Influence of Parental Involvement and Peer Group on the Academic Performance of Students: Case Study of Some Selected Schools in Ijebu-Ode Local Government Area of Ogun State

1.1      Background to the Study

           There have been several studies done within and outside Nigeria on the effects of parenting involvement as well as the socio-economic status of parents on the academic achievement of students.  Research has found many factors that influence how well a student does in school and the amount of confidence the students have for themselves. 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 home. Carmen (2007) noted that the extended family has become significantly less 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 adult.

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 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 home from school, homework was completed, assignments finished, and other school works were done.

With the changes in family life and indeed in societal makeup, schools are now finding it increasingly difficult to keep parents informed of and  actively engaged in the day-to-day progress of their children (Deslandes & 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 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 the development of students academic performance. The family background of the student, however is the most important factor that affects the student’s academic performance. In view of this, Hussain (2006) noted that secondary school students in public schools 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 schools as well as the centrality of parents to the academic performance of students.

Parental involvement 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 parents in children’s schooling based on levels of warmth and control used by the parent in disciplining the child.  According to Baumrind (1991), parental involvement is meant to capture normal variations in parents attempts to socialize children.  Parental involvement can be both supportive and unsupportive in their tone, both of which affect developmental outcomes and consequences to personality development. Baumrind described how parental involvement affect 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 independent variables, that is, parents and students. 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.

In ways similar to the community, the peer group becomes an agency of enculturation and learning. Even very young children develop a sense of self from their perceptions of important people in their surroundings, including relatives, teachers, and peers. Socioeconomic status, ethnic identity, and parents’ occupations affect how families view themselves and the process by which they socialize their children (Bornstein, 2002). Later, as children leave the home setting, their self-perception and socializing skills become influenced by how their peers view them. When children move out from family to child-care centers, school, and the community at large, they begin to form attachments, and friendships emerge through their play. These relationships influence behavior. Even infants and toddlers are observed reacting to other infants by touching them, by crying when others cry, and later by offering nurturance or comfort. By about age three, early friendships begin to form and children’s peers begin to have a  more lasting influence (Parke, 1990).

Peer influence on behavior gradually becomes more dominant. Harris (2002) maintained that peer groups have an even stronger influence than that of parents, although that extreme position has been refuted by other researchers (Berk, 2005). Gradually, children discover that others can share  their feelings or attitudes or have quite different ones. The perspectives of others will affect how children feel about their own families. Children usually have a “family” view of their own and of other cultures. So, when confronted with other perspectives, they often need to rethink their own viewpoints. It is often difficult for children to adjust to the idea that other families can function radically differently from their own and yet hold many of the same attitudes and beliefs and be equally nurturing and secure. The peer group serves as a barometer for children examining themselves and their feelings about self and family.

The peer group also influences development of children’s socializing skills. These early friendships help children learn how to negotiate and relate to others, including their siblings and other family members. They learn from peers how to cooperate and socialize according to group norms and group-sanctioned modes of behavior.

The peer group can influence what the child values, knows, wears, eats, and learns. The extent of this influence, however, depends on other situational constraints, such as the age and  personality of children and the nature of the group (Harris, 1998; Hartup, 1983).

The aforementioned studies are not the only ones that speak to the issue of parenting involvement and peer group inlfuence, but, here, serve only as a way of introducing the broader sphere. In this present study, parenting involvement and peer group was studied in reference to its influence on the academic performance of students’  in secondary school.

 

 1.2 Statement of the Problem

Although, scholars have identified the correlation between parental and peer group influences on children academic performance in the primary school, it must be noted that secondary school students are different from the typical elementary-aged children and therefore reacts differently to direct parent involvement in their academics. The focus and indeed the intent of this study concern the relationship between parenting style, socio-economic status of parents and peer group influence on secondary school students’ academic performance.

1.3. Objectives of the Study

The primary aim of this study was to examine the influence of parenting style  and socio-economic status on students’ academic performance. This general aim is expressed in the following specific objectives which are to:

  1. Examine the correlation between parental involvement and academic performance of students in secondary school
  2. Examine the relationship between peer group pressure and academic performance of adolescents
  3. Investigate the effects of the socio-economic status of parents on student’s academic performance;
  4. Examine the perceptions of students towards their parents in regards to parenting style and their academic performance.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What relationship exists between the type of parental involvement and secondary school student academic achievement?
  2. Do socio-economic and educational background of parents affect their involvement in their children in secondary schools?
  3.  Do parenting style and parental involvement directly affect students academic performance?
  4.  Do peer group affect the academic performance of students?

 

1.5 Research Hypotheses

H01: There is no statistically significant difference between parental involvement and academic performance of students in secondary school.

