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The research is an investigation into the effects of parental care on the academic performance of primary school pupils: a case study of some selected schools in Zaria Local Government Area o Kaduna State. Review of relevant literatures was done and the theoretical framework used for this research is that developed by Epstein (2005), which says that there are six factors with regards to parental involvement in a child’s learning, viz: parenting, communicating, volunteering, learning at home, decision-making and collaborating with the community.  A descriptive research design was adopted for this research work and a total of two hundred (200) respondents participated, who were drawn using a random sampling technique across the various schools. A five-point likert-scale questionnaire was used for data collection. Frequency distribution table and simple percentage were used to analyze and interpret the data. The result from the study reveals that good parental care help to reduce pressure on pupils from their academic environemt and that academic performance of pupils improves with the care received from the parents. Recommendations such as parents should always encourage their children by caring and giving attention to them and making them believe in the importance of education.


Title Page                                                                                                                                                                            i

Declaration                                                                                                                                                                         ii

Approval                                                                                                                                                                              iii

Dedication                                                                                                                                                                          iv

Acknowledgment                                                                                                                                                            v

Abstract                                                                                                                                                                               vi

Table of Contents                                                                                                                                                            vii


1.0          Introduction                                                                                                                                       1

1.1          Background of the study                                                                                                              1

1.2          Statement of the Problem                                                                                                           3

1.3          Objectives of the Study                                                                                                                3

1.4          Research Questions                                                                                                                        4

1.5          Significance of the Study                                                                                                              4

1.6          Scope of the Study                                                                                                                          4

1.7          Limitation of the Study                                                                                                                  5

1.8          Definition of Terms                                                                                                                         5


2.0          Introduction                                                                                                                                       7

2.1          Conceptual Framework                                                                                                                 7

2.1.1      Concept of Parental care                                                                                                              7

2.2          Family Structure                                                                                                                                               17

2.2.1      The Roles of Father and Mother in a Family                                                         18

2.2.2      The Impact of Family Structure and Parental on Children’s Academic Performance                                                                                                                                           20

2.3          Parental Practices and School Achievements                                                       23

2.4          Consequences of Changes in Family Structure                                                    25

2.5          Effects of Family Size on Educational Attainment of Children       26

2.6         Theoretical Review                                                                                                                         27

2.7          Empirical Review                                                                                                                                              29


3.0          Introduction                                                                                                                                       32

3.1          Research Design                                                                                                                                               32

3.2          Population of the Study                                                                                                                                32

3.3          Sample and Sampling Technique                                                                                               33

3.4          Instrument for Data Collection                                                                                   33

3.5          Reliability and Validation of Research Instrument                                              34

3.6          Procedure for Data Collection                                                                                    34

3.7          Procedure for Data Analysis                                                                                                        34


4.0          Introduction                                                                                                                                       35

4.1          Data Presentation and Analysis                                                                                 35

4.2          Discussion of Findings                                                                                                                    46


5.1          Summary                                                                                                                                                             48

5.2          Conclusion                                                                                                                                                          48

5.3          Recommendations                                                                                                                          49

5.4          Suggestions for Further Studies                                                                                49

References         Appendix




The role of a parent to a child at any given time cannot be over emphasized. The home is very germane and crucial to a child’s well being and development in later life. Family is the primary cell of society where the child’s upbringing must begin since his birth, still in cradle. According to V. Hugo, the person’s principles established since childhood are like letters engraved in the bark of a young tree, which grow, enlarge with it making its integral part.

Millions of children around the world are growing up without one or both of their parents. Many more are at risk of separation, due to the impact of poverty, disability and such crises as natural disaster and armed conflict. Children without parental care find themselves at a higher risk of discrimination, inadequate care, abuse and exploitation, and their well-being is often insufficiently monitored. Inadequate care environments can impair children’s emotional and social development and leave them vulnerable to exploitation, sexual abuse and physical violence (Gadsden, 2003).

