The Effect Of Alcoholism On The Academic Performance Of Students In Calabar South Local Government Area Of Cross River State

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The Effect Of Alcoholism On The Academic Performance Of Students In Calabar South Local Government Area Of Cross River State


This research work seeks to understand the effects of alcoholism on students’ academic performance in secondary school in Calabar South Local Government Area of Cross River State. The main objective of the study is to examine the effects of alcoholism on student’s academic performance among students in secondary school and to contribute towards a better comprehension of the significance and nature of the identified problem in order to bring possible solution to the problem. This research suggests some unique relationships between college student alcohol use and subsequent academic performance, but they also have many limitations. The instrument used in analyzing this work was questionnaire given to 210 students, thus, it was the remaining 202 properly completed questionnaires that are used for the analysis.

The questionnaire was divided into three sections; section A revolves around the demographic data of respondents such as age, sex, etc. section B and C consist of questions which will answer the research questions. A chi-square (X2) was used to ascertain the result that extent the association between the dependent and independent variables. The chi-square (X2) is denoted by the formula: (X2) = ∑ (o-e)2. Based on the findings of this study, the following recommendations are made: teachers and Parents should try to give their children moral, spiritual, social, psychological, and financial support so as to guide them against peer and societal influences and government should provide all necessary materials and equipment to make teaching and learning interesting so as to reduce anti-social behaviours in schools.

Table of Contents

  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Tables

Chapter One


  • 1.1 Background to the study
  • 1.2 Theoretical framework
  • 1.3 Statement of the problem
  • 1.4 Purpose of the study
  • 1.5 Research questions
  • 1.6 Research hypotheses
  • 1.7 Significance of the study
  • 1.8 Limitations of the study
  • 1.9 Scope of the study
  • 1.10 Basic assumptions of the study
  • 1.11 Definition of significant terms

Chapter Two

Literature Review and Theoretical Framework

  • 2.1 Alcoholism and students’ absenteeism from school
  • 2.2 Alcoholism and time students spend on Academics
  • 2.3 Alcoholism and students’ grade point average of each session

Chapter Three

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research design
  • 3.2 Area of Study
  • 3.3 Population of the study
  • 3.4 Instrument of data collection
  • 3.5 Sample and Sampling technique
  • 3.6 Data Collection procedure
  • 3.7 Data preparation
  • 3.8 Procedure for data analysis

Chapter Four

Data Presentation, Analysis and Discussion of Findings

  • 4.1 Data presentation
  • 4.2 Test of hypotheses
  • 4.3 Discussion of findings

Chapter Five

Summary, Recommendations And Conclusion

  • 5.1 Summary of the study
  • 5.2 Recommendations
  • 5.3 Conclusion
  • References
  • Appendix

List of Tables

  • Table 1: Analysis on the percentage of questionnaire returned
  • Table 2: Distribution of respondent by sex
  • Table 3: Distribution of respondent by age
  • Table 4: Distribution of respondent by class
  • Table 5: Distribution of respondent by Religion
  • Table 6: Distribution of respondent by No of alcohol intake per
  • Table 7: Distribution of respondent by major influence of academic performance among students
  • Table 8: Distribution of respondent by age at first alcoholic consumption
  • Table 9: Response to question 12
  • Table 10: Response to question 14
  • Table 11: Response to question 16
  • Table 12: Contingency table showing distribution of observed frequency for hypothesis one
  • Table 13: Chi-square computation of hypothesis one
  • Table 14: Contingency table showing distribution of observed frequencies for hypothesis two
  • Table 15: Chi-square computation for hypothesis two
  • Table 16: Contingency table showing distribution of observed frequencies for hypothesis three
  • Table 17: Chi-square computation of hypothesis three

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

In educational institutions, success is measured by academic performance. As career competition grows ever fiercer in the working world, the importance of students doing well in school has caught the attention of parents, and employers. Education is not the only road to success in the working world, much effort is made to identify, evaluate, track and encourage the progress of students in schools. Parents care about their children’s’ academic performance because they believe that good academic results will provide more career choices and job security (Idoko Joseph Onyebuchukwu, Muyiwa Adeniyi Sholarin, Agoha, Benedict Chico Emerenwa, 2015).

