Parenting styles as correlate of academic self-efficacy beliefs among secondary school students in zone-b senatorial district of Benue state

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PARENTING STYLES AS CORRELATE OF ACADEMIC SELF-EFFICACY BELIEFS AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN ZONE-B SENATORIAL DISTRICT OF BENUE STATE

 

 

Abstract

 

This study was carried out to investigate parenting styles as correlate of academic self-efficacy beliefs among secondary school students in Zone B Senatorial District of Benue state. The study was guided by five purposes, five research questions and five null hypotheses. The related literature to the study was reviewed under four main headings namely: conceptual framework, theoretical framework, empirical studies and summary of literature review. The study adopted correlational survey research design. The population of this study consisted of all students in secondary schools in Zone-B Senatorial District of Benue state. Available statistics show that there are 84 secondary schools within the area, and the schools have a total population of 65,633 students at the time of this study. A sample of 500 respondents comprising 250 boys and 250 girls in SS3 was used for the study. Multi-stage sampling technique was employed to compose the sample. The instrument for data collection was a structured questionnaire titled ‘‘Questionnaire on Parenting Styles and Students’ Academic Self-efficacy Beliefs’’ (QPSSASB). The questionnaire consists of 62 items developed from information obtained from literature review based on the research questions. The drafted instrument was subjected to face validation by two experts in the Department of Educational Foundations, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. They were requested to check clarity and appropriateness of the items with regard to the problem of the study and research questions under investigation. They were expected to make suggestions and corrections. The expert’s suggestions were used to make necessary corrections to produce the final copy of the instrument. In order to ascertain the reliability of the instrument for the study, 20 copies of the instrument was trial tested using twenty respondents (10 boys and 10 girls) from Government Secondary school, Gboko in Gboko Local Government Area of Benue State. The reliability coefficients of 0.70 was obtained for authoritarian parenting style, 0.73 for authoritative parenting style, 0.55 for permissive parenting style, 0.81 for uninvolved parenting style and an overall cluster of 0.90 was obtained. The score obtained in students’ academic selfefficacy beliefs scale is 0.69. The researcher adopted face-to-face method of administering the instrument to the respondents which was done during free periods in the schools. The research questions were analyzed using Pearson product moment correlation coefficient while null the hypotheses were tested using regression analysis at 0.05 level of significance. The results of the study revealed among others that: there exist a medium direct positive relationship between authoritarian parenting style and students’ academic self-efficacy beliefs. Result also showed that there exist a medium direct positive relationship between authoritative parenting style and students’ academic self-efficacy beliefs.The implications of the above findings were examined and it was recommended among other things that since authoritative parenting style was shown to have the highest correlation coefficient with students’ academic self-efficacy beliefs, the parents should adhere strictly to applying this parenting styles on their children. This parenting style if properly applied by parents will improve not just the students’ academic self-efficacy but also their academic achievement. The limitations of this study were highlighted and suggestions were made for further studies.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the study

Institutions of learning in Nigeria, in recent times, have been faced with problem of examination malpractices. There are many reasons why students may indulge in examination malpractices. However, the most likely singular reason for students’ indulgence in examination malpractices is lack of confidence to write and pass the examinations themselves. Ochugudu (2006) reported that examination malpractices which is likened to HIV virus has devastated the education system in Nigeria and it appears to resist all forms of strategies for its eradication. One can observe that in recent times, students no longer seem to have interest in their academic work. The decline in students’ interest towards academic pursuit obviously is due to their lack of confidence and belief that they cannot on their own be successful in academic work in schools. Ferla, Volcke and Cai (2009) affirmed that people most of the times shy away from tasks they do not believe they will successfullyaccomplish. Alternatively, they seek out activities or tasks which they know they can be successful in. Since students are convinced that they cannot successfully perform well in school examinations, they try to achieve success by way of examination malpractices in schools.

The belief in one’s ability to succeed at something that has significant effect over one’s life is referred to as self-efficacy. In school setting, the confidence and belief of a student to succeed at certain academic tasks in school is termed academic self-efficacy belief. According to Ferlaet al. (2009), academic self-efficacy belief refers to students’ convictions that they can successfully perform a given academic tasks at designated levels. In other words, it is students’

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self-perceived confidence and belief to successfully perform a particular academic task. The students’ sense of academic self-efficacy beliefs can play a major role on how they can approach education goals, tasks and challenges (Wilkinson, 2004). Wilkinson noted  that students with high academic self-efficacy beliefs, that is, students who confidently believe they can perform academic tasks, are most likely to view difficult academic tasks as something to be mastered rather than to be avoided. Hence students with high academic self-efficacy beliefs are likely to attempt more challenging academic tasks than students who have low academic self-efficacy. Allan, Johnsonand Szostak (2009) opined that academic self-efficacy belief does not influence only student’s attempt of academic tasks but it also determines the quality of academic tasks performance of students in schools once an attempt is made and successful. Academic selfefficacy belief could be seen as a student’s confidence about what one can do and how well one can successfully execute academic tasks.

