The Influence Of Family Structure On The Academic Performance Of Students In Tertiary Institutions

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The aim of this study is to investigate the influence of family structure on the academic performance of students in tertiary institutions a case study of College of Education, Ekiadolor-Benin in Ovia North East Local Government  Area of Edo State. during the course of this research the researcher found out that the ability to perform well has a great relationship with the structure of the family in which a child is brought up the researcher recommended that parents should try as much as possible to give their children eighty percent (80%) of their time and care in order for the students not to be emotionally imbalanced. More emphasis was laid down on the different types of family structure, if it is either a single parent or grandparent or nuclear family or step parents. One hundred students were used in College of Education, Ekiadolor. Relevant data was collected through the use of questionnaire; they were analysed using frequency distribution and percentage as statistical tools.   




Background of the study

Statement of problem

Research questions

Research hypothesis

Purpose of the study

Significance of the study

The scope of study


Definition of terms


Review of related literature



Research design

Population and sample

Sampling techniques

Instrument for data collection

Validation of data

Reliability of the instrument

Method of data collection

Data analysis techniques


Data presentation, analysis and interpretation


Summary, conclusion and recommendation



Recommendation and suggestion for further research






Academic attainment is an important parameter in measuring success in students. Observations and reports have shown that success or high academic achievement has become a Herculean task to accomplish by students in recent times. Poor academic performance was recorded both at the secondary school and tertiary levels of education in Nigeria. The performance of students at all levels in educational institutions in Nigeria has attracted much criticisms from all and sundry and from time immemorial. The decline in academic performance of students in Nigeria has been observed by Soyinka (1999), when he observed that education system in Nigeria need restructuring. He went further to say that academic standard had fallen drastically and the quality of graduates being produced by the nations’ schools is questionable and subject to re-examination.

Poor academic performance of students has been of great concern to educationists, guidance and counsellor in particular. Despite all guidance programmes and counselling strategies mounted in schools to improve the students’ academic performance were recorded yearly. It becomes necessary to find out the causes of such poor performance in Nigeria secondary institutions. Though these poor performances have been attributed to a lot of industries such as students’ factors, like student’s attitude to school, approach to learning and academic self concept. Apart from students’ factors, school factors and parent’s factors, there are other indicators that cause poor performance. on the part of the parents, there are certain factors which influence children’s success, such as parents’ social class, parents’ education as well as parental input and other factors, the family size and birth order may contribute positively or negatively to students’ academic performance.

Family structure in this context refers to the total number of children in the child’s family in addition to the child himself, while the birth order refers to the child’s position in the birth order. However, family type that a child comes from either monogamous or polygamous family usually have impact on the child’s academic performance. It is important to note that either of the family type (monogamous or polygamous) family dictates the structure of the family. Over the last two decades a stream of research consistently highlights the complexities and powerful influences that the home environment have on the academic achievement of students. Bassler,  et al (1992) emphasized in their research on family structure that it was an important factor in student achievement. They stressed that when parents and teachers work together, student’s achievement is positively affected. Children living with both parents tend to perform socially and academically.

Achenmbach, et al (2002) the findings were believed to be accredited to factors commonly found in two parents homes, such as sense of self identity, family socio-economic status and consistency within the home. In an earlier study Carlson and Corwran (2001) found that two parents home were beginning to decline at a significant rate. This study also found an overwhelming decline in the academic achievement of students from both parents’ homes to single parents home. It is imperative to note that the study found a significant decline in the academic achievement of students living in both the one parents and two parents’ homes. The results were derived from the influence of family structure on a child academic performance. Macoby and Martin (1983) found that when parents are involved in their children education, it encouraged learning and cultural awareness regardless of the family structure.


This study aims at assessing the influence of family structure in tertiary institution. A case study of College of Education, Ekiadolor in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State. However, research does not support which family structure is directly linked to high or low academic achievement consequently findings revealed other factors such as socio- parents education, geographic location, gender, teacher expectations and teacher qualifications, these factors have a greater impact on students academics. Students in tertiary institutions are faced daily with the challenges of meeting academic growth, while dealing with balancing and adjusting to the differences among their homes and schools environment. Administrators are charged to ensure that all students are motivated and encouraged to learn and not be labeled or stigmatized because of the uniqueness of the family structure.

Today with high stakes testing and accountability. It is necessary for teachers to be familiar with the different family structure of their students and to understand how family structure impacts academic achievement. The media  reports the negativity associated with children living in single parents homes, as low socio-economic, delinquency, academic achievement gap, and school dropout. The odds double when the single homes are of African  descent. Often times, Nigeria students from single homes are not given the same admiration as other students, which cause them to become academically disengaged. Since the no child left behind mandates that all children should be reading on grade levels in tertiary institutions it becomes necessary for educators to implement strategies for the educational well-being of all students regardless of gender race, geographical locations or family structure.


The purpose of this study was to compare and analyze the influence of family structure in tertiary institution, a case study of College of Education, Ekiadolor in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State. The purpose was also to compare the difference in the family structure and the academic performance level of tertiary institution.

Finally the purpose was to determine whether there is a significant difference between family structure and academic performance of students in tertiary institutions.


Is there any significant difference in the family structure and the academic performance level of students in the tertiary institutions?Does family structure affects the academic performance of a child?How does family structure influence a child academic performance in tertiary institution?Does the level of parents  education affect the academic performance of a child?




The result of this study will benefit the lecturers and the policy maker who design programmes and activities for children involved in family crisis. This research study will also benefit parents and the teachers who are interested I the academic performance of students and for those who are interested in finding solutions to addressing the performance. The result will also assist lecturer and administrators with academic planning of programmes and courses for the diverse needs of students, academic programming to include intervention strategies for children from various family structure, geographic areas and genders,  sensitivity to the stigmas associated with children living in one parent homes, as opposed to children living in the two parents homes.


It was assumed that the rese4archer would exhibit integrity and honesty during the retrieving and reporting of data. It was further assumed that all data retrieved would be analysed and reported accurately without biases to participant’s gender or geographical locations. It was also assumed that the researcher would report all data with confidentiality in regards to the performance level of students and schools.


Family: A family is a group of people affiliated by consanguinity, affinity or co-residence.

Structure: It is a fundamental, tangible or intangible notion referring to the recognition, observation, nature and performance of patterns and relationship of entities.

Family structure: family structure is the way that a household or family is set up, it can either be single parent or both parents.

Academic:  It is connected with education, especially studying in schools and universities.

Single parents: A single parent is a parent, not living with a spouse or partner, who has most of the day to day responsibility in raising the child or children

Parents: parents are caretaker of the offspring in their own species.

Tertiary: It is  also referred to as third stage, third level and post-secondary education, it is the educational level following the completion of a school providing a secondary education.

Administrator: It is a person for the performance or management of administrative business operations.

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