This study examined psychosocial factors of the home environment influencing the academic performance of secondary school students. Three (3) hypotheses were formulated and tested in the course of this research which is: Participants from authoritative parenting style will perform better than those from permissive parenting style, Participants from high SES will perform academically better than those from low SES, and Participants from high parental educational attainment will perform better academically than those from low educational attainment. 205 Participants were selected from two secondary schools in Uyo, using purposive sampling technique selection. The instrument used in the study was a questionnaire divided into four (4) sections. A 2x2x2 factorial design was used as a result of the three independent variables with two levels each. The data collected qualified for interval scaling, thus a 3- way Analysis of variance (ANOVA) for unequal sample sizes were used for data analyses. The hypotheses which predicted a statistically significant difference in academic performance between a participant who is permissive in parenting styles, high in socioeconomic status and educational attainment of their parents and those who are authoritative in parenting styles, low in SES, and educational attainment was significant [F(1,149) =2.35, p<.05], [F(1,149)=0.68, p<05]. There was a statistically significant interaction effect between parenting styles and socio-economic status in the study. Implications and recommendations were made. Discussions of the results were made in line with the empirical evidence.                    



Title Page    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    i

Certification     -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    ii

Dedication         -    -    -    -    -    -    -    iii

Acknowledgement    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    iv  

Table of Contents     -    -    -    -    -    -    -    vi

Abstract     -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    ix


Background of study     -    -    -    -    -    -    1

Statement of Problem         -    -    -    -    -    17

Objective of the Study     -    -    -    -    -    -    18

Operational Definition of Terms     -    -    -    -    -    19


Theoretical         -    -    -    -    -    -    -    21

Empirical     -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    27

Statement of Hypotheses     -    -    -    -    -    -    59


Participants     -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    60

Instruments     -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    61

Reliability an Validity of the Instrument     -        -    -    62

Procedure     -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    64

Design     -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    65

Statistics     -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    65


Table One     -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    66

Table Two     -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    69


Practical Implication of the Results     -    -    -    -    75

Limitation     -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    77

Area for Further Studies    -    -    -    -    -    -    78

Recommendation     -    -    -    -    -    -    -    78

Conclusion         -    -    -    -    -    -    -    79





Background of Study

There have been several studies done within and outside Nigeria on the effect of psychosocial factors 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 performs in school and the amount of confidence students in general have for themselves, Carmen (2007). 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 homes. Carmen (2007) noted that the extended family has become significantly more 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 adults.

Prior to this time, in what is sometimes called a traditional Nigerian family environment, parents were able to monitor the school work of their children carefully and actively participated in Parents Teachers Associations(PTA), Purposely to monitor the progress of their children. Report cards were valued and trusted in the home as an accurate reflection of academic achievement. Parents were able to keep in touch with the school and the life of their children in the school and to monitor success or lack thereof. When children came from school, homeworks/assignments were completed and other school works were done.

With the changes in family life and indeed in societal make up, schools are now finding it increasingly difficult to keep parents informed of and actively engaged in the day-to-day progress of their children (Deslanders & 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 at 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 students’ academic performance. In view of this, Hussain (2006) noted that secondary school students in public school 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 school as well as the centrality of parents to the academic performance of students. Psychosocial factors of home environment in students education has been a major topic of study for the later part of the twentieth century. Baumrind (1971) has been credited for defining three specific parental involvement and their consequences for children. These are (a) authoritative, (b) authoritarian, and (c) permissive involvement of parent in disciplining the child. According to Baumrind (1991) parental involvement is meant to capture normal variation in parents’ attempts to socialize children. Parental involvement can be both supportive and unsupportive in their tone, both of which affect development outcomes and consequences to personality development. Baumrind described how parental involvement affects measures of competence, achievement, and social development.

Although, students are primarily the ones for whom curricula are designed, textbooks are written, and schools built, parents are primarily the ones held responsible for preparing students for learning – preparation physically, psychologically, behaviorally, attitudinally, emotionally, and motivationally, just to name a few. Over the years, numerous theories and associated constructs have been formulated and have evolved to describe and explain these two variables, that is, home environment and students’ academic performance. For example, the behavioral learning theories of Thorndike, Watson, Skinner and Hull, the cognitive learning theories of Piaget, Kolhberg, and vygotsky, and the social learning theories of Bandura, have been used to pose and answer questions about students and parents Dornbusch (1996). Found empirical evidence of what most parents and educators know from experience – that parents have a strong influence on secondary school students.

