The effect of polygamous marriage on the educational development of the child has attracted the attention of scholar and authorities. This is because the behaviour of the child in school or outside is a reflection of his or her home where she/he comes from.In Nigeria today, there are many problem academic performance of pupils in school because there is no effective teaching in school and also parental background or home in which a child comes from have great or adverse effect on the pupil. This research work made use of 100 respondents from selected school and autonomous Communities in Isukwuato Local government Area of Abia State. The Likert Scale of data analysis was used. The questionnaire was the major instrument for data collection. The research found out that there should be a synergy between parent teachers, children, society and the government in order to achieve the desired educational objectives for individuals and the society.

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Title page ……………………………………………………………    i
Approval Page……………………………………………………..       ii
Dedication…………………………………………………………       iii
Acknowledgements…………………………………………………     iv
List of tables………………………………………………………..      v
Table of Content……………………………………………………     vi
Abstract……………………………………………………………..     xi
1.2             Background of the Study
1.3             Statement of problem
1.4             Purpose of the Study
1.5             Research Questions
1.6             Significance of the study
1.7             Scope of the study
2.1             The origin of polygamy in Nigeria
2.2             The origin of Monogamy
2.3             Polygamy Marriage system and their effect on the child education performance
2.4             Problems Associated with polygamy.
2.5             The Home as a socializing Agent.
2.6             Family size
2.7             Attitudes and Interest of parents towards their child Education.
2.8             Summary of the review.

3.2             Introduction
3.3             Research design
3.3       Population
3.4       Sample and Sampling technique
3.5       Instrument for data Collection
3.6       Validity
3.7       Reliability
3.8       Procedure for data collection
3.9       Method of Data Analysis

4.1             Research Question One
4.2             Research Question Two
4.3             Research Question Three
4.4             Research Question Four

5.1             Discussions
5.2             Conclusions
5.3             Implications of the study
5.4             Recommendations

