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From the beginning, parents have been the major persons involved in raising children in every society. That is why the family is recognized as an important agent of socialization.

Adekeyi, A. (2002) observes that it is mainly through their efforts and abilities that children are socialized to become productive citizens. So, wherever parents possess the resources and skills and apply them effectively and joyfully in raising their children the entire society benefits.

This brings joy and pride to the nation, and encourage development and peaceful co-existence. The children themselves feel good and bring happiness to their parents and the whole community.
In view of this, the influence of family background on the cognitive development of pupils becomes and indispensable factor in the wheel of progress. It is a fact that parental background influences pupils’ cognitive development either positively or negatively. A well-to-do family will have positive interest in the education of their children.

According to Ezewu, E. (2003), family background of parents affects children especially in respect to their academic achievement.

The primary function of parents is the rearing and protection of children and passing on to them the values and beliefs of the society. They also teach children the rules, traditions and ways of doing things. It is also the responsibility of the parents to provide their children with shelter, food, education, security and personal development. This is the family of orientation. The level of educational attainment of parents influence the academic achievement of their children. For instance, in a family where both the mother and father are educated, their children are always taken good care of in their academic activities. They may go through their children’s exercise books after school, or even employ a private teacher to teach them after school. By so doing their academic achievement will be improved; whereas in the case of illiterate family, the need to supervise their children’s exercise book is not there, hence their children’s low academic achievement in school.

It is obvious to note that the level of achievement of a child educationally also depends on the hereditary factors and the environmental factor.
Hereditary factors influence a child’s academic achievement in school. This happens when a child inherits poor genes from either the mother or the father; such a child will not be able to achieve much even if the environment is conducive for effective learning. On the other hand, a child who inherits a very high gene from parents may not perform very well if, the environment is not stimulating.

A conducive environment is necessary for a good cognitive development of a child. A stimulating environment could spur up a potential mediocre into an intellectual giant while an inhibiting environment could turn a genius child into a mediocre. The aim of this research work is to find out the influence of family background on the cognitive development of pre-primary school pupils. The effect of family background on pupils’’ cognitive development in primary schools has been a problem for the past decades and must not be left to chance.


The influence of family background, that is, the socio-economic status of parents in the cognitive development of their children have been posing very serious problem to many people in our society. It is argued in some quarters that children from rich parents perform better cognitively than those children from poor parental background in the classroom situation. But some people hold the opposite view by arguing that most of the children from rich families are way-wards in school cognitively than children from poor and average families. In the classroom here in Calabar Municipality Local Government Area, the teacher teaches pupils together irrespective of their family background.

This research work is premised on this erroneous thinking and misconception in our society. The researcher is therefore poised to make findings to determine whose child performs better academically and what are the causative agents to this. The researcher will also find solution to the problems and suggest ways and methods to eradicate or improve upon the situation for the benefit of pupils, parents, schools, educators, and the society as well.


The purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of family background on the cognitive development of pre-primary school pupils in selected pre-primary schools in Calabar Municipality. The objectives of the study specifically include:

      i.        Identifying the influence of family background as it affects the cognitive development of their children.

     ii.        Carrying out controlled study and investigation on home environment and facilities in these homes for children educational development with special reference to Calabar Municipality.

    iii.        Seeking to suggest the possible solutions to the problem so as to enhance pupils cognitive development in schools.

Hopefully, when parents are once more reminded of their divine and practical responsibilities of their children, our school system and society will be more stable, disciplined and functional one.

This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research

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