Effects of Broken Homes on Academic Performance of Secondary School Students in Nigeria

Effects of Broken Homes on Academic Performance of Secondary School Students in Nigeria


The study investigates the effects of broken homes on academic performance of secondary school student. The study findings showed that broken marriages contribute a lot to student’s poor academic performance, psychological problems academic performance and delinquent behavior among students. Community members were aware that broken marriages have effects on children’s academic performance and that broken marriages contribute much to negative perception. The total population for the study is 200 staff of selected secondary schools in Akwa Ibom State. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made up principals, vice principals administration, senior staff and junior staff was used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies.



1.0 Background of the study

The home is the primary institution for children, home as perceived by Abdulganiyu (1997), Christe (2009), defined home as a place in which an individual or a family can rest and store personal property. Haven’t define the concept of home it is therefore important to define family. The family can therefore, be looked at as a social group characterized by common resident, economic, cooperation and production. When a child is born, the family is the first primary group with which they come into contact. Transmission of social values of right and wrong, what is morally and religiously accepted or condemned by the family, it follows therefore that by the time a child attained five to seven years of age he must have learnt what are his rights, obligations and roles within the society. However, the background of a student goes a long way to determine his/her individuality. As the child enters schools, he/she will start manifesting different attitudes and expectations. In addition they may be of the same age group, developed at different rates and so may be able to cope with the intellectual and social task of the school in varying extent. However, a home can either be stable or broken.

A stable home is one in which both parent (mother and father) lives together with their children, while a broken home is the one in which one or both of the parents are not living together with the children. It is the level at which the home operates that determine the academic achievement of a students in school. Broken homes been it unstable can influence the achievement of a student’s academically. Also, children that have suffered from neglect or lack of love (in broken homes) are known to be psychologically imbalanced to face the realities of life. When there is disunity in the family, or a difference between a mother and a father, the child is caught in the middle and will be at disadvantage. According to Blackby (2000), adequate research needs to be conducted in this direction to ensure smooth transition of children from early stages to adulthood. Many authors have defined the home and deal fully and give various definitions to it. According to Homeby (2004), broke home is a home in which the parents are separated or divorced or are no more together as a result of death. In the same way Udry (2004), define a broken home means a house in which the parental are no more living together. Other researcher studies been carried out on broken homes seem to agree that broken home are associated increase aggressive and juvenile delinquency in children. From such home (broken home) children from this lack proper care and security. In assessing the definition such as a situation (broken home can result to poor academic achievement in student as once the child misses such opportunity of guide, securities affection and assistant where necessary). Home and the Childs’ family provide the best and first education since the child serve as teachers. The parent laid the foundation for the desired social, moral, emotional spiritual and intellectual well being of the child. The training a child received from home is of imperative in his/her total personality formation and the academic performance as a student in secondary school. It can also be observed that the pattern of life in the home (stable or broken), the economic and social status of the family in the community and many other conditions that give the performance of student in the school Abdulganiyu (2002), started that research have shown that children differs in various ways as a result of variable of their home background such as socio-economic status, parental attitude to school and child rearing practices. These home background variables are also found to be positive related to children’s academic performance. Also Giwa (1997), have also investigated the various factors within the students home background or family that affect their academic performance in school, variable such as socio-economic status, family size, birth order, parental attitude child rearing practices parental absence or presence have been found to affect social and intellectual learning experience of children in school. This is so, because children are born with some psychological, emotional and intellectual needs such as need for love and security, the need for new experience, the need for praise and recognition and need for responsibility. Many of these needs are not offered to the children of broken home which influence their performance in school. The extent to which these needs are met during the formative years of children between birth and the age of six or seven in the extent to which they enter school well equipped or ready to deal with the social and emotional aspects of schooling. Based on the observation above and in line with the assumption that economic and social future of many children in most localities is being undermined by cultural practices that promotes widespread divorce amongst couples and brought unnecessary hardship to the growing children. It is pertinent at this juncture to point out in spite of all the needs expressed as to be met by the students most especially secondary school students, this research also has intended to seek for how much secondary school student is affected in academic achievement, either as a result of his home been stable or broken.


In our society, children are sometimes exposed at an early age to all sort of dangers arising from malnutrition, diseases and various temptation of surviving due to absence of one or both of their parents. Student’s life in broken homes is observed to be associated with emotional stress that can impair intellectual development, thereby giving way for such children to grow up without being trained properly. However, absence of one or both parents deprives young children of the stable love, care, security and total support they have been accustomed to and tend to make children different in the eyes of the peer group. If children are asked where the missing parent is or why they have a new parent to replace the missing parents, they become embarrassed and ashamed. They may also feel guilty and unwanted by the society, such stressful situation leads to psychological, emotional and intellectual imbalance in growing children. These subsequently result to quitting from school or poor academic achievement of secondary schools student as education require critical thinking, relax mind and proper family support to be able to perform to expectation in the school. Hence it becomes necessary to investigate factors that cause broken homes with a view to finding solution to the problems for psychological well being of growing children in our society, and these lead us to look at the effect of broken homes on the academic performance secondary schools students in Nigeria.


The main objective of this research work includes the following. To assess the impact or effect of broken homes influence on secondary schools students in Nigeria.

1. To find out the causes of broken homes and the solution in Nigeria.

2. To seek for solution for widespread divorce among couples.

3. To find out how absence of one or both parent influence secondary schools students academic performances in school.

4. To suggest ways of women and men unnecessary divorce


For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

H0: there are no causes of broken homes and the solution in Nigeria

H1: there are causes of broken homes and the solution in Nigeria

H02: Absence of one or both parent does not influence secondary schools student’s academic performances in school.

H2: Absence of one or both parent influence secondary schools student’s academic performances in school.


The purpose of this study is to find out causes of broken home on academic performance of secondary schools students in Nigeria. This is with a view to suggest ways of minimizing and overcoming the problem. Home play very significant role in child personality formation and socialization, broken homes are identified as one of the factor that undermined the socialization process at home, which consequently affect the performance of student. If the concern of education, secondary schools in particular is to look after socialization process of the child as well as his intellectual development, then this research work would be of great importance to parents and educators, teacher and society at large that absence of one or both of the parent affect children educational career.


The scopes of the study cover effects of broken homes on academic performance of secondary school students. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study

b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

c) Organizational privacy: Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities.


BROKEN HOME: A family in which one parent is absent, usually due to divorce or desertion: children from broken homes. Origin of broken home.

ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE: Academic achievement or (academic) performance is the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their short or long-term educational goals. Cumulative GPA and completion of educational degrees such as High School and bachelor’s degrees represent academic achievement.

SECONDARY SCHOOL: Secondary school is the next step up from primary school. Secondary schools are often called high schools in the United States. In Britain, secondary schools may be public schools, grammar schools or comprehensive schools.


This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows:

Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.