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1.1 Background of the Study
The family is the child’s first place of contract with the world. The child as a result, acquires initial education and socialization from parents and other significant persons in the family. Agulana (2000) pointed out that the family lays the psychological, moral and spiritual foundation in the overall/homes is either broken or intact. A broken home in this context is one of that is not structurally intact, as a result of divorce, separation, death of one the parents and illegitimacy. According to Frazer (2004), psychological home condition arises mainly from illegitimacy of children, the label of adapted children, broken homes, divorce and parental deprivation. Such conditions of the home are likely to have a detrimental effect on school performance of the child he asserts.
Life in a single parent family or broken home can be stressful for both the child and the parent. Such families are faced with challenges of inadequate financial resources (children defense find 2004). Schults (2006) noted that if adolescents from unstable homes are to be compared with those from stable homes, it seen that the former have more social academic and emotional problems. Rochlkkepartian (2003) is of the opinion that the family and its structure play a great role in children’s academic performance. Levin (2001) state that parents are probably the actor with the clearest un-dimensional interest in high level of their children’s academic performance. To some extent, there is simple evidence to show the marital instability brings about stress, tension, lack of motivation and frustration obviously, these manifestations and negatively on a child’s academic performance.
Johnson (2005) asserts that children of unmarried parents/separated families often fail and are at risk emotionally, however, this may not be completely applicable in all cases of broken homes. Some children irrespective of home background or structure may work hard and become successful in life. Moreover, Ayodele (2007) stated that the environment where a child finds himself/herself goes a long way in determining his learning ability and ultimately his academic performance in school
The influence of sex (gender) on academic performance has also been on issue of concern to most researchers. This is because ‘gender’ appears to have some powerful effects on learning. According to Fauto-Sterling (2005) and Friedman (2005) suggest on significant differences in cognitive ability between male and females. Although research results vary widely, the following conclusions have been drawn. Males are more abstract learners, females have more anxiety about study success, males are more instructive and females are more analytical and organized. (Bielinskia and Davidson 2003). Okeye (2008) postulated that sex differences may have or no effect on academic performance, rather, he submits that eventual achievement by learners is predicted more personals effort than sex variable. However, the overall picture suggests that males and females may learn differently. In same vein, socio- economic background is another factor that may affect academic performance of students. This background refers to the parent’s educational attainment, occupation level of income and social class placement. When a child’s needs are not property addressed, his learning ability could be affected due to lack of motivation.
Generally, the home has been identified as an overwhelming factor affecting student’s performance academically. It would appear then, that broken homes may present a very serious danger to the emotional personality and mental adjustment of the students. This impinges on student’s academic achievement. In our society today, the problem of marriage and divorce has been on the increase. Despite the nations attempt to solve the social problem it is persisted in our society. We need to see the group, which contributed mostly to the creation of these problems so that we can stand well on our feet to fight it.
Divorce means legal ending of marriage so that husband and wife are free to marry again, that is dissolution of marriage band. In fact, of all major social problems, none is more persistent than divorce. Divorce is an old age phenomenon. Divorce is a situation where the parents of a child are no more together.
Some causes of divorce in the family are Disobedience. If the wife does not always obey and respect the husband he may decides to divorce her. Inadequate maintenance, lack of children from the union, occupational embarrassment, lack of trust etc.
A stable marriage requires more than romantic affection, to ensure its permanency. The traditional home is a multi functional institution therefore, growing children need such function in the following ways; for security, economic, protective, recreational, educational, affection and status function. Both parents are essential elements in the growth of the children in the fulfillment of these functions because the roles they are expected to play are different.
The study aims at helping teachers, educational planners and social workers in addressing the problem of broken home and how best to reduce it in the society.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
There is a global awareness of the importance of the home environment on student’s academic achievement. In Nigeria, most homes are not intact as result issues of incompatibility of the couples, death of a parent and quest for oversea trips to make more money, and at times marital infidelity. This resulted in separation of couples and children. In some state in the federation, this is quite clear, in that most young women abundant their homes and embark on oversea trips with a view of making money. Some men who travel abroad, abundant their homes and would not communicate with their families back home, so children from such homes are in dilemma especially in terms of adjustment. Chador (2008) notes that environment in which the students come from can greatly influence his performance in school. The effect of broken homes may affect greatly on the internal organization of the family and by extension affects a child’s emotion, personality and academic achievement.
Bearing in mind the role of the family in a child’s education, the failure of the family to perform its duties could hinder the child’s academic achievement. Any nation that is desirous of advancing technologically will not doubt ensure that the future of her future leaders are well guided, protected and guaranteed.
Finally, a single parent faces doubted responsibilities requiring time, attention and money of the parent. Hence, less attention is paid to the education of the child. The teachers commonly describe children from single parent as more hostile, aggressive, anxious, fearful, hyperactive and distractive than children from intact family (Nwachuku 1998).
1.3 Purpose of the Study
This study is set out to find out whether the influence of broken homes on academic performance of students in Toro L.G.A of Bauchi state. Therefore, this study sought to provide answer to the following questions:
1. Is there any significant difference between academic performance of students and single parenting?
2. Is there any significant different between the parental socio-economic status of the students and academic performance?
