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This study was designed to investigate the extent to which socio-economic status of a family influence academic achievement of students in Abakaliki Educational Zone, Ebonyi State. Four research questions and two hypothesis were formulated to guide the study. A structured questionnaire and achievement test instruments were used as the major instruments to collect the relevant data for the study. A total of 145 SSI students were sampled as respondents for the study and Standard deviation used to analyse the research questions while t-test Statistics was used for the hypothesis. The result of the study showed that parent level of income and marital status have influence on students’ academic achievement among other result. The study recommends among other things that the home and the school should work closely to enhance the students’ academic achievement. Based on the finding of the study and the recommendation was designed to find out the influence of socio-economic status of the parent on the academic achievement of the students. While the conclusion was determined the achievement of their students, is an important parameter in the Educational sector.



Background to the Study

The low level of family socio-economic background on the academic performance of the secondary school student has brought the need to study, how the home background influence student performance in schools. At some stages of development the families is subjected to a numbers of conflict and problem with in the family, which contribute to their performance in school. The child is greatly influence by the family that is, the parent close relation and the numbers of the extended family.

The family is the chief social agent for the transmission of cultural heritage from the order generation to the younger generation and development of the personality of the child. The family also determine the child’s social economic class. The structure of the family is also vital in the personality formation of the child. In other words, the success or fail of the family will affect the child psychologically and morally. The child spend most of his time at home picking and learning various characters and behaviours.

In secondary schools, there are variations in academic performance of students. The some achieve high others achieve average while some still achieve low in their internal and public examinations. Parent and students are worried about this situation because these are students who aspire to further their education after leaving school but could not necessarily acquire entry qualification into higher institution of learning.

Secondary level of education is crucial in the education system for it helps to equip students to live effectively in our modern age of science and technology. It is the level   at which the foundation of art and science is laid and which also prepares people for higher education. According to (FRN 2014) the above situation and injunction justify the free and compulsory primary and secondary education introduced by Ebonyi State Government after its creation in 1996.

It is known that at the present level of educational development, many people including parents still look on education as only what goes on in the classroom and that students’ academic performance depends entirely on their ability and effort to learn. Many educational psychologist and sociologists have also opined that socio-economic factors are strong determinants of a child’s performance mental activities.

Ogiogu and Ugo (1990) asserted that child rearing practices and utilization of educational opportunities as well as how resources are organized in the family of meet the child’s need tend to difference between the upper, middle and low class strata and classes. He further asserted that as students who come from non-educated parents, they hardly have time for their school work.

They also have little or no motivation/encouragement and absenteeism. Again children from middle and high social classes are properly fed because they tend to eat balanced diet, have neat surrounding and their health taken care (Ugo 1990). This does not seem to be case with people form low socio-economic class who may not be properly fed, lived in a slum and their health not properly taken care off.

The children may be very sick due to all these and they cannot perform effectively in the classroom. These all combine to retard their efficiency in the classroom. Kabaka (1991), also supported to above view when he asserted that children from lower class stratum do not eat well and are usually over burdened with domestic work. So they virtually have no time for any type of meaningful study outside the school.

These tend to return their overall development academically. Ogbuefi and Agu (2011) pointed out that the home begins the process of education satisfying the physical and psychological needs of the child and transmitting culturally accepted behaviour through learning and social training. The child learns the basic skills behaviour and attitudes. This means that by the time he/she enters school, he has formed some habit as he is conscious of his family is socio-economic background and position in the society and his personality is also formed.

He has acquired some education but the quality and extent of education depend on his parental socio economic background and overall environment in which he lives. The education he has acquired at home may influence his attitudes towards school and academic performance. The home and the school play complementary roles in the education of the child. No other agency is so closely allied with the school as the home.

By the time a child enters elementary and secondary school he is already conscious of his father’s rolls and status even his personality is almost formed. This is why Moringrave (1980) in his psychoanalytic theory put some emphasis on the first few years in the life of a child because whatever happens later in adults’ life has a root in the early critical periods. They types of education depends on the social class he comes from and he may later determine how well he will perform in school.

The progress of the children in school is equally influenced by the motivation they get from home getting better schools for them, buying them all the necessary school materials, good feeding, provision of home amenities that facilitate learning literary and part time teachers to teach them after official school periods. It is common place and a pity that students from illiterate and poor environment have little or no stimulating environment for academic work.

So if the foundation laid by the home is not strong, sound and conducive, the child may not stand to benefit adequately from his overall education. But when the home performs its educational functions satisfactorily and effectively, the school can hopefully strengthen the foundation of greatness and intellectual achievement laid for the child. Ambrus and Augustin (1997) have indicated that the intelligence quotient (1.2) of students with middle socio-economic background is generally higher than those of their counterpart from the lower socio-economic status.