Academic achievement is commonly measured by examinations or continuous assessment but there is no general agreement on how it is best tested or which aspects are most important procedural knowledge such as skills or declarative knowledge such as facts. Students’ academic gain and learning performance is affected by numerous factor including gender, age, teaching faculty, students schooling, father/guardian social economic status, what they consume, residential area of students, medium of instructions in schools, tuition trend, daily study hour and accommodation as hostelries or day scholar (Idoko Joseph Onyebuchukwu, Muyiwa Adeniyi Sholarin, Agoha, Benedict Chico Emerenwa, 2015).

Past research has shown the prevalence of alcohol use among high school students, it has been found that a majority of students partake in drinking alcohol (Aertgeerts, Bert and Frank Buntinx, 2002). It has also been found that some students are able to successfully manage their academic work in spite of drinking alcohol. Despite this finding, not all students are successfully able to partake in both activities. Alcohol use is negatively affecting some students and families by causing potential dropouts and failing classes. On the other hand, some students know how to balance their academic work with their social life and not let it affect their academic performance (Butler, Adam B., Desiree Spencer and Kama Dodge, 2011).

Alcohol is a colorless, volatile, flammable liquid which is the intoxicating constituent of wine, beer, spirits and other drinks (Idoko et al, 2015). Alcohol is no ordinary commodity but a drug that can be depended upon (Adelaka, 1993). Production and consumption of alcohol in the modern Nigeria is on the increase and the volume is highly unrecorded due to illegal and local productions and the paucity of data on the legality of production (Ali, 20003).

World health organization in 2004 ranked Nigeria among the thirty nations with the highest per capita consumption of alcohol worldwide. The new drinking norms that have evolved are drinking competitions among youths. Bar owners, brewery’s representatives set out prizes for the fastest drinkers and the winner is judged based on the quantity consumed (Odejide et al, 1994). There can be lingering cognitive deficits up to 48 hours after a night of drinking. Heavy drinking by students can lead to positive blood alcohol levels the next day, affecting whether or not they even get up for class and, if they do, the quality of how information is processed and ultimately stored. Sleeping off after a buzz is a common practice, it can interfere with the sleep cycle, resulting in an increase in anxiety, jumpiness, and irritability the next day, and fatigue the day after that. Although most people take for granted that alcohol impairs memory of events that occur during intoxication, alcohol consumption has further reaching effects on memory and learning ability. In some cases the linkage between problem drinking and academic performance is profound. Drinking can affect the biological development of young people as well as their school-related achievement and behaviuor. Serious alcohol use among youth has significant neurological consequences. Alcohol damages areas of the brain responsible for learning and memory, verbal skills and visual-spatial cognition.

According to Perkins (2002) youths (undergraduates) engage in alcohol use to help them cope with academic stress, negative emotions and make them look mature. Students that use alcohol as a coping mechanism tend to indulge more always in the use of alcohol and most of the time applies defense mechanism by engaging in denial and rationalization. Almost one third of high school students admit to having missed a class and failing a test/project because of alcohol (Idoko et al, 2015).

Many researchers conducted detailed studies about the factors contributing to student‘s performance at different study levels. Ali, Shoukat, Frank Joseph (2013) suggested that a student‘s educational success is contingent heavily on social status of student‘s parents/ guardians in the society. Brown et al (2000) noticed the same that parent’s income or social status positively affects the student test score in examination. Lot of studies have been conducted in the area of student‘s achievement and these studies identified and analyzed the number of factors that affect the academic performance of the student at school, high school and even at university level (Brown, S., Tapert, S., Granholm, E. Delis, D., 2000). Their findings identified student‘s effort, previous schooling, parent‘s educational background, family income, self-motivation of students, age of student, learning preferences and entry qualification of students as important factors that have effect on student‘s academic performance in different setting. The utility of these studies lies in the need to undertake corrective measures that improve the academic performance of secondary students.

Parent‘s socioeconomic condition, which includes parent‘s academic and professional qualification, revenue and occupational affiliation, is also associated with academic gain of students. The results of many studies confirmed that academic achievement of students is contingent upon parent‘s socio-economic condition. Among many research studies conducted on academic achievement, Singleton and Wolfston (2009) examined alcohol consumption, amount of sleep, and academic performance. The study revealed the relationship between alcohol use and sleep, alcohol use and academic performance, and sleep and academic performance. The participants from Northeastern were 89% white, 98% ranged between the ages of 18-22 years, and 82% lived on campus. In short, they hypothesized and concluded that students who drink more alcohol maintain poor sleep patterns, which negatively affects academic performance. Gillespie, Wayne, Jessica L. Holt and Roger L. Blackwell (2007) examined alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine use amonghigh school students. The authors found that two out of five high school students in the United States are binge drinkers. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there were more than 1.25 million arrests foralcohol and drug abuse violations in 2004 (Gillespie et al., 2007). Alcohol and drug use can lead to poor decision making, like breaking the law, sexual abuse, getting in fights, etc. Of the respondents, 92.4% were white and the average age was 22.3 years. This study found that a little more than 68% reported using alcohol and/or drugs during the past year. Gillespie etal. (2007) looked at how many times a student drank alcohol in a week which then determined how many alcoholic drinks they consume on average.

