Economics project topics

Socio Economic Status of Parents and Students Academic Performance in Economics in Senior Secondary Schools

Socio Economic Status of Parents and Students Academic Performance in Economics in Senior Secondary Schools




Title page





Table of Contents       

Lists of tables

List of appendices



1.1     Background to the study

1.2      Statement of the Problem

1.3       Objective of the study            

1.4       Research Questions   

1.5       Research Hypotheses

1.6       Significance of the study        

1.7       Delimitations of the study       

1.8       Limitations of the study

1.9       Definition of Terms


2.1       Theoretical Framework           

2.1.1    Thorndike’s Theory of Connectionism

2.1.2    Lewin’s Field theory of Motivation    

2.2       Conceptual Framework

2.2.1    Concept of Socio-economic   

2.2.2    Concept of Home       

2.2.3    Importance of the Home         

2.2.4    Parents’ income and Learning of Science

2.2.5    Parental Educational Attainment and Learning of Science

2.2.6    Parental Assistance in Education and Learning of Science     

2.3       Empirical Framework 

2.3.1    Parents’ Income and Academic Performance in Economics

2.3.2    Parental Educational Attainment and Academic Performance

2.3.3    Parental Assistance in Education and Academic Performance

2.4       Summary of literature review


3.1       Research Design         

3.2       Area of Study 

3.3       Population of Study    

3.4       Sample and Sampling Technique        

3.5       Instrumentation           

3.6       Validation of the instruments  

3.7       Reliability of the instruments

3.8       Scoring

3.9       Research Procedure

3.10     Method of Data Analysis        


4.1       Results          

4.2       Discussion of Result

4.3       Summary Findings      


5.1       Summary        

5.2       Conclusion     

5.3       Implication of the Study         

5.4       Recommendations      

5.5       Suggestion for further Study   

5.6       References

5.7       Appendix     


Socio Economic Status of Parents and Students Academic Performance in Economics in Senior Secondary Schools



The study examined parental socio-economic status on students’ academic performance in Economics. Three research questions and three research hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. A survey research design was used for the study. The population of the study comprised 1246 senior secondary two (SS2) Economics students in three (3) public secondary schools in Abak Local Government Area. The sample size used for the study was one hundred students (100) draw from two public schools using simple random sampling technique. Parents’ Socio-economic Questionnaire (PSQ) and Economics Achievement Test (BSAT) were the instruments for data collection. Reliability indices of 0.74 and 0.75 were obtained using Pearson Product Moment Correlation. Mean, standard deviation and independent t-test statistics were used to analyze the data.

The result revealed that parental education, income and parental assistance of students in doing homework significantly influence the academic performance of students in Economics. Based on the findings, it is recommended that parents should show greater interest and support to the education of their children irrespective of their income and educational level.




1.1       Background of the Study

In general education provides knowledge, skills and attitude which are harnessed for the development of the nation. The development of the nation starts from the home, when the home succeeds in teaching and impacting good values in their children, the country becomes a better place to live. Education does not only provide knowledge and skills, but also inculcates values, training of instinct, fostering right attitude and habits. Furthermore, since education start from the home this is the first place of contact of the child to the world and parent being the first teacher to the child, it can be posited that parent’s socio-economic background can have possible effects on the educational performance of secondary school students. Home environment is one of such variables.

The home environment involves the location of the house, the facilities in the house as well as the people in the immediate environment. When the environment where the child lives is motivating the child with ease will interact freely with the other members of such environment which indirectly influence their learning experiences.

Parents of different occupational classes often have different styles of child rearing, and disciplining their children as well as reacting to their children educational needs. These differences do not express themselves consistently as expected in the case of every home; rather they influence the average tendencies of parents for different occupational classes and the educational outcome of the children (Rothestain, 2004).Another socio-economic background of the parents is the parents’ education which is an important factor found in literature to have a positive relationship with students’ academic performance.

According to Smith and Francesconi (2010), in a study on impact of home background on educational attainment in high schools in San-Francisco, the finding showed that there is a significant relationship between each parent’s educational level and their children performance in school. They further explained that mother education has a strong association with the children academic performance than that of the father. This therefore means that children from parents who attain formal education do show self-involvement in the education of their children and this becomes the motivational factor for the students to study hard and aim high because their home environment has not expose them to the kinds of materials used in schools.

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If home environment is not intellectually stimulating, students find it difficult to cope in school and may eventually drop-out of school. Thus researchers have shown that socio-economic status and host of other factor relating to home environments of students, such as educational level, income level, environment, means of recreation and parent’s interest in education could have effect on children academic performance(Okon, 2017, Anietie, 2015 and Edem, 2014).

Parental educational status refers to the level which the father and mother attain educationally and it is the qualification of the parents (father and mother). Some parents are formally educated which means they have formal education while some parents are not formally educated. Formal education involves education carried out in schools while the non-formal education is any organized educational activity that takes place outside the conventional school system with no specific target group such as carpentry, mechanics, tailoring, shoe mending, computer operating and blacksmithing (Inyang, 2016).

