A Comparison of the academic and social performances of junior high school pupils from normal and single-parent homes

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The purpose of this study was to compare the academic and emotional-social performances of Grade VII and VIII pupils from single-parent and normal-family homes in one Calgary Junior High School. In all, 16 male and 21 female students were identified in Grade VII, and 20 male and 21 female in Grade VIII, as coming from homes with a single parent. These students were paired with normal-family classmates fo the same sex selected by random from the class list. For these students, data were collected involved academic aptitude, year end subject performance, overall academic average, and a variety of emotional-social factors including absenteeism, misdemeanors, in and out of school activites, and working parents in the home. The results of testing nine hypotheses revealed that, for the most part, no significant differences were found between the overall group performances of the pupils from singles and normal-parent homes. However, and the Grade VIII level, a number of instances were found in which the variability of the single-parent pupils was significantly greater than that of the normal-family pupils. This particular finding was not noted anywhere in the literature. For the emotional-social variables in general, Grade VII single-parent females had a higher rate of absenteeism than normal-family females, while the latter participated in significantly more out of school activities. There were no significant differences between Grade VII boys from either group. At Grade VIII, differences were found with single-parent pupils having a significantly greater number of misdemeanors, and single-parent girls more out of school activities. Single-parent homes had proportionately more working mothers than did normal-family homes. Notwithstanding, over half the mothers in the normal-family group worked. In general, the findings of this study do not differ markedly from those reported in the research literature. However, the one area that seemed devoid of reference was that of the greater variability of the single-parent pupil sample, particularly at the Grade VIII level, It was suggested that, as a hypothesis for future study, the effect of the individual family unit has a differential effect on the pupils which would account for the increased variability but which would not be revealed in the overall group performance.
Bibliography: p. 60-62.
Sterzer, K. G. (1977). A Comparison of the academic and social performances of junior high school pupils from normal and single-parent homes (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from https://prism.ucalgary.ca. doi:10.11575/PRISM/20178