Most families in contemporary Nigerian societies cannot be said to be stable. The causes and effects including disorganization of the home (broken home) are many and varied. As a result of which the children suffer their educational development retarded and their academic pursuit jeopardized. The purpose of this study was therefore to investigate implication of broken home on the school child’s academic pursuit. Two hypotheses which were built around the problem under investigation were formulated as a result of knowledge gathered from review of literature related to the problem under study. There upon, the descriptive survey method was adopted and employed. To execute the study, the questionnaire instrument was used in data collection. Twelve research questions were contained in the questionnaire, which was administered to some one hundred senior secondary students, drawn by systemic sampling procedure, from the four senior secondary school in the Mile 2 School Complex in the Amuwo-Odofin Local Education District (LED) of Lagos State. One hundred questionnaires thus administered were scored and analyzed using the percentage statistical method to have a summarized description of the findings which were presented in Tables. Some of the major findings from the investigation revealed among others:

  1. that most students from broken homes often lack the basic learning materials and tools for school work;
  2. that a child from broken home is more likely to lack motivation, feel insecure and most times emotionally disturbed due to the absence of one or both parents;
  3. that students whose parents are divorced are often truants and irregular in school; constitute majority of drop-outs from the school system, and consequently less likely to complete senior secondary school and
  4. that must student who constantly present disciplinary problems in schools and public places are products of troubled or divorced homes; are least likely to get the best of desirable education; and are potential criminals and threat to peace in the society.

The survey has thus far confirmed that there is significant relationship between broken home and the school child’s academic pursuit. There upon, recommendations have been advanced on adoptable procedures and practices which would need to be taken into cognizance in subsequent formulation, implementation and review of educational and social development policies and programmes of government, the society and community at large. Married couples (parents) are also being advised and guided with suggestions on how to minimize if not eliminate, marital conflicts capable of disorganizing the home (broken home). A case for the institution of community based guidance bureaux and an integrated counselor education has also been advocated.  Finally, five areas of research interest for further study and survey have been proposed.



Title page                                                                                i

Certification                                                                            ii

Dedication                                                                              iii

Acknowledgment                                                                    iv

Abstract                                                                                  v-vii

Table of contents                                                          viii-ix

List of Table                                                                            x

Chapter One

Background of the study                                                       1-4

Statement of the problem                                                      4-5

Purpose of the study                                                             5

Significance of the study                                                        5-6

Research hypotheses                                                             6

Scope and delimitation of the study                                     6-7

Definition of term                                                                   7-9

Chapter Two    

Literature Review                                                                   10-38

Chapter Three

Research methodology and procedure

Introduction                                                                           39-40

Area of study                                                                          40

Population for the study                                                        40

Sample and sampling procedure                                          41

Instrument for data collection                                              41-34

Method of data collection                                                      43-44

Method of data analysis                                                        44-45

Chapter Four

Research result and discussion

Introduction                                                                           46

Data analysis and findings                                                    47-63

Chapter Five

Summary, conclusion and recommendations

Summary                                                                                64-65

Conclusion                                                                                       65-67

Implications                                                                           68-70

Recommendations                                                                 71-77

Research interests for further study/survey                       77-78

Bibliography                                                                           79-82

Appendix                                                                                83-86


I        –        Sex distribution of student respondents

II       –        Age- group distribution of student respondents

III      –        Degree of acceptance/positivist towards research statement/questions.



It is universally accepted fact that every nation invests in its children because they are the acknowledged future human resources of the nation.

The home and school are two key institutions involved in the process of realizing the investment obligations of the nation or society on the child. The child-rearing practices and the ways by which the child is socialized are important for his social, moral and intellectual development.

Aside the school being primarily responsible for children’s formal  education and their intellectual growth, it is also responsible for the proper social relations between children.

The learning process in all its various forms-social, intellectual and motor is transmitted to the child only if the psychological conditions empowers him to receive the messages. Developmental emotional, physical or social factors contribute to this empowerment.

The background of the school child is also a factor for success in school. For the purpose of  this study, background may refer to the natural or hereditary endowment that could facilitate as well as limit the school child’s potentials and ability to learn. It may also refer to factors of the school child’s environment including occupational status of parents, attitude of parents towards schooling, stability of the home or family and expectation of parents for the child.

