Family Factors As Predictors Of Academic Achievement Motivation Among Secondary Schools Students In North Central Zone Of Nigeria

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The study sought to investigate on how various family factors predict academic achievement motivation of students. The study adopted a correlation research design. Six research questions were formulated and six hypotheses tested at 0.05 level of significance guided the study. The population for the study consisted 62,758 Senior Secondary II students made up of 35, 744 males and 27,014 females in the area. The sample for the study was 900 SSII students selected through a multistage sampling procedure involving stratified random sampling techniques. The instrument used for data collection was researcher’s designed questionnaire titled “Family Factors and Academic Achievement Motivation Questionnaire”. The instrument was face validated by three experts in Educational Psychology, Guidance and Counselling and Measurement. The experts made their corrections based on simplicity and clarity of language, item coverage of the content, clarity of instruction and so on. The reliability coefficient of the instrument was also determined, using the Cronbach alpha statistics to determine the coefficient of internal consistency of the instrument. It yielded a consistency index of 0.89, 0.82, 0.82 and 0.72 for the clusters. The research questions were analysed using Pearson Product Moment correlation coefficient while the null hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance using multiple regression test. The findings show family type does not predict academic achievement motivation of students because the prediction was of a low degree with the magnitude of only 4% variability.Similarly, family structure and family size do not predict academic achievement motivation of students due to the low degree of variability on the prediction. All these too have low degree of influence in the region studied which may be based on the type of occupation commonly practiced in the area under study. On the other hand, leadership styles of autocratic, democratic and laissez-faire practiced by household heads predicts academic achievement motivation of students. Based on the findings of the study, recommendations were made. These includes that the family type that will encourage the students to perform well should be adopted and that there should be provision of awareness creation for parents on consequences of family structure in promoting academic adjustment. Similarly household heads should adopt democratic leadership style that positively motivates students to achieve. The adoption of laissez-faire leadership style by family household heads should be with caution as it may yield a negative outcome.





Background of the Study

The family is the main social environment for the child. In some countries such as Australia, Malaysia, United States of America, Uganda and Nigeria some of the socialization that takes place informally is now undertaken by modern secondary organization of which family is an aspect. Murdock in Akubue and Okolo (2008) defined family as a social group characterized by common residence, economic cooperation and reproduction. Family, the author continued, includes adult of both sexes two of whom maintain socially approved sexually cohabiting adults. Murdock concluded that family is a universal institution and everywhere performs four functions as economic, reproductive (sexual), educational and socialization functions. Carter and Goldrick, in Onyia and Anichie (2002) define the family as a small social system made up of individuals related to each other by reason of strong reciprocal affections and loyalties, compromising a permanent household (or cluster of household) that persists over years and decades. Members, according to the authors, enter through birth, adoption marriage, and leave only by death.

The conception about family is varied depending on cultural and geographical perspective. In Nigerian context, a family consists of the husband, wife, children and the extended families of the couple (Owo, 1994). Nwobi (1997) defined the family as a bio-social group, a network of persons intimately held together by a bond of social and kinship relationship or blood relationships. Nwobi goes on to state that in the Nigerian context, at least because of the phenomenon of extended family system, the family is made up of the married couple, their offspring and immediate kit and kin, brothers and sisters of the bridegroom and his parents, relatives – in – laws and any other dependent, so that the concept of nuclear families is a product of colonial experience in most parts of Africa. In the context of this study, family will be taken to be made up of members who live together under one roof having a single household, and united together by ties of marriage, blood or adoption.

The family is a fundamental social institution and its particular forms differ substantially from place to place. Thus, there is nuclear and extended family. According to Adjaero (1996), nuclear family refers to a group of people who have biological and institutionalized social roles to each other and develop values and beliefs that inform sets of expectation and roles which are specific to them. Extended family consists of nuclear or polygamous families plus uncles, cousins, ground parents and others. In all these type of families either single or dual performs interrelationship roles or functions to keep the family growing. According to Adjaero (1996), the functions include the establishment of emotional, social and economic bonds between spouses and their children, procreation and sexual relations between the spouses, giving names status to the children provision of basic care of children, elderly and relatives with disabilities or sick ones, socialization and education of children and even of the parent, protection of the family members, emotional care and recreation of the family members, exchange of goods and services among others.

The family prepares future citizens, nurtures and sustains adults, engaged in the day to day activities of the society. In fact, the family is an institution that affects an individual throughout the rest of the individuals’ life (Akubue & Okolo, 2008). The family is the first social institution in all human societies and it acts as a foundation for the conception of human beings. The family contributes` highly to the success of the society. Education function is among the primary functions of the family. This has to do with the socialization of infants and children. As noted by Murdock agencies and relationships outside the family may share in the fulfillment of this function, but they never supplement the family. This is an indication that family factors may have fundamental roles to play in children education.

The parents are expected to play fundamental roles within the family. As noted by Shankar-Rao (2012) the family provides the basis for the child’s formal learning. In spite of great changes the family still gives the child the basic training in the social attitudes and habits important to adult participation in social life. The manner in which he learn how to get along with his family will be carried over to his or her interactions with school authorities and other agents of social control. When the child grows up, he learns to manage situations outside the home and family.

