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Title: Family, Community and School Factors as Predictors of Early School Adjustment and Achievement of Children-At-Risk in Plateau and Nasarawa States, Nigeria
Authors: Atumba, J. B.
Issue Date: 2015
Abstract: High prevalence of single parenthood and communal clashes coupled with poverty make some children vulnerable in the North Central zone of Nigeria, with the attendant consequence on their school adjustment and achievement. Ameliorating this problem requires a better understanding of their immediate environment. Previous studies have concentrated largely on government and non-governmental interventions, and on the isolated effects of the family and school with little emphasis on the combined effects of the three immediate environments. This study, therefore, examined the combined prediction of family (Parents educational background, family structure and home learning environment), community (community location and available social facilities) and school (school location, class size, teacher‟s educational qualification, school physical environment and availability of play facilities) factors on early school adjustment and achievement of children-at-risk in Plateau and Nasarawa states, Nigeria. The study adopted survey design. Three Local Government Areas (LGAs) with high records of communal clashes and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) were purposively selected from each of the six senatorial districts in the two states. Ten public primary schools were selected across the three LGAs from each senatorial district, making a total of 60 schools. Twenty primary one pupils who scored five and above out of 10 in the screening exercise from each school as well as their parents (1213) and class teachers (103) were selected. Children-at-Risk Checklist (for screening), School Adjustment Rating Scale (for teachers) (r=0.86), Parents‟ Questionnaire (r=0.80), Community Facilities Inventory, School Environment Inventory, Mathematics (r=0.60) and English Language (r=0.89) achievement tests were used for data collection. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and multiple regression at 0.05 level of significance. The children are 52% boys and 48% girls from single parent homes (15.2%), poor backgrounds (86.0%) and IDPs (62.7%). Family, community and school factors had a joint significant prediction on achievement (F(10,1201)=24.64; R=.41) and early school adjustment (F(10,1202)=6.47; R=.23) of children-at-risk. They contributed 16.3% and 4.3% to their variance respectively. Family factors had a joint significant prediction on achievement (F(3,1208)=4.93; R=.11) and early school adjustment (F(3,1209)=7.22; R=.13). Community factors had a joint significant prediction on achievement (F(2,1209)=62.04; R=.31) and early school adjustment (F(2,1210)=1.52; R=.05). School factors had a joint significant prediction on achievement (F(5,1206)=38.29; R=.37) and early school adjustment (F(5,1207)=6.65; R=.16). Parents educational background (β=.12; β=.02), family structure (β=.04;β=.01), home learning environment (β=.03; β=.06), community location (β=.00; β=.23), available social facilities (β=.12; β=.14), school location (β=.13; β=.11), class size (β=.01;β=.21), teacher‟s educational qualification (β=.07; β=.01), school physical environment (β=.16; β=.07) and availability of play facilities (β=.00; β=.07) had relative contributions to early school adjustment and achievement of children-at-risk respectively. Family, community and school factors positively predicted early school adjustment and achievement of children-at-risk in Plateau and Nasarawa states. There is the need to provide free learning materials and supports for these children, while their communities and schools should be adequately equipped with social amenities and play facilities.
Description: A Thesis in the Department of Teacher Education, Submitted to the Faculty of Education, in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Award of Degree of Doctor of Philosophy of University of Ibadan
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