Teacher ratings of academic achievement of children between 6 and 12 years old from intact and non-intact families

  • LS Molepo
  • L Maunganidze
  • P Mudhovozi
Keywords: academic achievement, children, divorce, intact and non-intact families, parent, parental divorce, self-concept, self-fulfilling prophecy, teacher ratings

Abstract

We investigated teacher ratings of the impact of parental divorce on academic achievement of children between 6 and 12 years old up to 12 months after their parents divorced. A purposive sample of 120 children attending four different primary schools in a small South African town took part in the study. One third (n = 40) of the children had experienced parental divorce (male = 14, female = 26) while two-thirds had not. Teachers rated participating children in their class on academic performance on the Conners rating scale ranging from 0 to 3. In addition, teachers obtained the average term score of each of the participating children in key academic areas, which were converted to the Conners scale for classification. Chi-square tests were used to analyse the data. Results showed that the academic performance of children from non-intact families within the age range of 6 – 9 was inferior to that of their counterparts from intact families suggesting that the experience of parental divorcee had a negative impact on children’s academic achievement. It is recommended that future research compare teacher ratings with children’s ratings on standardised tests.
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