EFFECTS OF PEER PRESSURE ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN ILISHAN-REMO, OGUN STATE
1.1 Background of the Study
Educational activities are targeted at ensuring students achieve the basic goals of educational objectives which is encompassing the students good academic performance for greater tomorrow of self, society and the nation at large.
Academic performance refers to the degree to which a student achieves educational goals. Scott (2012) sees academic performance as how well a student is accomplishing his or her tasks and studies. There are no precise indicators for measuring academic performance, but most of the times; the academic performance of a student is measured by his grades in class assignment, tests and examination. The issue of poor academic performance in Nigeria evidenced by the failure rate of students in external examination like SSCE and NECO is becoming alarming. Statistics from the West African Examination Council revealed that between 2012 and 2014, 80.9% of candidates have 2 credits and above 70.3% have 3 credits and above. The report further showed that 16.73% of candidates’ results were withheld because of examination malpractices.
Several factors have been attributed as causes of poor academic performance. Teachers’ non-adoption of verbal reinforcement strategy, poor attitude of teachers to their job
lack of qualified and competent teachers and poor style of teaching have been identified as possible causes of poor academic performance(Arief, 2011). The causes of poor academic performance could also be attributed to student-factors such as inability of students to manage their time, poor preparation, inability to withhold peer pressure and seriousness of students towards their academic endeavours.
The extent to which the educational objectives are achieved is determined by level of peer pressure occurring around students amongst other factors. Peers play a vital role in the social and emotional formation of students, especially at adolescent stage. Peers influence starts from an early age and becomes stronger at the teenage stages and adolescents. Hence it is normal, natural and important for adolescents to have and rely on their friends as they grow and develop.
A peer is anyone one look up to in behaviour. It is equally someone who thinks is equal to one’s age, class and ability (Hardcastle, 2002). On the other hand, pressure means the influence on people to do certain things, which may at times be against their wish. Peer pressure is the ability of people from same social class or age to influence another of same age or class (Jones, 2010). Peer pressure is equally the influences peers have on each other. Peer pressure is also a force exert by people that is influenced by ideas, values and behaviours either positively or negatively and always associated with adolescents.
The term “peer pressure” is mostly associated with teenagers or adolescents, but in reality, it is not confined to teenagers alone (Areif, 2011). Peer pressure is common with variants of adolescents’ risk taking such as delinquency, drug abuse, sexual behaviours, and so on. Peer pressure can also have positive effects when youths are influenced by their peers towards positive and good behaviour such as volunteering for charity, challenge or motivate peers to put up their academic performance