INFLUENCE OF PEER GROUP AND PARENTAL SUPPORT ON STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the study

Adolescents have always been exposed to peer influence and parental support, but the kinds of peer influence that they encounter have changed tremendously in the past years. Peers can influence everything from what an adolescent chooses to wear to whether or not an adolescent engages in drug related or other delinquent behavior. Thus, knowledge of the effects of peer support is important for all in the society. Teachers and other education practitioners and those in related professional training should have an understanding of the issues surrounding peer support. Peer influence can be seen as a pressure exerted by peer group in encouraging a person to change or achieve his/her values or desires (Spear & Kulbok, 2001). Peer influence occurs when people provide knowledge, experience, emotional, social or practical help to each other (Shery, Hilton & Curtis 2006). Generally people cannot live alone in society. They need social belongingness, attachment and the feelings of affiliation for others. This need for affiliation may be based on genetics or experience. It constitutes a relatively stable trait or behavior. Basically people need social contacts that suit them. Sometimes they need parent‟s help, love, care and guidance and some time they need friend‟s intimacy, affection and love. Generally speaking, adolescents find their friendships to be enjoyable: together they relax, joke, watch television, and participate in sports activities. Parent attachment and support may be stronger during infancy and childhood, whereas friend‟s attachment and support seems to be stronger during adolescence. Unfortunately for parents 2 within this period, adolescence prefer to receive compliments and support more from peers than from parents. In most cases, adolescent tends to replace the modeling value of the family context during early childhood with that of their peers. The adolescent in search of social acknowledgement may come under a certain amount of pressure that drives them to abide by the peers convictions or rejections. Harris (2002) maintained that peer groups have a stronger influence than that of parents because the adolescents in search for acceptance join‟s a particular peer group and identify with the behaviors and attitudes of that group. Adolescents are often willing to conform to their peers‟ behaviors in order to be accepted (Newman, 2000). As a result peers are torn between accepting the support from their parents which is to concentrate on their studies and the pressure from peers to engage in other social activities like spending time chanting on social media, playing football, visiting friends, watching television and many others. It is observed that associating with friends that serve as academic and social resources could have a direct and positive influence on achievement outcomes at school; peers may have a less influential role than parents in influencing adolescents’ academic performance. Parents are said to be the most important mentors and teachers in a child‟s life. Research on child development continues to cite the importance of parental support from the early childhood years and highlights the influence of parent and community involvement in a child‟s academic achievement and social adjustment. ( Epstein, 2001; Smrekar & Cohen-Vogel, 2001; Henderson, 2002; & Comer, 2005; ). 3 Academic achievement is the outcome of education. It represents performance outcomes that indicate the extent to which a person has accomplished specific goals that were the focus of activities in instructional environments. It is one of the major goals of a school and it plays a very important role in the life of a student. Academic achievement as measured by the standardized examination set by the Kaduna state ministry of education at the end of second and third term determines whether a student will have the opportunity to sit for the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the National Examinations Council (NECO). Therefore academic achievement defines whether the adolescent will be able to continue his or her studies. Besides its relevance for an individual, academic achievement is of utmost importance for the wealth of a nation and its prosperity (Anja, 2014). Giving the individual and societal importance of academic achievement, it is not surprising that the knowledge of the factors that influence the outcome of academic achievement are to be clear to the educators, parents, students and the society so that the standard of academic achievement could be enhanced. It is on this note that the researcher wants to find out the influence of peer and parental support on the academic achievement of senior secondary school students.

Statement of the Problem

The education of students is of utmost importance to the development of a nation. Therefore academic achievement is the best legacy a country can give to its citizens. This is evidence in the adoption of education as an instrument “par excellence” for effecting national development as contained in the National policy on education. Every nation looks up to those who achieve academically to occupy significant positions in order to improve the society. 4 Students who are academically successful and with high levels of education are more likely to be employed and enjoy stable employment; have more employment opportunities, earn higher salaries, more likely to be less dependent on social assistance, less likely to engage in criminal activity, more active as citizens and charitable volunteers and are healthier and happier than those with less education. Those who achieve academically introduce new vision and techniques that foster development

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Updated: 20th December 2019 — 7:02 am

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