Effect of single parenthood on pupils achievement in mathematics in senior secondary school in AMAC


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This research project was aimed at Effect of single parenthood on pupil’s achievement in mathematics in senior secondary school in Abuja Municipal Area Council. Three hundred copies of questionnaire were used for this study to collect information and data from senior secondary schools in Abuja Municipal Area Council. This study revealed the age of students, their gender, their family’s size, and their parents’ occupation. It also revealed the causes of single parenting among the people of Abuja Municipal Area Council. This study further revealed the effects of single parenting on teenagers and the single parents. Also, it revealed the influence of single parenting on children’s academic performance. Likewise, this study revealed the effects of single parenting on the society. This study also revealed the importance of parent-child relationship, and parent/family involvement in students’ academic work. Finally, this study has helped to suggest some techniques that will help to alleviate, to a great extent, the dangerous effects of single parenting on the academic performance of Mathematics in senior secondary students.


Nigeria is the largest in Africa but there is problem of single parenting which have affected many children lives both in Northern , Southern and Eastern, because thousands of single parents find it cumbersome to send their children to school especially this time of economic hardship in the country. Coontz (2017) explains that Single-parent families can be defined as families where a parent lives with dependent children, either alone or in a larger household, without a spouse or partner. There was a rapid and drastic increase in the number of single-parent families in the latter half of the twentieth century. This change has been used by some to argue that we are witnessing the breakdown of the family. He further stated that single parenting as a married couple residing with their dependent offspring with negative effects for children, families and societal. Donkor (2010) examines that single parenting refers to the situation whereby one parent caring for the responsibilities of the child / children instead of both parents. He further states that single parenting has contributed immensely to destruction lives of many children because inability to provide their needs. Thomas (2018) states that single parenting is a person who lives with a child or children and who does not have a wife, or husband with live as a partner. He further states that a single parenting may have either sole custody of the child or joint physical custody, where the child lives part-time with each parent. Reasons for becoming a single parenting include divorce, break-up, abandonment, death of the other parent, childbirth by a single woman or single-person adoption. A single parent family is a family with children that is headed by a single parent. Adebola (2013) defines Single parenthood as when one of two parents who are responsible for the nurturing and child rearing is not available and the responsibilities meant for two people is now being carried out by one person. Azuka-Obieke, (2016). explains that Single parenting a situation when a mother or father who looks after his or her children on their own, without the input of the other partner. He further states that Single parenting have been on the increase, although the actual percentage is unknown, but practical experience and newspaper reports revealed that there is an increase of single parenthood in the country. AugustinaChigozie was reported in vanguard newspaper on 4th of March 2016, on how she had been coupling as single parent. For instance, in most ethnic groups in Nigeria, parental and maternal roles are clearly defined among the Yoruba’s, maternal roles include children rearing, home training and playing complimentary roles, while that of paternal roles are that of providing for the family basic necessities and discipline of the children, when any of the parents are not available to fulfilled their responsibilities it may affects their children upbringing and may turn the children into wayward and academics failures. George (2015). definite a single parent is a parent not living with a spouse. The single parent has most of the day to responsibilities in raising the child or children. This herculean task cannot be accomplished by an individual. Ossat (2017) emphasis that corroborated thus, single parenthood is the practice of raising children or building family without a spouse or partner. As a form of building a family, single parenthood (single parenting) is now permissible in our society. In the western society in general, the child ends up with the primary caregiver usually the mother or the father when there is separation. Some sociologists perceive the prevalence of single parenting as an alternative family form, rather than as (2003) states that the death of a partner was a major cause of single parenting and other causes include separation, divorce of a married couple, divorce of children that were in cohabitation, early pregnancy, etc. However, children with single parents are three times more likely to drop out of school than children from two parent families. The demographic of single parenting shows a general increase worldwide in children living in single parent homes. A child from a home where the father and mother are present will be taken care of and will socialize in the best way possible. This is due to the fact that the process of socialization depends on both parents playing complementary role in the upbringing of the child, such a child is likely to achieve self actualization later in life, unlike children from single parent home who are likely to suffer deprivation and denial of some right and opportunities. Amato (2003) asserted that single parenthood is problematic for the children’s socialization because many with one receive less economic and social support with practical assistance, less information, guidance and supervision, less role modeling than children in two parent families.

Among children in single parent families, those from mother absent homes and mother absent household earn lower grades than children from father absent households. Children from father absent households generally find it difficult to connect with school activities both academically and morally George (2016) defines single parent as a couple who separate either by death or towards inability of one another to satisfy each other’s. He further states that many partners have been separated because of inability of one to perform his /her responsibility in the family. Jallingo, (2000) emphasizes that single parenting is phenomenon which rampant among the people who are not competent to each other’s. He further states that single parenting common in our society because of misunderstanding among the couples.

The child is morally upright and emotionally stable when both parentscooperate in taking good care of him. The family is the first agent of socialization thechild come in contact with, and the family has a great influence on the child’s physical,mental, moral, emotional, spiritual, and academic development. The family lays thestrong foundation of education before the child goes to school and the personality thatthe child takes to school is determined by the home. “Charity begins at home,” saysthe wise ones. Parents have roles to play in the child’s educational development. In thetypical Nigerian society, the father is to provide food, water, shelter, security, andother necessary tools for the educational advancement of the child. The mother complements the efforts of the father in all her capacity, showing love and care to thechild, helping the child carry out the house chores, do the assignments, and disciplinethe child in love. The absence or vacuum created by any of these two to a large extentaffect the growth and development of the child in the right direction. Therefore, thetwo parents play significant roles in their development. Hence, this study examined theimpact of single parenting on students’ academic performance in Mathematics at thesenior secondary school level.

A single parent faces doubled responsibilities requiring time, attention, and finance. Hence, less attention is paid to the education of the child, because the parentwill be hustling in search for money, so that the child won’t experience malnutrition,thereby making the parent neglect his/her duties of helping the child academically,especially in Mathematics. Teachers describe children from single parents as morehostile, aggressive, anxious, fearful, hyperactive, and distractible than children fromintact families (Salami 1998). Therefore, the general objectives of this study is to findout the various causes of single parenting, find out the impacts of single parenting on child’s performance in Mathematics, find out the ways by which single parents canhelp to improve their children’s academic performance in Mathematics, and suggestways by which single parents can create time and give attention to their children’sacademic achievement in Mathematics. Specifically, the main objectives of this study are:

(i) Examine the various problems children from single parents face in Abuja Municipal Area Council of FCT Abuja;

(ii) Find out the impacts of single parenting on children from single parents as regards the payment of their school fees, purchase of textbooks and otherlearning materials, and concentration in class; and

(iii) Find out the impacts of single parenting on the child’s academic performance in Mathematics in Abuja Municipal Area Council of FCT Abuja.

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