Background of the Study
Education is the best legacy a nation can give to her citizens especially the youths. This is because education is very important in the development of any nation. Education is the process of transmitting what is worthwhile to members of the society. According to Okafor (2001), education embraces all those experiences of the individual through which knowledge is acquired and intellect enlightened. For Nwabachili and Egbue (2003) education is what goes on from one generation to another. In this context, education is the process of socializing the child to grow up as a fulfilled member of the society through informal, formal and non-formal process.
Extraversion is indicated by positive feelings (emotions) and tendency to seek company of others. It represents the tendency to be sociable, assertive, active, upbeat, cheerful, optimistic, and talkative. Extraversion individuals like people, prefer groups, enjoy excitement, stimulation, and experience positive effect such as energy, zeal, and excitement (John and Srivastava, 2009). Extraversion is associated with higher levels of positivity. Extraversion could be associated with more positive relationships between parents and children. Consistent with this prediction, Belsky and Barends (2002) reviewed the association between parents’ personality and parent-child relationship quality and found that parents’ extraversion is related to sensitive and responsive parent-child relationships.
The family is the first social environment the child finds itself. According to Clifford (2001), the family remains the primary environment of the child. The author emphasized that family environment has more chances of increasing or decreasing the intellectual achievement of the child than any other environment. Akubue and Okolo (2008) defined the family as a small kinship structural group with the key function of natural socialization of the child. Similarly, in Okunniyi (2004), family is defined as a primary social group of parents, offspring and possibly other members of the household.Family characteristics refer to all the conditions and circumstances in the family which influence the child physically, intellectually and emotionally (Muola, 2010). Children coming from different family backgrounds are affected differently by such family conditions as some children have good family background while some have poor background. Fleegeand Eke (2009) noted that with some families, the background vary from time to time for the same individuals. Family characteristics have been of great importance in shaping the personality of learners in primary and post primary in Nigeria. This is because high academic performance is as a result of motivation that learners get from the people they interact with in their initial stages of life. Rouse and Barrow (2006) found out that students who came from less disadvantaged families had higher average test scores and as compared to students from the more disadvantaged families.
The importance of parents’ level of education to academic performance of students cannot be over emphasized. Students from professional occupational backgrounds exhibit higher academic performance (Gary, 2001). In support of this view, Onochie and Okpalla (2005) opined that educational level of parents which is an indicator of socio-economic status has direct influence on children’s values and academic performance in the school. They mentioned that children from illiterate families may learn little or nothing from the home that can help them develop interest in academics. This is in contrast to what is obtainable from children of literate parents who provide the atmosphere conducive for the formation of good study habits (Qeca, 2000).
Parental occupation is also an important family characteristic. The occupation of one’s parents may determine to a large extent one’s opportunity to attend secondary education or not. Ezeji (2001) noted that parents like their children to take to their occupation, such as parents who are lawyers, doctors, engineers among others.
Families are of various sizes. According to Alio (2005) family size has implication for education of learners in primary and post primary level of education. The author emphasized that the size of the family determines to a great extent the relative amount of physical attention and time which each child gets from his parents. Family size has to do with the total number of people in a single family which may include the father, mother, children and even the extended members – all living in one home. Large families are more common among the lower class of the society. Children in large families may suffer poverty and lack parental encouragement (Eamon, 2005). On the other hand, smaller family sizes have been linked with high academic performance and that students with fewer siblings are likely to receive more parental attention and support that leads to better academic performance. The family, large or small size, remains the primary environment of every child. Families begin the process of education and provide physical and psychological needs of the child (Majoribank, 2006).
Parents’ motivation is another family characteristic which influences the academic performance of students. Eamon (2005) opined that supportive and attentive parenting practices positively affect academic achievement of students. In addition, high parental aspirations have been associated with increasing students’ interest in education (Majoribanks, 2006). Okwulanya (2003) opined that motivation from educated parents strengthens the academic aspiration and language development in their children to perform better in their academic work. Students under motivated condition, exhibits purposeful behaviour aimed at achieving academic set goals. The achievement of these goals determines the motive.
This study was undertaken to assess the relationship between family characteristics and extraversion personality of secondary school students in Itu Local Government Area, AkwaIbom State.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
There are expectations the society has on individuals especially adolescents. This is based on the acceptable values and norms each society holds. In all organized societies, people are made to go through experiences and processes that will make them conform to societal standards. This calls for the need for acceptable behaviour. This is not intended for the collective interest of the society alone but also that of the individual and his/her immediate environment. This can be attained when people exhibit the right behaviour as demanded by the larger society. The researcher observed that despite the various steps being taken, there has been a wide spread of different patterns of behaviours both the acceptable and the unacceptable ones among adolescents. This has affected societal goals and more especially the goals of the individual, senior secondary schools students in Itu Local Government Area are not left out. This is a situation of great concern to all well meaning citizens.
Going through this development, one is compelled to ask some rhetorical questions; why is the society going this way? Why is it that some adolescents have acceptable behaviours and some unacceptable behaviours? Why do adolescents behave the way they behave? Why are some adolescents friendly and some are not? The truth has been that people make up the society. Iwundu (1995) stated that adolescents behave differently because of the different personality they have apart from other factors. Considering this, the formative periods of an adolescent’s personality which also include the senior secondary school period needs a careful thought. The importance of how students at this stage or level are raised cannot be overemphasized, especially the parenting styles. Though they look upon the friends and other adults as role models, parents still have a great impact on their children. So parenting is a very important piece of the child’s life.
The family (parenting) therefore plays a very crucial role on the development of child especially at the senior secondary level where students are susceptible to all kinds of live style both positive and negative. This investigation has therefore become necessary to x-ray the various family variables and how they influence the personalities of senior secondary school students in Itu Local Government Area, AkwaIbom State.
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