The study employs correlation design in investigating the influence of learned helplessness and home background on academic performance among secondary school students in FCT, Nigeria. Three research questions and three research hypotheses guided the study. A sample of 290 students in the 2014/2015 academic session from public SSS was selected through cluster sampling techniques.143 males and 147 females from 209 urban and 81 rural public secondary schools were used. Three sets of research instruments were used to collect data: learned helplessness scale, home back ground scale and academic performance test in English Language and Mathematics. The learned helplessness scale and the home background scale were both validated through content validity and had reliability of .89 and .79. Simple percentages, frequency, mean, standard deviation, Pearson Product Moment Correlation (PPMC).The findings revealed that there is a statistical significant relationship between learned helplessness and academic performance of SSS students (r =-0.550, p= 0.000), there is a statistical significant relationship between academic performance and home background of SSS students (r= 0.465, p= 0.000) and there is a statistical significant relationship between home background and learned Helplessness of SSS students (r = 0.540, p= 0.000). The study therefore recommends that parent‘s should actively support the learning of their children in such ways as monitoring children‘s progress and communicating withschool personnel, tutor children at home to reinforce work done in school and acting as volunteer in schools as aides or in other roles. Seminars and workshops should be organize for the parents/guardians so as to equip them with necessary knowledge and skills so as to enable them play their role effectively as parents as they are the first teachers for their children and to redress problem of learned helplessness as its relate to their home background and academic performance.
1.1 Background to the study
A key goal of education is to ensure that every student has a chance to excel, both in school and life. Increasingly, children success in school determines their success as adults, determining whether and where they go to college, what professions they enter and how much they can earn.Education is an omnipotent phenomenon and an invaluable gift to mankind which influences the survival and development of human societies and cultures. It is generally accepted as an instrument excellence for achieving national, societal and personal development. It is an effective remedy for the removal of poverty in the society. Education is needed to be able to exploit and increases the value chain of natural resources. It ensures and enhances citizens‘ active participation in the democratic processes and developmental activities. This implies that the level of development and prosperity attained in future by a country shall be determined by its level of educational development.