Adult Education Project Topics

Impact of Parents Educational Background on the Academic Performance of Their Children. A Study of Kaduna South Lga, Kaduna State

Impact of Parents Educational Background on the Academic Performance of Their Children. A Study of Kaduna South Lga, Kaduna State

Impact of Parents Educational Background on the Academic Performance of Their Children. A Study of Kaduna South Lga, Kaduna State

Chapter One

 Purpose of the Study

Generally, the purpose of the study was to find out the impact of parents educational background on the academic performance of their children in Kaduna south LGA, Kaduna state.

Specifically, the purpose of the study is to find out:

  1. The influence of parental level of education on academic performance of primary school pupils.
  2. The influence of parental occupation on pupils’ academic performance.
  3. The influence of parental income on pupils’ academic performance.
  4. The influence of family size on pupils’ academic performance.
  5. The influence of parental motivation on pupils’ academic performance.



The chapter presents a review of related literature under the following subheadings.

 Conceptual Framework  

  • Concept of family
  • Concept of parental background
  • Concept of performance
  • Concept of academic performance

 Theoretical Framework

  • Parental attachment theory
  • Self-determination theory
  • Maslow’s motivational theory
  • Empirical Studies on parental background and academic performance
  • Summary of related literature.

Conceptual Framework  

Concept of Family  

Family has been described at the smallest, most personal and not intimate of social groups. It is the most important primary group and the smallest social unit in the society. Odo (1990:10) defined family as “a social group sharing a common residence and cooperating economically”. The author went further to assert that the institutions of the family is usually based on the marriage of one or more sexually co-habiting couples and usually there is the expectation of having children for whom the adults of the family accept responsibility. Alio (1995) observed that the family is also the most personal social organization, for nothing is more personal than the interaction and relationship between members of a family. He further said that married couple without children, though bound by the strongest personal ties do not constitute a family for such ties can conceivably exist among couples who are not married. For him, what gives a family its character are children, for only in such a family can that intimate, personal relationship be established by which the family can perform its functions  of rearing, protecting and educating the children, transmitting to them the social values it has inherited and a special bond between all the members. This kind of family setting is similar to the Nigerian traditional idea of family. Traditionally, it is believed that it is the children that cement the union of a man and a woman together and makes it a lasting and a intimate one. The primary aim of this union is procreation.

Family can be classified into nuclear and extended form. Nuclear family is basic form of family organization. It is made up of the father (husband), mother (wife) and children. The children may be the biological offspring; of the couple or/and the adopted members of the family. According to Okafor (1992), the adoption of a child into the family is a common culture in the British society, but less so in Nigerian society. He added that nuclear family is found common among the urban city elites in Nigerian society or as a component in both extended, nuclear and compound family in Nigerian rural areas. The author maintained that one of the characteristics of the nuclear family is that is tends to break up when the children marry, when the parents die or at any point in human cycle. According to him, the male raised in a nuclear family usually begins his life in house hold headed by his parents and concluded his life in a family that he himself heads.

Extended family is the type of family that comprises of the father (husband) his wife (mother), their children, the husbands and the wife’s relations etc. Alio (1995) pointed out that the extended system is a dispersal version of the joint  family and the members of the constituent groups do not all live together in one dwelling. To him, the extended kin-group includes a span of three or four generations within the total household or closely adjacent households. The extended family system is commonly a

characteristics of most African society. Many Nigerian societies do not believe in nuclear family but in modern times, urbanization and economic pressures are discouraging extended family ties. However, extended family system is the popular and most common type of family arrangement in the Nigerian society. Anybody who fails to practice or show interest in the extended relations is regarded as a wicked and hopeless human being by members of the society. 




This chapter discusses the procedure that is adopted in carrying out this study. It focuses on the research design, area of the study, population of the study, sample and sampling technique, instrument for data collection, validation of the instrument, reliability of the instrument, method of data collection and method of data analysis.



In this chapter, data were presented on the basis of the research questions and hypotheses that guided the study.





