Effects of parental relationship on public secondary schools students' academic performance in Habaswein sub county, Wajir county, Kenya.
Omare, Amos Omae
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ABSTRACT The family being one of the most fundamental units of the society has a bearing on one's < psychological, physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. Most families have some periods of time where functioning is impaired by stressful circumstances. Healthy families tend to return to normal functioning after the crisis passes. In parental relationship, problems tend to be chronic and children do not consistently get their needs met. Negative patterns of parental behaviour tend to be dominant in their children's lives. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to find out the effects of dysfunctional families on secondary school students academic performance in Habaswein Sub County in Wajir County, Kenya. It specifically sought to determine the effects of parental conflicts, parental abuse and parental neglect on the academic performance of secondary school students in the Sub County. The study was guided by Abraham Maslow's Theory of Needs and Burke's Identity Control Theory. Descriptive survey research design was used targeting 703 students and 72 teachers from public secondary schools in Habaswein Sub County. Systematic random sampling was used to obtain a sample size of 251 respondents who participated in the study. Data was collected by the researcher using questionnaires. Piloting of the questionnaires was done in order to assess validity and reliability of the instruments. Instruments reliability was determined using the test-retest method and reliability coefficients of above 0.70 were obtained leading to the adoption of the instruments for data collection. Data was analyzed with the aid of the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 21.0. Descriptive statistics involving means, modes and standard deviations, and inferential statistical methods involving Pearson's Product Moment correlation and multiple regression analysis, was used to analyze the data, which was then presented in tables. The findings revealed that frequent parental conflicts in dysfunctional families adversely affected their children's academic performance in Habaswein Sub County. A good number of students hailing from such families eventually and often discontinued with school when their parents separated. The findings also revealed that exposure to various forms of abuse made it difficult for students to cope with school life. These stressors ultimately impacted negatively on their academic performance. Finally, the study established that parental neglect in dysfunctional families considerably affected their children's academic performance in secondary schools in the study area. Parental psycho-social support was key to the students and lack of parental guidance and motivation among students from dysfunctional families, significantly affected their performance. It is recommended that education stakeholders in the area provide the schools with adequate counselling facilities so as to enable students experiencing conflict in their families to cope with the situation. The schools in the area should also ensure that all students, attend regular counselling sessions, especially those identified as having come from dysfunctional families. It is also recommended that the schools management should source for aid, from concerned stakeholders so as to provide for needy students from dysfunctional families, with necessary items such as uniforms, shoes, food, and other necessities.