Methodology, population & Sample

Chapter 3: Methodology, population & Sample

This chapter discusses the methodology used by the researcher to carry out the investigation. The chapter covered the research design, area of study, population of the study, sample and sampling techniques, instrumentation, administration of instrument, and method of data analysis. The research method used in this research is the survey method.

This research is organized and released as follow:

Chapter 1: Introduction to Academic Development of Students

Chapter 2: Review of the Effects of Marital Conflict on Academic Development of Students

Chapter 3: Methodology, population & Sample

Chapter 4: Analysis of Results and Test of Hypotheses

Chapter 5: Conclusion & Recommendations

This chapter discusses the methodology used by the researcher to carry out the investigation. The chapter covered the research design, area of study, population of the study, sample and sampling techniques, instrumentation, administration of instrument, and method of data analysis. The research method used in this research is the survey method.

3.1     Research Design

This study will make use of a correlational survey design. The correlational survey design is interested in establishing the relationship between two or more variables concerning the population. This research chose the correlational survey to determine or indicate the magnitude and the direction of the relationship between the independent variable, marital conflicts such as divorce, sexual denial, child-rearing, external pressure from in-laws, financial problems and communication breakdown and the dependent variable academic development of students in areas which includes psychomotor domain, cognitive domains, and affective domains.

3.2     Area of Study

The area of study is the Umuahia Education Zone, Abia State. According to the information obtained from the records of the Secondary Education Management Board (SEMB), Abia state, the zone has four (4) Local Government Areas and fifty-eight secondary schools as follow: Umuahia North: 16; Umuahia South: 19; Ikwuano: 13; Umunneochi: 10. Umuahia North, Umuahia South, and Ikwuano LGAs are in the Umuahia central senatorial zone of Abia State while Umunneochi is in Abia North senatorial zone. The total number of church-administered schools in the educational zone is put at 15.

Umuahia North is one of the LGAs that made up Umuahia the capital city of Abia State. Its estimated terrain elevation is about 146 meters above sea level. It stood on a Latitude of 5°33’28.8″ and Longitude of 7°28’7.28″ with an area of about 245km2. The 2006 population census put its population at 220,660 people. Umuahia south is the second LGA that made up Umuahia the capital city of Abia State, however, the area is predominantly rural. Apumiri in Ubakala is the capital of Umuahia South LGA. The population is 138, 570 with a land area of 140km2.  Ikwuano LGA has a land area of 281km2 and a population of 137, 993. It can be regarded as the food basket of Abia state because the area is endowed with rich agricultural land. Umunneochi is made up of three major septs, namely, Umuchieze, Nneato, and Isiochi. The major occupation of the Umunneochi people includes agriculture, trading, and mining of granite, quorite, and laterite. Umunneochi LGA is located at longitude 5.9oN and latitude 7.4oE. The 2006 census put its population and land area at 163, 928, and 368km2 respectively.

3.3     Population of Study

The target population of the study comprised of 413 subjects made up of 35 principals and 378 teachers in the church-administered senior secondary schools in Umuahia education zone, Abia State. The choice of the population of principals and teachers is because they have had several years of experience working with children from both intact and conflict families. Principals and teachers usually have interactions with both students and parents on the academic development of their students, they understand the performance of their students and when they deviate due to problems at home. The table below shows the population distribution of principals and teachers from the different LGAs in the Umuahia education zone.