According to Percus (2011), the relationship between parental educational status and students’ academic performance in science has been widely reported that students from educated parents with good occupation perform better in schools. Formally educated parents do, however, share some unique demographic characteristics that differentiate them from non-formally educated parents. Formally educated parents assist the children in doing their assignment at home, pay for home teachers to teach the children at home after school, buy books that the children will read at home and monitor the level of their children academic performance in school in comparison to non-formally educated parents. 

On the contrary, formally educated parents do also tend to have specific challenges that impede their ability to effectively educate their children. These challenges may be evidenced across all homes, they are perhaps most potent in formally educated parents that they are too busy and handover the children to be taken care of by caregivers and home teachers without paying keen attention to children educational development, lack of motivation to the children and lack of steady parental care for their children (King, 2011).

The level of income of the parent is another factor which assists parents to be classified socially to different strata in the society which may play important role in the academic performance of the students in secondary schools and universities. According to Samuel (2014) the level of income is the amount of money the parents (father and mother) receive monthly, weekly or daily from their occupational activities. Samuel emphasized that the level of income of the parents may be determined by the level of education the parents attain and this may influence the level of exposure of the parents which make the parents to be versatile in encouraging the children academically.

The children from these rich parents may be inherently motivated to be like their parents when they grow and this will make them to study well in school. On the other hand children from poor parents are likely to experience learning disabilities and developmental delays than children from rich parents. Although some students from poor background are motivated and encouraged by their parents academically by providing home teachers for these children at home, this tends to increase the intrinsic motivation of the children and increase the academic performance in school.

Children from rich parents tend to be exposed to good learning materials at home which assist them in doing their homework and assignment as some parents have personal libraries at home where the children can sit and read comfortably. These students live mostly in the urban areas where there are adequate basic amenities like hospitals, public libraries, research centers and other educational resource centers. Contrary, parents who are poor may not be exposed to good learning materials at home to assist the children in doing their homework and assignment. These poor parents may not have personal libraries at home where the children can sit and read comfortably. These sorts of students live mostly in the rural areas where there are no adequate basic amenities (Utah, 2015).

Byoung (2012) stated that the students need safe, healthy and stimulating environment in which they grow and learn at home. During the secondary school stage, the students can spend long time at home where the environment plays a critical role in children’s formation and development.

According to Enang (2012), the actions and how people behave depends on who the people stay with and where they stay; since the development of the child is determined by the environment and the biological make up of the child. This condition requires careful planning and arrangement of educational related activities at home such as home lesson to optimized experiences that support learning. Therefore, the home environment is of paramount importance in shaping and reshaping intellectual ability of the students.

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This implies that supportive and favorable home environment enriched with enough learning facilities, favourable climate makes students more comfortable, concentrated on their academic activities that resulted in high academic performance. This educational process occurs in physical, social, cultural and psychological environment. A proper and adequate learning environment is very much necessary for a meaningful learning. Kainuwa and Yusuf (2013) stated that the home environment and home processes food preparation and washing of clothes provide a network of physical, social and intellectual forces and factors which affect the student’s learning. According to them, the home’s level of encouragement, expectations and educational activities in the home are related to socio-economic status of parents.

Apart from the socio-economic status such as educational status, income level and interest in education by parents, another socio-economic factor is the availability of facilities in the home which enable children to develop problem solving skills and promote interest in learning science.

When students are not exposed to good facilities like home library, play materials, information and communication technology and garden precisely in the home, they tend to be performing high in school. These material like the information and communication technology facilities and play materials can be used by the students with their parents to during recreation and these may influence their performance in school. Udom (2009) identified recreational facilities as the major factor contributing to children motivation to learn at home and increases students’ academic performance in the school system.

Sign (2014) posited that learning takes place in a conducive environment within a web of social relationship as parents and children interacts. All aspects of the home environment provide survival, protection, development and participation in the learning process to the students. This means that the focus is on learning which strengthens the capacities of students to act progressively on their own behalf through the acquisition of relevant knowledge, useful skills and appropriate attitudes which help them to create for themselves and others a safety place, security and healthy intervention in promoting students’ academic performance in Economics. It is against this background that this work is being undertaken to empirically investigate the possible effect of parental socio-economic status on student’s academic performance in Economics in selected secondary schools in Abak Local Government Area.


1.2       Statement of the Problem

Home is the first point of contact of children in the world and the home consist of two important adults’ father and mother of which each of them occupy a specific position and function in the overall development of the children. When both parents are present, it implies that the child would derive much care from them and according to psychology; these children develop emotional and psychological attachment to their parents. However, in some homes a gap in a child’s life may be created when the child loses the support that would have emanated from the parent due to poverty, lack of formal education of the parents, poor environment and place of recreation of the parents.

