Psychosocal problems and their impact on the academic achievement of orphans in selected primary schools in Nairobi
The purpose of the study was to investigate the psychosocial problems of orphans and their impact on the academic achievement. The population of study consisted of selected primary schools pupils from the informal settlements of Nairobi. The sample of the study was drawn from five primary schools. There were 84 orphans (40 boys, 44 girls) and 120 non-orphans (60 boys, 60 girls). It also comprised 10 teachers. Three instruments were used to collect data, checklist for classification of psychosocial problems of school aged children; behavior rating scale and degree of incapacitation scale adopted from Orval (1976) and revised. A pilot study was conducted in order to validate the research instruments. Purposive sampling was done to select the 84-orphan learners. Simple random sampling was done to select 120 non-orphan learners. Ten class teachers were purposively sampled. Administration of the instruments to the subjects was done by the researcher with assistance of class teachers. Data was analyzed using SPSS computer package. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used for data analysis. Specifically Pearsons product moment correlation coefficients were used to test for significant correlations and t-tests were calculated in order to investigate significant differences between and among the variables of interest. The major finding of this study was that the psychosocial problems of orphans affected their academic achievement. The orphans had more psychosocial problems than non-orphans. Orphans were also found to be having low scores in academic achievement. There existed a significant negative relationship between psychosocial problems and academic achievement (r = -0.163 * at p<0.05) Implications of these findings were presented as well as recommendations on both intervention measures that could be employed and further research. Recommendations were that the school should enhance the guidance and counseling department to help orphans have a healthy grief resolution. Teachers should also give remedial or extra instructions to the pupils with poor academic achievement to assist them attain their full cognitive abilities.