Parental advice is usually seen as a beam of light directed into the dark corners of a child’s mind. Parents usually play important roles in the social, emotional, intellectual, and personality development of the child. The family is considered by psychologists as a major factor in the development of Personality. Researchers such as Mukherjee, Thorndike and David-off (1979) who cited examples of behavioral problems of secondary schools students, point to the crucial role of the family. Ezeh (2001) stipulates that the family is the primary institution that socializes the young and provides surveillance over their self –concept and subsequent behavior. Parental influence is powerfully exerted upon the children in a number of ways. Parents are therefore the sources of the earliest and strongest identification made by the child. It is worth noting that this identification with parents persists into adult life.

There is no particular definition of parental Characteristics and attitudes which is comprehensive enough to describe all known forms of family relations. However, parents are usually defined as the mother and father of a person or animal, while Characteristics are define as features or qualities typical of a person, place or thing. According to Okoye (1995), attitudes are our mental disposition which determines our next line of response to the stimulus to which these attitudes apply.

The influence of the parent on the child is considered to be great especially when the greater part of his life is spent in the home with parents and other members of the family. Salawu (2000) and Goode (1998) observed that the amount of time one spends with a person is one of the determinants of how significant that person is in his life. It is a common observation that a harmonious and properly-oriented parents contributes to the positive self-concept of a child. On the contrary, a disorganized family setting might produce a negative self-concept.

Perhaps more crucial than the parents’ characteristics are their attitudes and behaviors as the child perceives and interprets them. Johnson and Medinus (1994), Cox (1996) explored the relationship variables in the areas of adolescents’ perception of their parents, parent’s report in their child rearing attitude and teachers’ rating of adolescent’s behavior.

In teachers’ rating of adolescent behavior, twenty-four (24) behavioral traits including non-aggressive, considerate, responsible, popular, out-going and co-operative were investigated. The result of the study showed that the teacher’s rating of the adolescent was more closely related to the adolescent’s perception of his parents’ affectionate behavior towards him. This is particularly important in affecting a number of aspects of his behavior.

Children are inquisitive, creative, highly imaginative, curious observers of the adult world, formulating one goal and replacing the same by another as quickly as possible. As (Simon, 2001) as cited in Burner (1948) notes at this stage, children are at the emotive and iconic stage, highly concerted in their thinking processes and not ready to divide into the symbolic process of abstract thought. They have been socialized in different homes and with that initial entry behavior face the realities of the school system. Social scientists have compiled several slightly different lists of family functions, depending on the societies they are studying and on their own interpretations. These include primary responsibility for rearing children and providing economic security, Lamina (1978). In analyzing modern society’s functionalists consider the husband-wife to be the standard reproductive and child rearing unit. When parents are warm and loving, their children tend to become extroverted, warm, conscientious, composed and happy (Ugwuegbu, 2004).

Parenting style of a family has a tremendous effect on the self-actualization or career aspirations of secondary school students. Some modern parents, mainly those of younger Children and adolescents, feel they should be pals to their growing children .This is notably seen among mothers (mostly teachers). By this approach, they intend to influence their children, especially their female children, by not allowing them to set their own goals, rules and limits. Children deserve to benefit from the greater knowledge and experience of their parents and at all ages they need some rules and limits, although these changes as children grow older.

A person values are inferred from what an individual says or does (Ugwuegbu, 2004). Values are not static, they are dynamic. Globalization has brought with it confusing and stressful environment. It’s a consequence of globalization; people are more mobile, better informed of what is happening in other part of the world.

 If parents are too permissive, children do not learn to develop self-control. Permissiveness alone does not work well because such parents do not provide enough structure or monitoring of their child‘s behavior. Autocratic parents make sure the child obeys the rules at all time and they punished their children for even minor offences (Lamina, 1978).

The socio- economic status a person occupies in the society on the social economic ladder matters in influencing children’s academic performance. Occupations, educational attainment, income, among others, determine ones socio-economic status. Economic limitation is another prevailing family condition which forces development of negative self-concept in children. A poor socio-economic home is susceptible to development of low self-concept in secondary school students.

Many psychologists believes that the failure of families to meet children’s basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter results in the development of negative self-concept in the children (Crawl, Kamsky, Podeel, 1997). The physical needs or drives of the individual serve as potent motivators of behavior. A Child, whose basic needs are not met, may not develop properly and concentrate in class, no matter how much pressure is applied on him by the parents & teachers. Presently the economic strength of most families does not sustain adequate provision of the basic needs of the child (Crawl, Kamsky, Podeel, 1997).

