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Socio Economic Factors and Student Academic Performance

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1.1 Background of the Study
The responsibility of training a child always lies in the hand of the parents. This is congruent with the common assertion sociologist that education can be an instrument of cultural change which is being taught from home is relevant in this discuss. It is not out of place to imagine that parental socio–economic background can have possible effects on the academic achievement of children in school. Whatsoever affect the development environment of children would possibly affect their education or disposition to it. Parental status is one of such variables. When a woman's nutritional status improves, so too does the nutrition of her young children (Lisa et al, 2003). Rothestein has asserted as follows: "Parents of different occupation classes often have different styles of child rearing, different ways of disciplining their children and different ways of reacting to their children education needs. These differences do not express themselves consistently as expected in the case of every family; rather they influence the average tendencies of families for different occupational classes." (Rothestein, 2004). Socioeconomic status can be defined as a person’s overall social position to which attainments in both the social and economic domain contribute. (Ainley et al., 1995). When used in studies of secondary school students school achievement, it refers to the SES of the parents or family. Socio-economic status is determined by individual achievements in education; employment, occupational status; income and wealth. Several

Parent may provide higher levels of psychological support for their children through environments that encourage the development of skills necessary for success at school (Williams et al., 1980; Williams, 1987; Williams et al., 1993).
Parents serve as a role model and a guide in encouraging their children to pursue high educational goals and desires by establishing the educational resources on hand in the home and holding particular attitudes and values towards their children’s learning. In this case, the educational attainment of parents serve as an indicator of attitudes and values which parents use to create a home environment that can affect children’s learning and achievement.

A number of studies indicated that student achievement is correlated highly with the educational attainment of parents (Coleman, 1966). For instance, students whose parents had less than high school education obtained lower grades in mathematics than those whose parents had higher levels of education (Campbell, Hombo, & Mazzeo, 2000). Research has shown that parents’ educational level not only impact student attitudes toward learning but also impact their math achievement scores.

In line with the above assertion, Hill et al (2004) had also argued that socio–economic status of parents do not only affect the academic performance, but also makes it possible for children from low background to compete well their counterparts from high socio – economic background under the same academic environment. Moreover, Smith, Fagan and Ulvund (2002) had asserted that significant predicator of intellectual performance at age of 8 years included parental socio economic status (SES).
The health status of the children which could also be traceable to parental socio – economic background can be another factor that can affect the academic performance of the students. Adewale (2002) had reported that in a rural community where nutritional status is relatively low and health problems are prevalent, children academic performance is greatly hindered. This assertion is again hinged on nature of parental socio–economic background. Moreover, Eze, (2002) had opined that when a child get proper nutrition, health care, stimulation during pre–school years, the ability to interact with take optimal advantage of the full compliment of resources offered by any formal learning environment is enhanced. The foregoing discussion had established that socio – economic status and host of other factors relating to home environment of students, such as educational background of parents, health status of students, parental occupation and family size could have effects on children academic achievement. It is against this background that this work is being undertaken to empirically investigate the possible effect of these factors on students' academic achievement in selected schools in the Lagos state. This study is aimed at investigating the possibility of parental socio–economic background playing a significant role on students' academic performance taking some selected secondary schools in Mainland Local Government Area of Lagos State as a case study.

1.2 Statement of Problem
Low academic performance of students in Economics in senior Secondary Schools within in Mainland Local Government Area of Lagos State and the West African Examination Council (WAEC) result and also internal examination despite the huge investment being expended on education in the state. The level of disparity in the academic performance of male and female students calls for concern.
Some of the implication of the problem on students, parents, Government and school are; Low academic performance in Economics could increase failure and which could later increase drop-out rate of students from school, Increase in drop-out rate could lead to increase in crime rate, it could also reduce students’ chance of getting admission into higher institutions, since it is one of the compulsory subjects in secondary school, the implication of the problem on parents is that it could lead to parental emotional instability as a result of their children’s failure. This research work will look into the effect of the parents’ socioeconomic status on their children’s academic performance in schools.

1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to investigate the effect socio economic status of parent on academic performance of students in Economics.
1. Determine the relationship between parental income level and students’ academic performance in Economics;
2. Determine if academic performance of students depends on parents level of education;
3. Determine the influence of parental attitudes towards school on students’ academic performance in Economics; and
4. Determine the relationship between home environment and students’ academic performance in Economics

1.4 Research Questions
1. What relationship exists between parental income level and students’ academic performance in Economics?
2. Do students performance in economics depends on parents level of education?
3. Will the parental attitude towards school affects the performance of students in Economics.

1.5 Research Hypotheses
1. There will be no significant relationship between parental socio – economic status and students’ academic performance in Economics.
2. There will be no significant relationship between parents’ level of education and the students’ performance in Economics
3. There will be no significant relationship between parental attitude towards school and students’ academic performance in Economics.

1.6 Significance of the Study
This study will be significance in so many ways; it will create an insight into the reasons why some students perform inadequately academically in Economics and others perform very well. Specifically, this study will be beneficial in the following ways:
 Parents will benefit because this study will call their attention to those socioeconomic factors that affect their children’s academic achievements.
 Students will benefit because this study will enlighten them on the possibility of success despite their level of socioeconomic status.
 The society will benefit because solutions to the factors affecting students’ academic performance will be proffered.
 Male and female students will come to the consciousness that socioeconomic status is not a barrier to academic success.

