THE INFLUENCE OF PEER GROUP ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS
This study was designed and carried out to find out the influence of peer groups on the academic performance of secondary school students. To achieve this purpose, for research questions were formulated. Does peer group influence have great on the academic performance of students? Does peer influence have any effect on academic performance of children from broken homes? Does peer influence have any effect on academic performance of children from broken homes? Does peer influence have varied effects on the academic performance of male and female students? Does age determine the extent of peer group influence of academic performance of students? The research instrument used to elicit responses for the purpose of this study was the questionnaire made up of four sections. The population sample was taken from four (4) secondary schools in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State and the findings of this research study were. Peer group influence has significant effect on the academic performance of secondary school students. Peer influence has significantly varied effects on the academic performance of male and female students. Peer influence has significant effect on the academic performance of children from broken homes. Age has significant effect on the extent to which peer group influence affect academic performance of students. It is concluded that peer group have influence on the academic performance of secondary school students especially at the developmental years of adolescent. It is recommended that the school in general should ensure that there is a guidance and counselling serve within its environment to help and assist children being negatively influenced by peers and also, children students with peculiar problems especially those from broken home as they have been observed to conform more to peer pressure as compared to others from stable homes.
TABLE OF CONTENT
1.1 Background to the study
1.2 Statement of problem
1.3 Objective of study
1.4 Research questions
1.5 Significance of study
1.6 Scope and limitation
1.7 Definition of terms
2.0 Literature review
2.1 Membership of peer group
2.2 Peer group influence on academic achievement
2.3 Peer group formation and their function
2.4 Peer group as an agent of socialization
2.5 Peer group relationship
2.6 Age set in Nigerian classroom
2.7 Social achievement and the peer group
2.8 Getting along with others for success
2.9 The effect of peer group on children from “Broken Homes”
2.10 Effects of peer group on male and female adolescents
3.1 Research design
3.3 Sample size and sampling techniques
4.0 Presentation, Analysis and Discussion of Results
4.1 Discussion of result
5.0 Summary, Findings, Conclusion and Recommendations
5.2 Research findings
5.5 Suggestions for further research
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The oxford advanced learners dictionary (2001) defined peer group as a group of people of same age or social status. The peer group is the first social group outside the home in which the child attempts to gain acceptance and recognition. Peer group is an important influence throughout one’s life but they are more critical during the developmental years of childhood and adolescence. Adolescents always emulate their mates in whatever form of behaviour they exhibit, particularly that which interest them thus, since socialization only refer to changes in behaviour, attitudes having their origin in interaction with other persons and those which occur through integration, a child learn more through interaction with peers.
Socialization being a life-long process cannot be limited to the family members alone. As a child grows older and more matured, it become more necessary for the external bodies to be involved in his/her life. The family is not expected to provide all the education required by the growing child. The school which is an established academic institution in which the behaviour of an individual is sharpened to get him/her equipped for occupational socialization. In the school system, the child gets into the social group of “like minds” and interest. As a result of the various attitudes, skills, knowledge is acquired through role-play. Peer group as an agent of socialization is the most important socializing is the most important socializing agent for the developing child. Peer group is the pivot of social change and during interaction peers; the child’s life is transformed from the helpless child into a mature adult.
Each peer group has its code of conduct which does not always conform to adult standards. The important thing is that each child takes his/her membership of the per very serious and attempts to do anything to ensure he/she is accepted and recognized. Lack of acceptance by t he peer disturbs the child especially at adolescent age. Some children have been known to do badly in school not because they lack the academic ability to do well but because they are disturbed by the fact they are not accepted by their peer group. What makes learning comparative is the fact that the child has equal status with the other children. There is an atmosphere of freedom in which each child learns the way of the world from others. The peer group thus becomes more and more important to the child as he advances in age. Other ways in which the peer group can help the child include, teaching the culture of the society at large, making possible social mobility, providing opportunity for the child to play many social roles such as that of a leader, a follower, teacher or student. The peer group also help the child to win his/her independence easily from domination and set before him a goal which is more easily attainable than the expectation of adults. This in itself provides motivation for learning and is mainly responsible for the fact that all children at one stage or the other regard their membership of peer group as very important.
When the family is not supportive for instance, if the parents work extra jobs and are largely unavailable, their children may turn to their peer for emotional support. This also occur when the conflict between parents and children during adolescence or at any stage during a child’s development becomes so great that the child feels pushed away and seeks company elsewhere. Most children and adolescents in this position do not discriminate about the kind of group they join. They will often turn to a group simply because the group accepts them even if the group is involved in negative tendency (Peter Smith and Anthony Pellegrini, 2001). The need for affection or closeness is often greater than the need to do the right thing. For some adolescents who feel isolated and abandoned by members of their family being part of a peer group provides such individual with acceptance and security not available at home. In the Nigerian society today, the influence of peer group cannot be over emphasized in a child’s life most especially child education. Peer group has in one way or the other influenced the life of children both academically, socially, morally, psychologically and otherwise. It helps just like any other agent of school students in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State. Socialization such as family, religion, mass media, and school among others help in modifying the behaviour of the child. In conclusion, therefore the influence of peer group on the academic performance of secondary school students cannot be over emphasized. The peer group forms the main basis through which the child learns lot of empirical facts about his physical and social environment, acquisition of skills and value as well as attitude for a better future.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Children socialize with the people with when they associate. Through interaction over many years, acceptable social customs are taught and fostered. Other children as well as adults can have a great impact on a broad range of issues in the child’s life including achievement in schools. The research is geared towards having a proper understanding of the way social interaction affect academic achievement and it is very important for parents, educators, and policy makers. The immediate environment such as peer, family, school, religion and other factors can encourage or discourage students academic performance. This research is thus an inquiry into the influence of peer group on the academic performance of secondary school students in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The objectives of this study include:
1. To investigate whether peer group affect the academic performance of adolescent.
2. To determine whether peer influence has any effect on academic performance of children of children from broken homes.
3. To find out whether peer influence determines variation in academic performance of male and female students.
4. To investigate whether age does determine the extent to which peer influence affects academic performance of students.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
To guide this study, the following research questions were formulated
1. Does peer group influence have great effect on the academic performance of students?
2. Does peer influence have any effect on academic performance of children from broken homes?
3. Does peer group influence have varying effects on academic performance of male and female students?
4. Does age determine the extent of peer group influence on academic performance of students?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The research work is carried out to examine critically the influence of peer group on the academic performance in selected secondary schools in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State. information gathered from this work is pertinent and will go along way in unveiling the influence of peer group on the academic performance of students. The importance of this study is to know whether peer group has any influence on the academic performance of a child as well as making an effect to strike a balance in the educational system in line with the national policy on education. This study will also provide an insight into the impact of peer group on academic performance of adolescents.
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