The effect of parent care on a child at any given time cannot be over emphasized. The home is very relevant and crucial to a child’s well being and development in later life. Family is the primary cell of society where the child’s upbringing must begin since his birth, still in cradle. According to V. Hugo (2008), the person’s principles established since childhood are like letters engraved in the bark of a young tree, which grow, enlarge with it making its integral part. Therefore, right beginning makes the most important part of upbringing/education. Nobody ever said that children were easy to raise. They don’t come with guidelines or instructions, and they certainly don’t come with a pause button. What they do come with is a crucial set of physical and emotional needs that must be met. Failure of the parents to meet these specific needs can have wide-ranging and long-lasting negative effects especially on academic performance. Epistein, (2001). This is because parent in the home are children first teacher. As a child move from infant to toddler and then to a preschooler, he learns how to speak, listen, write and read which latter develop the child to achieve academically. The influence of parents on children school achievement is well documented in numerous studies. Gadsden (2003) says greater parental involvement at early stage in children’s learning, positively affects the child’s school performance including higher academic performance. Harderves (1998) review that family whose children are doing well in school exhibit the following characters:

  1. Establish a daily family routine by providing time and a quite place to study with the children and assigning responsibility for house hold chores.
  2. Monitor out-of-school activities, for example setting limits on television watching, reduce time of playing, monitor the groups of friends the pupils walk with.
  3. Encourage children’s development and progress in school; that is maintaining a worm and supportive home, showing interest in children’s progress at school, helping him or her with home work, discussing the value of a good education and future career with children.

Izzo (1999) studied 1205 US children from kindergarten through to grade 3 in a 3 year longitudinal research programme. Teachers rated four forms of involvement; provision of all the material needs of the child; frequency of parent-teacher contact; quality of parent teacher interaction; participation in educational activities in the home; and participation in school activities. These factors, as well as parental care variables were examined to find any relationship they might have with academic performance of primary school pupils.


Family support and the quality of parental care significantly predicted school adjustment in a sample of 159 young US adolescents (aged 10 –12) followed in a two year longitudinal study. At home parental care clearly and consistently has significant effects on pupil performance and adjustment which far outweigh other forms of achievement. When a child has caring parent and families to support learning, children tend to succeed not just in school, but throughout life. In fact the most accurate predictor of a pupil’s performance in school is not income or social status, but the extent to which that pupil’s family is able to create a home environment that encourages learning and to express high expectations for their children’s future careers and become involve in their children’s education at schools and in the home. However, the researcher seeks to investigate the effect of parental care on the academic performance of primary school pupils.


The following are the objectives of this study:

  1. To examine the effect of parental care on the academic performance of primary school pupils.
  2. To examine the rudiments of parental care and the relationship between parental care and academic performance.
  3. To determine the factors that can influence the academic performance of primary school pupils.


  1. What is the effect of parental care on the academic performance of primary school pupils?
  2. What are the rudiments of parental care?
  3. What are the factors that can influence the academic performance of primary school pupils?


The following are the significance of this study:

This study will help educate the general public on the need for good parental care not only to enhance the pupil academic performance but to prepare the child for the future endeavour with right upbringing so that the child will freely interact with the pairs with better self esteem.

It will also be a handy literature for counselors, parents and pupils to guide them on how best to care and cater for their children.

This research will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, if applied will go to an extent to provide new explanation to the topic


This study will cover all the areas that parents need to properly take care of to properly develop the child physically and emotionally, as the effect of these variables will be examined on the pupil’s academic performance. The research is to cover primary schools in Nigeria but has been delimited to some selected primary schools in Zaria Local Government Area of Kaduna State.


Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.


Academic performance: This also known as academic achievement and it is the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their short and long term educational goals.

Care:  This can be seen as the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance and protection of someone or something.

Child: A child is someone that is between the ages of 1-13 years, who when he/she commits an offence is not legally held by court of law.

Academic performance: This also known as academic achievement and it is the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their short and long term educational goals.

Monogamy: Is a marriage to one person at a time.

Polygamy: It is a custom of having several wives or a system where by a man marries many wives

Family: Refers to group who are closely related by blood especially father, mother and their children.

Society: Is an organized group of individuals who occupy a defined geographical area and who are joined by relationship and patterns of behavior.

Parent: A parent is a caregiver o the offspring of their own species. In humans, a parent is the caretaker of a child.

School: A schools is an institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students (or “pupils”) under the direction of teachers.



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