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TITLE PAGE – – – – – – – i
APPROVAL PAGE – – – – – – ii
DEDICATION – – – – – – – iii
ABSTRACT – – – – – – – viii
CHAPTER ONE – – – – – – – 1
Introduction – – – – – – – – 1
Statement of the Problem- – – – – – 5
Research Questions – – – – – – 7
Purpose of the Study – – – – – – 7
Significance of the Study – – – – – – 8
CHAPTER TWO- – – – – – – 9
Review of Literature – – – – – – 9
Theoretical Framework of the Study – – – – 9
Empirical Review of the Study – – – – – 28
Hypotheses – – – – – – – – 33
Operational Definition – – – – – – 33
CHAPTER THREE – – – – – – 35
Method – – – – – – – – 35
Participants – – – – – – – – 35
Instruments – – – – – – – – 35
Validity – – – – – – – – – 36
Reliability – – – – – – – – 36
Procedure – – – – – – – – 37
Design/ Statistics – – – – – – – 37
CHAPTER FOUR – – – – – – 38
Results – – – – – – – – 38
Table of Analysis – – – – – – – 38
CHAPTER FIVE – – – – – – – 41
Discussion and Conclusion – – – – – 41
Discussion – – – – – – – – – 41
Conclusion – – – – – – – – 45
Recommendations – – – – – – – 45
Implications of the Study – – – – – – 46
Limitations of the Study – – – – – – 47
Suggestions for Further Study – – – – – 47
REFERENCES – – – – – – – 49
APENDIX I – – – – – – – 54
APENDIX II – – – – – – – 56
The study centered on the effect of gender and socio-economic status on
academic performance. Hundred students (43 males and 52 females) from
Idemili-South Local Government Area were used in the study. The ages of
the participants ranged from 12 to 24 years with a mean age of 18.32 and
standard deviation of 3.76. A 30 item questionnaire on academic
performance and socio-economic status was used in the study. Independent
T. Test and One Way Analysis of Variance were used to test the two
hypotheses in the study. The findings indicated that the first hypothesis
which stated that there will be no significant difference between males and
females on academic performance was rejected t (98) = 2.8, P > .05. Also
the second hypothesis which stated that there will be no significant
difference among students of high, middle and low socio-economic status on
academic performance was not confirmed at F (2, 97) = 0.84, P > .05. Based
on the findings, recommendations were made.
The value of education cannot be overemphasized in the life of every
individual. This is because it is a process by which the mind develops
through learning. Etymologically, the term education is derived from the
Latin word “educare” meaning “to lead out”; that is, leading out of darkness
into light. Ukeje (1973) opined that the process of education occurs
whenever any influence produces a change in the physical and mental
behaviour of an individual.
These definitions emphasize the dynamic nature of education in its
role to bring refinement in the totality of ones behaviour. Hence, it is vital in
the developmental process of every individual in the society.
Education is the best legacy a nation can give to her citizens
especially the youths. This is because the development of any nation or
community depends largely on the quality of education of such a nation. The
basis for any true development must commence with the development of
human resources. Hence, formal education remains the vehicle for socioeconomic development and social mobilization in any society.
It is generally assumed that the quality of family’s socio-economic
development has an important association with children’s academic
motivation and achievement, and with young adults’ eventual educational
and occupational attainments. Kellaghan (1993) claims, for example, that the
family environment is the most powerful influence in determining students’
school achievement, academic motivation, and the number of years of
schooling they will receive. Hence, there is no gainsaying the fact that the
family’s socio-economic status is one of the main determinants of the
academic performance of a student.
In Wikipedia encyclopedia, sociologists defined socio-economic
status, (sometimes shortened to SES), as a sociological classification
indicating the close relationship between someone’s relative wealth and that
person’s social status. Wikipedia encyclopedia also defined social status as
the honor or prestige attached to one’s position in society (one’s social
position). The stratification system, which is the system of distributing
rewards to the members of society, determines social status. Wikipedia
encyclopedia further noted that social status, (that is, the position or rank of
a person or group within the stratification system), can be determined in two
ways. One can earn their social status by their own achievements (e.g.
through education, occupation etc), this is known as achieved status; one can
be placed in the stratification system by their inherited position, this is called
ascribed status. In modern societies, occupation is usually thought of as the
main determinant of status, but other memberships or affiliations (such as
ethnic group, religion, gender, voluntary associations, hobby) can have an
The National Center for Educational Statistics (2008) defined socioeconomic status as an economic and sociological combined total measure of
a person’s work experience and of an individual’s or family’s economic and
social position relative to others, based on income, education, and
occupation. When analyzing a family’s SES, the household income earners’,
education and occupation are examined. Demarest, Reisner, Anderson,
Humphrey, Farquhar, and Stein (1993) similarly noted that a family’s socioeconomic status is based on family income, parental education level,
parental occupation, and social status in the community (such as contacts
within the community, group associations, and the community’s perception
of the family).
