Psychology Project Topics

Impact of Single Parenting on the Academic Achievement of Students in Enugu Education Zone

Impact of Single Parenting on the Academic Achievement of Students in Enugu Education Zone

Impact of Single Parenting on the Academic Achievement of Students in Enugu Education Zone



A single parent faces doubled responsibilities requiring time, attention, and finance. Hence, less attention is paid to the education of the child, because the  parent will be hustling in search for money, so that the child won’t experience malnutrition, thereby making the parent neglect his/her duties of helping the child academically, especially in Mathematics. Teachers describe children from single parents as  more hostile, aggressive, anxious, fearful, hyperactive, and  distractible than children from intact families (Salami 1998). Therefore, the general objectives of this study is to find out the various causes of single parenting, find out the impacts of single parenting on child’s performance in Mathematics, find out the ways by  which  single  parents  can help  to improve their children’s Academic achievement in Mathematics, and suggest ways by which single parents can create time and give attention to their children’s academic achievement in Mathematics. Specifically, the main objectives of this study

  • Examine the various problems children from single parents face  in Enugu education zone;
  • Find out the impacts of single parenting on children from single parents as regards the payment of their school fees, purchase of textbooks and other learning materials, and concentration in class; and
  • Find out the impacts of single parenting on  the  child’s  Academic achievement in Mathematics in Enugu education zone.




Single parenting can be defined as a situation whereby only one of the two individuals involved in the conception of the child is being responsible for  the upbringing of the child. Single parenting may arise when either the male or the female parent decides to produce and rear a child or children outside wedlock (Coontz .F 2017).

In Nigeria, the existence of single parenting was unknown and where  they existed, they were ignored as exceptional cases. However, nowadays, they are fast growing family patterns both inside and outside Nigeria. In Nigeria, especially among the Yorubas, the parental roles are culturally determined and distributed. The maternal roles are that of child-rearing, home training and  playing  complementary  roles, while the paternal roles are that of economic responsibilities and discipline of  the  children. The child is morally and mentally upright, and is emotionally  balance  when  both parents carry out the caring responsibilities.

Single parenting is a very important social issue that can have significant effects on a child’s academic success. The family structure, ideally, provides a sense of security and stability that is necessary for children. When there is breakdown in the family structure, it may have a tremendous impact on a child and his/her ability to function ordinarily or achieve academically.

Clayton (2017) as cited by Omolayo (2013) opined that parental separation usually brings a big blow on adolescents. Parental separation also leads to fall in standard of living and in some cases of adoption; there are some surrogate families that are unnecessarily hostile, uncaring, and insensitive to the adolescents’ needs.

Taking a look into how God ordained and organized  the  structure  of  the family, He never gave consent to the concept of “avoidable” single parenting. Both parents have spiritual duties to perform for the spiritual upbringing of their children. Jesus said in Matthew 19:4-6,

“Have you not read.” he answered, “that He who created them from the  beginning made them male and female”, and said, “For this cause shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall be one flesh? Thus they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Montgomery’s New Testament)





The design used for this study is descriptive survey. The survey research technique was used.


There are about 50 Public secondary schools in Enugu education zone. But for the purpose of this research, ten secondary schools were selected. The ten schools selected have a population



This chapter deals with the analysis of data in order to highlight the perceived impacts of single parenting on students’ Academic achievement of senior secondary school students in Enugu education zone of Enugu State. Information about their family background were also collected.

The data was presented and analyzed based on the research questions. Personal data of the respondents were also analyzed.

Section A showed the personal characteristics of the respondents and their families which are class, age, sex, father’s occupation, mother’s occupation, number of children in the family, and religion. Section B indicated the distribution of respondents according to their personal opinions to the fixed-response questions they were asked. This is done to know the actual answer and to achieve the specific objectives of this study.