Pajares (2007) noted that academic self-efficacy beliefs determine how students feel, think and behave towards their academic work. Pajares further stressed that academic selfefficacy also influences students to compete amongst themselves as well as to choose courses in their academic pursuit. Similarly, academic self-efficacy beliefs seem to play an important role in encouraging students to do well in their examinations and many academic endeavours in schools. A strong sense of academic self-efficacy belief influences students to approach difficult academic tasks as challenges and also to maintain strong commitment. If they face failure, they attribute it to insufficient efforts and lack of knowledge (Bandura, 1994). Amount of stress and anxiety students experience in their academic tasks depend on the level of academic self-efficacy belief they have. Students with low academic self-efficacy belief always assume that academic tasks are tough and they avoid indulging in it (Schunk, 1995). Ferlaet al. (2007) summed it that academic self-efficacy of students is one of the best motivational variables of academic achievement of students in schools. The level of academic self efficacy of students may stem from the socialization one was exposed to in the family. The family is the most powerful agent of socialization. In the helm of affairs of the family are the parents. Parents play influential roles in the academic life of their children.

Parents simply mean one’s father and mother. According to Chan (2004), parenting is the process or state of being a parent. Once you have a child, you are involved in the process of parenting. Morrison (1978) defined parenting as the process of developing and utilizing the knowledge and skills appropriate to planning for, creating, giving birth to, rearing and or providing care for offspring.This definition implies that parenting starts when there is a plan for it and it involves not just bringing up the children but also providing care for them in various styles.According to Bradley and Corwyn (2007), parenting styles have a lot of influence on the shaping of students’ academic self-efficacy belief in schools. Darling and Steinberg (1993) looked at parenting styles as a pattern of attitudes that parents exhibit toward the upbringing of their children both in character and in education. The types of parent under which children are nurtured play a major part in the development of their academic self-efficacy beliefs. According to Perkins (2005), children whose parents give necessary attention, care, love as well as every necessary support for the children’seducation to enable them succeed in schools, are likely to develop high sense of academic self-efficacy beliefs in their academic work. On the other hand, children who come from parents where love, care, supervision and control are lacking and there is carefree attitude towards the education of the children, it is likely, the children may develop in them a low sense of academic self-efficacy belief in schools. Parenting styles could be seen as the methods that parents use to interact with their children and run their families.In the context of this study, parenting styles are behaviours and attitudes demonstrated by parents in socializing their children to develop high academic self-efficacy and succeed in school academic works.

According to Baumrind (1989), there are different types of parenting styles. Their conceptualization relates to the amount of parental control exerted over children’s activities and behaviours, and responsiveness that is determined by the amount of warmth and nurturance displayed by parents towards their children. Baumrind (1989) then used these dimensions to identify four parenting styles, namely: Authoritarian, Authoritative,Permissive and uninvolved parenting styles.

The authoritarian parenting style involves the use of rigid control, strict and punitive standard. That is, the parents are strict and demanding, make most of the decisions for their children and the decision of the parents should be followed by their children. Authoritative parenting style involves bringing up children under moderate parental control, love, warm acceptance, and respect for children’s feelings. The parents also accord their children the opportunity to dialogue and reason with them.  The children are not punished for voicing out their views or opinions. Authoritative parenting style emphasizes on positive encouragement for constructive behaviour and punishment for negative behaviour. In Permissive parenting style, there is lack of parenting control, care, and inconsistent use of principles such that children are free to take decisions for themselves. This means, parents implement little or no rules and make children to make their own decisions. Uninvolved parenting style is the type of parenting style that has few expectations for their children and are cold and unresponsive. The parents here have little interest in their children, who tend to lack self-control and long-term goals, and can also be disobedient and easily frustrated (O’Connell and Kuntz, 2005).