According to Wikipedia encyclopedia, socio-economic status is
typically broken into three categories, namely; high socio-economic status,
middle socio-economic status, and low socio-economic status to describe the
three areas a family or an individual may fall into. Demarest, Reisner,
Anderson, Humphrey, Farquhar, and Stein (1993) opined that families with
high socio-economic status often have more success in preparing their young
children for school because they typically have access to a wide range of
resources to promote and support young children’s development. They are
able to provide their young children with high-quality child care, books, and
toys to encourage children in various learning activities at home. In addition,
families with high socio-economic status often seek out information to help
them better prepare their young children for school. On the other hand,
families with low socio-economic status often lack the financial, social, and
educational supports that characterize families with high socioeconomic
status. Poor families also may have inadequate or limited access to
community resources that promote and support children’s development and
school readiness. Families with middle socio-economic status may be
privileged to have some financial backing that will enable them provide
better education for their children, though it may not be quite sufficient.
Wikipedia encyclopedia stated that when placing a family or
individual into one of these categories, any or all of the three variables
income, education, and occupation must be assessed. Income refers to
wages, salaries, profits, rents, and any flow of earnings received. Income can
also come in the form of workers compensation, social security, pensions,
interests or dividends, royalties, trusts, or other governmental, public, or
family financial assistance. Education also plays a role in income. Median
earnings increase with each level of education. The highest degrees,
professional and doctoral degrees for instance, make the highest weekly
earnings while those without a high school diploma are financially
penalized. Higher levels of education are associated with better economic
and psychological outcomes (i.e. more income, more control, and greater
social support and networking). Occupational prestige as one component of
socio-economic status encompasses both income and educational attainment.
Occupational status reflects the educational attainment required to obtain the
job and income levels that vary with different jobs and within ranks of
Following the above discussion, we can conclude that families with
low socio-economic status often lack the financial, social, and educational
supports that characterize families with high socio-economic status. The
effect this has on academic performance of secondary students is what we
have to find out in this work.
Shittu, (2004) observed that where a child suffers parental and
material deprivation and care due to divorce or death, or absconding of one
of the parents, the child’s schooling may be affected, for the remaining
parent may not be financially buoyant to pay school fee, purchase books,
uniforms etc, thus the child’s performances in school may be adversely
affected. Similarly, good parenting supported by strong economic home
background could enhance strong academic performance of the child. This
further predicts academic performance of the child.
Poverty and low socio-economic status coupled with high rate of
paternal and maternal deprivations, which was necessitated by poor socioeconomic situation, has thrown many farmers and old rural dwellers into
untold financial problems such as poverty, lack of money to purchase
necessary textbooks and working materials for their children. Many rural
and suburban dwellers can no longer pay the school fees of their wards.
These ugly situations have necessitated young school students to dropout of
school to engage in subsistence farming and become housemaids or engage
in other menial jobs to support their academic pursuit. Hence, many students
have since taken schooling as a secondary assignment and school attendance
on rotational basis. The resultant problem posed by this, is poor academic
performance in school examination like National Examination Council
(NECO) and West African Examination Council (WAEC). This trend is
posing huge problems to parents, stakeholders in education, governments
and the nation at large. This work thus examines the effect of socioeconomic status in the poor academic performance of secondary school
students in Idemili-South Local government Area of Anambra State.
Answer to the following research question will be provided by the
i. Will there be any significant difference between males and females
on academic performance?
ii. Will there be any significant difference between students of high,
middle and low socio-economic status on academic performance?
The following is the objective of the research:
i. To determine the effect of gender on academic performance.
ii. To find out the effect of socio-economic status on the academic
performance of students.
This study will be of great importance in finding out whether gender
or socio-economic status of parents determine the educational performance
or academic achievement of secondary school students. This information is
necessary, for if low socio-economic status of parents affects the academic
performance of students, then government funding will be called for so as to
support these indigent families acquire basic education.


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