This study has helped to reveal the devastating effects of single parenting on the Academic achievement of senior secondary  students in Enugu education zone. This study also reveals that, apart from their poor performances in Mathematics, children from single-parent homes face a lot of emotional distress that hamper their self-confidence and simultaneously affect their rate of socialization.

Based on the analyses made in chapter four, it was discovered that children from single-parent homes find it difficult to pay their school fees and buy Mathematics textbooks and other learning materials on time. Many of them even miss Mathematics classes because of their inability to pay their school fees on time. Their poor performances can also be attributed to their lack of Mathematics textbook and lack of support from their single parents in terms of tutoring.

Many of the respondents also believe that children from single-parent homes easily lose interest and concentration in Mathematics classes and when studying Mathematics at home, in schools, or in the library. This may be due to the fact that they are teenagers, and they really understand the challenges their single parents face, which makes them feel insecure and restless. They are easily afraid and may be made to carry out some responsibilities not meant for them, like engaging in menial jobs, petty trading, while some even go to work in farms so as to find means of livelihood.

This study has also helped to reveal that children from single parents do not perform well in Mathematics assignments, obviously, because their parents do not have time for them. They also perform poorly in Mathematics tests and examinations, apparently due to their poor preparation for those tests and examinations.


This study reveals that the educational achievement of a child mostly depends on the orientation and kind of encouragement the child gets from home. The family is the first and fundamental agent of socialization. Therefore,  before the child  is exposed to the outside society, the home must have prepared him/her to some extent, as a saying that goes thus: “Charity begins at home”.

The home has either positive or negative effects on the child. If the child finds happiness, peace, joy, unity, cooperation, and support in the home, such a child will be motivated to acquire mathematical knowledge and skills, and if not, the reverse will be the case. As a result of this, students from intact homes who are provided with good learning environment and materials and extra coaching classes to complement what they have been taught in  school tend to  perform better in  Mathematics than  those from single-parent homes that are deprived of such support.


The following points should be put into consideration to alleviate, to a great extent, the dangerous effects of single parenting on the Academic achievement of Mathematics in senior secondary students.

  1. Pre-marital counseling should be emphasized and done properly in counseling centres. This will help prospective couples to know the adverse effects that incessant quarrels and separation can have on the personality and achievement of their children.
  2. Marriage seminars should be organized by all sectors of the society and  the seminars should be handled by professional and experienced experts. This would help to minimize disunity in families and couples should be encouraged to attend before and during married life.
  3. Marital disunity is a major cause of single parenting. Therefore, to avoid this, parents should tolerate, accommodate, appreciate, and understand each other in marriage. Forces of disunity should be ignored, de-emphasized, if not eliminated. Both parents should try to stay together for the sake of good upbringing of their children. Whenever there is problem in the home, the couple should try to see the counselor for a help or otherwise, settle the problems within themselves amicably.
  4. Married couples should avoid misunderstanding in the presence of their children as this might endanger the security and confidence of the child. They should learn to love, respect, care, tolerate, and understand each other so as to establish a good and sound relationship in the home.
  5. The government should help to fight against environmental hazards and crimes like rape and sexual harassment/molestation. This will help to create a safe environment for learning and families will be at peace. War  against  rape  and sexual molestation will stop the birth of fatherless and unwanted babies.
  6. The government should give adequate attention and support to students from single-parent homes.
  7. Students of single parenthood should be encouraged on the three basic dimensions of self-concepts, namely; sense of belonging, sense of worth and sense of competence. They need a positive identity or an enhanced self-concept for the overall adjustment.
  8. Religious organizations should discourage their adherents from divorcing their marriage partners.
  9. Teachers should recognize, understand, respect, and treat the educational needs of their students from single-parent homes. They should not see them as objects of ridicule, and should always protect from oppression and intimidation that may come from their mates from intact homes. They should help children from single- parent homes to develop their confidence and skills for survival and sustenance.
  10. National Orientation Agency (NOA) should carry out campaigns against divorce and should enlighten all Nigerians on the bad effects of disunity in families on individual and national development.


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