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The Impact of Family Size and Students Academic Performance in Economics

The Impact of Family Size and Students Academic Performance in Economics

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Abstract

The study was to investigate family size and student’s academic performance in Economics in Esit Eket Local Government Area. The specific objective was to examine the relationship that exist between small and large family size and how it relates to academic performance of students in Economics. Two research questions and two research hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. The study was carried out in Esit Eket Local Government Area.

A total of one thousand seven hundred and seventy four (1,774) students from five selected public secondary schools form the population of the study. A simple random sampling technique was used to select forty (40) students from each of the five selected schools and a total of two hundred (200) students was the sample size. The study adopted quasi-experimental research design. The main instrument for data collection was a structure questionnaire title “Family Size and academic performance of students in Economics (FSAPSE)” and the data collected was analysed using Pearson Product Moment Correlation (PPMC).

The result of the study revealed that there was significant relationship between small family size and students’ academic performance in Economics, also, there was a significant relationship between large family size and students’ academic performance in Economics. Recommendations were made among others that family planning should be encourage on the numbers of children each parent should have because parents with large number of children may not be able to cater for all of them at equal proportion.

The Impact of Family Size and Students Academic Performance in Economics

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1   Background to the Study

Academic attainment is an important parameter in measuring success of students (Soyinka, 2009). Observations and reports have shown that success or high academic achievement has become a peculiar task to accomplish by students in recent times.

Education is a primary need in this time of globalization. Education does not only gives insight to any endeavour but also grooms the personality, inculcate moral values, add knowledge and give skill. Education is necessary owing to the nature of competition in the world today (Beeker, 2001).

However, many factors other than the capacity of the student influence the students educational experiences and attainments irrespective of family size. These include differences in the level and quality of education available in the country, region or community, difference to access to educational equipment according to his social status, religion, race, and ethnic origins, and differences in the willingness and capability of his parents to provide the financial and psychological support necessary for the maximization of his talent potentials (Battle & Machel (2011).

In this case, the important of family size cannot be over emphasized because family size (small or large) that a child comes from have important role to play in the life of the child academically (Lacou, 2001). He further stated that children from small family size tend to perform well academically because their parents will be able to cater for them during their stay in the school by providing them with the needed materials for quality education as compare to large family size which is not possible.

Nnafar and Ango (2008) observed that there was more significant outstanding academic performance among children from small family size. Teniba (2002) observed that there was a significant different in intelligent with capacity between children from small and large family size. Spear (2002) in his study investigated that family size has effect on intelligence. With large family size, children were less capable than small family size.

However, Powell and Steelman (2003) argued that children’s attainment depends on input of time and money from their parents. The more increase of children in a family the less of both inputs. Those inputs are not money alone, but other essential things like time, attention resource, delusion and so on. However Boot and Kee (2006) confirmed that children from larger families have lower levels of education. He further stated that the effect of sibling size and position has been based on a theory of the allocation of parental resources and that differences were found in birth order and family size of adolescent achievement in academics.

The Impact of Family Size and Students Academic Performance in Economics

 1.2   Statement of the Problem

Over the years, teachers, parents, governments and general public have expressed serious concern over the declining state of students’ academic performance in Economics in both internal and external examination. Additionally, several research reports have indicated that students performed poorly in secondary school social science subjects especially in Economics (Nwabo, 2011).

Many studies have been carried out on the various causes of these learning failure among whom are teaching methods, class size, school environment, school location and classroom variable etc. (Nwafa, 2015). Despite the effort exerted by concern citizens of this nation and other agencies to put a stop to this problem, all their efforts seem to be in vain.

Moreover, some parents inspite of the government policies on family planning have refused to see the need of controlling the rate of pregnancy and child bearing and have failed to recognize the effect of family size on academic performance.

It is as a result of the above reason that this study is conducted on family size and students academic performance in Economics in Esit Eket Local Government Area with a view to suggesting ways by which students academic performance in Economics can be improved regardless of family size.

1.3   Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of the study is to investigate family size on students academic performance in Economics in Esit Eket Local government Area. Specifically, the study seeks to:

(i)     examine the relationship between small family size and students’ academic performance in Economics.

(ii)    investigate the relationship between large family size and students’ academic performance in Economics.

1.4   Significance of the Study

The study will be of significant help on how to handle students from different family background in order to increase their performance.

It will also enable school administrators to see the need for providing books, newspaper and magazine in the school library knowing fully well that the same students may not have the opportunity in their houses, may be as a result of large children in the family and noisy environment.

The study will also help teachers on adjusting his/her method for effectiveness to accommodate every student during the process of learning/teaching interaction. It will also serve as reference materials to the future scholars who may want to carry out research on a similar topic. The study will help Ministry of Health to advise the general public on the important of family planning thereby reducing the number of children in the society which may inversely influence school enrolment. 

The Impact of Family Size and Students Academic Performance in Economics

1.5   Research Questions

The following research questions were formulated to guide the study:

(i)  How does small family size relate to student’s academic performance in Economics in secondary schools in Esit Eket Local Government Area?

(ii) To what extent does large family size relate to student’s academic performance in Economics in secondary schools in Esit Eket Local Government Area?

1.6   Research Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses were formulated in line with specific objective of the study:

(i)    There is no significant relationship between students from small family size and their academic performance in Economics.

 (ii)  There is no significant relationship between students from large family size and their academic performance in Economics.

1.7   Limitation of the Study

The researcher encountered some challenges in the process of conducting this research work. Factors that would have confounded this study include:

(i)    Financial constraint: This has been one of the major limitation faced by the researcher due to inadequate funds from the parent that would have faster the availability of empirical data for the study.

(ii)   Time Frame: The time allocated for the researcher was short for the researcher was short for the completion of the research work, this posed a serious stress on the researcher to gather adequate information as stipulated for authentic research work.

 1.7   Delimitation of the Study

This research work is delimited to family size and students academic performance in Economics in Esit Eket Local Government Area. Furthermore, focus was on senior secondary one (SS1) students.

1.8   Definition of terms

The following terms used in the study were conceptually evaluated by the researcher based on its usage in this context.

(i) Academic performance: This refers to the achievement of students in secondary school in test or examination.

(ii)   Economics: Economics is define as a social science which study human behavior as a relationship between scarce mean which have alternative uses.

 (iii) Family size: The total number of children in the child’s family in addition to the child himself.

(iv) Students: This is a person who is studying at secondary school, university or college with the intention of acquiring knowledge.

(v)   Family- A group consisting of blood related people including those adopted to the group.

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