1.1             Background of the study.
It is believed that the standard of education is falling in the country. The reasons for such fall in the standard of education are not far fetched as they are easily traceable to the home as it is often said that the ruin of the nation begins in the home of his people.
            Among other factors responsible for the low standard of education is the polygamous marriage system. Polygamous marriage is the legal union between one man and many women as wives. Bui and Vogel (1980) linked the polygamous family to the extended family which according to them is broader than the nuclear family and related to ascent marriage or adoption. This is a common practice in Nigeria.
Closely related to the polygamous system of marriage is monogamy which involves the marriage of one man to a Woman as husband and wife. The structure of marriage and family vary from one society to another and also account for the variation in the academic performance of students.
            Not disregarding the effects of polygamous marriage system on education of students, various reasons have been put forward for the practice of polygamy in the African Traditional setting according to Han’s Hase (Basth 1996), some of the contemporary reasons put forward in support of polygamy take care of the surplus of widows. Reduction of prostitution for widows, he said that polygamy is a status symbol. Polygamy is further  thought to be a solution when tradition call for a longer period of abstinence from sexual relations during breast feeding and also were women still have to bare the burden of work in the compound and field. Then polygamy is often regarded as a help.
Polygamy represent expanded family structures that are based on marriage involving a husband with two or more wives. Interestingly, polygamy is legal and widely practiced in 850 societies across the globe. In the last two decades, polygamy has been focus of a significant growth in public political and academic awareness.
            Durojaiye (1976) took interest in the study of the effect of polygamous marriage system on the educational development of children. He investigated how the type of family set up influences academic & performances of students. He thus concluded that students from polygamous homes perform averagely or poorly due to the number of children which may need attention in such homes. There are many factors within the polygamous family structure which the inhibit or foster the academic performances of students at secondary school level. Many student drop out of school which others suffer from under achievement and many of these problems can be traced to the family background. The family is the primary agent of socialization which the child comes in contact with, this yield great influence on the child’s development especially in the early stage of such development.
            According to Yoloye (1976), the child rearing practice in the home have a great significance on the child’s education which provides support for what is going on the school, the intellectual environment which the family provide is also crucial and differs among monogamous and polygamous homes.
            According to Akiutemi (1986) all institutions except values, norms and procedures for getting some important jobs done. The conditions and structure of it will have either positive or negative influence on the growth and development of the child. In the polygamous family system, the father has many responsibilities which may lead to uneven provision to academic materials to children different families or homes produce children with different rate of learning and the rate of academic development of such, children, is closing dependent on the experience, gained from their various homes. The educational development of the child can be influenced by the nature of the family system. The experience in recurring of the children is a matter of agreement in the monogamous family but it is a different case in the polygamous home.
            By the nature of it’s size, problems natural stress, and strain are common features. In most polygamous families each mother associates only with her own children alone. The sexual relationship of the individual mother is usually cold at times. These experience may generate unhealthy rivalry among children from different mothers which may affect their educational attainment on the others, since each mother is interested only in the well being of her children, she has to support at all cost. The children of the same mother are bound to co-operate with one another so as to attain their set goals socially and educationally.
            In view of the fact that the polygamous family structured has not help to effectively control the ever increasing population of Nigeria with its attendant problem such as juvenile delinquency and other child crimes it is therefore imperative to have an in-depth appraisal of the polygamous marriage system as it affects the educational development of the child. This study is therefore derived from great concern about the adverse affect of polygamous marriage system on the educational performance of students.
1.2       Statement of problem
It is paramount to note that several factors militate against student’s education/ academic achievement. These may include variables such as the polygamous marriage system whi9ch may encompass family size, finance, parental and care parents educational attainments and the likes.
In the light of the above, several scholars here employed different strategies aimed at preferring solutions to these problems. In spite of the meaningful effects deployed by these scholars, the education/educational attainment of student from polygamous home have continued to be on low ebb.
Therefore this research work is aimed at looking critically at the influence of the polygamous family or marriage system on the education of students. This is because the family of the student severs as a bedrock for student education and performance.
The research problem therefore is how the polygamous marriage system affects the educational development of children. This problem emanates as a result of the fact that the level of having and togetherness has a considerable effect on the academic competence of students.
1.2             Purpose of the study.
Generally, the purpose of this study is to determine the effect of the polygamous marriage system on the educational development of children.
Specifically, the purpose of this study is to generate finding to
1.         The level of educational development of children from polygamous families.
2.        The effect of polygamous marriage on the educational development of children.
3.         The effect of the size of polygamous families on the educational development of children.
4.         The attitude and interest of polygamous families in the education of their children.
1.4       Research Questions.
1.         What is the level of education development of children from polygamous families?
2.         What is the effect of polygamous marriage system on the education development of children?
3.         Does the size of polygamous families effect the educational development of children?
4.         What is the attitude and interest of polygamous families toward education of their children?
1.5       Significance of the study.
Students educational development and academic performance one-way or the other is influence by their home background which can fall into the continue of either polygamy or monogamy. The impact may either be positive or negative.
Therefore; this study is very significant in contemporary Nigeria society, as it will help to resolve the consistent of poor academic performance of students from both polygamous families.
Also, findings arising from this research work will help to reawaken the morale of parents who have been caught in the work of social ineptitude and economic regression associated with polygamous marriage system towards the educational development of their children.
Another significance of this studies is that it will provide solution to the problem associated with polygamous marriage system toward the educational development of their children.
            Another significance of this study is that it will provide solution to the problems associated with polygamous marriage system which when visible will promote student academic performance. And finally when completed, this research work will propel other research to investigate other area within the polygamous family structure that affect the educational development of children.

