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1.1. Background to the Study

Parental negligence refers to situations where parents fail to provide the necessary support and guidance to their students in their educational journey. This can include neglecting their responsibilities in monitoring their child’s progress, not being involved in their child’s school activities, or not providing a conducive learning environment at home Biu, T.N. (2011).

Parental negligence can have a detrimental effect on the education of school students. It is crucial for parents to be actively involved in their child’s education, providing support, guidance, and a nurturing environment. By doing so, parents can help foster a positive learning environment and set their child up for academic success. Numerous studies have shown that when parents are neglectful or uninvolved in their child’s education, it can lead to poor academic performance, low motivation, and a lack of interest in learning. According to a study conducted by (Fabes et al, 2010), students whose parents are negligent are more likely to have lower grades and higher rates of absenteeism compared to students with involved parents.

One of the main ways parental negligence affects a student’s education is through a lack of support and guidance. When parents are not actively involved in their child’s education, they may not provide the necessary resources, such as books, educational materials, or a quiet study environment. This lack of support can hinder a student’s ability to focus and succeed academically.

Parental neglect is a common form of child maltreatment. It is a common faced of live in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa. According to Krug et al (2002), parental neglect is “the failure of parents to provide for the development of the child in all spheres: health, education, emotional development, nutrition, shelter, and safe living conditions which causes or has a high probability of causing harm to the child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development”.

The occurrence of parental neglect is gaining unsavory reputation across the world. For instance, Fabes et al (2010) in a study in England established that of the 39,100 students registered by the welfare system by the end of March 2010, 17,200 representing 43.5% of them were on the register because of neglect, as either the partial or main reason. Parental neglect is a complex societal issue that receives limited research and media attention and yet the phenomenon of child neglect has been escalating rapidly with the transformation in family structure, evolution of single parental families, increasing number of working women and low socio-economic status of parents (Fabes et al, 2010).

The existence of this phenomenon has several negative effects on the child including his or her academic performance in school. For instance, Slade and Wissow (2007) using a sibling sample from the Add Health data set in the USA found out that child neglect was likely to result in poor academic performance. They also found that more intense childhood maltreatment was associated with greater probability of a child having a low grade point average and problems completing homework assignments.

Also in Scotland, a study revealed that of the nearly 5,000,000 reported cases of parental neglect, 47% of the students developed debilitating effects such as feeling less secure in their readiness to learn and this resulted in underachievement in schools such as low GPA, and a higher rate of school absence (Ziegler, 2012).

In Nigeria, a research carried out on “child abuse and the academic attainment of students in Central Senatorial district” had 64% and 33% of the respondents respectively agreeing to the fact that neglect by their parents and parental divorce were factors that led to them not doing well in school (Okpechi, 2005).

Furthermore, parental negligence can also lead to emotional and psychological issues for students. A study found that students with neglectful parents were more likely to experience feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and low self-esteem. These emotional challenges can further impact a student’s ability to concentrate and engage in their studies.

In addition, parental negligence can also result in a lack of discipline and structure in a student’s life. Without proper guidance and boundaries, students may struggle with time management, organization, and self-discipline. This can lead to a lack of motivation and a decreased interest in their education.

Moreover, parental negligence can also contribute to a lack of parental involvement in school activities and events. When parents are not actively engaged in their child’s school life, students may feel unsupported and disconnected from their education. This can result in a decreased sense of belonging and engagement, which can further hinder their academic progress.

1.2. Statement of the Problem

The impact of parental negligence on the education of school students can be far-reaching. Firstly, it can lead to poor academic performance. When parents are negligent, students may lack the necessary motivation and support to excel in their studies. They may not receive help with homework, have access to educational resources, or receive guidance in choosing appropriate subjects or career paths. As a result, their academic performance may suffer, leading to lower grades and limited opportunities for further education or employment.

Secondly, parental negligence can affect a student’s emotional well-being. Students thrive in an environment where they feel loved, supported, and valued. When parents are negligent, students may feel neglected, unimportant, or unloved. This can lead to feelings of low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression, which can further impact their ability to focus and engage in their studies.

Furthermore, parental negligence can contribute to behavioral issues among school students. When students do not receive proper guidance and discipline from their parents, they may struggle with self-control, respect for authority, and adherence to rules. This can result in disruptive behavior in the classroom, leading to a negative learning environment for both the student and their peers.

In addition, parental negligence can hinder a student’s social development. Parents play a crucial role in teaching their students social skills, such as empathy, communication, and conflict resolution. When parents are negligent, students may lack these essential skills, making it difficult for them to form positive relationships with their peers and teachers. This can lead to social isolation, bullying, and a lack of participation in extracurricular activities, which are important for holistic development.

Moreover, parental negligence can perpetuate the cycle of educational disadvantage. Students from disadvantaged backgrounds already face numerous challenges in accessing quality education. When parents are negligent, these students are further disadvantaged, as they lack the necessary support and resources to overcome these barriers. This can result in limited educational opportunities and perpetuate the cycle of poverty and inequality.

