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Abstract

For child proper emotional maturity, mother and father’s love and affection are essential requirements for child’s emotional stability; children have certain emotional needs that have to be catered for if they have to gain emotional stability. It can be noted that children brought up in a home devoid of love and care most times grow up with unwanted characters in the society. This paper reviews the research literature on the effects of family relationship on student academic performance with special reference to MFR (Mother-Father Relationship). The study is a developmental study that takes into account the social trends and economic conditions in predictions to the future status of a family as a block. The results first present how MFR variable correlate with academic performance of students before tackling the general constructs described in the literature. At the end of this review, the finding results have been discussed in light of the different effects of mother-father relationship on child academic performance.
Volume 9 • Issue 2 • 1000339Arts Social Sci J, an open access journal
ISSN: 2151-6200
Review Article Open Access
Arts and Social Sciences Journal
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ISSN: 2151-6200
Maina and Kitainge, Arts Social Sci J 2018, 9:2
DOI: 10.4172/2151-6200.1000339
Keywords: Mother; Father; Relationship
Introduction
ere is no simple denition of a family; basically, it’s a group of
individuals who share a legal or genetic bond. According to Oxford
Dictionary a family is a group consisting of one or two parents and
their children. Despite the simplicity of this denition, to many
people especially in Africa a family denition goes far beyond legal or
blood relationships. Biologically a family is an institution formed to
produce and raise one’s children while ensuring biological continuity.
In other words, biological parents may have other hidden motivations
to the universal growth of their children compared to other parents.
Marsiglio suggests that biological fathers are naturally self motivated
to invest time, energy, money and other resources for the well-being
of their children in contrast to step fathers to who he states must
be motivated by other external factors to support children. In other
words experiences in early childhood development shape a person’s
behaviour and may aect his/her lifelong experiences. Children thrive
in a nurturing environment where there is promising expectations.
Background of the Study
Mother-father relationships in a family comes with both positive
outcomes such as happiness, understanding and positive child growth,
and negative outcomes such as family stress, divorce or repeated
conicts. ese relationship eects have deep and lasting impacts
on the physical, emotional and cognitive development of a child,
and thus put them into social and economic dangers. It is absolute
that biological parents tend to confer multiple developmental assets
for their children, this may include, care giving stability, economic
resources and quality parenting and supervision, which transforms into
a positive academic and behaviourial outcomes. In contrast children
in cohabiting-parent or single parent families show poor academic
achievement and behavioural outcomes than children in married and
more so biologically. Likewise children in a family that is composed of
a remarriage structure following divorce or death of one partner are
academically and behaviourally similar with those in cohabiting-parent
homes.
According to psychologist Dalton Perterson, “A family unit is like
a sponge, they model each other and incorporate what they see and
experience from each other into their lives”. ere is also evidence
to suggest that family environment, pattern and parenting styles
aects the developmental process of children, that is, emotionally,
behavioural and socially [1]. Inghting and arguing among parents
that is destructive such that it involves verbal and physical ghts makes
children feel they are to be blamed for the parents disagreements
and may in turn traumatize them in the long run. Rather if this
disagreements are covered up with maturity, a child is likely to benet
from how conicts are resolved, and may replicate such a behavior in
future to others since he will feel its normal [2].
Several researches point out that family stability is an important
factor in child development as well as family as a whole. Tony states
that the relationship between both parents is an essential ingredient of
family functioning and a major inuence on the well-being of a child,
this can therefore be attributed to the child’s behavioural development
and school performance. Any changes in the composition of a family
may in one way or another inuence the child as by the quality and
character of families in which children are exposed to at any given time.
In their research Paula and Cynthia established that any disruptions to
the family system be it by addition or departure of a parent’s partner or
spouse leads to deleterious long term behaviours among the children.
Family structure transitions oen exposes children to conicts prior
to dissolution in-turn undermining children’s successful development
in almost all spheres of life, considering, that the exposure to these
conicts aects children’s socio-emotional development, academic
performance and the transition from childhood to maturity, and
further compounding negative eects on children’s development.