3. Is there any significant relationship between the broken homes and academic performance of the students?
1.4 Research Questions
Emphatically, there is the assumption that students from broken homes performs very poorly in academic. Consequently, the following questions are drawn for investigation:
a. What are the differences between academic performances of students from stable and broken home settling?
b. What are the behavioral traits of students from broken homes?
c. How can a child be motivated in order to enhance his academic performance?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
For the purpose of this study, the following hypotheses are formulated for scientific testing.
1. Broken homes have no impact on the academic performance of the child.
2. There is no statistical difference in the academic performance of children from broken homes and those from stable homes.
3. Parental socio-economic status does no significantly influence academic performance of students.
1.6 Theoretical/Conceptual Framework
The application of sociological theory to a social research serves to explain as well as provide the foundation upon which the study is to be build. There are different kinds of theories in sociological framework. They include:
(a) Conflict theory
(b) Social exchange theory
A. Conflict Theory
Conflict theory is a constant thing that occurs in any society whether large or small, in other words, this theory is the most relevant in this research on the reasons for family instability. The conflict theory implies that people enter into social relation in pursuit of their own interest to extract as much from the relationship as possible. The family is often a management of conflict between a man and a wife.
Dahrendorf (1959), suggest that conflict of authority is primarily embedded in relation recognize their separation interest, and then the probability of conflict in a relationship becomes higher. Family disorganization might arise if the wife realize that her husband is pushing a selfish interest in the family setup and if she finds it difficult to achieve her own personal needs and aspiration in the family.
Coser (1956) in his work on functions of social conflict, he said that internal conflict in which the contending parties no longer share the basic values upon which the legitimacy of the social system rest threatens to disrupt the entire structures. In a situation where the basic value open, which the solidarity of the family rest is no longer, shared, then the family stands a chance of being disorganized. When there is conflict of values in the family between the husband and the wife, then the solidarity of the family becomes threatened. According to Maciver (1950), in his theory called “what I love, you hate” base on conflict and unlike attitude. Conflict in the family may develop as a result of difference in the attitudes and interest of both the husband and wife which may eventually lead the family instability.
Coser (1956) emphasizes that since primary relations tend to involve the total personality, feelings of intimacy are strengthened; sharing all aspects of life make people being close to each other. However, such intimacy has the potentials of bringing hate as well as love. But since conflict is usual considered bad and disrupted for primary relationship, deliberate efforts are made to avoid it. Therefore, suppression of conflict often results to the accumulation of hostilities. And any eruption of these feelings are likely to have a great intensity both because persons in primary relations are totally involved in one another’s lives and because the hostile feelings have been grown to huge proportion by not having been allowed expression earlier.
B. Social Exchange Theory
This theory was propounded by humans George (1961). This theory implies interaction between two or more individuals or groups. Social interaction is also exchange relationships. Two persons are in exchange relations when one gives or receives gift, services etc. from the other.
In this exchange theory, I understand that husband and wife are expected to receive good services from each other. When the problems will arise. People also exchange greetings, good deeds etc. while living in societies. In the same manner, money and commodities change hand in the market and daughters are in exchange for bride wealth between two social groups during marriages. Why conflict theory is chosen in this study, is because, family performs those primary functional fundamentals to human and social life. Therefore, without the sexual and reproductive functions of the family, society cannot continue to exist and without economic functions, it will be sustained. People get married because they have needs and expectation to satisfy. When these needs are not gotten, conflict will arise which destabilizes the family. Family performs very important protective functions for the well being of its members to ensure stability and this will make children not to be involved in delinquent acts. When couples are not satisfied to the expected needs in the family, conflict occurs. This is only why Karl/Marx said that conflict is inevitable in every society and institutions.
1.7 Significance of the Study
This study will be of great important to parents, teachers, students and the larger society.
To the parents, it will expose them to the danger of allowing their marriage to collapse.
To the teachers, it will assist them in knowing how to handle students with such abnormalities arising from broken homes.
To students, the study will help them understand the causes of broken homes and how to adjust to their problems and make them work harder towards achieving their goals.
It will assist the society through government agencies and non- governmental organizations to appreciate the need to have stable home.
It will also assist marriage counselors in policymaking and advice.
It is to be noted that the trend to broken homes is on the increase especially when women come across little money, many of them seek quick independence which does not last because God has his plans for either the man or woman to be alone.
It will assist educational authorities and government in looking into numerous problems facing students from broken homes.
1.8 The Scope and Delimitation of the Study
The study is limited to some selected secondary schools in Toro L.G.A of Bauchi state. Not all the students accept some stable and broken homes in the selected secondary schools. Parts of students that are from broken homes consequently, the study might have some shortcomings due to the fact that students from broken homes might unwilling to disclose some relevant issues to the researcher. The study is limited to selected secondary schools under investigation due to factor and socio-economic embarrassment, which are likely to be encountered by the researcher.
1.9 Definitions of Terms
Marriage: – This is an authorize unions of man and woman as ordained by God with the aim of producing offspring.
Couple: – Two opposite sex coming together as husband and wife.
Children: – These are products arising from sexual relationship between man (husband) and woman (wife) who are legally bond.
Students: – Someone who studies at a school or university.
Academic: – This is the act of teaching and learning in school and colleges.
Performance: – This is the output arising from one’s effort, which is what the students get academically by going to school.
Divorce: – it is the lawful dissolution of parental established marriage.
Broken: – Refers to destabilization, destroyed or scattered.
Effect: – This is the result or outcome of something.

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