Family as an institution ordained by God is a major institution found in all societies. Their relative importance and the clarity with which they are defined vary from one society to another. Sociologists, anthropologists, social scientists to mention a few have defined family according to their views. According to Farley (1994), a family is a social group of people related by ancestry, marriage or other committed sexual relationship and their children.

The family is always conspicuous feature of social organization.  It is always easy to locate in the constant awareness of people and is deeply involved in the performance of the functional pre‑requisites. Family institution are basic to society because the provide and cherish new members without which the society would seize to exist. The belief prior to modern times was that the power and prestige of the family was to perform the seven functions which are.

  • Economic function in which the family as self sufficient unit and members of the family consumed primarily what they produce
  • The family served the basic function of giving prestige and status to its member the family name was important and a member of the family was less an individual and more a member of the family.
  • The family provides the function of protecting its members. Not only did the father provide fiscal protection for his family, but children also provide social and economic protection needs of old age.
  • The family exercise a religious function as evidenced by grace is meals, family prayers, reading together passages in the Bible or Quran. Scholars and clergy men have assumed that responsibility for fulfilling the religious function.


It has been established that throughout the life cycle of marriages and families, there is no period in life without the potentials for marital crisis which some times may lead to divorce. Divorce is the best known and the most common means of ending an unsatisfactory material relationship worldwide.

Although, all societies have one or more ways for husbands, wives or both to deal with unsatisfactory marital relationship and other means by which people use to get off, at least temporarily or if not permanently out of marriage includes, desertion, legal separation and information includes agreeing upon separation and annulment.

There are many events within the family that are as stressful which may lead to an end of any marital relationship that is broken home. Some of these events may be destructive because they arise from troubles that reflect poorly on the families’ internal inadequacy. These events may be lack of support, mental breakdown, violence, suicide or alcoholism. These ranges of events either within or outside the families, that disturb the family’s role pattern is numerous. These involve lost of person’s jobs of income and also their additions. The arrivals of a child’s grandmother, mother-in-law may be as disruptive as loss. Also a sudden change in family members in conceptions of their roles may further produce family crises.

All these problems mentioned were responsible for high rate of divorce prevalent in the society nowadays with consequent broken homes: it is at times assumed that modern life leads to increased marital instability. These who hold to this view urged Bible and living Islamic scholars to teach children Arabic language so that the children will be able read the holy bible and Quran.

  • The recreation functions were performed at the home stand of some family or within the family rather than at recreational center outside the home provide by the school, community or
  • The family performed basic function of education, not of infants and children but also of youths for their vocational education, physical and domestic science.
  • The final function was that of providing affection between mates and procreation of children. Many people in our society today are committed to the idea that these traditional function of the family should be maintained, that is, families should have priority over individualism, education should be centered in the home, children should care for their parents, prayer and religious rituals should be a basic part of the daily life of the family, recreation should be encouraged in the family as a unit and exclusively within the family.

Emergent norms suggest that many of the traditional functions are being preformed by other agencies rather than the families. The economic function has gone to the factory, office and stories. The prestige and status function is increasingly centering on a family member family name. Teachers have become substitute parents and are basically responsible for the education of child. Police reforms schools, social security and other type of legislation by the state, which have replaced the traditional protective function.

The professional priest Islamic clerics that marry in traditional societies were practically permanent broken family they asserted only occurs as a result of death of any of any of the partner. Other factors that also contributed to the high rate of broken homes, is the practices of polygamy, which is very prevalent in Africa. Although the foundation of sources of polygamous marriage can be traced to the tradition belief, Quran support, traditional belief, ones social life level, wealth issues of barrenness on the part of the wife and failure of the wife to perform some other social obligations. Divorce rate according to some authorities is far higher in the united state of America than most other countries for examples statistical report showed that the number of divorce that took place per 1000 person in the total population in the united state in 1984 was 5.0% this means that for every 1000 in the population, 10.0 persons obtained 5.0% marriages ended in divorce or annulment. It is also argued that broken homes are common among the Protestants than the Catholics.

In Nigeria, broken homes are said to be on the increase to day, particularly in the urban towns. This social ill has been found to have serious social, economical and political implications on the society. And this is why students from broken homes have found to be exposed to many untold hardship with consequent academic problems such as inability to provide text books, non‑ payment of school fees, at times non‑ provisions of good school uniform, writing chair and desk and other import school materials. At times such also having psychological problems based on instability at home.



The poor academic performance of most secondary students in Lagos, is the educational issue that rise to the research problems which are associated with their background.

  • Is there any relationship between students’ family background and his academic performance?
  1. Is there any relationship between parental care and students’ academic performance?
  2. Is there any relationship between family disputes and students academic performance.
  3. Is it possible for student from broken homes to perform better than those students from peaceful stable homes academically?

The following hypotheses are developed for testing this study,

(Ho1) There is no significant relationship between student’s family

background and academic performance.

(Ho2) There is no significant relationship between parental cares and students academics performance.

(Ho3) There is no significant relationship between family dispute and student’s academic performance.

(Ho4) There is no possibility of students from a stable peaceful home to perform better than those from broken homes academically.


The result of the study will help students to know fully the meaning and causes of broken homes on the academic performance of students. Also to know if it is possible for students from broken home to perform better than students from a peaceful stable homes. It will help the student to plan for peaceful and stable marital life when they attained the age of marriage.


This research study will focus on Nigeria society in general and it is limited to selected secondary schools in Iba Local Government Area of Lagos state as a specific case study. The choice of Iba Local Government Area as case study is because financial and time constraints and also due to transportation problems to and from Iba Local Government and Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education. This study gave the researchers opportunity to look a problem that has been on the increase in Iba Local Government Area.


The main purpose of this study is to focus attention on the causes and effects of broken homes on the students’ academic performance. The study is to examine:

*      Some of the problems associated with broken homes.

*      Drawing the attention of Nigeria society on the negative effects of broken homes on student’s academic performance.

*      The implication of broken homes on students and society at large.

*      The rate at which students performance in academic can reduced as a result of broken home.


For the purpose of this research work and clarity, the following terms used in this research work are defined thus:

PARENT: Parents consist of the father and mother one who begets or on who give birth to or nurtures and raise a child, a relative who plays the role of guardian.

FAMILY:  This is a primary social unit defined as micro‑ society. It is also the smallest social organization that is linked by blood.

HOME ENVIRONMENT: In this study, the variables under home environment are educational and emotional stimulation like toys, books, magazines programmed e.t.c.

ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE: This refers to child’s achievement scores within the class and his position relative to all subjected to the test enhanced out of the school opportunity to learn:

(a)    Education members of family who teach them after school.

(b)    Education toys and other resource materials.

(c)    Parents who watched the progress of their work and gives support as the need arose.

FAMILY DISORGANIZATION: Family disorganization may imply maladjustment, malfunctioned, psychological feelings and existence of family problems. According to William Goode, family disorganization can be dissolution of a structure of social role when one or more members fail to perform adequately their role or obligation.

Divorce: This refers to a couple legally terminated their marriage relationship. They are no longer husband and wife. It is refers to the legal termination of marriage, in this case they no longer live under the same roof.

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