This research work investigated the psychological effect of family conflict on academic achievement of secondary school students in Owan East local government area of Edo State. 160 students were sampled in five public schools in Owan local government of Edo State. Thirty students were selected in four schools and fourty in one school to make up the number used for sampling.. Descriptive survey method was used and questionnares was adopted as research instrument with twenty items while four research questions were formulated. The results were tested by using percentage count, mean and standard deviation statistical tool. It was revealed that there different factors were responsible for family conflict, also family conflict affect students’ academic performance negatively as students who are in such dilemma dwindle in paying deserved attention towards their academics.
It was also found out that students whose home are in conflict has good relationship with their peers to make up for the lack of attention at home while they do not have good relationship with their teachers. It i therefore recommended that Parents or guardians who are experiencing conflicts in their families should consider counselling options as soon as possible to avoid negative effects on their children.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The purpose of education is to make an individual to be functional within his/her family, society, town, state and country. It is in view of this, that Dada (1999), attempted to formulate the aims of education which may be found in what any good father would wish for his son. It is a kind of all-round development (intellectual, physical, spiritual, moral) for the learners. Education has been an agent of change and an instrument of national development. Adepoju and Akinwumi (2001) observed that the role of education in national development has received considerable attention in developed countries where it is argued that heavy investment in education has a great potential for enhancing rapid economic growth. Education is important in the development and improvement of skills.
Education has been responsible for the upliftment of the human conditions. Alade (2004) observed that the primary concern of education is the elevation of human conditions. Through education, people are enabled to develop their knowledge and skills, adopt new behaviour and be able to survive in the society. In the same vein, Oderinde (2005), opined that all over the world, education is the key to development which clearly demonstrated that education play vital roles in the development of the individual, society and the nation as a whole nevertheless the quality of education receive by an individual can be affected by the events happening in the family.
Family with challenges , problems and conflict poses serious difficulties to their children learning pace which invariably affect their academic performance.
Conflict could be unavoidable as part of life’s development process as it seen in organization, society and family but many family find it difficult to manage it and allow it to degenerate to the extent polarizing the family. The effect of conflict in the family can be seen in broken home, family divorce and parental deprivation. Such abnormal conditions of the home, are likely to have a detrimental effect on school performance of the child.
Many children with a good prospect who had maintain good academic record have been seen to suddenly start dwindling academically which has been found to be as a result of family crisis.
Conflict can inflict psychological pain on children as it has a big tendency to distract them. In a case of a child who has a great affection for his parents and suddenly crisis erupt in the family that create boundary between the parents, that emotion of the child will be wounded and it will create a psychological gap and until the gap is filled, the level of concentration and participation in the class will be affected.
Gomez and McLaren (2006) reported that children who engaged in avoidant coping styles reported fewer feelings of anxiety and depression when they experienced higher levels of parental support. According to Tiet et al. (2001), youth were less likely to demonstrate psychiatric disorders and functional impairments despite exposure to maternal psychopathology when parents engaged in increased monitoring of youth behaviours and activities.
Academic performance is the seen as the knowledge attained or skills, shown in the school subject. 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 (2004) is of two types i.e positive and negative (poor) performance. Home background, family background, family harmony etc 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.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The gap between students and academic excellence is becoming wider day by day which is a source of concern to all education stakeholder. It is pathetic to see that some students’ performance are hinder by family and home related issue. Some home rated issues are psycho-social status of parents, family background, educational status of parents, level of income of parents.
All these issues are as strong as the state of the family, many family are not in harmony, immediate families tactically at luger- head, unresolved problem between husband and wife. Some have led to separation, broken home and permanent divorcee leaving their children at the mercy of education misfortune as they are emotionally, psychologically, socially and educationally unstabled.
This has made it necessary to probe into the effect of psychologically effect that arises from family conflict which this research work is centered on.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The general purpose of this study is to critically investigate the psychological effect of family conflict on students’ academic performance in senior secondary school and specifically to: The objectives of this study include:
a. Find out the effect of the status of peace among immediate family members.
b. Determine the strength of relationship among immediate family members .
c. Investigate the factors that are responsible for conflict among immediate family members.
d. Find out the root cause of conflict among immediate family members.
e. Determine the effect of conflict among immediate family members
f. Know how these conflicts can affect the academic performance of the children whose family are in conflict
g Proffer necessary solutions that will forestall and manage these conflict among immediate family members
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research work will bring a lot of benefits to all and sundry. The outcome will be help the parents to know the role that family play over the children academic progress. It will give an insight to the parents to understand their supportive role which will make them to reposition themselves for the task of parenting.
This research work will be beneficial to school administrators to understand how to deal with students with family crises. It will also help them to know the kind of counseling they will be able to offer the parents of children with family conflict.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTION
The following research questions have been put forward as a guide towards finding solutions to the research problems:
(i) To what extent do conflicts in a family affect students’ academic performance?
(ii) What is the nature of the relationship between pupils who experience family conflicts and their peers with those that do not experience such?
(iii) What is the nature of the relationship between pupils who experience family conflicts and their teachers with those that do not experience such?
(v) What is the attitude of pupils who experience family conflicts towards their parents, peers and school with those that do not experience such?
(vi) What extent do the school’s counsellor play in encouraging students who are experiencing family conflicts?
1.6 SCOPE/DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study focuses on psychological effect of family conflict on the academic performance of secondary school students in Owan East Local Government Area of Edo State. It is limited to five Public schools in Owan East Local Government.
One of the major constraints of the study is finance considering the fact that it’s being carrying out during the time of economic recession in Nigeria is quite challenging. Another limitation will be that of the process of administrating the questionnaires since many schools will be covered and some of these schools are not too close to each other.
1.7 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
Academic: This has to do with school college studies or learning in other words designate the intellectual; aspect of education particularly the final subject deals with organized knowledge.
Academic performance: Is a term used for students based on how well they are doing in their studies and classes. Also is how well one does in school
Assessment: Appraisal of activities within a given period of time.
Conflict: It is a mutual opposition or difference between two parents or between
parents and their pupils in a family. It is a state of disagreement or argument in a family. In this study, conflict means the disagreements or oppositions that pupil under study face in their families, either directly from their parents.
Family: It is a social unit made up of people related to each other by blood, birth or marriage. In this study, family is a social unit made up of public primary
school pupils and their parents or guardians.
Family Background: The quantitative and qualitative foundation and composition of a family in terms of structure, status class and standard.
Family Conflict: This refers to problems, oppositions or differences that occur within the family set up. In this study, it refers to problems, oppositions or differences that public primary school pupils face within their families.
Status: The person’s relationship to establish social position in society that varies on terms of prestige.
Parenting: The process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood. The aspects of raising a child aside from the biological relationship.
Single Parenting: A parent, not living with a spouse or partner, who has most of the day-to-day responsibilities in raising the child or children.
Two-Parenting Family: A family in which two married adults lived with their joint biological children and responsible for day –to-day responsibilities and care of their children.
Parenting Styles: The overall emotional climate in the home and psychological construct representing standard strategies that use in their child rearing.
Psychology:The scientific study of human behaviour and thought processes.
Students: These are group of people who are learning a particular subject with the aim of achieving a predetermined goal.
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