Experience has shown that among the secondary school students, there exist some differences which influence student’s academic performance, such as some students being able to pay their school fees promptly, while others are often being sent away for non-payment of school fees. Some student have problem with the provision of school uniform but others do not.

Likewise, some students are motivated by their parents through the provision of educational materials like text books and exercise books and other parents do not; equally some students come to school properly fed, others do not. These then motivated the researcher to ask whether these differences among students which arises as a result of different home socio-economic background could influence the students’ academic performance in school. In the quest to provide answer to this question, triggers the investigation into parents’ socio-economic status and students’ performance in Economics in secondary schools in Abak Local Government Area.


Socio Economic Status of Parents and Students Academic Performance in Economics in Senior Secondary Schools


1.3       Objectives of the Study

The main objective of the study is to investigate the influence of parental socio-economic status on students’ academic performance in Economics in public secondary schools in Abak Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. In order to achieve the main objective, the study aimed at achieving the following specific objectives:

  1. To examine parental educational level and students performance in Economics in secondary schools in Abak Local Government Area;
  2. To examine parent’s income level and students’ performance in Economics in secondary schools in Abak Local Government Area; and
  3. To investigate parental assistance at home and students’ performance in Economics in secondary schools in Abak Local Government Area.
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1.4       Research Questions

The following questions were stated to guide the study:

  1. What difference exists in academic performance of students based on parental education in Economics?
  2. What difference exists in academic performance of students based on parental income in Economics?
  3. What difference exists in academic performance of students based on parental assistance in Economics?

1.5       Research Hypothesis

The following research hypotheses were formulated in line with the research questions to guide the study:

  1. There is no significant difference in academic performance of students based on parental education.
  2. There is no significant difference in academic performance of students from high-income parents and students from low-income in Economics.
  3. There is no significant difference in academic performance of students whose parents assist in doing homework and those whose parents do not assist in doing homework.


1.6       Significance of the Study

The findings of this study will be of great significance to parents and guardians, teachers, government, educational planners and school counselors, religious and non-governmental organization in the following ways:

  1. To the parents and guardians, the findings of this study will enable them to have the knowledge and skills to study their children very well to know their educational needs and challenges. Also to have alternative ways of child rearing without abusing them through poor socio-economic status.
  2. To the teachers, the study will help them to develop critical and creative mind in the selection of instructional strategies which will motivate the students in the teaching/learning process irrespective of their parents’ socio-economic status.
  3. To the government, the study will help them to understand the various ways which parents’ socio-economic status have influenced the performance of students and proffer ways of assisting the parents as well as ways of helping the students who are from different socio-economic status.
  4. The study will help educational planners to understand the effect of parents’ socio-economic status on students, so that they know where and how to start combating it in the planning of the educational programme in schools.
  5. To the school counselors, the study will provide useful information to them for the effective counseling of both parents and students on the consequences of parents’ socio-economic status on students’ performance in school.
  6. Through this study, religious organization and non-governmental organizations will understand the effect of parental socio-economic status and students’ performance and thus obtain appropriate knowledge on how best to contribute and participate in the educational sector.
  7. This study will also contribute to the body of knowledge in general by providing direction to future researchers who may wish to further their investigation on similar topic


1.7       Delimitation of the Study

The study was restricted to an investigation into parental socio-economic status on students’ performance in Economics in public secondary schools in Abak Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. It is also limited in scope to selected public secondary schools in Abak Local Government Area only. Therefore research finding on the issue was not generalized as it remained valid only to selected secondary schools in Abak Local Government Area where the investigation was conducted.

1.8    Limitations of the Study

The study was faced with several challenges which encompassed lack of adequate finance; and inability of the researcher to gather information on the parents’ socio-economic status which influenced the extent of this research work as well as lack of sufficient time due to other academic work of the researcher.


1.10   Definition of Terms

The following terms were defined as used in the study:

Socio-economic status: This refers to individual’s or groups’ demographic, social and economic position in relation to others. In this study, socio-economic status was measured in terms of level of education, income, interest in education, means of recreation and environment. 

Parents: This refers tithe father and mother of a child whose duty is to take care and provide for the child. It may also refer to the child guardian (i.e. a person who take place of the father and mother in the absent of the real parents).

Academic Achievement: This is the grade or scores of students in examination or continuous assessment.

Level of Educational: This means the stage one reach educationally from primary, secondary to tertiary level.

Income Level: This is the level of monetary payment receive for goods or services, or from other sources as rent or investment. In this study, income level was measured based on the total monetary payments of the parents’ goods or services, rents or investment.

Parental Assistance: This refers to the amount of participation a parent has when it comes to schooling and her child’s education. In this study, parental assistance in education was measured in terms of assistance of students with assignments at home and parental participation in school meetings and provision of materials for learning.

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