A research study conducted by Adams on the eects of parent
on child development indicated that children raised up in a family of
*Corresponding author: Aminga Robert Maina, Science Education Department,
School of Education, University of Eldoret, Kenya, Tel: +254 727543807; E-mail:
aminga2006@yahoo.com
Received February 09, 2018; Accepted February 15, 2018; Published February
22, 2018
Citation: Maina AR, Kitainge K (2018) A Review of the Effects of Mother-Father
Relationship on Academic Performance of Students. Arts Social Sci J 9: 339. doi:
10.4172/2151-6200.1000339
Copyright: © 2018 Maina AR, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under
the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted
use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and
source are credited.
A Review of the Effects of Mother-Father Relationship on Academic
Performance of Students
Aming’a Robert Maina* and Kisilu Kitainge
Science Education Department, School of Education, University of Eldoret, Kenya
Abstract
For child proper emotional maturity, mother and father’s love and affection are essential requirements for child’s
emotional stability; children have certain emotional needs that have to be catered for if they have to gain emotional
stability. It can be noted that children brought up in a home devoid of love and care most times grow up with unwanted
characters in the society. This paper reviews the research literature on the effects of family relationship on student
academic performance with special reference to MFR (Mother-Father Relationship). The study is a developmental
study that takes into account the social trends and economic conditions in predictions to the future status of a family
as a block. The results rst present how MFR variable correlate with academic performance of students before
tackling the general constructs described in the literature. At the end of this review, the nding results have been
discussed in light of the different effects of mother-father relationship on child academic performance.
Citation: Maina AR, Kitainge K (2018) A Review of the Effects of Mother-Father Relationship on Academic Performance of Students. Arts Social Sci
J 9: 339. doi: 10.4172/2151-6200.1000339
Page 2 of 4
Volume 9 • Issue 2 • 1000339Arts Social Sci J, an open access journal
ISSN: 2151-6200
single parent or in a non-biological family usually lack social support
and frequently experience residential mobility and health problems
[1]. ese factors in the end transforms into cognitive diculties
and behavioural problems [1]. It is therefore paramount that parent
relational well-being be keenly observed considering its importance
in terms of a family’s economic success, success of children in schools
and their future lives. Several studies reveal that one’s childhood
parenting has signicant and lasting eects on his/her health and
well-being. According to Lehman, et al. poor parent relationship
is a recipe for poor emotional regulation skills which at a later stage
translates to worse emotional outcomes [3]. Several models developed
by a plethora of researchers provide pathways leading to poor parent
relationship and their outcomes, these models indicate that chaotic,
harsh, and neglectful parents are the root cause of the childs emotional
problems. In essence this studies underscore the importance of parent
relationship to the family.
Overall, the literature on the current study gives emphasis to the
eects of family relationships particularly the risks posed by parent-
to-parent relationship on children welfare. According to the family
theory perspective, each family member has a role and rules to respect
and that the boundaries and interactions in the family pattern develops
certain behaviours among family members. Any changes in this
patterns may lead to balance or dysfuction of the system. Psychologist
Dalton Perterson suggests “A family unit is like a sponge, they model
each other and incorporate what they see and experience from each
other into their lives”. ere is also evidence to suggest that family
environment, pattern and parenting styles aects the developmental
process of children, that is, emotionally, behavioural and socially [1].
Based on the background information this paper examines the
research literature on the impact of family relationship on children
academic performance, with special interest on inter-parent relations.
Several researches under child development shows that parent issues
among them parent socio-economic status, parent responsibilities and
family relationships exert considerable eects on children academic
wellbeing, behavior as well as their mental capabilities [2,4]. is
review examines the scope of inter-parent relationship, describe the
relationship between inter-parental relationship eects and student
academic performance and nally generalize the results.
Study Methodology
is review involved a two-fold process in nding relevant
literatures related to the current studies. First, studies were searched
using key word searches. Several words were used in connection to
inter-parent relationships such as family conicts, divorce, marriage,
child support, aection, stress and privacy. Student performance
related words were also used. Extensive series of cross-searches on
the study topic using Hindawi research database, which enabled the
simultaneous search of multiple databases such as academia.com,
SAGE, psychology and behavioural sciences collection among other
databases. Further the literature search was conducted using Google
Scholar and via the references identied in the articles from the given
databases and sites.
