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The social economic status of the parents is determined by their education, job, income, political power and prestige in society. Parson and Sardo-Brown (2001) described the “Socio-economic Status is the term used to distinguish between people’s relative position in the society in terms of family income, political power, educational back ground and occupational prestige”. According to these indicators peoples are categories in social economic status classes or groups. The group has higher degree, better job, higher income and some status in the society is categorized as upper class, the other which have relatively low income less education and less status are categories as middle class and the group which is low on these indicators is known as lower class.

Bond (1981) study the relation of social economic status and educational achievement. He concluded that the students from different classes do not perform at the same level of achievement. The

Performance of students belongs to lower class was poor and the reason identified by him was the non supportive attitude of teachers towards them.

Kaeley (1990) studied the influence of SES, entry style and instructional variables on learning of Mathematics in Neo-literate society. He concluded that SES affects the achievement in mathematics. The findings of his research further showed that the classroom instructions have no significant effect on mathematics achievement.

Verma and Tiku (1990) conducted a research to study the SES and general intelligence. He found no interaction between intelligence and socio-economic status was noted with regard to high school students.

Mirza (2001) conducted a research to study the “relationship of SES with achievement” and the findings showed that socio economic status of students has fairly significant effect on their achievement without giving the clear description regarding which socio economic status class has greater achievement and which perform poorly.

Sirin (2005) in his research reviewed the research studies already conducted during the period of 1990-2000 on the same topic. The result showed medium to strong relationship between socio economic status and achievement.

Barry (2005) also reported the same result; i.e. high achievers belong to high SES and low achievers belongs to low socio-economic status. Ewijk and Sleegers (2010) also concluded that SES is an important determinant of academic achievement. Academic performance is the outcome of all those activities which are going on in the environment around the individual. According to Piaget (1969,) this change occurs in the result of assimilation, accommodation and adaptation of new ideas.

Vygotsky (1978,) said that “every function in child’s development appears twice: first on the social level and then on individual level”. This means that individual academic achievement is affected by social interaction. It does not negate the Piaget’s point of view, it only gives broader view that an individual achieve not at his own but the social environment around him also affect his academic performance.

According to Olotu (1994), in the quest of finding survival feet, the nation has evolved series of socio-economic and educational measures and policies such as; Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAP), Austerity measures, Universal Primary Education (UPE), Universal Basic Education (UBE) and devaluation of the Naira. These measures have not improved the social-economic and educational status of families in the country. They have rather increased their sufferings and widened the socio-economic gap between families.

Johnson (1996) lamented that parents become poor due to these hard measures, such that they can no longer provide adequately for good education of their children. Also, they can no longer provide shelter, clothing and special need of their children in school (such as provision of text books, school uniforms and good medical care and so on).

According to Danesy (2004), complimenting environmental and socio-economic factors to produce high academic achievements and performance include good teaching, counseling, good administration, good seating arrangement and good building. Dilapidating buildings, lacking mental stimulating facilities that are characterized with low or no seating arrangement will also be destructive.

Okon (2006) emphasized that socio-economic status of a person affect his or her attitude and life chances. These attitudes include: positive or negative attitude towards academic, food, dressing, drug use and abuse and the group the individual belongs.

In the same vein, Aluede and Maliki (1998) emphasized the socio-economic status of parents as a major determinant of the attitude of students towards anti-social behaviors. They further stated that students of low socio-economic families lack basic necessities of life and are both economically weak and socially depressed. Such students develop certain negative psychological feeling which often lead to frustration and could culminate in the manifestation of poor academic achievement.

Kallaghan (1972) observed that there is a positive correlation between socio-economic status of parents and students attitudes and behaviour manifestations. He opined that the relationship between the two variables may be the economic advantage of the parents, which enables them to give their children the materials money can buy. A child from a high socioeconomic background is enriched with necessities of life, receives stimulating experiences that translates into a healthy attitude towards life generally.

Socioeconomic statuscan be defined as a person’s overall social position to which attainments in both the social and economic domain contribute. (Ainley et al., 1995). When used in studies of children’s school achievement, it refers to the SES of the parents or family. Socio-economic status is determined by individual’s achievements in: education; employment and occupational status; and income and wealth.

Students from low-socio-economic status backgrounds are less well adjusted academically and personal-emotionally, as well as having less attachment to their university than their peers from higher social economic status backgrounds.

