This research examined the “The Effect
of Birth Order on the Academic Performance of the Adolescents in Secondary
A total of five Secondary School in
Ajeromi Local Government Area of Lagos State were used as sample of the study.
A further sample was made up of two hundred (200) students randomly selected
from the five secondary schools.
Four research hypotheses focusing on
the relationship between birth-order and adolescent students academic
performance, family size and adolescent students academic performance
socio-economic status of a student’s family and his academic performance and
significant difference between academic performance of the first child, middle
child and the last born.
The major tool used in gathering data
in the study was a set of questionnaire.
Person’s Product Moment Correlation
Co-efficient and Chi-Square analysis were used in analyzing the data.
Findings were made, conclusions drawn
and recommendation made based on the findings of the study.
TABLE OF CONTENT
1.1 Background of the Study
of the Problem
of the Study
of the Study
of the Study
of the Study
TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
Size (Forms of Family) Socio-Economic Status
2.2 The Relationship between Home Environment and
THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
and Sampling Techniques
of Data Collection
of Data Analysis
FOUR: DATA ANALYSIS
FIVE: DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSION, RECOMMENDATIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR
for Further Studies
BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Birth order is significant in child
rearing, Consequently, the family is first in the life of the child in several
ways. As Cooley puts it "the family is the cradle of personality". It
is primary in point of time in the processing or induction of the child into
society and culture.
The new individual's basic drives and
needs can reach fruition only with the setting provided by these people who
surround him. His interpersonal relationships will be reflected not in terms of
any cultural determinant alone but in terms of the various individual differentials
represented by family members. Therefore it is pertinent to note that
intellectual development in school subjects has to be viewed closely, putting
into consideration the family unit as being the key ingredients in the
formation of eventual IQ growth, along with environment variables of a
A child's personality or socialization
trend may depend on his sibling position or birth order. The impact of ordinal
birth position upon the child and sibling relationship has received considerable
exploration nation wide, certain generalizations may now be made if we remember
that all of their birth positions are incident to the social and emotional climate
of the home. And this depends largely on the types of homes, like the nuclear
family, which can be looked at as a democratic home with amount of minimum
frustration, And the extended family with its accompanying frustration. Again
of these types of families, the socio-economic status also counts in determining
its correlation to personality development of the individual student in general
and their academic performance in particular.
In this study these generalization will
be grouped into the oldest child (as first born child) whose position in the family
structure is a unique one though various studies and writers ascribe- different
effects on the position.
The youngest child or the last child in
the family whose position is also a crucial position depending on the economic
condition of the family and accompanying cultural advantages for him.
The study of these age differences will
go a long way in helping teachers, parents and the society at large to carry
out effective investigation of the effects of birth order on academic
performance of adolescent students
Birth order as an integral part of a
child formative and development stages is the much that will be focused on as
it affects the learning ability and assimilation rate of the students in
Coupled with this is the home and
parental status and environmental factors militating against students
achievement in school generally will also be focused as an area of study, being
an essential and a strong determinant of measuring students performance in school.
Birth order or order of delivery of children
in this case will be further viewed or analyzed from the perspective of the
first born child, the middle born child and the last born child as earlier
Huni (1966), supports the motion that
the environment of the child has a great influence on the acquisition of basic
knowledge and skill.
Kernes ( 1997), points out that for the
child to grow intellectually and socially with increased independence, to meet
daily-life situation, the child must be provided a conducsive environment which
helps him develop adequate motor skills and be motivated to learn.
The home is the foundation of education,
because it plays a central role in socializing the child. The child spends his
early years and learns his language at home.
The importance of the family was
stressed by Data (1984) that the environment of the home remains a principal
settings in which the child's initial experience have an enduring impact on the
physical, intellectual and personality development of the child".
According to Datta, the early social and physical environment that the home
provides for the child has an impact on his later social and cognitive
Obanya (1981) further asserted that the
environment of the learner affects his attitude to schooling as well as his
performance in school.
Uche (1984) claims that there is enough
evidence from past research findings, that a child's school performance is
related to his background and the activities which goes on in a child's home is
related to the social status of his parents.
He also believes that many lower class
parents, fail to provide even the minimum level of reinforcement and
stimulation for their children intellectual development.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The specific statement of the problem
is to analyze the extent to which birth order of the children or their
positions in the family affects their performance in school along with the socio
economic status of the family.