Furthermore, parental negligence has a significant negative effect on the education of school students. It can lead to poor academic performance, emotional distress, behavioral issues, hindered social development, and perpetuate educational disadvantage. It is crucial for parents, educators, and policymakers to recognize the importance of parental involvement and support in ensuring the educational success and well-being of all students.


1.3. Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to examine the Negative effect of parental negligence on the education of junior secondary school education student. The objectives of the study were:

  1. To establish if there are students with neglected parents in secondary schools in Lagos State.
  2. To find out the challenges faced by students in secondary schools with neglected parents.
  3. To find out the impact of parental absence on the child’s development in secondary schools in Lagos.
  4. To establish what can be done to encourage emotional presence of parents to their students

1.4. Research Questions

The following research questions were pertinent to this study:

  1. To what extent are students neglected by parents in secondary schools in Lagos State?
  2. What challenges do students with neglected parent face in secondary schools?
  3. In what ways does absence of parents affect child’s development in Lagos State?
  4. How can parents of Lagos State be encouraged to be emotionally present for their child?

1.6. Research Hypothesis

The hypothesis for the study is stated below:

HO: Parental neglect has no negative implication on the education of junior secondary school student.

 H1: Parental neglect has negative implication on the education of junior secondary school student.

 1.5. Significance of the Study

The significance of studying the negative effect of parental negligence on the education of school students is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, parental involvement and support play a vital role in a child’s academic success. When parents are negligent or fail to provide the necessary support, it can hinder a student’s learning and overall educational experience.

Secondly, understanding the negative impact of parental negligence can help educators and policymakers develop effective interventions and strategies to address this issue. By identifying the specific areas where parental negligence has the most significant impact, schools can implement targeted programs to support students who may be affected.

Additionally, studying the negative effect of parental negligence can shed light on the underlying factors contributing to this issue. It can help identify common patterns or risk factors that may be associated with parental negligence, such as socioeconomic status, parental education level, or family dynamics. This knowledge can inform targeted interventions and support systems to address these underlying issues.

Furthermore, the significance of this study lies in its potential to raise awareness among parents and the wider community about the importance of parental involvement in education. By highlighting the negative consequences of parental negligence, it can encourage parents to take a more active role in their child’s education and provide the necessary support and guidance.

Moreover, understanding the negative effect of parental negligence can also contribute to the existing body of research on the broader topic of student well-being and academic achievement. It can provide valuable insights into the various factors that influence a student’s educational outcomes and help researchers and educators develop comprehensive approaches to support student success.

Lastly, studying the negative effect of parental negligence can have implications for policy and practice in the education sector. It can inform the development of policies and guidelines that promote parental involvement and support, as well as provide evidence-based recommendations for schools and educators to address this issue effectively.

The significance of studying the negative effect of parental negligence on the education of school students lies in its potential to improve educational outcomes, inform interventions and support systems, raise awareness, contribute to existing research, and influence policy and practice. By understanding and addressing this issue, we can strive to create a more supportive and conducive learning environment for all students.

1.7. Scope and Limitations of the Study

The study examined the Negative effect of parental negligence on the education of junior secondary school student. The study was carried out only on students in secondary schools in Lagos. The study mainly concentrated on cases of indiscipline perceived to be occasioned by emotional parental negligence to their child only in Apapa, Lagos.

1.8       Operational Definition of Terms

Parent Negligence: Parent negligence refers to the failure of parents or caregivers to fulfill their responsibilities towards their students. This can include neglecting their physical, emotional, or educational needs, and not providing a safe and nurturing environment for their students.


Parental Absence: Parental absence refers to the situation where one or both parents are not present in a child’s life. This can be due to various reasons such as divorce, separation, death, or work-related commitments. The absence of parents can have a significant impact on a child’s development and well-being.


Child Maltreatment: Child maltreatment refers to any form of abuse or neglect experienced by a child. This can include physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, as well as neglect or failure to provide for a child’s basic needs. Child maltreatment can have severe and long-lasting negative effects on a child’s physical and mental health, as well as their educational outcomes.


Education: Education refers to the process of acquiring knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes through various formal and informal means. It is a fundamental right of every child and plays a crucial role in their personal and social development. Education provides individuals with the necessary tools to succeed in life and contribute to society.


School: A school is an institution where students receive formal education. It is a place where teachers facilitate learning and provide students with opportunities to acquire knowledge and skills. Schools can vary in size, curriculum, and educational approach, but their primary goal is to provide a supportive and stimulating environment for students to learn and grow.

Student: A student is an individual who is enrolled in a school or educational institution and is actively engaged in learning. Students come from diverse backgrounds and age groups, and they pursue education to acquire knowledge, develop skills, and prepare for future endeavors. Students play an active role in their own learning process and are responsible for their academic progress.


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