The effects of career mothers' absence on the academic performance and psychosocial state of upper primary school going children of Mumias sub-county, Kenya
Alegwa, Imelda N
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In Kenya, one cannot afford to be selective about the job one gets and its location relative to the area of family settlement. This can directly be correlated with the country's stunted economic growth whose ripple effect is rampant unemployment, forcing the citizenry to take up whatever job is available regardless of location. Consequently parents, in this case mothers, have been uprooted from their family settlements only to come back home to the family once a week, a month or even a year. This leaves the children in the care of a house-help, relative, or in extreme cases, of older siblings. The result is that these children grow up without the care and supervision that only a mother can provide, resulting in several issues for such children, particularly if they were left at an early age. This study aimed at looking into the psychosocial effects of these long, drawn out periods of a mother's absence on school-going children of upper primary age (9 to 1 5 years) whose personalities may, according to Erik Erikson's model of the psychosocial stages of development, still be taking shape. The study examined the effect of a mother's absence on both the academic perfoimance and the psychosocial state of her school-going children of upper primary age with a view to adding to the existing body of knowledge on how best to maximize the advantages of such home environments while minimizing their deleterious effects. It was designed as a descriptive survey through randomized and stratified quota sampling procedures to identify the three primary schools within the sub-county which would form the target population. The researcher then administered a structured questionnaire to a random segment of the standard seven pupils of the selected three schools. On analysis and subsequent interpretation, the results clearly indicated that those respondents of either sex who live with their mothers recorded better outcomes in both their academics and psychosocial states than those who do not. These findings, thus, disproved the hypotheses of the study by showing that a mother's absenteeism due to employment or business pursuits does have a negative effect on the psychological, social and academic outcomes of her upper primary school going child.