From the findings of the study, it was concluded that parental background factor influence academic performance of pupils in schools. Prominent among the parental background factors include parental educational level, parental income and parental motivation. sEducational statuses of the parents and pupils’ academic performance have a close relationship between them. This is because parents themselves having being to school realized the importance of being educated. They stand better chance to support their children for better academic performance.

On parental motivation, it was found that pupils who received encouragement and motivation from the family perform better in schools than their counterparts from non encouraging families. The major reasons for the observed difference in performance are the motivation and positive attitude of the parents towards their children’s academic progress.

The acceptance of hypotheses two and four was based on the result of statistical data from the field. Personal observation equally showed that parental occupation cannot determine pupil academic performance. This is because education which is the major determinant of occupation may not be the same in the parents and children. Again, a child from large family size, who has strong determination can compete favorably with another child from small family size. Moreover, most children from small families are over pampered and undetermined.

Educational Implication of the Findings of the STUDY

  The findings of this study have some implications for the parents, pupils and the teachers.

The first hypothesis revealed that pupils from educated parents perform better in academics than pupils from uneducated parents. This phenomenon is as a result of intellectual stimulation and direct involvement of educated parents in their children’s education. This helps pupils from such background perform better than those from uneducated parents.   

  This phenomenon can be corrected by stimulating school environment and teachers’ positive reinforcement strategy which can compensate for non stimulating and negative reinforcement prevalent in an uneducated families. For pupils from uneducated families, this school situation aids to maintain the same home conducive atmosphere for academic career and facilitates learning and academic performance.

Another major finding revealed that pupils from parents of high income status posses most of the necessary materials for their learning, unlike pupils from parents of low income status. This is an indication that children come to school from different background and these backgrounds presents their own problems for the children. The teacher having realized this condition should be conscious when dealing with the pupils. Pupils who came from low income class parents should not be mocked or compared with their counterpart from high income status parents when they failed to meet up in providing most of the materials needed for their studies. If such comparison occurs the pupils from low income status parents would feel inferior and that will affect their academic performance the more, and may even lead to the exhibition of abnormal behaviour trait.

All the above facts not withstanding, more efforts are still required from the parents, especially from the low income group in ensuring that adequate facilities are provided for the pupils. Pupils from low income parents requires virtues like dedication, honesty, determination, integrity and tolerance to pursue their career by making use of school facilities during and after school hours to enable them attain high academic performance.

Findings of the study also revealed that parental motivation is one of the major determinants of pupils’ academic performance. Therefore, the need for parents to learn how to encourage their children cannot be overemphasized. There is equally the need for parents to be involved in the teaching-learning process of their children, particularly this period where most of the pupils come to school from their respective homes.

There is also the need for teachers to be more motivational in their teaching. This is possible when they vary their method of teaching and teaching aids to take cognizance of the individual differences inherent in the pupils from their different parental backgrounds. Teachers can ameliorate through filling the parental motivational needs by individualizing instruction and taking special interest in the slow learners who suffer from deficient parental motivational pattern.

Another vital implication from this study is that school authorities should try to avoid grouping or streaming the school children especially according to ability and intelligence. Since the pupil come from different parental background, there is every tendency that they differ in many respects. To have balanced and competitive class, the pupils should be randomly distributed, avoiding grouping intelligent ones one side and dull ones the other side.

This study equally implies that there is a greater need for more literacy and awareness campaign than before to awaken illiterate parents and instill awareness in literate parents who seem to attach much importance to education. The programme should be extended to rural areas where it is needed most.


Education is an important instrument of change in modern societies. Provision of adequate and relevant education is the best thing a nation can do for its citizens. This is more so, because education is a virile weapon against ignorance, disease, poverty and as a means of producing enlightened, responsible and industrious citizenry and prosperous nation.