Secondly, the articles were screened to verify their authenticity.
e articles were evaluated in terms of their research design and
methods and the type of journal that is whether peer-reviewed or
not, we accepted peer-reviewed journals only (by looking at whether
the journal has an abstract, restrained and thoughtful, footnotes and
citations, bibliography and authors credentials among other criterions).
e topic, abstract and objectives of the study were also considered to
examine whether the study based on the issues to related to the current
study.
e focus of these searches was to access full text documents and
was not limited to a particular date range. Majority of the documents
were journal articles, book chapters and research reports.
Results and Discussion
e literature consists of two parts that is the ndings accumulating
to inter-parent relationship variables and the ndings of other studies
that analyze inter-parent relationships construct in terms of a set of
underlying variables. e ndings are then discussed in light of the
eects of inter-parent relationships on the performance of students.
Emotional responses
Emotional responses in this case refers to how parents express
their emotions in relation to their thoughts, feelings or behaviour to
each other and their eects to their children’s school performance.
Psychological experts conclusively suggest that it is usually normal for
people to feel overwhelmed by stress and confused by their feelings,
and therefore in a family setting this feelings must be controlled
otherwise it might cause disastrous consequennces. is variable
appears in many family relationship researches and yields strong
positive association with student academic achievement, further
the variable was assocaited with several factors such as work, drug
abuse, parental duties and other stress factors [5]. For example parent
emotional responses is the strongest predictor of family conicts
(overall r=0.40) in the study conducted by Adrian, as well in a study
conducted by Gregory [6] which established a greater eect of parent
emotional responses on family relations (d=0.86) [6]. On this variable
18 papers were reviewed and generally parent emotional responses had
a signicant eect on student achievement. For instance Kelly argues
that emotional response eects are direct and have direct impact on all
parties in a family unit [7]. Parents in some cases tend to express this
variable through there children. He further reports that children were
fully exposed to aggresiveness and behavioural problems in families
where parents had problems in containing their emotions. Wilson and
Daly posits that relationships in which partners failed to understand
emotional character of each other in most cases ended up destructively
and that in such like marriage institutions behaviour of children was
the most aected. According to the studies conducted by Cummings et
al. and Maccoby parent-to-parent emotional reaction was found to be
a signicant predictor of children psychological diculties especially
in married, divorced and remarried families [8,9]. Children are oen
emotionally upset when they encounter conicting responses among
their parents, more so if the conict is originating from the issues
emanating from them and that this factors directly have eect on child
study behaviour. In contrast they feel good and positively perform
academically in a continued and warmth relations between the parents
[4].
Child support
All children have rights to support from both parents, even
when these parents do not live together anymore. is support
can be nancial, emotional or any other form as long as the child is
satised not beyond his limits [10-12]. Child support variable was
referred to in eleven articles. ey all reported positive association
with student performance.In a handbook presented by the State
of Michigan on child support understanding, it is stated that its the
duty of every parent to support their child and that for this to work
parents need to work together. e involvement of both parents
Citation: Maina AR, Kitainge K (2018) A Review of the Effects of Mother-Father Relationship on Academic Performance of Students. Arts Social Sci
J 9: 339. doi: 10.4172/2151-6200.1000339
Page 3 of 4
Volume 9 • Issue 2 • 1000339Arts Social Sci J, an open access journal
ISSN: 2151-6200
conicts in this type of parenting arises from the child and close
supervision. For instance Steinberg, et al. showed that athoritarian
parenting style generally explained child emanating conicts
(β=0.11,P<0.01) and that it fully build child behaviour and school
performance (β=0.12,P<0.01) [26]. In a study conducted by Smith and
ornberry, there was a signicant relationship between authoritarian
parenting style and child academic performance (r=0.300, P<0.01), this
may be attributed to supervision and strict parent characters [27].
