INFLUENCE OF SINGLE PARENTHOOD ON PRE-SCHOOL CHILDREN'S ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN KIRINYAGA DISTRICT: A CASE STUDY OF MWEA DIVISION

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This study intended to investigate the  Influence of Single Parenthood on Pre-School
Children's Academic Performance in Kirinyaga district and the influence of the following
variables; risk and protective factors, absence of a father and mothers’ employment were
the basis of the study objective and questions for  the study  on the  influences of single
parenthood on pre-school children's academic performance. The study adopted a
descriptive survey design because it enabled the research to gather the relevant data from a
target population from all the pre-school children  in Mwea division of Kirinyaga district
and an accessible population of 160 respondents from the 80 pre-schools that are registered
by the Ministry of Education department of ECD; and which had been in operation for over
one year. Multi-stage sampling included simple random sampling of the 80 teacher
respondents and the 80 parents’ respondents. From this total of 160 a simple random
sampling was done to determine the 30% respondents  for each category to yield a total
sample of 48 (30% of 160). Two sets of data collection instruments were employed; a
questionnaire for the teachers and an interview schedule for the parents. Validity and
reliability were ensured though a pilot study and professional advice were included in both
quantitative and qualitative analysis in which descriptive statistics were employed as
measures of central tendencies, (mean, mode and median) and measures of dispersion were
also used with the aid of excel  computer package. The study found that fathers absent and
risk protective factors were the major influences on pre-school child’s performance. The
study made the conclusion that Influence of Risk and Protective are a major threat to pre-
school children behaviour and academic performance. However this study could not
establish at what point to isolate other factors like religion and culture and modern life
styles e.g. the single parent by choice status as contributing to risk and protective factors.   
On mother’s employment, the study findings are in agreement with other researchers on the
influence of income and mother's employment that working is not a predictor of negative
outcomes and working can have both positive and negative effects on student achievement.
The study recommended that there is need for pre-school managers and teachers to be
aware and vigilant to mitigate the Influence of Risk and Protective factors.

Author: 
SAMSON ELIZABETH MUNINI
Unit: 
COMMTECH

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