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  • PROJECT YEAR: 2021

Background of the Study

The concept of home has gone beyond general parlance; this is to say that individual now attributes personal meaning to the subject matter of marriage which does not go hand in hand with norms and value of the society where such values are being promoted. If one is to examine parental goals, it would not be an over simplification to conclude that realizing these goals requires children to possess the inner strength to deal competently and successfully day after day with the challenges and demands they encounter. The above statement could be made clearer in the view of (Tre, 2005) who reported that marriage is a life-long contract that is not easily broken. When the contract is broken, the resulting divorce has an effect on the entire family. Adeyemi (2017) reported that secondary schools cater for different categories of learners in such a way that they accommodate both married and unmarried persons. He went further that some of the children who have not been joined together as husband and wife live like couples both on and off school. It is therefore not a gainsaying that children that are born through any of the aforementioned above means could eventually fall within intact or broken homes.

Akanbi (2014) defined divorce as a legal dissolution of marriage bond. Once the couple decides to divorce, they are free to remarry again. This is not the same as separation of married couples, who out of grievances, decide to live apart by avoiding each other for a long period of time before deciding to resolve their differences and coming together again on agreed terms without any legal means or involvement but through family interference. Though the two concepts, (divorce and separation), could be used interchangeably, yet they differ significantly. It is so because many Africans are governed by traditional beliefs where divorce is not celebrated or welcomed by anyone. According to Frazer (2001), psychological home conditions arise mainly from illegitimacy of children, the issue of adopted child, broken homes, divorce and parental deprivation. Such abnormal conditions in the home are likely to have a detrimental effect on the performance of the child at school. Life, in a single parent family or broken home, can be stressful for both the child and the parents. Such families are faced with challenges of inadequate financial resources (Children Defense Fund, 2004). Schults (2006) reported that if people from unstable homes are to be compared with those from stable homes, it would be seen that the former have more social, academic and emotional problems.

Agulana (2005) reported 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. According to Hargreaves (1991), student’s resilience in a one-parent household is believed to be a significant indication of success in other areas of their lives, including academics. Divorce is an unplanned event in a family’s life. It is something that affects each member of a family at different times and in different ways. Most marriages end in divorce, leaving one million children each year to deal with the process of divorce (Laura, Specter & Martin, 2009). According to Omoruyi (2014), academic performance is seen as the knowledge attained or skills, shown in the school subjects. To indicate such achievement, test scores or marks are assigned by the teachers. It is the school evaluation of the classroom work on the basis of the grades awarded. Academic performance according to Akinboye (2006) is of two types i.e. positive and negative (poor) performance. Habits, family background, perseverance, attitudes, interest – all these affect academic achievement in school. He concluded that if these variables are modified and attitude changed positively, then the level of individuals’ academic performance would improve. Academic achievement is an essential consideration in measuring success in students. Survey and research reports have shown that high academic achievement has become an enormous task to be accomplished by students in recent times. Poor academic performance was recorded both at the secondary and tertiary levels of education in Nigeria (Tenibiaje, 2009).The performance of students at any level in educational institutions in Nigeria have attracted much criticism. The decline in the academic performance of students in Nigeria needs restructuring. He further highlighted the academic need for standards which had fallen drastically and the quality of graduates being produced by the nation’s universities is questionable and subject to re-examination. Poor academic achievement of students has been of great concern to educationists, Measurement and Evaluation experts as well as guidance counselors. Despite all guidance program and counseling strategies mounted in schools to improve students’ academic performances yet poor performances are recorded yearly. Ushie, Emeka, Ononga, and Owolabi (2012) further cited the view of Ajila and Olutola (2007), that the home has a great influence on the child’s psychological, emotional, social and economic states. In his view, the state of the home affects the individual since the parents are the first socializing agents in an individual life. This is because the family background and context of a child affect his reaction to life situations and his level of performance. Family structure in terms of single and two parent families had been noted in their literature to have a significant influence on students’ performance and mental development (Yusuf & Eweniyi, 2005).This is because providing a supportive learning environment at home requires parents’ time as much as financial resources.

According to Salami and Alawode (2000), the existence of single-parents in Nigeria is formerly unknown and where they existed, they are ignored as exceptional cases. However, nowadays, it is a fast-growing family pattern both inside and outside Nigeria. Although there are no available statistics of single-parent families in Nigeria (Salami & Alawode, 2000), practical experience and newspaper reports show that there is an increase of single-parents in Nigeria. In the western countries, there is a growing increase in the percentage of adults and children living in single parent households. Laura, Specter, Martin and Martin (2009) reported that divorce rates in the United State rose since the Civil war. Single-parent families live on average lower income than two-parent families and are thus more constrained in ensuring adequate financial resources to meet their children’s learning needs. In addition, since single parents must cope with the double responsibility of work and child-rearing. It may be more challenging for them to provide and maintain a supportive learning environment for their children (OECD/UNESCO, 2003).Studies have shown that before parental divorce, children and adolescents suffer due to high levels of marital discord; ineffective and inconsistent parenting diminished parental wellbeing, and reduced parent-child affection, (Rodgers & Pryor,1998), Demo & Cox,2000).
Education is of great importance to every nation. It therefore attracts considerable attention to the family, community and to all tiers of government; education is discussed, planned and processed (Omolewa, 2001). It is believed that education recreates both the individuals and the nation, influences values and attitudes for a worthwhile living. The National Policy on Education (2009) is not wrong in its assertion that education is “an instrument par excellence” and the world at large had keyed into this, by recognizing education as the panacea to development and survival of man itself. It is not surprising therefore that the stages of education are in three levels which are primary, secondary and tertiary education. Education is the art or process of parting or acquiring knowledge and habits through institution or study. Adeyemo (2010), perceive Education as the art or science of transmitting culture, norms, traditions, values and ethics of a society from one generation to its succeeding generation. To this end Education can be seen as act of giving intellectual or moral instruction to a child or group of learners for the betterment of their characters in the society. As a result, education is classified on the concurrent list. That is administration, funding, policy formulation and maintenance of schools or matters relating to education can both be deliberated upon by the federal and state governments. Over the years, there had been public outcry concerning the fate of educational system in Nigeria and the breeding of graduates with little technical know-how which has resulted in serious setbacks to industrial and economic development of the nation and its place among comity of nations in the 21st century. Investigations into the factors that influence academic achievements of students in and out-of-school could be trace to individual family or home.