1.1             Scope of the study.
Every research work has a focal point which is anchored to a particular area in other to make it meaningful. Therefore, the scope of this study is to investigation the effect of the polygamous marriage system on the education development of children in Isukwuato Local government area of Abia state. This study however covers some selected schools in the area marked out for this study.
This section cover’s a review of relevant Literature on the effect of polygamous marriage system on the educational development of children. Educators, psychologist, sociologist have seen or postulated that the family background goes a long way in determine the development of an individual potentials.
            This chapter will be discussed under the following sub-headings.
-           THE FAMILY SIZE.
2.1       The origin of polygamy in Nigeria.
Bardis (1964) identifies three factors, which borne about the institution of the polygamous families. According to him, the existence of soldering facilitated the introduction of concubine. He also said that the numerous alliances with neighbouring status necessitated international marital unions. The third factor has to do with proliferation and in Bardis (1964) view, the desire for reproduction forced the first wife, when she was barren on unable to bear any more children to encourage her husband to take a concubine. Another factor, while lead to the practice of polygamy is the need for man power to employ on the farm.
Agriculture practices necessitated the practice of polygamous since the larger the family size the greater the work force available, and consequently a greater yield. This factor is quite, the manipulated in the Nigerian situation when to a great extent a family or marriage without children connote the idea of doom for both husband and wife.
Ogionwo (1965) says that since most Africans are polygamous their smallest units is not necessary, the biological family in the Western sociology, consisting father-Mother-children. But these groups consist of more than one wife in a polygamous household with their children. It is therefore common to hear children by the same mother using descriptive terms to refer to themselves while, those of the same father by the same father also use such deceptive terms. In other word, the polygamous family set up in Africa is one with a common father, several wives and children.
South ball (1971), claims that traditional wives in Africa do not object to the addition o other woman in the life of their husbands as they often believe that extra hands would enlighten the work both in the house and in the farm. This justifies the economic importance of the polygamous marriage.
Ezewu (1983), describe polygamous family as a kind of family pattern under which a man marries more than one wife at a time and bring all of them to his domain and exercise control over them and the entire household including their children. Basically, it is the practice in various part of African and a well know feature of Islam because the holy Koran allow Muslims depending on the finances and their consideration, as many as four wives at a time.
 The Origin of Monogamy.
According to Ezewu (1983), monogamous marriage refers to a kind of family pattern, which consist of one husband and one wife at a time and their children. It is sometimes referred to as the nuclear family.
President ET. Otomeno (1995), said that at the beginning of the world, God created a man called Adam and provided with one wife called Eve and when Adam saw Eve, he said this is my bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh, she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man the bible injunction of President E.T. Otomeno (1995) opinion that, therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and desire to his wife and they shall be one flash” well that was in the olden days because the present society has to transform the man and the woman today. Sooner, the bone of my bone the flash of my flesh are joined together that begin to fall apart. In Nigeria today, many home have deviated from the original family setting of one man and one wife as it was in the beginning of creation.
Faninan (1983) see monogamous families as the universal form of the family relations, which exist, as a distinct and strongly functional group in every known society. This system is much more popular today in our society than before, the current high cost of living play no small part in influencing the size of a man family. One man and one wife, seems to fit the modern era of economic depression in Nigeria.
Ezewu (1993) stated tat family is derived from marriage which is a production of culture. As no culture is universal family patterns are bound to varies from society leading to several kinds of family. Monogamous family set up is one of the family type in Africa. Ezewu (1983) further refers to monogamous family as a kind of family pattern when consist of husband and one wife at a time and their children. It is sometime referred to as the nuclear family, it does not includes any other person related to any of the member’s, this family pattern, he further stated, is common in western countries of the world and to some extent in some other areas of having contact in one way or the other with the western world.

