The study sought to determine the influence of socio-economic background on self-concept and academic achievement of junior secondary school students. The study also sought to find out the mean and standard deviation of whether school location influences junior secondary school student self-concept and academic achievement. The influence of gender on self concept and academic achievement. Six research question and six null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. An ex-post-facto design was used for the study. The population was made up of all the junior secondary II student in Aguata education zone. The sample size is 300, simple random sampling technique was used to select 10 schools from 36 co-educational secondary schools in Aguata education zone, five from urban and five from rural area. The instrument used for this study was students socio-economic background questionnaire, it was developed and validated, also self-concept rating scale which was adapted from Piers Haris self-concept scale was also validated ad used for data collection. Mean and standard deviation were used to answer research questions and t-test statistic tool was used to test hypotheses 3, 4, 5, and 6 while analysis of variance was used to test hypotheses was used to test hypotheses 1 and 2. The study revealed that there are no significant difference in mean self-concepts of the students, that parental background does not influence the self concept and academic achievement of the students. It also revealed that self concept and academic achievement of student in urban area and rural area that there is no significant difference. It is also revealed that there is no significant difference between male and female students as regards their self concept and academic achievement.

Based on the findings, some recommendations were made; these include parents diversifying their sources of income so that they will be able to fund their children in school and government should build library and equip this library with appropriate reading and learning materials.




Background of the Study

The family is constitutes the child’s immediate and primary social environment. It is the most important primary group and the smallest social unit in any given society. According to Abraham (2006), family is the most personal unit, providing interaction and relationship between members of the unit. The children receive their first physical, mental, religious and emotional training from the parents that oversee the activities of family. Parents are the operators of the child’s environment. They are the first educators of their children and are responsible for providing children with the right framework for learning (Ryan and Adams, 2000).


Also, Socio-economic background refers to the social and economic standing of any given family. According to Gouc (2007), socio-economic background refers to the relative standing of a family in society based on income, power, background and prestige. Gouc (2001) further explained that socio-economic background is the relative position of a family or individual on hierarchical social structure based on access to or control over wealth, prestige and power. It is usually operational composite measure of income, level of education and occupational prestige. As Ovute (2009) explained, family socio-economic background include family income, standard of house occupied or rented, family size, parental education and level of family stability among other factors. Socio-economic background are categorized in three major forms. High socio-economic background (HSEB) as applied in this study signifies family that belongs to the highest social class. For instance children of highly placed politicians, industrialists, manufactures, importers among others may be classified as coming from high socio-economic background. Middle socio-economic background (MSEB) on the other hand refers to the social class between the lower working class and the higher class. It includes professionals and business people.

For cities in Nigeria, the minimum wage scale could be applied in categorization of people into high, middle or low socio-economic status. Those persons that earn between N18,000 – N50,000 per month are referred to be in low socio-economic class. The group of people earning above N50,000 but below N300,000 are in the middle class while those that earn above N300,000 per month belong to the high socio-economic level. Following the above guidelines, the parental socio-economic background of the students will be classified in the study. For the purpose of this study socio-economic background is the level of the family from which the student comes from in terms of income, occupation and education of the parents. These socio-economic variables may be associated with student’s self concept and achievement at school.

Self concept, also called self construction, self identity or self perspective is a multi-dimensional construct that refers to an individual’s perception of ‘self’ in relation to any number of characteristics (Bong, 1999). The self concept is an internal model which comprises self assessment (Gerrig, Richard, Zimbardo and Philip (2002).

Self concept refers to self evaluation or perception, and it represents the sum of an individual’s beliefs about the individual’s attributes. Self concept reflects how an individual evaluates himself or herself in domains in which he or she considers important. (Baldwin and Hoffman, 2002).

It indicates past selves and future selves. Future or possible selves represent individuals’ ideas of what they might become, what they would like to become, or what they are afraid of becoming. Cheng and Furuham (2004) asserted that self concept correspond to hopes, fears, standards, goals, and threats. Possible selves may function as incentives for future behaviour and they also provide an evaluative and interpretative context for the current view of self (Martin and Milot, 2007).

Tiedemann (2000) indicates that parents’ gender stereotypes and expectations for their children impact children’s understanding of themselves by approximately age 3 (Rogers, 1992). Others believe that self concept develops later, around age 7 or 8, as children are developmentally prepared to begin interpreting their own feelings, abilities and interpretation of feed back they receive from parents, teachers and peers about themselves (Benner and Mistry, 2007). Despite differing opinions about the onset of self concept development, researchers agree on the importance of one’s self concept. It influences people’s behaviours, cognitive and emotional outcome including academic achievement, levels of happiness,, anxiety, social integration, self esteem and life satisfaction (Marsh and Martin, 2011).

Individual’s self concept may be either positive or negative. A positive self concept in an individual is expressed in the development of interest to school, having many friends, putting oneself up before others, accepting compliments, always happy, and humorous, always trying new things and non jealous, (Berger, 2008). On the contrary, several signs which indicate that an individual has a negative self concept include: poor attitude towards school activities, having few friends, putting down oneself, rejecting compliments, teasing others, showing excessive amount of anger, being excessively jealous, appearing conceited and hesitating to try new things (Berger, 2008). A student can have a positive self concept in some domains and a negative self concept in others. Research believes that each individual has a global self concept that reflects how the individual evaluates his or her self worth as a whole (Byrne and WorthGawni, 1996).

Having a negative self concept during adolescence has been associated with maladaptive behaviours and emotions. In contrast, having a positive self concept has been linked to positive social and emotional development (Wade and Jay, 1998). For the fact that, negative self concept in adolescence has been associated with various maladaptive behavioural and emotional problems, it is important to address signs of negative self concept in youth. Furthermore, by determining the specific causes of a negative self concept, adolescents can be helped to combat any negative views that they may hold about themselves. Also, by intervening to improve adolescents’ self concept, social, academic and behavioural adjustment of adolescents can be improved upon.

Another model of self concept contains three parts: self esteem, stability, and self efficacy. According to Demidenko, Tasca, Kennedy and Bissada (2010), self esteem is the evaluative component, where one makes judgment about his or her self worth. In their views stability refers to the organization and continuity of one’s self concept and self efficacy is best explained as self confidence, and is specifically connected to one’s abilities. For McGraw (2008), self concept is a person’s composite or collective view of him or her self across multidimensional set of specific precepts. It is based on self knowledge and evaluation or worth of person’s capabilities that one formed through experience and interpretation of the environment. Mc lead (2008) sees self concept as how people think and evaluate themselves.

For the purpose of this study, self concept is the mental and social perception that a student has about him or her self.