Consequently, among the functions of the family, taking care of children is still the most important function which is generally recognized as the primary social responsibility of the family. In other word, the extent to which the family performs these socialized and educative functions take care of the physiological needs of the child determines the personality of the child, how motivated the child will be to learn the kind of relationship the child keeps and how to adjust to certain conditions or situation outside the home which are subject to family to family background variables or family factors.

Family factors are keys to students’ life and outside of school is the most important influence on student learning (Majoribanks, 1996). Such family factors may include socioeconomic status, dual versus single-parent households, parenting practices, family size, nuclear versus extended, leadership styles and gender. The focus of the present study will be on single and dual, nuclear and extended family size in terms of small or large and leadership styles of family heads.

Single parent family consists of one parent and dependent children living in the same household without the assistance of a co-parent while dual parent family is the type where the catering for the children is under the custody of the parents (Macaulay, 2003). On the other hand, Akubue and Okolo (2008) noted that nuclear family comprises of husband, wife, their immediate children and it exists as a basic unit from which more complex forms are joined. The authors further note that the extended family is often used to refer to the nuclear family plus any other kin with whom important relationships are made. Family size is conceptualized here in terms of large or small family. This is mostly determined in terms of number of people in a family unit.

Previous research has shown that children from single-parent household are strongly associated with an increased risk of a number of negative social, behavioral and emotional outcomes. This manifests in low performance in school unlike children from two parent household (Majoribanks, 1996), but Aldoas and Hill in Umezuluike (2011) tend to disagree on whether or not this type of family could be more stable than the single type to the extent of affecting students’ performance. The present study sought to establish this controversy more especially as it predicts academic achievement motivation.


Family structure in terms of nuclear versus extended may or may not influence academic achievement motivation of students. Family structure according to Kiff (2012), relates to various aspects of families, the way they are organized, the power structure within the group and the size of the family. Family structure according to Ishahyants (2014), refers to the composition of the family and the relationships between these members and the function of the family are those tasks undertaken to satisfy the needs of the members. The nuclear family basically comprises of the father, mother and their direct offspring, and sometimes their adopted children. One basic characteristic of this type of family is its closeness in terms of relationship among members and more importantly, the lack of extended relations (Adewuyi, 2009). On the other hand the extended according to the same author consists of father, mother, wives, children, grandparents and other relatives. Going by the nature of the above family structures, one may want to ask which among them will predict achievement of children of the family academically.

Family size has been linked to both positive and negative influences on academic achievement of students (Domine, 2005; McNeal, 2001). As noted by Eamon (2005), smaller family size has been linked with higher academic achievement. The author noted that students with fewer siblings are likely to receive more parental attention and have more access to resources than children from large families. The additional attention and support leads to better school performance. In the contrary, Eze (2006) opined that larger family size has been linked to better academic performance. According to Eze, this may be attributed to the fact that the children try to emulate one another and in most cases aspires to perform better so as to be praised. Explanations for this discrepancy are not conclusive but the present study is expected to provide a better ground for a conclusion. Equally, it is imperative to determine whether dual or single family structure, large or small family size as well as role of the leader in steering the family predict academic achievement motivation of their children. Ukeje, Akabogu and Ndu (1995) saw leadership as the act of inducing or influencing others to work willingly with zeal towards the achievement of the “goal”. Family leadership in this context has to do with the moral and intellectual ability to visualize and work for what is best for the family and its members. Whether family leadership will predict on academic achievement motivation of students will be determined in this study.

Achievement is a fundamental aspect of everyday life, affecting people’s work, interpersonal relationships, sense of being, and leisure

(Struthers, Menec, Schonwetterand Perry, 1996). The quintessential achievement oriented domain in education, particularly for college students, includes high performance on tests, passing courses, and completing

schooling. The need to achieve leads to achievement motivation. Achievement motivation from McClelland perspective as noted by Hodson (2001) is a basic desire to succeed and to get a task completed as effectively

as possible. McClelland explained that people with strong need for achievement tend to be characterized by acceptance of personal responsibility, being goal oriented by setting moderate, realistic and attainable goals, seeking challenges and excellence, and they are willing to do better jobs, accomplish tasks and work hard. Elic (2007) noted that for the above reasons of McClelland, such individuals will attempt boost their achievements as much as possible by winning competitive situations in their desire to be superior to their peers and rivals.

Achievement motivation and school achievement have long been studied in the fields of education and psychology. It has also become clear that achievement motivation is a construct influenced by a number of factors such as human development (Lepper, Corpus and Iyengar, 2005; Zanobini andUsai, 2002), locus of control in motivation (Lepper et al 2005) among others. The present study is concerned with family factors as predictors of academic achievement motivation among students of North Central Zone of Nigeria. Academic achievement motivation as noted by Demhardt (2008) is an internal state that cause students in their academic pursuit to behave in a particular way to accomplish particular goals and purpose academically.

According to Steinberger (1993), as academic achievement encompasses students ability and performance, academic achievement motivation of students is used to define those processes, both initiative and rational by which students seek to satisfy the basic drives, perceived needs and personal goals that trigger their desire to successes academically. Whether, family factors may enhance academic achievement motivation of the students will be determined in this study.

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Family Factors As Predictors Of Academic Achievement Motivation Among Secondary Schools Students In North Central Zone Of Nigeria