Summary of the Reviewed Literature
In summary, there is strong association between father-mother
relationship and the student academic performance, in specic the
associations appear to be;
i. Interparent emotional responses
ii. Interparent child support, and
iii. Individual parenting style (authoritative and authoritarian)
Even though all these variables representing father-mother
relationship shows a signicant relationship to the academic
performance of students, they present dierent eects to the child,
individual parents and the family as a whole [28-30]. e studies
shows interactions between variables such as parent break up/unity,
child mental growth and behaviour and family growth among other
variables [8,14,25].
Conclusions
Numerous studies reviewed in the current study shows that the
quality of parent relationships has signicant eects to the child’s
academic outcomes as well as family unity [31,32]. Correlational studies
indicate modest associations between mother-father relationship and
student academic performance. Consistent relationships as reviewed
shows support for the individual emotional control, cooperation on
child support and controlling individual parenting style.
Parent to parent relationship may have inuencial capacity in the
child’s well-being. It is therefore an individual parent’s responsibility
to understand each other’s behaviour and keep family rules [33-35].
is may help in the growth and development of a healthy family unit.
References
1. Adams E (2004) Beyond Quality: Parental and Residential Stability Children’s
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Individual parenting style
e denition of this variable adopts the denition of psychologist
Martin of the Wema Consultants that parenting style refers to the
manner in which parents associate with each other and children. It
involves communication and demonstration of values, behaviours
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ere are dierent types of parenting styles, although this types
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case two parenting styles will be used, authoritative and authoritarian
parenting style.
Authoritative: Reseaches reecting on authoritative parentings
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this style reects a balance between freedom and responsibility [18-
20]. Knafo and Plomin charges that in a family where authoritative
parenting is applied, one parent must be submissive to the other, this
in turn creates dierentiated child attitude to both parents, although
both parties may contribute to a certain issues one side either father
or mother makes the nal decision [21]. Chao [22] in his study on
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(M=3.97, SD=0.689) and that they are associated with harshness and
withdrawal of love (M=4.07, SD=0.380). In another study authoritative
parenting was signicantly associated with parent disintegration
(r=0.37, P<0.001) [23]. More so, this type of parenting created
emphathism and consciousness.
Authoritarian: is parenting style was characterised by parents
who maintain close relationship, it may involve monitoring to the limit
of seting rules and boundaries. is style focuses on order, discipline
and high standards [24,25]. Research indicates that parent to parent
Demanding Undemanding
Response Authoritative Indulgent
Unresponsive Authoritarian Neglectful
Table 1: Maccoby and Martin's Four Parenting Styles.
Citation: Maina AR, Kitainge K (2018) A Review of the Effects of Mother-Father Relationship on Academic Performance of Students. Arts Social Sci
J 9: 339. doi: 10.4172/2151-6200.1000339
Page 4 of 4
Volume 9 • Issue 2 • 1000339Arts Social Sci J, an open access journal
ISSN: 2151-6200
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... Billings (2012) stated that children become delinquent because they are most often deprived of security, protection and love that should come from both parents and these impacts negatively on academic success of the child or children. In the same vein, Maina and Kitainge (2018) revealed that children in cohabiting -parent or single parent families show poor academic achievement and negative behavioural outcomes than children in a family that in composed of solidified love respect and care. In another submission, Maina et al (2018) observed that, motherfather relationships in a family comes with both positive outcomes such as happiness, understanding and positive child growth and sometimes negative outcomes such as family stress, divorce or repeated conflicts. ...
... Billings (2012) stated that children become delinquent because they are most often deprived of security, protection and love that should come from both parents and these impacts negatively on academic success of the child or children. In the same vein, Maina and Kitainge (2018) revealed that children in cohabiting -parent or single parent families show poor academic achievement and negative behavioural outcomes than children in a family that in composed of solidified love respect and care. In another submission, Maina et al (2018) observed that, motherfather relationships in a family comes with both positive outcomes such as happiness, understanding and positive child growth and sometimes negative outcomes such as family stress, divorce or repeated conflicts. ...
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