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Effect of Single Parenting on Children Academic Performance

Download complete project materials   on Effect of Single Parenting on Children Academic Performance  from  chapter one to five with references

Complete project for Effect of single parenting on children academic performance




Family is the first social environment the child finds itself. According to Okunniyi (2004) family remains the primary environment of the child. The author emphasized that family environment has more chances of increasing or decreasing the intellectual achievement of the child. Akubue and Okolo (2008), defined family as a small kinship structural group with the key function of natural socialization of the new born. Similarly, in Okunniyi (2004), family is defined as a primary social group of parents, offspring and possibly other members of the household.

Family as a basic social institution which is structured with a special purpose. The purpose of which is diverse from one society to another, culture to culture and one religion to another. As important as the African family setting, it comes as a product of a successful marriage. So therefore, in human existence, there is no any defined arrangement which is as important and valuable as that of marriage Olusanya (2013).

The family is the first socializing agent; the child come in contact with it has a great influence on the child’s physical mental and moral development. The father is to provide the necessary tools for educational while the mother is supposed to supplement the father’s effort in this regard when the father is absent and the mother is not privilege enough to cater for all the basic needs as well as supervised the child educationally and morally will be backward.

Families fulfill an important function in every society: Most of the children in developed countries grow up in a family, although the form of that family might change during the life course. Generally, a family provides a child with opportunities to develop into a stable and independent person, for instance, through enabling the child to attend school. The future success of children thus greatly depends on the household they grow up in. Nevertheless, a child is not in the position to choose its own family and has to accept if its family is not capable of offering him/her the best opportunities (Martin & Kats, 2003).

The family structure, ideally, provides a sense of security and stability that is necessary for children. When there is a breakdown in the family structure, it may have a tremendous impact on a child and their ability to function ordinarily or achieve academically. In most situations, the child no longer has two parents to depend on. Therefore they have to rely on one parent to meet most, if not all their needs. With limited finances, time and availability parents are less likely to provide the adequate support a child needs to perform to the best of their ability.

The family lays the foundation of education before a child goes to school and personality that the child tales to school is determined by the family (Emenogu, 2014). (Fadeiye, 1985) pointed out that both parents have their own roles to play in child’s education. The father is to provide every necessary tool for the educational advancement while the mother is expected to supplement the efforts of the father.

In Nigeria, among our ethnic groups, the parental roles are culturally determined and distributed. The maternal roles are that of child-rearing, home training and playing of complimentary roles whiles that of the father role is of economic responsibilities (Nwachukwu, 2001).

Family structures have changed enormously during the second half of the 20th century (Martin & Kats, 2003). Families are now shrunken and unstable, and the modern family is increasing unable to provide for the well-being of its members.  Modern family is increasingly unable to provide for the well-being of its members. One of such change in the family structure is single-parent family.


Parents are the first point of contact of children. When both parents are present, it implies that the child would derive most care (Alawode, 2000). However, when one of the parent is absent in a child’s life, a gap is created as the child would lose the support that would have emanated from that parent. He asserted that single parenting result from divorce, separation of various kinds, having children from wedlock or death of one spouse which leaves the roles in the hands of a single parent. According to Steck (2009), the number of divorce cases has risen considerably in Europe since the 1960s and that the most affected countries include the United Kingdom, Portugal, Denmark and Belgium.

Single parenting is a very important social issue that can have significant effects on a child’s academic success. Children who are raised in a single family home are at risk of not reaching their full potential. Students within our educational system encounter many challenges in their family lives that they bring with them into the classroom.

Single parenthood is the practice of raising children or building family without a spouse or partner. As a choice of building a family, single parenthood (single parenting) is now acceptable in our society. In western society in general the child will end up with the primary caregiver usually the mother or the secondary caregiver usually the father when there is a separation. Some sociologist perceives the prevalence of single parenting as an alternative family form, rather than as a problem in the society. Regardless of how it is perceived, the increase of families raised by one parent influences the social economical and political context of family life.

In Nigeria, the existence of single parent was formerly unknown and where they existed they were ignored as exceptional cases. However, nowadays they are fast growing family pattern both inside and outside Nigeria. Although there is no available statistic of single parent in Nigeria, practical experience and newspaper report shows that there is an increase of single parent in Nigeria.

Historically death of a partner was a major cause of single parenting, other causes include divorce of a couple with children parent that never married, early pregnancy e. t .c. however, children with single parent are three times more likely to dropout of school than children from two parent families (similes and lee, zool). The demographic of single parenting show a general increase worldwide in children living in single parent homes.

A child from home where the father and mother are present will be taken care of and socialize in best way possible, this is due to the fact that the process of socialization depend on both parents playing complimentary role in the upbringing of the child such a child is likely to achieve self actualization later in life, unlike children from single parent home who are likely to suffer deprivation and denial of some right and opportunities.

Over the past 20 years single parent families have become even more common than the nuclear family. Life in a single parent household through common can be quite stressful for the adult and for the children. Member of a single parent family can function like the two parent family and may not feel comfortable when it cannot. The single parent may feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities of caring for the children; maintain a job and keeping up with the bills.

Amato (2003) suggested that single parent is problematic for children socialization because many with one parent receive less economic and emotional support, less practical assistance less information, guidance and supervision, less role modeling than children in two parent families those. Among children in single parent families those from mothers absent household earn lower grades than children from fathers absent homes and matter which are absent children from single parent families generally find it difficult to connect with school activities both academically and morally (Murkey et al., 2004).