The family or the home is an integral part of the society which is a sub-system of the social structure. It is an axiom that good homes breed a productive nation. This is the brain child of why every society aspires for development. The family is the child’s first place of contact with the world. The child as a result, acquires initial education and socialization from parents and other significant persons in the family. Agulana (2000) reported that the family lays the psychological, moral, and spiritual foundation in the overall development of the child. Structurally which, family/homes are either broken or intact. A broken home in this context is one that is not structurally intact, as a result of divorce, separation, death of one of parent and illegitimacy. According to Adeyomo (2010), psychological home conditions arise mainly from illegitimacy of children, the label of adopted child, broken homes, divorce and parental deprivation. Such abnormal conditions of the home, are likely to have a detrimental effect on school achievement of the child he asserts.

Life, in a broken home can be stressful for both the child and the parent. Such families are faced with challenges of inadequate financial resources (children defense fund) Ayodele (2007), reported that if adolescents from broken homes are to be compared with those from intact homes, it would be seen that the former have more social, academic and emotional problems. Murphy (2002) is of the opinion that the family and its structure play a great role in children’s academic achievement. Musa (2010) reported that “parents are the actor with the clearest un-dimensional interest in a high level of their children’s academic achievement”. To some extent, there is simple evidence to show the marital instability brings about stress, tension, lack of motivation and frustration obviously, these manifestations act negatively on a child’s academic achievement. Johnson (2005) reported that children of broken homes 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) reported that the environment where a child finds himself/herself goes a long way in determining his learning ability and ultimately his academic achievement in school. Generally, the home has been identified as an overwhelming factor affecting students’ performance academically. It would appear, then, that broken homes may present a very serious danger to the emotional, personality, and mental adjustment of the young adolescent. This impinges on students’ academic achievement.

In Nigeria, there are widespread cases of single-parenthood as a result of broken homes across all regions and tribes which has become a major source of concern to the socio-economic and socio-cultural development. Single parenting can be defined as a situation in which one of the two individuals involved in the conception of the child is being responsible for upbringing of the child (Tolu, 2015). This idea is relatively unknown before now in Nigeria but is a fast growing family pattern both inside and outside the shores of the land (Chukwuelua, 2016). Children from single parent homes are likely to suffer deprivation, and denial of some rights and opportunities. They are more exposed to anti-social behaviors and poor academic achievement. Divorce and separation of various kinds may leave a child with no option than to have a single parent. The benefits of an intact home far outweigh that of a broken home; as mothers play the traditional role of child care and home-making while the father’s role is that of economic responsibilities and discipline of children. In a broken home, less attention is given to the education of the child. Invariably the cost of receiving education today is huge to be financed only by a single parent who may be financially handicapped.

The effects of broken homes on children depend on many factors, the most important of which are the causes of the broken homes when it occurs, and it is either temporary or permanent. When there is a break in the home as result of death and children realize that, the parent win never return, mourn the loss and transfer their affection to the remaining parent, hoping in this way to regain the security they formally had. By so doing one will found the children forgotten that they had other things to attend just like their academics and as a children there is need for determination and commitment to the classroom activities and laboratory practices, but a child who happen to have a parent pre occupied with grief and practical problems of a broken homes give rise to children that feel rebuffed and unwanted. This will however, result to resentment that can seriously cause damage or affect the child’s intellectual potentialities required from him/her as children and that could determine his/her academic achievement in classroom and elsewhere. However, Hauwa (2005) reported that the loss of the mother in early life is more damaging to a child than loss of father. She stated the reason for this to be that the care of young children must under the circumstances be turned over to relatives or paid housekeepers whose child training techniques may differ from those used by mothers and who rarely can give children the attention and affection they formally received from their mothers.

The psychological development of the adolescent in the family is influenced not only by what occurs in their new environment but also the environments their parents spend a considerable time in such as their work place (Broffenbreenner, 2002). Broken home is generally associated with increase stress and emotional difficulties among adolescents, several aspects have a mediating effect. The amount of family conflict experienced by the adolescents, their religious background, their age and place in the sibling order were reported to have a vital impact on their efforts to adapt to this transition Ajila and Olutola (2007). Meanwhile, it is important to explain to adolescents the reason why the divorce is occurring. In addition, Musa (2010) determined that one third of the adolescents under this family structure were not given a reason as to why their parents separated. Therefore, repressed anger due to divorce may be channeled in to destructive pattern; these may include compensatory lying, self doubt, self-estrangement. Compulsives rituals, malevolent dreams, and other behaviors in regard to separation anxiety, the child’s may repeatedly fear may (Chukweelua, 2016) Tolu (2015), reveal that, “children can stand helpless in a divorce situation and may become frustrated that may strive toward unreal and unattainable psychological compensation in child development, an important factor is that a child’s anger at loss can be channeled incorrectly or poorly and that the separation-anxiety may become over powering. He also states that the children can escape the negative consequences of parental conflicts when they are-not caught in it by their parents, when their parents avoid direct, aggressive.

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