H02: There is no significant difference between peer group pressure and academic performance of adolescents

1.6 Scope and Limitations of the Study

The study was limited by a convenience sample of approximately twenty (20) students from five secondary schools and 20 (twenty) parents (comprising of teachers with children)  from Ijebu-Ode Local Government Area of Ogun State. The sample was limited to students in secondary school from Ijebu-Ode Local Government Area of Ogun State.

Apart from the shortage of fund and time frame, the following limits were found in the study:

  1. It is recognized that not every parent will fit neatly into a particular parenting style.  These parent-child pairs will be discarded from the sample.
  2. Some children will rate their parents as fair when in actuality they are not, therefore there will be some bias in the parents nominations.
  3. It is recognized that a parenting style may be chosen by a family due need rather than desire.
  4. The study was limited to the students whose parents gave consent for their participation, as well as, receiving the students’ assent.
  5. The accuracy of the data was limited by the skills of the researcher and validity of the tests administered.

 

1.7 Significance of the Study

This study will be useful to many people who may want to know the factors that could make or mar student’s academic performance. Therefore, the study is significant in the following regards:

  1. It has provide empirical evidence to schools, parents, and students about the nature of parental involvement and how it affects the academic performance of students
  1. It offers a reference for future research that might investigate the same variables.

1.7 Operational Definition of Primary Variables

Parent:  The term parent as used in this study includes, in addition to a natural  parent, a legal guardian or other person standing in loco parentis, such as a grandparent or  stepparent with whom the child lives, or a person who is legally responsible for a child’s welfare.

Parental Involvement: any form of verbal or non-verbal communication or assistance in reference to a child’s homework.

Parenting Style: The overall emotional climate of the parent-child relationship- an affective context of sorts that sets the tone for the parents interactions with the child.

Student academic achievement: This term refers to the student’s overall average  in science, social studies, English, and math, expressed as a percent grade. 

Peer group: A peer group is a primary group of people, typically informal, who share a similar or equal status and who are usually or roughly the same age, tended to travel around and interact within the social aggregate

Peer influence:  peer influence can be described as the pressure adolescents feel from their peers. Also, it can be the pressure planned or unplanned.

Adolescence: refers to the transitory period where a child moves to adulthood. The adolescent years fall within 12-18 years.

 

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THE ROLE OF PARENTS TEACHERS’ ASSOCIATION IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AGEGE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF LAGOS STATE

PROPOSAL

1.1       Background to the Study

Parent involvement is a salient predictor of students’ success (Million, 2003). In fact, many researchers suggest that parent involvement positively impacts students’ achievement, attendance, attitudes, behavior, graduation, and life goals (Burke, 2001 and Belenardo, 2001). There is also much evidence that these benefits cross lines of family income and parent education level. In an era characterized by tremendous emphasis on school accountability as measured by students’ performance, education reform measures are replete with components that address parent involvement (Belenardo, 2001).

The parent-teacher association (PTA) has been rigorously advocated in Nigeria in recent years, which aims at the promotion of parent involvement to enhance the educational outcomes of students. The number of PTAs has been increasing drastically. Parents Teachers Association  can  be  identified  as  very  important variable  that  have  potential  for  promoting  directly  or indirectly  student  academic  achievements  (Olatoye  and  Ogunkola,  2008).

Looking  at  the  quality  of  products  that  Nigeria’s secondary  schools  turn  out,  it  appears  the  quality  of education  received  by  the  students  is  low  in  terms  of cognitive,  affective  and  psychomotor  development  there-by  making  the  secondary  school  system  ineffective. Omoregie  (2006)  lamented  that  the  secondary  education which  is  the  pivot  of  the  entire  educational  system  in Nigeria  is  fast  loosing  relevance,  as  it  is  not  fulfilling  the national  objectives  as  set  down  in  the  National  policy  of education.

The  academic performance  of  secondary  school students  could  be attributed  to  several  factors  but  this  study  is  restricted to the role of parents teachers’ association  as  a potential  factor .  It  has  been  noticed  in  some  areas,  that  school  principals  do  not  involve the  parents  in  the  administration  of  the  schools  for fear  of being  criticized.  It  appears  in  some  cases,  parents  are  no longer  allowed  to  participate  in  school  programmes  and parents  are  no  longer  allowed  to  visit  their  children  in school regularly  to  see  how  they  fare.  There  are  instances  where some principals no  longer  make   use   of   the   Parents Teachers  Association  (PTA)  in  school  administration.  All these  tend  to  make  the  parents  handicapped  in  assisting the  school  in  the  provision  of  qualitative  education  to  its students.

According  to  Cotton  and  Wikelund  (2001),  many benefits  are  accrued  for  the  school  and  for  parents themselves  when  parents  become  involved  in  their children’s  school  activities.  They  maintained  that,  school personnel  benefit  from  the  improved  rapport  that generally  accompanies  increased  parents’  involvement.

