educated homes who have opportunity to improve on their academic performances perform better than students from poor homes uneducated homes and who have no opportunity to improve on their own. The class teacher will be able to know how to compensate for those individual differences and also the administrators would know how to assist students who come from poor home probably by providing some of the basic facilities for their education.

Scope of the Study

         The study is limited to Ilorin South Local Government Education Authority. Thus the generalization of the finding may be limited to Okaka District.

         To generalize the findings in the whole state results have to be obtained from other Local Government Education Authority in Kwara State. This is not possible in this study due to the time and financial constraints.

         However, this is not to say that the outcome of the study does not have the same implications for educational practices.

Operational definition of terms

         The following terms are defined as used in the study.

Family background: The home environment of a child.

Student: – A person that is learning in the school.

Academic performance: – The outcome of a learning experience which is determined through test.