Parenting styles,according to Bandura (1994), are known to be primary agents for the development of academic self-efficacy beliefs of children in schools. A child whose academic self-efficacy belief is not well developed at home may not even like to go to school. If the child even finds oneself in school, there is a tendency that the child will shy away from academic work since the child has low academic self-efficacy belief. The ability to exercise self-efficacy does not only affect the academic achievement of students in schools, but it influences also the overall well-being of the students. There are various ways students’ academic self-efficacy is being developed by parenting styles.Previous study by McDowell and Parke (2009) revealed that parental instructions, verbal persuasion and provision of the necessary needed educational materials for students can influence academic self-efficacy of students. The study also found that parents’ modelling of educational behaviours of students in the form of assisting them in academic work, such as home assignments and supporting them in their education in many ways also may develop the students’ academic self-efficacy. Parents’ expectations and perceptions of children’s abilities can as well influence and shape the academic self-efficacy of the children. However, in Nigeria and particularly in Benue state, parents seem to have carefree and nonchalant attitude towards their children’s education (Falade, 2005). In Benue State, reports from principals of secondary schools in the state indicate that most parents shirk their responsibilities regarding their children’s education. They fail to pay their children’s school fees as at and when due. Also the parents are not willing to provide for their children the necessary educational materials for learning. Neither do parents ensure that their children attend classes regularly. However, parenting role is very crucial in the education of their children. Thus, it is important to examine the type of parenting styles and how it correlates with academic selfefficacy beliefs among secondary school students in order to gain valuable insights that would help to nurture academic self-sufficient future students.

In another development, gender has also been identified as one of the perceived important factors that may influence academic self-efficacy beliefs among secondary school students. According to Nnachi (2010), gender refers to specific cultural patterns of behaviour that are attributed to human sexes. Hackett and Betz (1981) hypothesized that set role stereotypes are influential in the development of academic self-efficacy belief. Specifically, set role stereotypes encourage boys to be assertive, effective and task oriented, while girls are encouraged to be sensitive and emotionally expressive. Further, researchers have found that the factors contributing to the academic self-efficacy development have gender specific influence (Christie and Segrin, 1998). For example, female may be exposed to fewer vicarious learning experience of involving non-traditional roles and tasks. They receive more verbal discouragement when engaging in male stereotype activities such as careers in mathematics and sciences, which may contribute to lower self-efficacy for those tasks (Christie & Segrin, 1998).Previous research has examined the role of traditional masculine and feminine traits in the perception of self-efficacy. Christie and Segrin opined that traditional masculine traits were identified as independent and competitiveness, whereas traditional feminine traits were identified as kindness and helpfulness. Researchers found that the presence of traditional masculine traits, regardless of biological sex, were predictive of perceived self-efficacy in both academic and non-academic tasks (Christie &Segrin, 1998). In addition, researchers have postulated that gender differences in self-efficacy may be culturally-based. Specifically, a study conducted by Schunk and Meece (2006) found that self-efficacy may be related to the manner in which women are portrayed as less capable than men in specific cultures. Thus, it appears that gender influences societal perceptions of an individual capability which may influence vicarious experience and verbal feedback. Also, it appears that traditional gender traits influence individual perceptions of self-efficacy, but the biological sex is not related to this perception. Further research is therefore necessary to develop a more comprehensive understanding of how gender moderates the relationship between parenting styles and students’ academic self-efficacy beliefs.Gender by extension could be seen as the social characteristics differentiating between males and females.

Statement of the Problem

In recent times, about a decade ago, there has been series of complaints over examination malpractices among secondary school students in Nigeria, most especially in Zone B Senatorial District of Benue state. Malpractices during examinations have reached embarrassing point virtually at all levels of educational system in Nigeria. It could be that the examination malpractices in the secondary schools have a link with the parenting styles students are exposed to at home. Children whose parents give necessary attention, care, love as well as every necessary support for education to enable them succeed in schools, are likely to develop high sense of academic self-efficacy beliefs in their academic work. On the other hand, children who come from parents where love, care, supervision and control are lacking and there is carefree attitude towards the education of the children, it is likely, the children may develop in them a low sense of academic self-efficacy belief in schools. Parents through direct instructions, control, verbal persuasion, provision of the necessary educational learning materials for their children and modelling of the education behaviour of their children may influence and shape children’s academic self-efficacy belief. Unfortunately, the parents’ responsibility regarding their children’s education in secondary schools in Benue state leaves a lot to be desired. What comes out of this is that the children do not learn well. Hence they look for various ways to write and pass their examinations. One may therefore, ask how parenting styles correlate with academic self-efficacy beliefs among secondary school students?