According to (Nwachukwu, 2014), children from single-parents are more hostile, hyperactive and aggressive in nature. Many of the problems faced by single-parent are similar to that of two parents but these problems seen more difficult to bear or manage when the home is tutored by only one person. For example, all children feel hostile toward their parents as they grow up and try to be independent but in a situation, where the anger and rebellion are directed toward one person, it may seem worse if there is only one person to bear it not for two to share.

There are some problems which are only faced by the single-parents which make it difficult to raise children. These problems include bitterness towards the absent spouse, loneliness, poverty, insecurity about raising children without a help.

One is therefore motivated to ask the question “what is the effect of single parenthood on the academic performance of pupils’?


Education is assumed to be the great equalizer in our society. There are inspirational stories of women and men who, after a tough childhood or adulthood complete their education become successful members of society and are held as role models.

The growth in the number of single-parent families implies that many children are confronted with the negative effects of single-parenthood every year, such as economic deprivation, a decrease in the quality and quantity of parental contact, and a decline in parental support and effective control (Amato, 2000). Not only divorce itself and the period following it have negative consequences for children, but also already prior to the divorce such families are often characterized by a smaller amount of financial resources and more conflicts (Fischer, 2007). Obviously, this has a detrimental effect on children’s well-being and development and, accordingly, on their performance at school.

A study by Farooq (2013) seemed to have focused on assessing the role of single parenting on the academic performance of children. It used respondents from various secondary schools and  realized that the variable family structure (particularly single parenting) is crucial in determining a person’s academic performance. The study was concluded by tying academic performance of children to socio-economic status, parents’ educational level, student attitudes to learning, school environmental factors, housing, residential experience and parenting status. The study suggests that children’s academic performance improve when both parents are actively involved in their education.

Generally speaking, two good heads are better than one. The role parents play in the upbringing of a child is very important and so many male and female children in school are portraying habits which seem not to be in accordance with the school rules and regulation e.g. fighting, stealing, female pupils keeping male companies, keeping bad companies. And this has negative effect on the academic performance of the pupils.

The basic school pupils are nonetheless the most fragile because they are still in their formative years meaning any disruptions could have everlasting result on them. This creates a knowledge gap.  This makes it necessary for us to investigate influence of single parenting on children’s academic performance using basic school pupils. This study is timely as the performances of pupils at the basic school levels are declining in recent times.

This prompted the researcher to investigate the prevalence and influence of single parenting on academic performance of adolescent in senior secondary school in Ilorin Kwara State Using GDSS Tanke as a case study.


This is designed to find out the prevalence and influence of single parenting on academic performance of adolescent in senior secondary school and also to offer solution to the effect this might have in the pupils generally


Research generally is to understand or find answers to problem that the researcher may be interested in. in the quest for solution the researcher’s talk is to ask pertinent question whose aim is to address whatever could be bothering the researcher.

For the purpose of the present study, the following questions were asked.

1)      Does parental involvement affect pupils’ academic performance in Secondary school?

2)      Is there significant difference between the academic performance of pupils from single parent homes and those from two parent homes.

3)      Does the manner of treatment given to children from single parent/broken homes affect their academic performance?

4)      Do children from single parenthood enjoy the support of both parents financially


  1. H0: Parents play no significant role in children academic performance

H1: Parents play significant role in children academic performance.

  1. H0: There is no significant difference between the academic performance of pupils from single parent homes and those from two parent homes

H1: There is a significant difference between the academic performance of pupils from single parent homes and those from two parent homes

  1. H0: Manner of treatment given to children from single parent/broken homes does not affect their academic performance

H1: Manner of treatment given to children from single parent/broken homes affect their academic performance

From the problem statement, it was noted that the study the prevalence and influence of single parenting on academic performance of adolescent in senior secondary school. This research will help us to understand the influence of family patterns on the academic performance and truancy among students and also if single-parenting causes academic failure and truancy in students.

     It would be great importance to the academic community to detect how family patterns affect children in their daily lives, the change in their behaviour patterns in their learning and the way they are socialized by their parents.

This study will add up to the existing literatures on single-parenting and its effects on children’s academic performance. Findings from this study will help us know the types of family pattern in Ashaiman, problems faced by them, causes of truancy among students and the way to solve this truancy problem.

It will also enable the government to understand and be able to face the danger and problem of single parenthood and find ways of curbing this danger that is eating deep into the fabric of our society.


This study is expected to cover GDSS Tanke senior secondary school, Ilorin, Kwara State  to find out the prevalence and influence of single parenting on academic performance of adolescent in senior secondary school.


  1. Academic:  A place of training.
  2. Divorce: This is the legal ending of a marriage.

III.   Family: This is a group consisting of one or two parent and their children.

  1. Performance: This is the result of an achievement of an individual in his/her place of study.
  2. Primary Caregiver: This is a parent that the child or child spend most of their time with.
  3. Pupils: These are boys and girls who learn in primary school.

VII.   Single Parent: A single parent usually refers to a parent who has most of the day to day responsibilities in the raising of the child or children, which would categorize them as the dominant caregiver who is not living with a spouse or partner, or those who are not married.


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