Learner (1978) on the other hand agreed that the intelligence of lower class children is not responsible for their failure because some of them have very high intelligent quotient and if given the same environment, some of the children from lower class parents will readily perform better than their counterparts from the middle class. They maintained that although inferior intelligence has been the most plausible explanation intelligent quotient test related to social class background indicated that different intelligence is not the only data.

Ebonyi State being one of the newly created states in Nigeria and on that is educationally disadvantaged, the incidence of school output has been poor. Again, most of the parents are peasant farmers whose daily activities are bound to affect the school work of their children. The psychology of the parents may not be sound towards education and his greatly influences the orientation they have for their children towards school activities.

The level of development in Ebonyi State is still low, which implies that most of the parent are rural dwellers whose socio-economic structure can best be described as low. This situation is one that could mean too much to the education of their children in adverse ways. This research fears that the above tendencies may be contributing to the low achievement of the children in school. In the light of the above, this researcher decided to package this study to find out the influence of socio-economic structure of parents on students’ academic achievement in Abakaliki Educational Zone of Ebonyi State.


Statement of the Problem

 Academic performance of students depends not only on the quality of instruction at school, availability of educational facilities in school, students’ intelligent quotient but also on other importance factors, one of which is the home environment that rests solidly on their socio-economic structure.

The types of home environment that is most conducive to learning and which will give rise to attainment of academic performance has been described as a high socio-economic environment. This has given rise to the question of whether or not the socio-economic position of parents indeed influences the academic performances of their children at school.

The hunches in this study are: is there likely to be an achievement gap as a result of socio-economic structure? Can the educational economic, occupational motivation and marital structures of parent have influence on the academic achievement of their children? The above question constitute a problem especially since the same teacher under the same conditions teaches the students and they are all exposed to the same educational facilities in the school. This informs the choice of the topic of study.

Purpose of the Study

       The major purpose of the study is to ascertain the influence of socio-economic structure of parent on students’ academic achievement in secondary schools. Specifically, the study was designed to find out.

  1. Whether parental income has influence on the academic achievement of students in secondary schools.
  2. If parental motivation/encouragement has influence on the academic achievement of students in secondary schools.
  3. Whether the educational background of parent has influence on the academic performance of students in secondary schools.
  4. If the material structured of parent has influence on the academic achievement of secondary school students.

Significance of the Study

       The concern of parents, educators and teachers about their students’ poor performance in examination is always glaring. This development has caused untold hardship to the parents and students and therefore requires urgent remedies. Therefore, this study is significant in many ways such as:

       The data of the study would throw more light on individual differences as it related to academic performances at schools to the help of students, parents and teachers.

       The data would help teachers to realize that their students come from different homes each as different in educational attitude as the other. The knowledge too. Again, this will enable the teacher to structure his teaching methodology and instructional resources to meet the divergent parental backgrounds of his students.

       The data of the study would help students realize that their poor performance might not necessarily be their fault alone, especially students from low home structured. This knowledge will help reduce frustration, as it is mostly frustrating and could lead to dropout from school.

       The data would also help parents irrespective of their socio-economic background to know and understand their function in the education of their children and that the school cannot do the job of educating the child without parents helps. The outcome of this study would acquaint guidance and counsellors with knowledge on their responsibilities to the students’ educational problems arising from the homes they come from. The data would also help the educational administrators in mapping out different kinds of Educational programmes taking into account children from different socio-economic background of the parents of the words in terms of the distribution of equipment and other amenities to school according to their location.

       The knowledge of parental socio-economic background arising from this study would help the social workers in taking proper care of the children under them.

       Finally, the data of the present study would guide the government policy formulation for schools.

Scope of the Study

       This study was delimited to the extent socio-economic structure influence students’ academic achievement in secondary schools. The study also concerned itself with the aspects of socio-economic structure thus: parental support, motivation, educational background, and marital status. The study made us of SS I students of the selected secondary schools. The study was limited to Abakaliki Education zone of the Ebonyi State.

Research Questions

       The following research question were asked to guide the study

  1. How does the income of parent influence the academic achievement of students in secondary schools in Abakaliki Educational Zone?
  2. How does parental motivation and encouragement influence the academic achievement of students in secondary school in Abakaliki Educational Zone?
  3. How does the educational background of parents influence academic performance of secondary school students in Abakaliki Educational Zone?
  4. How does the marital status of parents influence the academic achievement of secondary school students in Abakaliki Educational zone?


       The study was also guided by the following level of significances

  1. There is no significant difference between the mean responses of students on parental support and academic background on students’ achievement.

There is no significant difference between the mean responses of students on parental motivation and marital status on students’ achievement.


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