In 2008, according to a survey by NPC and ORC Macro, 20% of adolescent in Calabar South are alcoholic by age 15, and the median age for first alcohol stood at 17.7 years for girls and 20.6 years for boys. The study further reveals that 34.4% of in-school adolescents in Calabar South have had contact with alcohol. Of these, 68.3% of them had taken alcohol between the age of 13 and 16 years. (Duru,et al., 2010). Subsequent alcoholic intake of students after debut shows a great risk of exposure to drugs and other dangerous acts. It was further reported that 34.3% of students who are alcoholic have at least a bottle daily. (Duru,et al.,2010). It was recorded in a study by Etuk,et al., (2004) that the major factor that influences adolescents behavior to take alcohol include socioeconomic factors, peer pressure and influence, gender norms and values. Slap,et al., (2003) found that in Calabar South, secondary school students from polygamous family structure are more likely to engage in activity that has to do with alcohol consumption than students from monogamous family structure. Students’ sense of connectedness to their parents, regardless of family structure decreases the likelihood of such behavior.

The high rate of early absent from class, number of time students spend to study, and students Gross Point Average (GPA) of each session in this area as a result of alcoholism and other factors uncontrolled natural urge, as well as drug dependence has had a positive relation to the poor academic performance of students in secondary schools. This issue has led to so many school dropouts, gangsters, crime; rape etc. Information, health services and support needed for students to make informed decisions are lacking in Calabar South. The short and long-term consequences of students dependent on alcohol and other substance use are grave to adolescents and the community. These can be minimized by implementing well planned counseling and guidance for students, especially in Government Schools.

Butler et al. (2011) examined the relationship between drinking and academic demands. National surveys indicate that 40% of high school students binge drink regularly, and the rate of binge drinking appears to be increasing(2011: 359-360). The results of this study suggest that students drank 38% less when they had an exam or paper due the next day. Results also indicated that a student‘s current day academic demands are related to a 30% decrease in their current day alcohol consumption. This research demonstrates that some students are not reducing their alcohol intake even when they have academic demands to meet the next day.

Aertgeerts and Buntinx (2002) examined the relationship of alcohol abuse among students and their academic performance. Irresponsible drinking patterns among high schoolstudents in the United States range between 7% and 17%. This study was conducted using a questionnaire given to 3518 first-year students who attended this specific high school. Aertgeerts and Buntinx (2002) found that 14.2% of the students were identified as having alcohol abuse or dependence, and nearly one-third of the students passed their exams on the first attempt. Results suggest that 49.7% of male students and 48.9% of female students went on to continue their second year of school. It is potentially concerning that only about half of the students succeeded and moved on to their sophomore year. This may indicate that alcohol consumption is a major social issue among high school students.

This study seeks to understand the effects of alcoholism on student academic performance in secondary school.

1.2 Theoretical framework

The use of theory is important for guidance and direction to scientific research. They are also used as a fundamental basis to understanding problems and consequently provide efficient and sustainable solutions. Theory is a set of interrelated propositions aimed at explaining and predicting phenomena.

1.2.1 Behavioural theory

The behavioural theory was initially developed to address risky alcohol use and addiction being learned as a specific behaviour by the individual (Collins et al., 2011; Horvath et al., 2014). Students who engage in heavy drinking practices are at potential risk for negative and behavioural consequences (Maggs et al., 2011). The most common factors implicated in causing student drinking are motivational factors, attitudes towards drinking, self-efficacy, and the belief that other students engage in these types of behaviours. These reasons relate to the aspect of modeling within the social learning theory (Collinset al., 2011).

Students drink because it enhances social situations, relieving them of boredom and social awkwardness (Sling, 2013). University provides the potential for students to explore, study, join clubs and participate in sober activities, although many seem to prefer involving alcohol in their activities. Students drink to develop courage in order to improve their social status. Some students feel as though they do not possess a satisfactory “social capacity,” using alcohol to enhance their behaviour during social activities (Sling, 2013).

