Relationship between Parental Marital Status and Students’ Academic Performance in Day Secondary Schools of Dagoretti Sub District of Nairobi County, Kenya.
Academic performance is one of the important aspects of a student’s life and therefore it is important to understand the factors that hinder or promote it. Various researches on factors affecting performance have been done, however there is little local research on how family structure affects academic performance. This study examined students’ academic performance vis-à-vis single and two parent family structures. It also investigated if there were any gender differences in academic performance as determined by parental marital status. The target population was form three students in day secondary schools of Dagoretti Sub District, Nairobi County, Kenya. The sample of the study consisted of 196 students drawn from five day secondary schools. The study used descriptive survey and ex post facto methodology. Simple random and purposive sampling techniques were used to select the schools and classes for the study respectively. Questionnaires and class achievement records were used to collect data. The data was analyzed using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), t-test and Chi-square test at significance level of 0.05. The study found no relationship between parental marital status and students’ academic performance as majority of students, regardless of family structure, performed equally poorly with a mean grade of less than ‘C’. The results showed that there was no difference in the academic performance of students from single and two parent families (P=0.776). Additionally, the results indicated that there was no significant difference in the academic performance of male and female students from single and two parent families (P=0.348) and altogether these outcomes established that there was no bearing between parental marital status and students’ academic performance (P=0.873). On the basis of this finding, it was recommended that parents and schools/teachers should provide necessary conduciveness to all learners to deal with the challenges they face at home and school, in order to obtain desired academic performance.