Based on this background, the researcher makes the following recommendations:

  • One of the major findings of this study is that parental income level has a great influence on pupils’ academic performance. For example, most cases, parental income is proportional to pupils finding which also determine to a large extent, the level of academic performance of pupils. In this case, it is recommended that parents as a matter of importance should diversify their sources of income so that they can be able to provide fund their children in school for better academic performance.
  • Parents should be made to realize the importance of motivation in determining their children academic performance in schools, especially the realization that most of the male pupils are abandoning school for business. Parents should be actively involved in encouraging pupils to learn and also in supervising pupils academic work at home
  • Pupils’ should give serious attention to studies at home, in addition to other various works done, since the amount of effort they put in their studies influence their academic performance.
  • Teachers should understand that teaching is a job of conscience. Teachers should handle the pupils as their own children; try by all means to meet the pupils’ academic social and psychological needs. They should be motivational in their teaching and use different teaching methods so as to go along with all categories of pupils. This will help bridge deficiencies from negative parental background.
  • The state and Federal Governments should legislate against examination malpractices. Such situation will force pupils to sit up and take their studies serious. Again, the various governments should create employment opportunities for the graduate of various institutions of higher learning. Lack of job opportunities contributes to the loss of interest and zeal for education by pupils. The current situation in Nigeria where graduates are left with little or no hope of employment gives no encouragement to the primary school pupils for further education. Rather, the pupils see going to school is a waste of time.

Limitation of the Study

Like any other human endeavour, this study faced certain limitations.

Some of these limitations include:

  1. Choosing the topic for this study, constructing and administering the instrument and getting it validated were not easy exercise.
  2. The researcher paid repeated visits to some schools before he was permitted to interact with the pupils (respondents).
  3. Although the researcher and the research assistants gave the pupils adequate instructions and guidance for completing the questionnaire, some of the pupils awarded scores arbitrarily to the questionnaire items.
  4. The study was carried out in three local government areas that made up Benin city Education Zone. It was assumed in the study that the schools sampled in Benin city Township where the zonal headquarters were located constitute the Urban schools and the pupils from those schools were regarded as Urban pupils as used in the study. This poses a limitation to the study as this does not portray a pure or ideal representation of Urban pupils.
  5. The researcher’s zeal for the study was initially seriously undermined by the intermittent strikes of primary school teachers and university lecturers.

Suggestions for Further Research       

 Research work remains an important exercise as far as human existence on earth continues. Such being the case, the following areas have been suggested for further research work:

  1. Influence of peer pressure on academic performance of primary school pupils.
  2. Academic and environmental stress affecting academic performance of primary school pupils.
  3. Gender and Age as predictors of academic performance in primary school.
  4. Influence of poverty on pupils’ academic aspiration.
  5. A similar study should be carried out in other parts of the country to compare the findings.

Summary of the Study  

The problem of this research is whether there is influence of parental background on pupils’ academic performance among primary school pupils in Kaduna South L.G.A of Kaduna state. Although many think that pupils perform poorly in academic because the teachers did not teach well, some other people believe that this problem is not caused by teachers. They traced the problem to the parental background of pupils which has the capacity to promote or retard pupils’ performance.

Bearing this problem in mind, the focus of this study is to find out whether there is any influence of parental background on pupils’ academic performance by examining the influence parental background variables like parental education level, parental occupation, parental income level, family size and parental motivation on pupils’ academic performance.

To Achieve the Objectives:

This study was carried out on fifty three (53) public primary schools in Kaduna South L.G.A with a total population of Seven thousand, nine hundred and forty five (7945) pupils. However, proportionate random sampling was used to draw four schools each from the three local government areas in the education zone. In this respect, twelve (12) schools were sampled for the study. In each of the twelve schools, primary two (SS2) pupils formed the subject for the study giving a sample size of eight hundred and sixteen (816) respondents (subjects).

Five research questions and five research hypotheses tested at 0.05 level of significance were used. The instrument for data collection was questionnaire designed by the researcher through the review of related literature and validated by experts. The questionnaire contained twenty six (26) items. Likert-type of scale was used to rate the responses. The reliability of the instrument was established using trial test method.  The data were analyzed using mean and standard deviation to answer the research question and t-test statistics to test the null hypothesis at 0.05 level of significance. The results showed that: Pupils’ academic performance is influenced by parental level of education, parental level of income and parental motivation while parental occupation and family size are not significant determinants of pupils’ academic performance.



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