Students are still under developed in regards to interaction and they use drinking to compensate for lacking social development and to overcome social anxiety. Drinking, then, replaces the emotional and communicative aspect of interaction and friendship building.

Theory Application

The behavioural theory states that addiction is a learned behaviour and is claimed to enhance social situations, relieving boredom and awkwardness and ultimately improving social status. This theory also reveals the social consequences of drinking and corresponding treatments, which are determined after assessing the specific individual. The most common treatment option focuses on positive thinking and goal setting, ultimately promoting positive behavioural change before the drinking becomes a problem in the future.

1.2.2 Personality Theory

The theory regarding personality defines alcohol use as influenced by specific personalities. A student’s personality may relate to their drinking habits, and according to research, substance abuse treatment has proven more effective by addressing personality factors (Polimeni et al., 2010). “Concerning the findings on personality, they argue for tailored interventions in adolescence focusing on two risk groups:

  1. Extravert, sensation-seeking boys who drink for enhancement motives and
  2. Neurotic, anxious girls who drink for coping motives” (Kuntsche, Knibbe, Gmel, & Engels, 2006, p. 11).

Student who drink excessively usually have personalities similar to that of excitement and sensation seeking, impulsiveness, extraversion and immoderation, where the sensation seekers and immoderation personalities were noted to be most at risk for future alcohol dependent lifestyles (McAdams Donnellan, 2009; Shin et al., 2012).
These students also have low inhibitory control, low levels of responsibility, and a weak will to achieve (Kuntsche et al., 2006). Students with these personalities drink more than others because of their need for excitement and to be engaged in a busy environment. In terms of personality, students’ reasons for drinking were associated with social motives and enjoyment of feelings because of their sensation-seeking and high-risk personality types (Kuntsche et al., 2006).

When students drink to cope, more frequent alcohol consumption is predicted and neurotic personality types are revealed. These individuals displayed low levels of agreeableness and a negative view of themselves; they also had difficulty talking about their emotions and feared high-anxiety situations.

Students may acquire personal problems because of their neurotic personality, using alcohol to cope with these problems, potentially causing future issues. Kuntsche et al. (2006) have stated the following:

Our suspicion is that personality traits strongly associated with sociability are likely to predict drinking in a high school or university context, which often has a strong social component. Once individuals leave these social settings, these sorts of traits may not continue to be as predicative of drinking. On the other hand, we suspect that traits like immoderation and even excitement seeking may remain fairly sturdy predictors of drinking-related variables across the life span.(McAdams & Donnellan, 2009,p. 6)

Alcohol allows for an individual to not only experiment with a new behaviour, but also a new personality and social identity. Many young drinkers hide behind various alcohol-induced personalities deliberately as a means of becoming more comfortable in a social setting (Sling, 2013).

This new personality allows for a student to excel socially both in school and after hours:

“Students use the absence of alcohol to define a daytime self who is hard-working and aspirational just as they use alcohol to construct a night-time/leisure self who is social, popular and fun” (Sling, 2013, p. 140).

Theory application

The personality theory suggests that certain personalities may influence alcohol consumption and proposes that personalities such as sensation seeking, impulsiveness and extraversion are among the most popular personalities found among students that engage in excessive alcohol consumption. When drinking serves as a coping mechanism, personalities including neuroticism are most common, with low levels of agreeableness and a low self-esteem.

1.3 Statement of the Problem

Alcohol consumption appears very rampant in schools and in the society at large. It seems to be one of the sources of the country’s major health challenge as well as social problems. The impact of alcoholism on youth has remained a source of worry to parents, schools, society and even the governments because of the attendant misbehaviours that usually follows and its negative effects on the society and educational advancement of the students. It is in the view of the foregoing that this study intends to empirically investigate the effect of alcoholism on student’s academic performance in Secondary School in Nigeria.

1.4 Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of the study is to examine the effects of alcoholism on student’s academic performance among students in secondary school in Calabar South Local Government Area of Cross River State, Nigeria. The specific objectives include:

  1. To examine the relationship between alcoholism and students’ absenteeism from school.
  2. To determine the relationship between alcoholism and the time students’ spend on academics.
  3. To investigate the correlation between alcoholism and student’s GPA in a session.