1.7 Scope and Limitation of the Study
Due to financial and time constraint this study will limited to five (5) senior secondary school in mainland local government area of Lagos state.

Socioeconomic status: Perceived level of social and economic factors within the home e.g educational level of parents, occupation of parents and home itself. It is also known as socioeconomic background. Students Academic Achievements:-
Academic achievements are the performance of students in their school – college or University in class as well as extra curricular activities within a period of time. CHAPTER TWO
2.1 Theoretical and conceptual framework
A considerable number of researches repeatedly have shown that Low-SES is linked to a range of indicators of child and adolescent well-being, including students’ academic achievement (Beauvais & Jensen, 2003). Birch and Gussow (1979) claim that poverty contributes toward educational failure, not simply because poor children are “culturally disadvantaged”, but because their health and nutritional status is inadequate to allow for the maximum mental development and for the realization of their educational potential. The likelihood that the poor children would end up being at-risk in terms of deficient development is a reality that could begin even before birth. In that regard, Birch and Gussow emphasized that society should concern itself more with the full range of factors contributing to educational failure, among which the health of the child is a variable of potential primary importance.
According to Rumberger (1995), student ‘family background is widely recognized as the most significant important contributor to success in schools’. Rumberger’s position supports the finding of earlier scholars who argued that the home has a major influence on student school success (Swick & Duff, 1978) and that it is the quality of relationships within the student’s home environment that has an important effect on school performance (Neisser, 1986; Selden, 1990;
Caldas, 1993). Additionally, Jacobs & Harvey recently established that many variables in the family background have strong (direct and indirect) associations with students’ success throughout school and in young adults’ eventual educational and occupational attainment. Such variables include family structure (socio-economic status and intact/single-parent family status), parent education level, parental involvement, and parenting style.
According to Evans (2004), lower income children have less stable families, greater exposure to environmental toxins and violence, and more limited extra-familial social support networks. There is no doubt that parents in such settings would report lower educational expectations, less monitoring of children’s school work and less overall supervision of social activities compared to students from high socio-economic and intact families. Evans repeatedly discovered that low SES children are less cognitively stimulated than high SES children, as a result of reading less and being read to less, and experience less complex communications with parents involving more limited vocabulary.

2.2 Empirical Review of Literature
Review of literature will also be carried out under outlined topics;
• Parental attitudes and encouragement toward schools
• The effect of the size of the family on students’ performance in school.
• The effect of the income of the parents on students’ performance in school.
• The effect of occupation of the parents on students’ performance in school.
• The effect of the Pattern of child rearing and discipline at home on students’ performance in school.
• The effect of the availability of adequate educational facilities at home on students’ performance. CHAPTER THREE
3.1 Research design
In order to arrive at a desired result for this study, a descriptive type of survey design will be adopted for this study.

3.2 Population of the study
The population of this study will be all senior secondary school students offering economics and all economics teachers in Mainland Local government area of Lagos state

3.3 Sample and sample technique
Out of the senior secondary school in Mainland, five (5) senior secondary schools will be randomly selected; eight (20) students will be randomly selected from each of the selected schools, while two (1) economics teacher will also be selected from each of the selected school. To make a total of hundred (100) students and Five (5) Teachers as respondents.

3.4 Instrument for data collection
The instrument to be use for this study will be two (2) questionnaires; one will be design for teachers and the other one for students.

3.5 Method of data collection
Copies of the questionnaire will be administered directly to students and teachers in all 5 selected schools.

3.6 Data Analysis
The data for this study will be analyze using the mean, charts and the proposed hypotheses will tested 5% level of significance using chi-square statistics.


Adewale, A.M. Implication of parasitic infections on school performance among school-age children. Ilorin Journal of science education. Vol.2pp. 78-81.

Ainley, John., Brian Graetz, Michael Long and Margaret Batten (1995), Socioeconomic Status and School Education, DEET/ACER, Canberra.

Eze, O.M. (2002) . The effects of parental economic status and pupil sex on school achievement in English language. Journal of Vocational and Technical Education in Nigeria. A.b.U Zaria. Vol.3 No.3 PP.27

Hill, N.E; Castelino, O.R.; Lansford. J.E.; Nowlin, E.; Dodge, P.; Bates, K.A. and Pettit, G.S (2004). Parents academic involvement as related to school behaviour, achievement and aspirations: Demographic variations across adolescence. Child development (2004) Vol. 75. No.5. pp.1491 1509.

Rothestein, R. (2004). Class and schools using social economic and educational reforms to close the white and black achievement gap. Economic Policy Institute, U.S.A

Williams, N. Penelope, R.W. Connell and V.M. White (1991), .Australian research on poverty and education, 1979-1987., in R.W. Connell, V.M. White and K.M. Johnston, eds, .Running Twice as Hard.: The Disadvantaged Schools Program in Australia, Deakin University Press, Geelong.

Williams, T. (1987), Participation in Education, Australian Council for Educational Research, Hawthorn.

Williams, T., J. Clancy, M. Batten and S. Girling-Butcher (1980), School, Work and Career: Seventeen-Year-Olds in Australia, Australian Council for Educational Research, Hawthorn.

Williams, T., M. Long, P. Carpenter and M. Hayden (1993), Year 12 in the 1980s, AGPS, Canberra.

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