No academic disadvantage for children with single parents

National 1 minute, 53 seconds


A RESEARCH by Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) has shown that single parenting does not have a negative impact on children’s academic performance and happiness.


Lim Hui Yaw of the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Institute of Education, in a study recently published in Medwell Journals, debunked “a belief supposedly held by many people in Brunei that students from single-parent home backgrounds do not do well in schools”.


“This misconception appears to be based on the alleged increase in divorces in the country,” she said, adding that empirical research has yet to link single parenting to underachievement.


She explained that children from nuclear families were thought to perform better academically compared to students raised by single parents due to “the limited time” single parents spend on their children’s academic work.


The author said it was believed that single parenting may have profound negative impact on children’s academic performance.


However, her field survey involving 186 private and public secondary school students in the Brunei-Muara district found “no significant differences” in the academic performance and happiness of children raised by single parents compared to married parents.


The study looked into the academic achievements of students from both single-parent and nuclear families to determine if marital status affected children’s happiness.


The findings showed marital status did not necessarily affect children’s academic achievements as students brought up by single parents attained similar levels of academic performance compared to their peers with married parents.


Although children of single parents and nuclear families fared the same academically, the research found female students raised by single parents were likely to perform better in mathematics than their male counterparts from similar home backgrounds.


Lim said the study suggested females generally perform better than males academically.


Overall, she reiterated there is no relationship between the marital status of the students’ parents and their academic performance, noting the home environment played a greater impact on children’s self-growth and academic performance.


With the growing number of registered children whose parents are not in “intact marriages” in Brunei, the author stressed the imperative role of single parents and how they affect children’s lives socially and academically.


“Academic attainment is crucial as it brings positive opportunities of individual success in life,” she said.


The Brunei Times