2.2             Polygamy Marriage system and their Effect on the children Educational Performance.
It has been investigated and found that student from polygamous home are always emotionally disturbed and not properly cared for, as the counterpart from monogamous home. This result to ill health and poor performance.
According to Hoffman (1966), in al society, the nuclear family is the initial social matrix wither which personality is rooted and nourished. It ensue continuity of children care and primacy of certain relationship above all other children alone while the father’s may be lacking in this case. When the father dies each mother avoiding to Doughs (1964), with the support of their relatives will struggle to put their own sons in the position of honor, with the result that the family breaks up into smaller unit’s this is because there is no unity in the family. The relationship between children and their parent matter a lot, this can affect the child in his question from the child, which school mates or that which he may not be free enough to ask the teacher.
            According to Durijaye (1976), the child from polygamous family receives only limited physical attention from their parents with little personal or emotional interaction. The most of the time will make the child emotionally unbalanced in the midst of their children of his class and even age group. In support of this view Deville (1971) says, intelligence should not be tested by the nature of dullness of the child as poor performance can be due to some problem like unhealthy and the type of home or school. Were the child belongs’ He also added that poor performance can be as a result of some basic factors like home, school, physical and emotional condition. Durijaye (1976). Again added that upbringing of child affect his or her education. This is generally agreed that the child upbringing practice and the relationship between parent and child are important aspect of the educational socialization of child.
The family class, a child belong in the society also affects his educational development. This status of parent affect the child’s performance, whether rich or poor, educated or uneducated. This explains why creview (1974) view that the particular class which the child’s presently belong affect his education. This is an example of Jewish families, where he said many families emphasize learning and intellectual accomplishment as a way of life. “This will tend to make the parent encourage the children to take their educational career seriously, Ndu (1979) support this by saying children differ in their family background and early childhood experience. their parent may range from wealthy to poor and from highly educated to illiterate.
Slimecca (1980) carried out an experiment or the correlation between social background and scholastics achievement did not over look this important factor in child academic performance. From this finding he found out that there is a relationship between the social class and a child’s educational performance that is why he says that if the out put of schooling is measured by scores on naturally standardize achievement test, children of parent with high education perform better than children of parent with poor education. Another prominent problem of the family that affects the child’s education is the situation of the home. A child that is from a where love is not shown, will tend to do better in his academic than a child that is from the home where there is always quarrelling. This is so because the child will not devote all his attention on his academic work and this is usually the case with polygamous family.
            According to Skelrick (1963), most case in which men take several wives, at least some of the wives suffer intensely from jealously and many polygamous families are “strife torn” still on the stage and conflict in the home, Santon (1980) says “ the chance of conflicts, strife and disharmony are multiple in polygamous marriage. In another way Wernik (1980) put his own view about situation obtained in a polygamous home as the chances of strife and bickering, numerous enough in a single marriage, multiply alarmingly in an plural one” In addition to what he has said above, he says thus, as a result of what is obtained in the polygamous homes and the economic and social pressure most persons in polygamous society choose to remain monogamous with his situation in the house, a child of such home is never happy and this will tend to affect the success of his education career.
According to Inciardi (1918) as a primary group and social unit, this family also provides protection. Shelter, support, placement for the member, family play is the home of the child which plays an important roles in his life before the school come in that is why a child from a well settled home that receives all the care and love needed, will mostly perform better than his counterpart from a polygamous home.
In conclusion, this type of family of this child, affect his academic performance in the school. This is in term of polygamous rich or poor, educated, uneducated, upper middle, lower class family.

2.4       Problem Associated with Polygamy.
All the same, the multifarious problem associated with polygamous can cause a lot of negative effect on the grown child. Sear and Kun (1967) remarked that aggression in the child was related to disagreement between the parents as well as to the severity of punishment by parent. Every parent has a duty to perform in the in the upbringing of their children. The child is taught good habit by both parents by example interacting and co-operative with them the way the child behaves, under takes a task or assumes responsibility. Depends on the type of training he has been given.
There should be that parent-child relationship which must be free of hypocrisy, flattering, lawlessness deceit and pretense. Farngon (1978). Made some finding on the relationship between delinquency in children and their family background. He found that marital disharmony and conflict among other factors led to violent delinquency in children.
            Detective parent-child relationship can cause psychological maladjustment of the child. This is the sense that parents fail to give the child love, securing direction and acceptance he needs. According to Lovell, there are some symptom of maladjustment in children, they include extreme restlessness, lying, cheating, soliloquizing inability to work hard anything, tendency to bully other children, stubbornness truancy from home to school.
Divorce is the most dissuasions effect of polygamy`ous marriage. In some case divorce may be orderly and co-operative effort on the part of two or more people to end serious conflict in the marriage. But on the long run, it has a long lasting effect on the child. In divorce, the children are trained by one parent either the father or the mother, such that the absence of both parents living together may be hazardous and affect the child psychologically or later in life. The child may be left in the care of a step mother, old relations or a house help. In short poster parent because the children are not originally their, seem released or unconcerned about their proper upbringing. Some are harsh to such children maltreating and restricting them. Such that they do not have any good or adequate emotional or social growth. This lead to various societal problem and inadequate development of child. A child with the effect of the divorce and poor up bring may be engaged in social up heaves such as way ward ness drug and alcohol addition.
2.5       The family As a Socializing Agent
            Throughout history, the family has been responsible for transforming the young family into a social adult. This process being from the time the child was born when the mother either picks her dried continually or ignore him when he is crying. This process continue until when the concept of the right and wrong is developed in life according to the parental and societal expectation this makes the family to be now as the most influential instrument of sanitization. Hence Skelnick (1963) says that in every society we are expected to find family groups with same characteristics that is a man, woman and children recognized as a distinct social unity set apart from other such units, who share a living space and who are bound to one another by affection.
2.6       Family Size
            Nisbat (1966) suggest that in the large family there is has intensive interaction between parents and children leading to a defect in verbal ability this can be interpreted as a result of bad home condition and deficiencies in a child care within a very large family. In general, children from smaller families do not show higher achievement, motivation and academic performance than those from large families.