Analysis of the position of the
children, that is; the first child, middle child and the last born child in the
family will be studied closely in order to determine their academic performance
In order to ascertain the reasons for
the different levels of performance of the students with respect to their
individual positions in the family, the study is investigating the effects of
birth order on adolescent students academic performance.
Miner (1969) has pointed out that the socio-economic
status of the child was related to the level of achievement attained.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of the study is aimed at
stressing the indispensable effects of birth order on adolescent students
academic performance. Consequently, parents, teachers and the society will be
able to appreciate the various differences in the students throughout their
schooling periods. Thus, it is expected that through this study the glaring
effects of ‘Birth Order’ be enumerated enough for parents and the society at
large to make redress where necessary, and maintain an appreciated standard of
breeding children so as to attain a desired result of intelligent,
well-motivated children as products of good and sound education.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of the study lies in
the fact that, it would create a sort of awareness about birth order in
Obviously, it would give an insight
into the reasons why certain students perform excellently in social studies,
than the others. At the long run, the finding of this study will help
educationists, parents and teachers and the society at large to realize the
fact that students' academic performance is not based on intelligence alone, neither
is it base solely on the socio-economic back ground of the students not on
Thus, this study may be useful to educational
planners, administrators, educational policy makers and other societal issues
Planners. This will make them to be aware of the fact that apart from Intelligent,
Quotient(IQ), attitude of the child and the parents' education and standard of
the school the child attends, others factors such as socio-economic status of
the family, Birth order have impact on the academic performance of students in
To the parents, this study will also be
significant in child rearing. Parents tend to discipline their first born more
than their other children and give them more attention.
Bringing out the real picture of the
contribution of the family to the academic performance of the child, thus
making the parents to bear a part of the blame that would normally be on the
child alone for his or her poor performance in school.
The school principals will find the study
invaluable in that it will help in understanding the child better so as to know
why he or she performs in a particular way.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The fundamental question which are
considered in this study are -
there any significant relationship between birth order and students educational
there any significant relationship between family size and students academic
there be any significant relationship between socio-economic status and
adolescent students academic performance?
there any significant difference in the academic performance of adolescent
students of the first child, middle child and the last child?
1.6 HYPOTHESIS OF THE STUDY
1. There is no significant relationship
between birth order (first, middle and last born child) and adolescent students
2. There is no significant relationship between
family size and adolescent academic performance.
3. There is no significant relationship
between socio-economic status of a child
family and his academic performance.
4. There is no significant difference in
the academic performance of the first child, middle child and the last born.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study take a look at the effect of
Birth order on students performance and educational development in Ajeromi
Local Government Area, Lagos
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The research experienced some forms of
limitation in the process of the study. The researcher experienced financial
constraints which inhibited the number of contacts that were made at the
various destinations and the number of questionnaires that were provided and
There was also general reluctance to
give information and other factors like accessibility to source of information
due to the formal protocols required by the Principals. Also insufficient
availability of Secondary data poses a constraint to the study.
The research is also limited to Mainland Local Government Area of Lagos
State. Thus there is a limit to which the result of the students could be
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Family: A family which
consists of a man, his wife and children. This is a smaller family unit living
a separate existence, in contact with relatives but not inter-dependent on
Family: The extended
family may be a nuclear family or a polygamous family, it includes, aunts,
uncles, cousins, grand parents, wives of sons and their children as all members
of the family.
Family: In a polygamous
family a man is legally married to more than one wife. Thus polygamous family
is made up of a man, his wives and their children.
Status: This refers to the
social and economic position an individual can find himself or herself. It is
regarded as the most significant predicting factor responsible for the academic
achievement of students depending on the family.
This is the immediate physical
surrounding of the child in the physical environment. There exist forces such
as temperature, humidity and pressure which affect the individual and
consequently, his learning.
can be defined as the result or outcome of a student during the course of
study. It can also be said to be a phenomenon used to grade the successful outcomes
of students in particular.
Intelligence Quotient(IQ) can be said
to mean Judgment, good sense, the ability to comprehend and to reason well and
to adapt one self to circumstances.
is used to refer to the atmospheric nature of an environment of which a family lives.
Size: This include the
total number of children and parents in an immediate family or extended family.
Order: It is the order
of child delivery, the position in which a child comes e.g. first, second and
refers to how far a child is able to go academically and how well he does in
every aspect or area of his academics.
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