1.1 Background of the Study

Education is a lifelong process that begins from birth and continues throughout an individual's life. It is considered a fundamental tool for personal development and societal growth. The quality of education is a crucial factor in the development of both developed and developing countries. Akanle (2007) emphasizes that the development of human resources through education is the foundation for the development of any nation or community.

Social Studies, as an integrated subject, plays a vital role in providing a holistic understanding of human existence. It encompasses various aspects of social, economic, environmental, cultural, physical, and psychological dimensions of life. The aim is to foster the all-round development of individuals, enabling them to become responsible and useful citizens in society. Quality academic achievement, as assessed through continuous assessment and national examinations, is a key determinant of a student's success at the secondary school level.

The future success of the educational system is closely tied to students' academic achievement, especially considering the demands of globalization and technological revolution. The emphasis on higher literacy levels creates a greater need for well-prepared individuals entering higher education institutions. Therefore, stakeholders in education view students' academic achievement at the secondary school level as a crucial goal to produce high-quality candidates for higher institutions and national development.

Parents, as the first teachers of their children, play a significant role in influencing students' academic performance. The level of parental education, occupation, family size, and motivation are among the factors that contribute to or hinder students' success. The socio-economic status of parents, reflected in their educational background and occupation, can impact the support and environment they provide for their children's learning.

Parental education, in particular, has been identified as a key factor in determining students' academic performance. Children from families where parents have higher education tend to perform better in school. Additionally, parental occupation influences students' career choices and opportunities for formal education. Family size, whether large or small, also has implications for the attention and support each child receives.

Motivation from educated parents strengthens academic aspirations and language development in children, contributing to better academic performance. The residence of students, whether in urban or rural areas, can also influence their learning experiences and outcomes.

This study aims to investigate the influence of parental variables, including level of education, occupation, family size, and motivation, on students' academic achievement in Social Studies in Eket Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Despite efforts to improve education through policies such as free and compulsory education and infrastructure renovations in schools, poor academic performance among students remains a significant concern. Various factors contribute to the challenges in teaching and learning social studies in secondary schools. These include teachers' attitudes, teacher-student relationships, teaching methods, lack of facilities, family characteristics, students' attitudes, health, personality traits, and overall interest in the subject.

The specific problems associated with learner's interest in the learning process are interconnected with family characteristics. The study focuses on understanding the influence of parental variables, including education level, occupation, family size, and motivation, on students' academic achievement in Social Studies. Identifying these factors is essential for addressing the root causes of poor performance and developing targeted interventions to improve the quality of education in Eket Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State.

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1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main objective of the study is to examine parental variables and academic performance of students. Specific objectives of the study are:

  1. To identify and examine the parental variables that are most strongly associated with academic achievement in social studies in Eket local government area.
  2. To assess the relative importance of these parental variables in predicting academic performance.
  3. To develop recommendations for parents and policymakers on how to support students in achieving their academic potential in social studies.

 1.4 Research Questions

To guide the study and achieve the objectives of the study, the following research questions were formulated:

  1. What parental variables are most strongly associated with academic achievement in social studies in Eket local government area?
  2. How do these parental variables compare in terms of their relative importance in predicting academic performance?
  3. What recommendations can be made to parents and policymakers to support students in achieving their academic potential in social studies?

 1.5 Research Hypothesis

The following research hypothesis was developed and tested for the study:

  1. Ho: There is no statistical significant relationship between Parental Level of Education and undergraduate students’ academic.
  2. Hi: There is a statistical significant relationship between Parental Level of Education and undergraduate students’ academic.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The study is important for many reasons. The following are the major stakeholders this paper through its practical and theoretical implications and findings will be of great significance:

Firstly, the paper will benefit major stakeholders and policy makers in the education sector. The various analysis, findings and discussions outlined in this paper will serve as a guide in enabling major positive changes in the industry and sub-sectors.

Secondly, the paper is also beneficial to the organizations used for the research. Since first hand data was gotten and analysed from the organization, they stand a chance to benefit directly from the findings of the study in respect to their various organizations. These findings will fast track growth and enable productivity in the organisations used as a case study.

Finally, the paper will serve as a guide to other researchers willing to research further into the subject matter. Through the conclusions, limitations and gaps identified in the subject matter, other student and independent researchers can have a well laid foundation to conduct further studies.

1.7 Scope of the Study

The study is delimited to sampled to undergraduate students of the Niger Delta University, Bayelsa State. Findings and recommendations from the study reflects the views and opinions of respondents sampled in the area. It may not reflect the entire picture in the population.

1.8 Limitations of the Study

The major limitations of the research study are time, financial constraints and delays from respondents. The researcher had difficulties combining lectures with field work. Financial constraints in form of getting adequate funds and sponsors to print questionnaires, hold Focus group discussions and logistics was recorded. Finally, respondents were a bit reluctant in filling questionnaires and submitting them on time. This delayed the project work a bit.

1.9 Organization of the Study

The study is made up of five (5) Chapters. Chapter one of the study gives a general introduction to the subject matter, background to the problem as well as a detailed problem statement of the research. This chapter also sets the objectives of the paper in motion detailing out the significance and scope of the paper.

Chapter Two of the paper entails the review of related literature with regards to corporate governance and integrated reporting. This chapter outlines the conceptual reviews, theoretical reviews and empirical reviews of the study.

Chapter Three centers on the methodologies applied in the study. A more detailed explanation of the research design, population of the study, sample size and technique, data collection method and analysis is discussed in this chapter.

Chapter Four highlights data analysis and interpretation giving the readers a thorough room for the discussion of the practical and theoretical implications of data analyzed in the study.

Chapter Five outlines the findings, conclusions and recommendations of the study. Based on objectives set out, the researcher concludes the paper by answering all research questions set out in the study.

1.10 Definition of Terms

Education: The level of education attained by the parents. It includes the highest educational qualification achieved by either or both parents.

Parental Occupation: The type of job or profession that parents are engaged in as their primary source of employment.

Family Size: The total number of individuals living in a household, including parents and their children.

Parental Involvement: The extent to which parents are actively engaged in their children's educational activities, including homework, school meetings, and other school-related events.

Parental Support: The emotional, financial, and educational assistance provided by parents to support their children's academic endeavors.

Parental Motivation: The encouragement and positive reinforcement provided by parents to motivate their children towards academic success.

Social Studies: A subject encompassing the study of various aspects of human society, including history, geography, economics, and cultural elements.

Academic Achievement: The measure of a student's success and competence in academic pursuits, often evaluated through grades, examination scores, and overall performance.

Local Government Area: A geographical and administrative division within a country, in this case, referring to Eket Local Government Area.