2.7       Attitudes and interest of parents toward their child education.
There is no doubt that parent help to condition there is attitude, a parent who shows complete disregard for education and literacy may have some negative extent upon his child education progress.
According to Crows (1963), this treatment of a child at home both before and during school years has marked effect on the child personality and response to school, parent play an important role in the school of their children life. That is why they need to have a positive influence on the child.
According to Ndu (1979) the support and encouragement the child receive from home varies, so also the amount of interest this parent shows in the education.  Searse al et, (1967), the contribution of parent to the education of their children stem from the fact that, the home is where the child’s physical and psychological needs are met. The way parent cloth, feed and shelter their child and the way they protects the child from disease and bad influence will affect the child’s education.

2.8       Summary of the Review
            From the related review, the researcher looked into the effect of polygamous in marriage system on the educational development of children in secondary school. Bardis (1964) identifies some factors which brings about the institution of the polygamous families. According to him, the existence of slavery facilitated the introduction of concubines, the numerous with neighboring states, the desire for reproduction and lasting, agriculture which is formed for large yield production. It has been investigated that, the family class, a child belong in the society has effect on the education development either rich, poor, educated or uneducated. It also has been observed too that, the family size affects the education of the child, the children from small sized families perform better than those from the large family size. Polygamous marriage system can cause a lot of negative effect on growing child, such as systematic maladjustment of the child they include extreme restlessness, lying, cheating, talk to oneself, disability to work hard in anything, stubbornness etc. Divorce is the most disastrous effect of polygamous marriage.
            Conclusively, the type of family of the child, interest his academic performance in the school. There is rich, poor, educated or uneducated, upper, middle or lower class, family.

This chapter contains the research design population, sampling technique, instrument for data collection, validity, reliability, procedure for data collection method of data analysis.
3.1       The Research Design
            This is a study which is designed to cover the effects of polygamy on children’s educational development in Isukwuato local government area of Abia state. The research is basically a descriptive survey research.
3.2       Population of the Study
            The target population for the research consists of 100 respondents drawn from ten (10) schools i.e. primary and secondary selected schools in several autonomous communities in Isukwuato local government area. The population was made up of teachers, students, educationists, supervisors of schools and community leaders, etc
3.3             Sample and Sampling Technique
The researcher made use of a stratified random sampling technique in the selection of the sample population which is made up of 100 respondents.
3.4       Instrument for Data Collection
The researcher used questionnaire as the main instrument for data collection. The questionnaire is made up of two sections A and B section A was used to illicit information on the personal background of the respondents while section B was used to answer the four research questions. The questionnaire was constructed in the hiker scale type, four points rating scale and analyzed with main scores this was however augmented with unstructured oral interviews and observations. The researcher also reviewed books, articles and journals relating to the project topic.
3.5       Validation of the Instrument
After designing the questionnaire, the researcher sent it to the project supervisor who proof-read it and finally face validated it for production and administration.

3.6       Reliability of the Instrument
The questionnaire was administered to 20 respondents in the sample area to establish its reliability. The result obtained from the reliability test showed that the items on the questionnaire could be understood and easily related by the respondents.

3.7       Method of data collection.
A total of 100 copies of the questionnaire were constructed. The researchers went round, distributed them and collected the completed copies for analysis. The researcher also sought the seasoned opinions of experts in the area through oral interviews. He also reviewed books, cortiles, and journals relating to the project topic.
3.8       Method of data Analysis.
The data collection were analyzed using the liker type four point rating scale and values assigned to them as follows
-           Strongly Agree          -           (SA)    -           Appoints
-           Agree    (A)                -           3 points
-           Disagree (D)  -           2 points
-           Strongly Disagree -  (SD)    -           1 point.
The mean of the above score was obtained using formula.
X         =            Fx                 
In order to arrive at an acceptability result, the raw scores were collected and analyzed thus;
Mean =          4 + 3 + 2 + 1
                        =          10
                        =          2.5
From the working above, any mean score below 2.5 was regarded as disagree while any mean from 2.5 and above was regarded as agree.


