The study sought to investigate the influence of family structure on children’s motivation to learn and academic achievement in Minna Metropolis, Niger State. To guide the study, four research questions were posed and answered while four hypotheses were formulated and tested at 0.05 level of significance. The study adopted ex-post facto or causal comparative research design. The population of the study comprised of all the primary five children in Minna metropolis, Niger State totaling 9,995. A total sample of 425 primary five children in public schools in Bosso and Chanchaga Local Government Education Authorities were used for the study. The academic achievement scores of children for a session were collected using children’s result for three terms. The instrument named influence of Family Structure on Children’ s Motivation to Learn Questionnaire was used for data collection. Mean and Standard Deviation were used in answering the research questions, while analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to test the null hypotheses. The findings of the study revealed that; children from monogamous family structure had the highest mean motivation to learn followed by the children from multiple transition family structure while children from polygamous family had the lowest mean motivation to learn. Further analysis showed that family structure significantly influences children’ s motivation to learn. Children from single parenthood family structure had lower mean achievement score than children from monogamous and multiple transition family structure while children from polygamous family structure had the lowest mean achievement score. However, it was further revealed that family structure has no significant influence on the children’s motivation to learn and children’s academic achievement. Gender has no significant influence on children’s motivation to learn and academic achievement. Based on the findings, it was recommended among others that parents should be fully involved in the education of their wards by assisting them in their home works and getting other relevant materials for study ready for them.

Background of the Study
Children’s lives are influenced by the number of parents and siblings that they live with, as well as by whether their parents are married. Parents with children make up a family. A family is a group of people who share Affinal, Consanguinal and adoption ties and are within two generations (Oti, 2005). Fairly is a close knit group of people who care about and respect each other (Hughes, 1999). The fairly is a social group characterized by common residence, economic corporaton and reproduction. It comprises adults of both sexes, at least of two of whom maintain a socially approved sexual relationship and one or more children own or adopted, of the sexually cohabiting adults.

Family is a group of two or more people that are related by blood, marriage, adoption, step or fostering and who usually live together in the same household. This includes newly wedded couples without children, couples with dependants, single mums or dad with children, siblings living together.

Family is the focal socializing unit in the society especially Africa (Oti, 2003). The family as an institution provides for the rearing, socializing and education of the child. It is a forum for the child’s initial contact with the society. It is the basic group for individual’s social identity. It is the most common unit of socialization. The stability of the family and its antecedents are important in the child’s education. It is also a general opinion that the quality of family interactions has important associations with children’s motivation to learn and academic achievement. Kellaghan (1993) asserted for example, that the family environment a the most powerful influence in determining children’s motivation to learn and academic achievement and the number of years of schooling they will receive. In this study family refer to a group of people, comprises of mother, father and their children, related by blood or adoption, share responsibilities and live together or separate.

Family structure is made up of different types of families, and marriages. These include nuclear and extended family, single parenting, monogamous, polygamous multiple transition, monoandrous and polyandrous family structure.

Nuclear family structure is a group of people consisting of a pair of adults and their children (US NHI, 2007). Nuclear family is typically centre n married couple (US NHI, 2007). In this study nuclear family is a group of people consisting of mother, father and their children living together or apart.

Extended family structure is a family that is beyond the nuclear family, consisting of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins all living nearly or in same household (US NHI, 2007). Extended family is a combination of bother nuclear family and other relatives associated with the nuclear family members.

Single parenthood is a problem of national proportion shared by all social and racial groups. Down (2000) holds that single parent refers to the parent who has most of the day to day responsibilities in the raising of the child or children, which would categorize him or her a dominant caregiver being the parent with which the child has residency, majority of the time. White, (2004), Cherlin, (2005) found out that children from single parent family structure tend to have lower levels of psychological well being. Single parenthood involves a situation where everything needed in the child’s upbringing is given by the custodian parent who live with the children (Berokraitis, 2012). The advent of single parenthood may result in increased strain on a single parent resources like time, energy etc, the desire to succeed in single parenting leads to anxiety (Wiley, 2004). The single parents also tend to worry about unpredictable income and poor housing which has influence on the child motivation to learn and academic achievement.

Monogamous family structure is a form of relationship in which an individual has only one partner during their lifetime or at any one time as compared to polygamy (Barash, David and Lipton, 2001). Monogamy holds the family together as an entity. Children from monogamous family structure have been proven to have less risk of psychological and cognitive problems (White, 2004). Children whose parents practice monogamy seems to be motivated to learn better than those who parents practice polygamy.
Monogamous family structure refers to a male and female social living arrangement e.g shared use of a territory, behavior, indicative of a social pair and or proximity between a male and female without inferring and sexual interactions or reproductive patterns (Barash et. al 2001). In this study monogamous family structure comprises of two adults of both sex, legally married and live together as husband and wife with or without children. Opposite of polygamy.

Polygamous family structure comprises of a man and multiple simultaneous wives, polyandry is where in a woman has multiple simultaneous husband; or group marriage, where in the family unit consist of multiple husbands, a woman married to more than one husband at the same time (Hughes, 2000). In this study, polygamous family structure is referred to a man, married to more than one wife at a time, live together or separately, have children together and share responsibilities in raising the children. The family has a very strong influence on the child’s motivation to learn and academic achievement. The reason is that different supportive learning environment for their respective children such support may include, love, time, finance in satisfying required child school need. The polygamous family structure may be more constrain in ensuring the provisions of essential children needs than the monogamous family structure. Powell and Steelman (2003) opined that children’s attainment depends on inputs of time, attention and many from their parents, the more children they are in the family the more less the inputs. In sufficient provision of supportive learning environment could lead to low motivation to learn and academic achievement of children. Some of the characteristics of polygamous family structure many children are less inputs of time, attention and money invested on these children which may negatively influence the children motivation to learn and academic achievement.

Multiple transition family structure can be described as a basic unit, since it embraces all forms of interactive between individuals. The family provides the child with an identity with a social status and with economic well being. The child from multiple transition family structure experiences addition of step parents and half siblings. This may cause them to experience stress, and more transition may lead to greater stress. The addition of step parent is said to increase stress among children and adults, as families adjust to new routines, as the biological parent focuses attention to new partner as step children come into conflict with step parent. Amato (2005), the stress of family change is cumulative because any disruption requires re-adoption and therefore, the number of family transition has greater negative influence on children’s motivation to learn and academic achievement than any other particular family structure. In this study multiple transition family structure is the change of family, addition of step parent, and half siblings as a result of divorce and repeated divorce. Cherlin (2007) opined that children who experienced multiple transition in family are likely to drop out of school, complete fewer years of formal schooling, score lower on standardize examinations than those from intact homes living with both biological parents. For high academic achievement, children should be motivated.

Motivation is an internal state that arouses, directs and maintains behavior Umeano (2012). Mangal (2008), defined motivation as something, which prompts, compels and energizes an individual to act or behave in a particular manner at a particular time for attaining some specific goal or purpose. This implies that a child who is motivated to learn will participate actively and otherwise will not participate actively in learning activities.....

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Item Type: Postgraduate Material  |  Attribute: 85 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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