Table 3.3.1: Population Distribution of Principals and Teachers

S/NLGANo. of schoolsNo. of PrincipalsNo. of TeachersTotal
1Ikwuano255459
2Umuahia North614150190
3Umuahia South4996105
4Umunneochi377885
 TOTAL1535378413

3.4     Sample and Sampling Techniques

The sample of the study comprised 225, made up of 35 principals and 190 teachers in all the church-administered senior secondary schools in the education zone out of a population of 413. All the principals in the schools were included under-sample. A simple random sampling technique will be used in choosing the teacher sample. 50% of the teachers’ population will be chosen from each church-administered senior secondary school. This is done by randomly selecting a teacher from the pool of teachers in each school. The sample used in tabulated below:

Table 3.4.1: Distribution of principals and teachers’ samples

S/NLGANo. of schoolsNo. of PrincipalsNo. of TeachersTotal
1Ikwuano252759
2Umuahia North61476190
3Umuahia South4948105
4Umunneochi373985
 TOTAL1535190225

3.5     Instrumentation

3.5.1 Instrument for data collection

The instrument for data collection is a researcher constructed questionnaire tagged: “Effects of Marital Conflict on Academic Development of Students (EMCADS). The questionnaire is categorized into two sections, A and B. Section A obtained information on the personal data of the respondents, while section B elicited information on the effects of marital conflicts on students’ academic performance in the areas which include psychomotor development, cognitive development, and affective domains. The respondents, namely principals and teachers are expected to indicate their level of agreement on the effects of marital conflict on academic development. The questionnaire has a four-point scale: strongly agreed (SA), Agree (A), Disagree (D), and strongly disagree (SD) and weighted (4), (3), (2), and (1) respectively. The respondents are expected to select one of the four-point scales on each statement that relates to the effects of marital status on academic performance.

3.5.2 Validity of the Instrument

The questionnaire will be given to the researcher’s supervisor and other academics in education administration, planning, measurement, and evaluation for necessary corrections to ensure face validity. In addition to the face validity, the instrument was content validated by item analysis, and that ensured that each item seeks the information it supposed. That is to say that by item analysis, the researcher ensured the representativeness of sampling adequacy of the content – the substance, the matter, the topic of the measuring instrument. The comments and suggestions of the experts who validated the instrument will be incorporated while producing the final draft of the questionnaire.

3.5.3   Reliability of the Instrument

The reliability of the instrument will be determined using the test-retest method. By this method, a trial test will be done using twenty teachers and five principals from Umuahia South church-administered secondary schools. The questionnaire will be collected and scored. After two weeks, the same questionnaire will be re-administered to the same respondents. The two sets of tests will be computed statistically, using the Pearson Product Moment Correlation Co-efficient (PPMCC). The reliability of the instrument will be found at between 0.7 and 0.99 levels. This will be considered a useful level for the study.

3.6     Administration of Instruments

The copies of questionnaires will be administered personally to the respondents by the researcher and some trained research assistants who will be trained on how to validate a response. Personal administration of the instrument ensured a high return rate against the mailing system which may not guarantee a high return rate. It will also help to clarify some points in the questionnaire which may appear unintelligible or prove difficult for the respondents to understand. Also, personal administration will help instrument mortality as well as allowing the respondents to get acquainted with the research assistants.

3.7 Method of Data Analysis

Frequency distribution means and pooled means will be used to answer the research questions. The responses to the items to the questionnaire will be analyzed and rated. The interpretation will be done base on the mean rating. There are two levels of decision making to be used in this research. The first concerned research questions where the Likert 4 points rating scale will be used to analyze the responses of teachers and principals on the questionnaire items. Here all mean and the pooled mean scores of 2.5 and above will be used as a basis for accepting confirmation of any of the research questions and below 2.5 will indicate a rejection. The second basis for decision-making is concerned with the testing of hypotheses.

To sharpen the research problem, an insight was made into the pattern of relationships among the variables. Four hypotheses, which provided a frame of reference for drawing conclusions based on the research findings, will be tested. The critical or table value of each null hypothesis is at 0.05 levels of significance. The result of statistical analysis would either confirm or lead to the rejection of the null hypothesis. Thus, the null hypotheses were usually tested through statistical proceedings. If at the end each hypothesis was rejected, the alternative hypothesis will be accepted. The Chi-square analysis will be adopted to test for the analysis. The formula is given below as:

Chi-Square formula

Where            Oi stands for the observed mean score

            Ei stands for the expected mean score

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