THE IMPACTS OF FAMILY STRUCTURE, PARENTAL
PRACTICES AND FAMILY SIZE ON CHILDREN'S ACADEMIC
Department of Physical and Health Education. University of llorin, llorin, Kwara Nigeria. Abstract
This paper presents the impacts of family structure, parental practices and family size on the academic attainment and performance of children. It briefly stated the types of family structure available: Single-parent families, two- parent families (intact families) and step-parent families. The roles of both the father and the mother in the general up-bringing and maintenance of a congenial home environment are clearly identified in the write up. The impacts or effects of one-parent family structure on the educational attainment of the children were said to be inimical to the academic achievement of children. Likewise the effects of step-parent families and two-parents families on Children's academic achievement were discussed while the differentials were highlighted. Finally, the impacts of parental practices and family size on the academic achievement of children were also discussed. Introduction
Clark, (1983) defines a family as any group of people that are related by blood or marriage especially a group of two grown-up people and their children. Usually, there are two major types or family: Nuclear family and extended family. Nuclear family consists of only the husband and his wife together with their children while Extended family consists of the husband, the wife, the children and other relations living together in a large family compound. Nuclear family type is mostly practiced in Europe, America and some other parts of the world where a young man and his wife atone start to live separately from their parents and start giving birth to children. The extended family type is common in Africa where groups of blood related people live together. Amato (1987) posited that the nature of family from which a child belongs has lot o| influence on the general life pattern of the child. There are many studies carried out to determine the effect of the nature of family on the academic work of the children and these studies have shown positive results which are being applied by classroom teachers and educational counselors or psychologists to guide children's learning. For example, studies of Johnson in 1978, Lolade 1980, Joel 1981 at the guidance and counselling department, University of florin indicate that the smaller a family structure is, the more success recorded by the children as regards the academic pursuit. The reason for this is that more concentrations are given by parents to fewer children than the families where the children are many. These studies include those on single-parent families, both parents families, step-parent families, father involved In parental training and father absent in parental training of the children and the overall consequences on the general academic achievement and behavioral attitudes in life, Family Structure
There are different types of family structures. The structures are based on whether both parents are involved in children's training or whether only one of the parents is involved in the training of the children. In the light of the above assumption, the following family structure types have been identified (Cofornan, 1988): (1) Single parent families in which either of the father or mother is engaged in the training of the children. This situation could arise as a result of death of either of the parents, divorce or as a result of pregnancy arising from irresponsible sex or sex before marriages. (2) Both-parent families: Here, the fathers and the mothers are involved, in the training of the children. However the type of relationships that exist between the fathers and the mothers go a long way in determining the performance of the children in school. Amato (1987) is of the view that both parents may be living together but not intact in their engagements or...
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