This  rapport  is  often  expressed  in  parents’  increased willingness  to  support  school  with  their  labour  and resources  during  fund-raising  activities  or  special projects. Besides,  Henderson  (1987),  Hicks  and  Sammons (1992)  and  Hillman  and  Mortimore  (1995)  had  showed  in their  various  studies  that  parental  presence  in  the  school activities  and  participation  in  committees’  events  and other  activities  all  had  positive  effects  on  achievement.

Adewuyi  (2002)  also  submitted  that  active  parent  involvement and positive home-school-community relations have been  shown  to  positively  influence  effective  schooling and students’ achievement. Ajayi  (1999)  also  posited  that,  effective  administration of  schools  could  be  hampered  where  the  PTA  is  not performing  its  roles  as  expected.  Also,  Ajayi  (2007) posited  that,  the  school  and  the  community  are interdependent  and  interrelated  and  for  the  relationship between  them  to  be  meaningful,  worthwhile  and productive,  they  must  be  willing  to  assist  each  other  to achieve  their  respective  goals  in  atmosphere  of  love, mutual trust and cooperation.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

As educators struggle to identify and maximize the use of every resource to improve students’ performance, it is increasingly important that they establish and maintain high levels of parent involvement in their schools. Although parent involvement at the elementary-school level has been studied extensively, more research is needed “to determine why there is a decrease of involvement as the child advances to higher grades” (Smith, 2001, p. 149). The purpose of this  study was to develop a better understanding of the factors that significantly affect the level of parent involvement during the middle-school years.

1.3       Purpose of the Study

The purposes of this study are:

  1.  To reveal parents’ and teachers’ perceptions towards the PTA in achieving its goals,
  2.  To examine the impact of parent involvement in the academic performance of  students  in the secondary school
  3. To explore factors that have been perceived to promote or inhibit the parents’ involvement in the academic process of students in secondary school
  4. To investigate  the  extent  of  parents’ involvement  in  school  administration  and  its effect on the development of secondary school students.

1.4       Research Questions

  1.  Are there any difference between the perceptions of parents and teachers in terms of the involvement of PTA in achieving school goals?
  2.  To what extent does parent involvement in the academic process affect their performance in secondary school?
  3. What factors have been perceived to promote or inhibit parents’ involvement in the academic progress of students in secondary school?
  4. To what extent does parents’ involvement in  school  administration  effect  the development of secondary school students?

 1.5       Research Hypothesis

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1.6       Significance of the Study

It is hoped that this study will provide information for parents, educators and school administrators to reflect upon various factors that help Parents Teachers Association in achieving its school goals. In so doing, they can investigate the possibility of introducing those factors to their own PTAs, which may consequently lead to enhancing students’ educational outcomes in school.

In addition, the fact that this study is conducted in public schools, it shares quite a lot of similarities with  many other counterparts. In this connection, this study provides a valuable reference for other schools to reflect upon the rationales and goals set by their own PTAs.

 1.7       Scope of the Study

This research work focuses on the role of Parents Teachers Association in the development of secondary school students in some selected schools in Agege Local Government Area Of Lagos State. This research work  covers all public secondary schools students in Agege Local Government Area Of Lagos State. However, four public secondary schools will be used as case study.

1.8  Limitation of the Study

Apart  from  time-frame  and  shortage  of  finance,  the  major  limitation to  this  research  is  the  inability  of  the  researcher  to  cover  the  whole public secondary school in Agege Local Government Area Of Lagos State as the title suggest.

1.9       Definition of Terms

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The Influence of Home Environment on the Academic Performance of Secondary School Students in Nigeria

Abstract

This study examined the impact of parental involvement on the academic performance of secondary school students using some selected schools in Ago-Iwoye Metropolis, an area of Ogun State as case study. Forty respondents comprising twenty students and twenty parents were randomly selected from the study area. Two hypotheses were developed to test the correlation between home environment and academic performance of students in secondary school. Questionnaire was used to gather data on gender, age, students’ study skills, socio-economic status of parents, and family description. To determine parenting style, parents completed the Parental Involvement and Dimension Questionnaire. Data was analyzed using chi square. Also, as hypothesized, academic performance of students in the selected schools was significantly positively correlated with a good home environment in the students’ education. The research contends that parental involvement at all grade levels can assist in the academic and behavioral performance of students. Hence, it is suggested that similar research with relevant research methodology should be used in carrying out research in other states of the Federation to ascertain the degree of conformity which this research have on the correlation between home environment and academic performance of students in Nigeria.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

 1.1   Background to the Study                        

                   There have been several studies done within and outside Nigeria on the effects 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 does in school and the amount of confidence the students have for themselves. 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 home. Carmen (2007) noted that the extended family has become significantly less 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 adult.