It is in the home that children’s experiences are formed; basic lessons are accomplished by the family before other influences such as school and peer groups begin to give shape to the individual. Social skills, manual skills and intellectual capacities are all sought for  in the home though to a limited extent.

A stable home characterized by marital harmony between mother and father is a sine qua non for the child’s  over-all development. Destructive parental attitudes and patterns which after lead to broken home could have devastating effect on the child. The nature of parent, child relationship is a critical factor in the childs developmental processes. It is therefore reasonable to posit that when a strong, affectionate bond is formed  between parent and child early in the life of the child, the becomes more amiable, co-operative, independent and develops positive self-concept.

When children do not become closely attached to the parents early in life, teeny are likely to be immature, unpopular and dependent, and prone to disruptive and aggressive behaviours. This would definitely affect the much desired feeling of belong to a comfortable social school environment which would have assisted him to show his best.

Most families in Nigeria cannot be said to be stable the causes among which are poverty, intolerance, lack of respect, unfaithfulness, religious differences, ethnically, love for material wealth, and interference from either the wife’s family or husbands family. The children suffer as a result of these; their educational development retarded; and  academic performances jeopardized.

This study/survey is focused on the perceived implication of broken home on the school child’s academic pursuit/performance.


The problem therefore is the implication of broken home on the school child’s  academic pursuit and performance with particular  reference to perceptual disposition of senior secondary students in Mile 2 school complex of the Amuwo-Odofin LED of Lagos State.

The academic performance of a student determines whether he should be promoted to the next level or class. It is also used to compare students level of knowledge acquisition, and/or teacher’s level of performance amongst different schools.

Broken home has a definite way of disturbing  the child at school and making him uneasy because one of the factors of social control and socialization had been disorganized. Children who are victims of disorganized homes are thereby robbed of their models; children are left alone to take crucial decisions about their life prematurely without parental supervision.

Most of these children are therefore prone to delinquent behaviours for lack of parental supervision and maturity to take important decision of life.

Consequently, this study/survey is aimed at investigating the implication of broken home on the general academic performance/pursuit of the school child vis-à-vis the student.


This study, it is hoped, would give insight into the implication or effect of broken home on academic pursuit/performance of the school child as perceived by senior secondary students.

The assessment of the nature of parent – child relationship would also reveal its influences on academic attainment of the children.


This study and the findings there – from would be found useful by parents, teachers and students in finding and advocating means and measure at improving and enhancing the performance of students affected by broken homes with a view to making them more productive.

The findings from this study would also encourage the two key institutions  – the home and the school system to be more alive to the social, emotional  and educational needs and aspirations of the children.


  1. That children from broken homes are more likely to exhibit decline in academic performance
  2. That there is relationship between broken homes and academic performance of children from such homes.


This study focuses mainly on the perceived implication of broken homes on the academic pursuit/performance of the school child with particular reference to perceived disposition of senior secondary students.

The study is restricted to senior secondary students in Mile2 School Complex in the Amuwo – Odofin Local Education District of Lagos State.


Broken Home:-            A home where one or both parents have been removed through death, desertion, divorce, separation or prolonged absence.

Conflict:-                  State of disagreement, violent collision, controversy; emotional disturbances.

Delinquency:-           Lacking in moral and social sense without showing impairment of intellect.

Divorce:-                      A situation where a couple have finally terminated the relationship between them. They are no longer husband and wife it refers to the legal termination of marriage in which case the couple no longer live under the same roof.

Family Crisis:-            A situation for which the usual patterns of family living are inadequate.

Incompatibility:        Incapability of existing together in harmony or at all.

Marriage:-                 Legal union of a man and a woman to become husband and wife for the purpose of establishing a family.

Performance:-             An assessment of an individual throughout a course of study or instruction or schedule.

Physical Broken Home: Means that the couple had been separated through death, divorce or desertion.

Separation:-                 The physical separation of the spouses in which they no longer share the same dwelling. Their marriage only exists in name.

Socialization:            The act or process by which infants and young children become aware of society and their relationships with others. It is also the process by which a new comes learns to participate in social groups and to acquire new skills a process that continues throughout life.

Socio-economic status: Refers to the class structure to which the individuals family belongs.

Surrogate:-                One that takes the place of someone else

Virtue:-                                   Moral excellence

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