This chapter contains the analysis of the data collected based on the research questions in tables.
Research Question1
What is the level of educational development of children from polygamous families. The responses of the respondents are presented in the table 1 below
Table 1 – Responses on the level of educational development of children from polygamous families.
Frequency and Weightings

Research Question 2
What is the effect of polygamous marriage system on the educational development of children?            
Frequency and Weightings

Research Question 3
Does the size of polygamous families affect the educational development of children?

Research Question 4
What is the attitude and interest of polygamous families towards the education of their children?

The chapter discusses the investigations carried out in the previous chapter and it curtains recommendation based on the findings.
            The discussions is in the following stages types of family structure and performance parent child relationship and performance while recommendation are for teachers, pupil/students, parents and policy makers 

5.1       Conclusions
            Ashley et al (1977) said that a child is born, knowing of ways of his society but having the potential to learn them. He claimed that it is the functions or duty of the parents to maintain good relationship with their children, to be able to improve them with psychological needs and security. Lack or absent of which result into low self esteem or lack of self realization.
            Children from monogamous homes usually have good relationship with their parents and this will definitely have a positive effect on their academic performance. Children from this kind of home spend with parents and parents watch and monitor their progress. In a polygamous home parents show less concern and interest in the academic progress of their children, since they always busy trying to make ends meet. More so, pressure from all the many wives and children wear the parents out.
            Concussively, it can be inferred that most students/pupil that hail from polygamous homes land to perform poorly.
5.2       Summary of the Findings
            Based on the data collected and analyzed, the following were the findings. The data were based on four research questions.
            For research question 1, which was on what is the level of educational development of children from polygamous families? The total mean score was 3.4 showing that the items presented were accepted.
            For research question 2 which was on what is the effect of polygamous marriage system on the educational development of children, the total mean score for all the 7 items used showed a 3.4%.
            For research question 3, which was on whether the size of polygamous families affect the educational development of children. A total of 7 items were used to illicit responses from respondents and the mean score showed 3.2%
            For research question 4 which was on what is the attitude and interest of polygamous families towards the education of their children. A total of 6 questionnaire items was used revealing a total of 3.3%.
5.3       Implications of the Study
            This study would do the following:
i.          It would help policy planners to implement the national guideline on guidance and counseling to help the educationally disadvantaged child
ii.         It would help parents to recognize the need to a stronger relationship with their child knowing its effect on the child
iii.       It would help students who are victims to cope with the challenges of polygamous upbringing.
5.4       Recommendation
            The researcher recommend the following
-           Teacher should be aware of the fact that children are from varied background therefore individual attention should be given to them to aid mental, emotional, psychological and social development.
-           Teaches should encourage pupils to do extra study by giving them home works or tutorial questions
-           Parents should be invited to discuss the academic Performance of children.
-           Guidance and counseling services should be made compulsory in schools.
-           Parents should build good relationships with their wards.
5.5       Recommendation for Further Study
The researcher recommends further work on the following
-           Girl child education in Isukwuato Benefits and challenges
-           Poor male Enrolment
-           Causes and Solutions.

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Instruction: Tick (  ) as appropriate         
Questionnaire items
Wards from polygamous homes are jobless and unemployed due to poor educational background.

Their interest is in inheritance and family rivalry is high

They prefer trade to schooling

Most of them are street hawkers

Truancy is a common feature

They have learning challenges

Some end up as drop outs

Most don’t cross the primary school level

Some are illiterates

Wards compete unhealthily in school. 

It breads low productivity in life.

It can cause personal frustration and hardship

Individuals can indulge in negative vices in life 

Parents are not able to provide love and affection

Unhealthy family feud affects academic

Parents have divided attention

There is absence of essential needs in the home

Male is low

Absenteeism and truancy are common features  

There is no motivation and inspiration at home




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