                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 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 home from school, homework was completed, assignments finished, and other school works were done.

            With the changes in family life and indeed in societal makeup, schools are now finding it increasingly difficult to keep parents informed of and  actively engaged in the day-to-day progress of their children (Deslandes & 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 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 the development of students academic performance. The family background of the student, however is the most important factor that affects the student’s academic performance. In view of this, Hussain (2006) noted that secondary school students in public schools 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 schools as well as the centrality of parents to the academic performance of students.

             Influence 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 parents in children’s schooling based on levels of warmth and control used by the parent in disciplining the child.  According to Baumrind (1991), parental involvement is meant to capture normal variations in parents attempts to socialize children.  Parental involvement can be both supportive and unsupportive in their tone, both of which affect developmental outcomes and consequences to personality development. Baumrind described how parental involvement affect 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 independent 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.

        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 students’ commitment to school.  The 10-year longitudinal study collected data from 20,000 students and 500 parents in nine ethnically diverse school and communities.  These researchers found that parents’ 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 style – are subsets of a larger domain, parental involvement.

           The aforementioned studies are not the only ones that speak to the issue of parenting involvement, but, here, serve only as a way of introducing the broader sphere. In this present study, home environment was studied in reference to its influence on the academic performance of students  in secondary school.

 1.2 Statement of the Problem

        Although, scholars have identified the correlation between parental influences on children academic performance in the primary school, it must be noted that secondary school students are different from the typical elementary-aged children and therefore reacts differently to direct parent involvement in their academics. The focus and indeed the intent of this study concern the relationship between home environment, with particular reference to parenting style and socio-economic status of parents; and secondary school students’ academic performance.

 1.3. Objectives of the Study

The primary aim of this study was to examine the influence of home environment on students’ academic performance. This general aim is expressed in the following specific objectives which are to:

  1. Examine the correlation between home environment and academic performance of students in secondary school;
  2. Examine factors determining the  home environment;
  3. Investigate the effects of the socio-economic status of parents on student’s academic performance;
  4. Examine the perceptions of students towards their parents in regards to parenting style and their academic performance.

1.4    Research Questions

  1. What relationship exists between the type of parental involvement and secondary school student academic achievement?

2.  Do socio-economic and educational background of parents affect their involvement in their children in secondary schools?

3       Do parenting style and parental involvement directly affect students academic performance?

4 Do perceptions of students about their parents affect their academic performance?

 1.5 Research Hypotheses

H01: There is no statistically significant difference between home environment and academic performance of students in secondary school.

H02: There is no statistically significant difference between socio-economic and educational background of parents and involvement in their children’s education

 1.6 Scope and Limitations of the Study

The study was limited by a convenience sample of approximately 20 (twenty) students from five secondary schools and 20 (twenty) parents from Ago-Iwoye Metropolis In Ogun State.

Apart from the shortage of fund and time frame, the following limits were found in the study:

1.  It is recognized that not every parent will fit neatly into a particular parenting style.  These parent-child pairs will be discarded from the sample.

2.  Some children will rate their parents as fair when in actuality they are not, therefore there will be some bias in the parents nominations.

3.  It is recognized that a parenting style may be chosen by a family due need rather than desire.

4.  The study was limited to the students whose parents gave consent for their participation, as well as, receiving the students’ assent.

5.  The accuracy of the data was limited by the skills of the researcher and validity of the tests administered.

 

1.7     Significance of the Study

This study will be useful to many people who may want to know the factors that could make or mar student’s academic performance. Therefore, the study is significant in the following regards:

  1. It has provide empirical evidence to schools, parents, and students about the nature of parental involvement and how it affects the academic performance of students
  2. It offers a reference for future research that might investigate the same variables.

1.7     Operational Definition of Terms

Home Environment: Home environment refers to aspects of peoples domestic lives that contribute to their living conditions. These factors may be physical (poverty, psychological conditions due to parenting; social circumstances (single parenting) or wider cultural patterns of life related to the location (Urban or rural environments).

Parent:  The term parent as used in this study includes, in addition to a natural  parent, a legal guardian or other person standing in loco parentis, such as a grandparent or  stepparent with whom the child lives, or a person who is legally responsible for a child’s welfare.

 Parental Involvement: any form of verbal or non-verbal communication or assistance in reference to a child’s homework.

 Parenting Style: The overall emotional climate of the parent-child relationship- an affective context of sorts that sets the tone for the parents interactions with the child.

 Student academic achievement: This term refers to the student’s overall average  in science, social studies, English, and math, expressed as a percent grade. 

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