1.5 Research Questions

For the purpose of this research work, the following research questions were formulated;

  1. Is there any relationship between alcoholism and students’ absenteeism from school?
  2. To what extent does alcoholism affect the time students spend on their academics?
  3. Does alcoholism influence students’ GPA in a session?

1.6 Research Hypotheses

In relation to answering the above questions, the following hypotheses were formulated to guide the study;

  1. There is no significant relationship between alcoholism and students’ absenteeism from school.
  2. There is no significant relationship between alcoholism and the time students’ spend on their academics.
  3. There is no significant relationship between alcoholism and students’ GPA in a session.

1.7 Significance of the Study

The findings from this work will be useful to families, students, researchers, cooperate bodies and the government in the following ways;

  1. Unfold the effect of alcohol consumption on academic performance of students.
  2. Form bases for further research involving alcohol consumption and other variables other than academic performance.
  3. Enlighten the students on the health implications of alcohol consumption.
  4. Enable the parents to guide their children on the effect of alcohol consumption and its adverse effect.
  5. Enable government enact laws against alcohol consumption while in school.

The study will also serve as a contribution to academic literature. Furthermore, it will serve as a reference material for further researchers and will enrich future researchers with relevant literature and arguments on which further research can be conducted.

1.8 Limitations of the study

The following are the limitation of the study;

  1. Inadequate fund and proximity
  2. Uncontrolled factors such as stress on the part of the researcher
  3. Unwillingness of the schools, teachers and students to cooperate during the research due to personal and academic activities.

1.9 Scope of the Study

This study will be limited to the effect of alcohol among students academic performance in secondary school. The study will focus on Laurel College, Calabar South Local Government Area of Cross-River State, Nigeria. The findings from this study will be generalized to include all secondary school students on the basis that they have similar characteristics.

1.10 Basic Assumptions

  1. Sample is a true representation of the population.
  2. The variables are measurable.

1.11 Definition of Terms

The following key terms and concepts used in this research work are defined to aid comprehension.

1. Student:

Someone who is studying at a school. Someone who is very interested in a particular subject.

2. Alcohol:

According to Encanta Dictionary (2009), defines alcohol as a colorless liquid, produced by the fermentation of sugar or starch, that is the intoxicating agent in fermented drinks

3. Grade Point Average:

Is the average of all the grades you’ve gotten in school.

4. Absenteeism:

The practice of regularly staying away from work or school without good reason.

5. Academic:

Is used to describe things that relate to the work done in schools, high schools.

6. Performance:

The action or process of performing a task or function

Chapter Five

Summary, Recommendations and Conclusion

5.1 Summary of the Study

To achieve the purpose of this study, adequate literature search was done and three hypotheses were formulated based on academic performance variables such as absenteeism from school, number of time student spend on academic, and students GPA for each session. Laurel High school was selected as the case study and a sample size of 202 senior secondary school students were systematically drawn from the school. Chi-square (X2) statistical tool was adopted to test the hypotheses of the study. All the hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance, the results of the analysis revealed that majority of students’ academic performance were majorly influenced by alcohol. Notably, students tend to be lazy and looking for short cuts, due to many distractions, they engage in so many illicit activities that endangers their academic achievements and success in life. It was also observed that alcoholism can lead the students to become wayward, reckless, missing school and dropping in their gross point. Some parents laisseze-faire attitude, poor parental guidance, physical body change, hormonal increase, increase in social emphasis on “feeling among”, peer influence, and the adolescents necessary rehearsal for adult roles are all cogent factors which affect the behavior among students.

5.2 Recommendations

Based on the findings of this study, the following recommendations are made:

  1. Parents should try to give their children moral, spiritual, social, psychological, and financial support so as to guide them against peer and societal influences.
  2. Children should obey their parents and be satisfied with the little support given to them and they should also keep away from bad company.
  3. Teachers should familiarize themselves with their students so they are able to discover any anti-social behaviour and provide immediate solutions to it. Guidance counselors should give necessary counseling to the drug abusers, as well as to their parents or guardians.
  4. Government should provide all necessary materials and equipment to make teaching and learning interesting so as to reduce anti-social behaviours in school.

5.3 Conclusion

For mitigating alcohol use, many schools are already working on this through alcohol awareness programs, community approaches, and online courses. “An online alcohol education mandate for everyone coming into campus has been shown to be an effective product,” says Wyatt, who works in this field. But some schools are now looking at individual approaches as well, targeted toward specific students.

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