Good education does not happen by chance. It is a product of effective teaching and learning couple with personal studies. It enhances the growth and development of a nation. Recipient of qualitative education are usually distinguished in their field of Endeavour. The growing complexity of our societal demands for effective and functional education as the only way out, (Majason, 1997).

 Ejili (2002) noted that there is an increasing demand for good education but its standard seems to be declining and this is why our educational system is now living in its former glory. Those who are dedicated and focused might not have the pre-requisite learning behavior because they never know what to do.

Steinberg and his colleagues conducted surveys, focus groups, and individual interviews with high school students and parents to better understand how parents, peers and communities influence student’s commitment to school. The 10 – year longitudinal study collected data from 20,000 students and 500 parents in nine ethnically diverse schools and communities. These researchers found that parent’s behaviors send clear and decisive messages about their thoughts and feelings on the importance of schooling. They also found that parenting style helps or hinders a child’s engagement in school; that encouraging a child to do well in school or insisting that homework be completed were important forms of promoting engagement. These three tenets – communication, influence, and parenting styles – are subsets, of a larger domain, parental involvement.

Rivilin (1961) noted that the community often has a marked influence on the students’ motivation for learning and on his ability to profit from his influence at school. Parent’s engagement has a positive impact on the students’ academic achievement, behavior in school, and attitude about school and work. We heard a lot of talk today about how schools have failed. But what is becoming clear is that it is not the school that failed; it is the partnership that is failed with schools taking on the responsibilities that family, communities and religious institution once assumed. The community often has a marked influence on the student’s motivation for learning and on his ability to profit from his influences at home.

Wiseon (1992) suggested that family environments were much more important than the school environment influencing adolescent aspirations. Beside, as most of these students come from home controlled by both parents and the teachers, not withstanding neither the teacher nor the parents could give account of some students who leave home for school in the morning without really getting to the school premises. In school where there is population explosion, probably with insufficient tutorial staff to monitor activities of the students, the schools, find it difficult to give proper account of the students’ movement. This being the case, characters reformation among the students becomes difficult to come by. The contact between the parents, teachers and students make a lot of impact in the academic performance of the students. So those who do not regularly attend lectures because of lack of proper monitoring by both the parents and teachers will perform woefully academically as opined by Wiseon (1992).

Statement of the Problem

Position of educational opportunities for the children in this present economic depression has generated a lot of problems such as; high  cost school of fees, cost of educational materials to provision of educational facilities. As a result of insufficient fund and economic instability, the continued investment in education industry is now assuming a socio-economic status dimension. The home environment is a strong indicator to the aspiration and academic achievement of our children. This is because; most of the children’s sound educations are now confronted with a lot of increasing difficulties as a result of home environment of which the socio-economic status had a strong hold.

Parents are thereby faced with the problems of enriching their home environment so as to establish a positive effect on the students’ academic performance in schools. It is this home environment which parenting styles, educational attainment and socio-economic status of parents, had effect on the educational achievement of the senior secondary school students.


This study is carried out to investigate the following research questions:

1.    Will parenting style affect students’ academic performance?

2.    Will the parents’ socio economic status affect the academic performance of the students?

3.    Will the educational attainment of the parents affect the academic performance of the students?

Objectives of the Study

The main objective of the study is to examine the impact of psychological factors on the academic performance of secondary school students

The specific objectives are:

a)    To examine the influence of parenting styles on academic performance.          

b)    To determine the extent to which socio-economic status of parents influence the academic performance of secondary school students.

c)    To find out the extent to which educational attainment of parent influence academic performance of secondary school students

Operational Definition of Terms

Psychosocial factors:

a)    Parenting Styles: The overall emotional climate of the parent child relationships- an affective context of sorts that sets the tone for the parent’s interactions with the child. As measured by Parenting Style Inventory II (Darling, 1997). Parenting styles in this study refers to permissive and authoritative parenting styles.

b)    Socio-economic Status of Parents: Socio-economic status here in this study refers to high and low income level of parents.

c)    Parents’ Educational Attainment:  This is referred to the highest educational attainment of a father. It is dichotomized under high educational attainment (OND-P.hD) and low educational attainment (FSLC –SSCE).

d)    Academic Performance:  In this study academic performance refers to students who score 1-4 as low academic performance and those who score 5-10 as high academic performance in the English language test.



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