Several comprehensive reviews of the relationship between socio- economic status and academic performance exist (Amato, 1987; Williams et al., 1991; Mukherjee, 1995; Ainley et al., 1995). These studies and reviews make it clear that children from low social economic status families are more likely to exhibit the following patterns in terms of academic performance compared to children from high social economic status families:

1.     Have lower levels of literacy, numeracy and comprehension;

2.      Have lower retention rates (children from low SES families are more likely to leave school early);

3.     Have lower higher education participation rates (children from low SES families are less likely to attend university);

4.     Exhibit higher levels of problematic school behavior (for instance truancy);

5.     Are more likely to have difficulties with their studies and display negative attitudes to school; and

6.     Have less successful school-to-labour market transitions.

These results remain the same irrespective of how socio- economic status is measured and whether the studies are based on individual or aggregate level data (Graetz, 1995).

Similarly, studies of children’s educational achievements over time have also demonstrated that social background remains one of the major sources of educational inequality. (Graetz, 1995). In other words, educational success depends very strongly on the socio-economic status of one’s parents. (Edgar, 1976, Graetz1995).

Adebayo (1981) observed that the social status of individuals is a reflection of their economic status and he went further to explain that socio-economic status is usually a measure of the income and occupation of the individual, irrespective of his or her educational or social standing. According to him this has a tremendous influence on students’ behaviour.

Ezewu (1987) posited that socio-economic status can affect the academic performance of students in terms of early attendance at school, attendance of best schools and the provision of necessary materials. The students from low socioeconomic status would find it difficult to obtain his needs from his parents. So he or she may belured into anti social behaviour in order to meet his needs.

Giddens (1996) in a longitudinal study of the influence of socio-economic status of parents on children’s behavior found out that children with behavioral problems come from families with low socio-economic background.

Okon (2006) emphasized that socio-economic status of a person affect his or her attitude and life chances. These attitudes include: positive or negative attitude towards academic, food, dressing, drug use and abuse and the group the individual belongs.


The problems that are inherent in students’ social adjustment and academic performance cannot be over emphasized. This is because the high rate of failures among student has been attributed to high level of illiteracy, poverty and low socio-economic status coupled with high rate of paternal and maternal deprivation of students’ academic needs, which was necessitated by poor socio-economic situation of the country.

The crucial factor in poor homes is that Parents of low economic status cannot fulfill the legitimate needs of their children. This financial incapability makes students vulnerable to the deceit of anti social behavior, which may affect the academic performance of the child either positively or negatively. Parent of low economic status may not be able to pay the school fees of the children, purchase their educational materials such as books, uniforms and other necessary items for the child’s success in school. When a student lacks the privilege of being provided for and supported to succeed in his or her education, the child may not have high educational achievement (Ayo 2002). Parents who cannot afford the basic necessities for their children as a result of low economic status would not help the children in optimizing his potentials and capabilities to excel as expected.

The above problems, give rise to the examination of the effect of socio economic status on students’ social adjustment and academic performance.


The purpose of this study is to:

1.       To find out the effect of SES on the student.

2.       To find out whether Parent SES have influence on student social adjustment and academic performance.

3.       To find out factors in the environment that militates against students’ academic performance and social adjustment.

4.       To find out if occupation of parent have effect on students’ academic performance.

5.       To know if there is any relationship between socio-economic status and students’ academic performance.


1.       What are the possible effects of SES on students social adjustment?

2.       Do parent SES have influence on students’ social adjustment and academic performance?

3.       To what extent do environmental factors militates against students’ academic performance and social adjustment?

4.       Do occupations of parent have any impact on the academic performance of students’?

5.       Is there any relationship between socio-economic status and students’ academic performance?


The following hypothesis would be tested in this study:

1.     There will be no significant effects of SES on students’ social adjustment.

2.     There will be no significant relationship between parent SES and students’ academic performance

3.     There will be no significant difference between environmental factors and students’ academic performance.

4.     There will be no significant relationship between the educational qualification of parents’ and students’ academic performance.

5.     There will be no significant influence of socio economic status on students’ academic performance.


1.   The findings will be of immense worth to parent and adults to know the impact of socio economic status and social adjustment in their children’s academic performance and to know the consequences there-in.

2.   The study will also help the students greatly because it will enlighten them on some variables attributable to their academic failure and to consult the school counselor who would be of help in resolving the problems.

3.   The study would also be of benefit to the school counselors, psychologists, sociologists, educators, government and general public with a thorough understanding of different socio economic , the associated problems and the extent to which these problems influence students in school.

4.   At the end of the research work,  the government and policy makers will see need for providing all secondary schools with adequate counselors, sociologists and psychologists who would help in student related problems such as; the socio economic status, parental influence and variables so as to help foster their academic performance.


This study was limited to Ejigbo Local Government Area of Lagos State.


Social Economic Status: Thisisthe term used to distinguish between people’s relative position, rank in relation to others in the society in terms of family income, political power, educational back ground and occupational prestige.

Academic Performance: This is referred to as the result of a task given to student in an academic environment.

Social Adjustment: Thisis the ability to integrate successfully with others in a defined environment.


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