PERCEIVED INFLUENCE OF BROKEN HOME ON THE ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS
1.1 Background to the Study
A home is defined as a place of abode, habitation or a house, flat and any other physical apartment where an individual resides with his/her family. A home is equally a place where a child is raised by his parents or guardians. In another perspective, a home is a dwelling place where a person receives domestic affection from his/her family members. Family on the other hand refers to a group of people living together under the same roof that are related by genetic connection, blood, marriage, law, custom, adoption or mutual agreement (Hornby and Parnwell, (2012). The family is the least, yet the basic unit of the society, that provides the needed psychological, moral, emotional, educational and spiritual support required for the overall growth and development of a child.
A family is either broken or intact/unbroken. A child will be well-behaved and emotionally stable, when both parents discharge their respective duties towards the child. The parents are the foundational socializing agent that child knows since his arrival to the world. The family sets the educational basics before the child starts schooling and the personality that will be exhibited by him is determined by his experiences in the home. Both parents have vital roles to play towards the education of their child. Yara (2010) asserted that academic performance can be influence by many factors, but the impact family relationship play on a child’s scholastic achievement alongside the development of the child cannot be overemphasized. As noted by Salami (1998) the father is expected to provide the needed financial resources for the educational progress of the child while the mother is expected to assist the father’s efforts towards these objectives. In a situation where the father or mother is absent, and either of them is unable to provide the basic needs of the child, monitoring of his academic activities inclusive, such child will not perform creditably well in his studies. A child performs better when his parents form a happy home.
A broken home is the one that is not structurally intact due to divorce, separation, demise of one of the parents, illegitimacy and irreconcilable differences. Akomolafe, etal, (2011) notes that a broken home is the one in which both the father and the mother are not living together, due to unsettled controversies. Life in broken home is generally tough for both the children and their parents as they are faced with limited financial resources, reorganization of living routines and assumption of new living patterns. Majority of the children from broken homes are bedeviled with emotional crises like depression, frustration, low self-esteem, inferiority complex amongst others (Tonybee, 2008). Students from broken homes tend to lack concentration in classroom, which translates to poor academic achievement. These students also exude maladaptive practices such as truancy, cultism, bullying, drug abuse, prostitution, theft, examination malpractice, thuggery, etc (Ichado, 2007).
When families break or disorganize, it is the children that suffer. They often live the rest of their lives in emotional, mental, physical and intellectual wounds. Most single-parent families can however become two-parent families through remarriage. Thus, a new family is established by the union of both single-parents. In family of this nature, children from each parents’ first marriage become step-siblings, also children produced in this new marriage are half-siblings to the children gotten from the first marriage (Uwaifo, 2012; Ebiere & Dorgu, 2014). In a step-family, problems relating to non-biological parents and children generate tension; however, this tension is severe when children of each single-parent live with them as siblings. These kinds of family settings have been found to influence children’s academic achievement. Remarriage can be challenging for the children because they are forced to learn and adapt to another family structure. Single-parents household may be less beneficial to younger children (Nzewunah, 2012). Nevertheless, among the direct consequence of a broken home has on a child is a sharp decline in his academic achievement.
Academic achievement is an objective score of a student in a specific or general instructional task (Salami, 1998; Tenibaje, 2011). There is no universally acceptable indicator for measuring students’ academic achievement across the globe, but in Nigeria, a student’s academic achievement is adjudged by his level of performance in class work, assignment, internal and external examinations. Academic achievement is controlled by many factors, but the impact family relationship have on a child cannot be undermined. The tension, discord, enmity and instability in the home create a hostile emotional haven in the home. If not quickly resolved, it can transform to conflict, antagonism and strife among the parents and children, thereby resulting into broken homes (Yara, 2010; Tenibaje, 2011). The slow growth of these problems manifests by disrupting the level of concentration and learning capacities of these children in school. Hence, the family structures a child emanate from seriously affects his achievement especially at adolescence level.
The influence of broken home on the achievement of a child can be angled from the gender and locational perspectives. Gender refers to a set of socio-cultural phenomenon that divides people into either male or female, with each sex having its associated roles, traits and stereotypes (Webster Dictionary). There is great likelihood that the influence of broken home on students’ academic achievement is felt by both male and female children. Apart from gender, location determines the academic achievement of broken student. Children from broken homes residing in the urban areas tend to perform better than their peers in rural area. When children see their parents living happily together, they tend to get along with their siblings, friends, classmates, teachers and other people around them. They will be happy to go to school and participate effectively in class activities. Thus, happy homes are needed to have happy children, and happy children are needed to accomplish higher students’ academic achievement.
1.2 Statement of Problem
Broken homes have now emerged as the fastest growing kind of family structure in Nigeria. In spite of the efforts of the government, religious institutions, traditional institutions, non-governmental organization and marriage counselors to foster marital stability and fidelity among couples/families in Nigeria in general and Taraba state in particular, no robust results have been obtained. Students from broken homes encounter emotional challenges such as frustration, depression and de-motivation, lack of emotional support, low self-esteem and self-concept. Furthermore, these students tend to exude maladaptive behaviors such as cultism, theft, thuggery, examination malpractices, drug abuse, prostitution etc. All these translate to poor academic achievement among the students. Students’ academic achievement in Jalingo Educational Zone could be attributable to broken homes. Hence the study intends to empirically examine the perceived influence of broken homes on the academic achievement of senior secondary students in Jalingo educational zone in Taraba state.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of the study is to examine the perceived influence of broken homes on the academic achievement of senior secondary students in Jalingo educational zone in Taraba state.
In an effort to attain the stated main purpose, the study is posed to achieve the following specific objectives.
1. To ascertain the educational challenges faced by students from broken home
2. To explore if the academic achievements of students from broken homes is influenced by gender.
3. To investigate if the academic achievements of students from broken homes is influenced by location.
4. To investigate if the academic achievements of students from broken homes is influenced by school type.
5. To determine the implications of findings to counseling.
1.4 Research Questions
Based on the stated objectives, the questions of interest germane to the study include:
1. What are the educational challenges faced by students from broken homes in Jalingo educational zone in Taraba State?
2. Are the academic achievements of students from broken homes influenced by gender?
3. Are the academic achievements of students from broken homes influenced by location?
4. Are the academic achievements of students from broken homes influenced by school type?
5. What are the implications of findings to counseling?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
Four (4) hypotheses are developed in the study in line with each research objectives.
H01: Educational challenges do not have significant effect on the academic achievement of broken home students in Jalingo educational zone.
H02: There is no significant difference in the academic achievement of male and female students from broken homes in Jalingo educational zone.
H03: There is no significant difference in the academic achievement of students from broken homes schooling in urban and rural areas in Jalingo educational zone.
H04: There is no significant difference in the academic achievement of students from broken home attending private and public schools in Jalingo educational zone.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The findings of the study will be of immense benefits to students, teachers, policy makers, marriage counselors and future researchers.