Purpose of the study

The purpose of the study is to investigate parenting styles as correlate of academic selfefficacy beliefs among secondary school students in Zone B Senatorial District of Benue state. Specific objectives are, to:

  1. ascertain how authoritarian parenting style correlates with academic self-efficacy beliefs among secondary schools students.
  2. determine how authoritative parenting style correlates with academic self-efficacy beliefs among secondary school students.
  3. ascertain how permissive parenting style correlates with academic self-efficacy beliefs among secondary school students.
  4. Find out how uninvolved parenting style correlates with academic self-efficacy beliefs among secondary school students.
  5. ascertain how gender moderates the relationship between parenting styles and students’ academic self-efficacy beliefs.

Significance of the Study

This study has both theoretical and practical significance. Theoretically, the findings from this study will help to verify Skinner’s Conditioning Theory of academic self-efficacy development which posits that, that operant conditioning in form of verbal persuasions by way of encouragement feedback from important others, such as parents, teachers and peers have been found to positively impact academic self-efficacy of students if subsequent performance of the academic task is achieved. Also, parents’ instructions and provision of necessary educational needs to their children as stimuli are related to the development of academic self-efficacy of students.

Practically, the study which is parenting styles as correlate of academic self-efficacy belief willgenerate data which when disseminated through conferences and workshops will be found useful to the educational psychologists, parents, educational policy makers,students, teachers and researchers.

For the educational psychologists, the findings when published are expected to provide data that will help in propounding more theories on parenting styles and academic self-efficacy belief that is relevant to Nigerian culture and environment. The study will also unveil the relationship between parenting styles and academic self-efficacy of secondary school students the knowledge of this relationship will help them in modification of adolescents’ behaviours.

The findings from this study when published will be beneficial to the parents. The information they will get will help them to know the relationship between parenting styles and academic self-efficacy belief of students. Hence, parents through examination of these styles on how it affects students’ academic self-efficacy would try to practice favourable parenting styles (authoritative) such as delivery of effective support and care of their children to maximise the children’s academic self-efficacy in schools.

The findings of this study will be of immense importance to educational policy makers in the sense that it will provide them with information on how parenting styles influence the academic self-efficacy beliefs of students in schools. Thus, the insights on the relationship between parenting styles and academic self-efficacy of students would assist educational policy makers to bring about educational policies that would enhance the students’ academic selfefficacy beliefs in schools by designing educational programme that is relevant to the students.

The findings from this study when published will be beneficial to the students. The information they will get through orientations and career talks will help them to boost their selfefficacy belief. The information will also help them to know the relationship between parenting styles and academic self-efficacy belief.

For teachers, the study will educate them on how parenting styles affect academic selfefficacy of students in schools. Teachers by studying and understanding how parenting styles affect students’ academic self-efficacy would develop strategies and techniques necessary to promote development of students’ academic self-efficacy in schools.

To other researchers carrying out similar study in the area, the findings of the study will provide direction for future research work to fill a gap in empirical work since this study mainly focuses on parenting styles as correlate of academic self-efficacy beliefs of students in secondary schools.

Scope of the Study

This study was carried out in Zone-B senatorial district of Benue State, Nigeria. It covered all the secondary schools in the Zone. The subjects of the research were students of all the secondary schools in Zone-B senatorial district of Benue State.

The content scope of this study is parenting styles as correlate of academic self-efficacy beliefs among secondary school students in Zone-B Senatorial District of Benue State, Nigeria. The main variables in this study will be correlate of parenting styles: authoritarian, authoritative,Permissive and uninvolving on academic self-efficacy beliefs among secondary school students,and gender as moderator of relationship between parenting styles and students’ academic self-efficacy beliefs.

 

Research Questions

The following research questions guided the study:

  1. What is the relationship between authoritarian parenting style and academic self-efficacy beliefs among secondary school students in Zone B of Benue state?
  2. What is the relationship between authoritative parenting style and academic self-efficacy beliefs among secondary school students?
  3. What is the relationship between Permissive parenting style and academic self-efficacy beliefs among secondary school students?
  4. What is the relationship between uninvolved parenting style and academic self-efficacy beliefs among secondary school students?
  5. What is the influence of gender on the relationship between parenting styles and students’ academic self-efficacy beliefs in secondary school?

Research Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses are formulated to guide the study and were tested at 0.05  level of significance:

HO1:  Authoritarian parenting style does not significantly correlate with academic self-efficacy beliefs among secondary school students

HO2:  Authoritative parenting style does not significantly correlate with academic self-efficacy beliefs among secondary school students

HO3:  Permissive parenting style does not significantly correlate with academic self-efficacy beliefs among secondary school students

HO4:  Uninvolved parenting style does not significantly correlate with academic self-efficacy beliefs among secondary school students

Ho5 Gender does not significantly correlate with parenting styles and students’ academic self-              Efficacy beliefs among secondary school students

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