1.1 Background to the Study
The academic pursuit of every child is determined by the family or home he/she comes from. A child who is not given parental care may likely have poor academic performance, and academic performance is one of the educational pursuit of every students at all levels, there are so many factors that could lead to the academic performance of students which is psychology, social, spiritual and moral. Academic success can influence student’s self-esteem, motivation, and perseverance in higher education. Poor academic performance or high failure rates may result in unacceptable levels of attrition, reduced graduate throughput and increased cost of education and this may reduce admission opportunities for tertiary students seeking higher degrees (Jayanthi, Balakrishnan, Ching, Latiff & Nasirudeen, 2014).
Hence, students’ academic performance has always been a topic of interest for educators. Educators and researchers have long been interested in identifying and understanding the variables that contribute to academic excellence. Many researchers have identified demographic, socio-economic, family, and school factors as variables contributing to academic pursuit (Farooq, Chaudhry, Shafiq & Berhanu, 2011). Also, psychological, social, spiritual and moral problems can lead to academic performance.
From the review of literature, several authors have conceived academic pursuit as a concept that relates to schooling especially in higher institution (Onyechi, Okere & Otu, 2016). It can be described as an act of acquiring new or modifying and reinforcing, existing knowledge, behaviours, skills, values, or preferences and may involve combining different types of information. Academic pursuit of students especially in higher institution is not only a pointer to the effectiveness or otherwise of schools but a major determinant of the future of youths in particular and the nation in general. Adeyemo (2011) stated that academic pursuit is the criterion for the achievement of a student. The writer also stated that; parenting styles, gender, size of family, socioeconomic status of parents, home education environment may have an influence on the academic pursuit of students. However, this study is interested in parents’ status with emphases on single parenting.
Single-parenting is already becoming a fast and rapidly growing trends in the society (Tenibiaje and Tenibiaje, 2011). Single-parenthood can be defined as when one out of two people who is responsible for the nurturing and child rearing is not available, and the work meant for two people, is now been carried out by only one person. According to the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English (2009), single-parenting is been defined as a mother or father who looks after children on their own, without the other partner. Single-parenting can be defined as a situation in which one of the two individuals involved in the conception of the child is being responsible for the upbringing of the child (Henslim, 1985).
The concept of single- parent family is used when a family of a child is being raised by one custodial parent (Sauvola, 1987). It is a situation in which one of the two individuals, involved in the conception of the child is being responsible for upbringing of the child. A child will be morally, mentally upright and emotionally balance when the caring responsibilities are carried out by both parents. Some of the reasons attributed to single parenting are artificial impregnation, adoption, divorce, death of spouse or extramarital pregnancy and affairs. It may also be child neglect, or child abuse (Thompson, Thomas & Maclanahan, 1994). Such families are faced with the challenges of diminished financial resources (Children’s Defense Fund, 1994) assumptions of new roles and responsibilities, establishment of new patterns in intra-familiar interaction and re-organization of routines and schedules (Agulanna, 1999). This is because when the single parent is overburdened by responsibilities and by their own emotional reaction to their situation, they often become irritable, impatient and insensitive to their children’s needs (Nzewunwah, 1995).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Since academic pursuit is an act of acquiring new or modifying and reinforcing, existing knowledge, behaviours, skills, values, or preferences and may involve using different types of information, it means that students cannot be successful in academic without a good level of academic pursuit. Another major concern is that when student academic pursuit level is low, it will affect his or her passion for education while it will affect the society at large. There seems so be so many studies that have been done on predictors of academic pursuit, they included parenting styles, gender, size of family, socioeconomic status of parents, home education environment. However, the issue of single parents have been of growing concern to the society, most especially in Africa including Nigeria. There have never been any good attached to single parenting and it have been confirm that it have negative effect on child development, However, there is ;limited studies on the effect of single parenting on academic pursuit of undergraduate students. This study will fill this gap by looking at the effect of single parenting on academic pursuit in Olabisi Onabanjo University, Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The broad objectives of this study is to investigate the effect of single parenting on academic pursuit in Olabisi Onabanjo University, Nigeria. The specific objectives are:
i. To examine the effect of single parenting on academic pursuit of OOU students.
ii. To investigate the gender of single parents on academic pursuit of OOU students.
iii. To investigate how gender moderate effect of single parenting on academic pursuit of OOU students.
1.4 Research Questions
Answers will be provided to the following research question in this study.
i. What is the effect of single parenting on academic pursuit of OOU students?
ii. Does gender of single parents affect the academic pursuit of OOU students?
iii. How does gender moderate the effect of single parenting on academic pursuit of OOU students?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses were formulated and will be tested in this study
H0: There is no significant effect of single parenting on academic pursuit of OOU students.
H1: There is significant effect of single parenting on academic pursuit of OOU students.
H0: There is no significant effect of single parent gender on academic pursuit of OOU students.
H1: There is significant effect of single parent gender on academic pursuit of OOU students.
H0: There is no significant effect of single parenting on academic pursuit of OOU students due to gender.
H1: There is significant effect of single parenting on academic pursuit of OOU students due to gender.
1.6 Significance of the Study
It is expected that the result of the study would benefit educational administrators, parents, students, government and researchers.
The findings from this study will help the educational administrators in the educational system to formulate and implement different kinds of educational programmes that will take into account the student’s different parenting status.
The knowledge of the student’s parenting status and how it affect the students’ academic pursuit will also help the educational administrators in giving assistance to students who are from single parents. It will help the administrators to arrive at a wise decision and equitable distribution of resources.
The result of this work will also be of great benefit to future researchers and scholars in education especially in the area of academic pursuit and parenting status. This is because relevant reference materials and information would be made available to them.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The scope of this study shall cover Olabisi Onabanjo University students, Ago-Iwoye Ogun State. The study will be delimited to effect of single parenting on academic pursuit.
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
Academic Pursuit: This is the process of acquiring knowledge in order to be effective in school. Academic pursuit is the act of acquiring knowledge in school which involve engagement in specific activity
Single Parenting: This is when a child is being raised by one parent. When the mother or father alone is responsible for the upbringing of the child.
Academic Performance: The extent to which a student has achieved his or her short or long term educational goals.
Undergraduate: A students in a university or college who has not received a first degree, especially B.Sc.
Gender: This means the state of being male or female.