Examination Of The Causes And Effect Of Depression Among Secondary School Students

Project and Seminar Material for Psychology

Examination Of The Causes And Effect Of Depression Among Secondary School Students

Chapter One


1.1 Background Of The Study

Education plays a critical role in the transformation of people and culture as a whole. It is also a mechanism by which an individual develops attitudes and abilities that are deemed valuable and important in society. It is the most valuable legacy a country can leave to its people, especially the youth. A high level of education confers on a student a similar high level of Meta cognitive skills, which lets the student gain a better understanding of himself as a cognitive processor, as well as the mission and technique variables needed for successful learning (Hoe, Cheong and Yee, 2013). Education is important for human capital development and capability learning (Olayanju 2014)As a result, the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN, 2013) declared explicitly in its national policy on education that education in Nigeria is a “par excellence” instrument for achieving national prosperity. Nigeria’s school system has been divided into four levels: pre-primary, primary, secondary, and tertiary education (FRN, 2013). The secondary stage of schooling serves as a transition between primary and secondary education.Secondary school education is the type of education that students get after they finish primary school but before they begin secondary school. Secondary education is significant because it serves as a pathway between primary and secondary education, as well as an agent for training individuals for productive lives in society. The general aims of secondary education in Nigeria, according to FRN (2013), are to prepare people for useful life in society and for higher education.According to the FRN (2013), secondary education’s goals include providing trained manpower at the sub-professional level in applied science, technology, and commerce; inspiring students with a desire for self-improvement and achievement of excellence; raising a generation of people who can think for themselves, respect the views and feelings of others; and respecting the dignity of lab workers. In order to meet these goals, students must be tested and examined on a regular basis by tests and exams in order to determine their level of expertise and skill in the different subjects taught.Exams are not the only tool for measuring and testing knowledge, according to Oruche (2011), but they have emerged as the major yardstick and most realistic method of evaluation in schools.Per year, students take at least three examinations during a school session. Exam cycles are seen as the pinnacle of each term; they are the time that students become more concentrated on their school work. During this time, however, some students become ill and others become sad. When students view exams as a crucial moment in the school year, they are under a great deal of pressure, to the point that they feel elevated levels of tension, nervousness, and anxiety while taking them (Olaitan & Moroluyo,2014). As a result of this case, some students have missed examinations. This results because of anxiety among students (Obikeze and Umezulike, 2013).

1.1 Statement Of The Problem

The most prevalent psychological condition is depression. It’s a disabling illness that has a negative impact on a person’s home, job or school life, sleeping and eating patterns, and overall well-being. In the last century, the prevalence of depression has risen year after year, to the point that one out of every six adults will suffer a depressive episode. Depression is a sad mental state; it is a natural but significant cause of mental illnesses such as depression and academic stress. Depression disrupts a person’s mental patterns, emotional reactions, and day-to-day behaviors. Depressive feelings, memory, alienation, social alienation, and a lack of peer involvement are all factors that lead to depression. If parents neglect this, their children may develop severe mental illnesses.

Depression is a debilitating but widespread condition (National Institute of Mental Health). A depressed disposition isn’t always indicative of a mental illness. It may be a natural response to certain life events, a symptom of certain medical problems, or a prescription or medical procedure side effect. Clinical disorder, for example, has a depressed mood as a primary or related characteristic. Some people, especially those who have been depressed for a long time, can learn to put on a “cover” to project a more positive image. This may be that they believe they “can’t” or “shouldn’t” reveal their true self to others, fearing rejection if they do. Individuals may find it difficult to ask for aid, and others may find it difficult to understand that you need assistance and care. Four of the following additional signs can be present in people with major depressive disorder: (1) Appetite, weight, sleep, and psychomotor behavior changes; (2) reduced energy; (3) feelings of worthlessness or guilt; (4) trouble thinking, focusing, or making decisions; (5) frequent thoughts of death or suicide; (6) suicide plans or attempts. Depressed students of any age may have depressed and gloomy thoughts about their academic results. They should be confident in their ability to deliver high-quality work. Schools have the ability to start developing preventive influences in children as early as primary school, which would benefit them in the long run in terms of healthy attitudes, social skills, and academic performance. achievement, as well as mental and physical health. Suicide is a possibility when depression is serious. Suicide claims over one million lives per year, or 3000 lives every day. Twenty or more people may attempt suicide for every person who successfully commits suicide. Success in examinations is now the yardstick for testing, judging, and choosing manpower in Nigeria, as well as for evaluating students for promotion and diploma awards, as it is in other parts of the world. It’s no surprise that many high school students experience anxiety during tests, which has harmed their results. This is due to the heavy focus placed on examinations in schools and by WAEC, NECO, and NABTAB, which leads students to believe that their survival in university relies on their performance in these exams. As a result, they develop a fear of disappointment, which leads to depression.

1.3 Objective Of The Study

  1. To determine if there is a major gender gap in depression in higher secondary students.
  2. To determine if there is a substantial gap in academic performance between male and female students in higher secondary school.
  3. To see whether there was a connection between depression and academic achievement in higher secondary school students.

1.4 Research Hypotheses

  1. There is no substantial variation in depression levels between male and female students in higher secondary school.
  2. There is no substantial differential in academic performance between male and female students in higher secondary school.
  3. There is no connection between depression and academic achievement among students in higher secondary schools.

1.5 Significance Of The Study

Students, guidance counsellors, the Ministry of Education, parents, and prospective scholars will benefit from the study’s results. The results of the report would favor high school students. The causes of test anxiety among secondary school students in the LGA will be exposed as a result of the study’s results. Students will be instructed on how to manage test anxiety, which can lead to depression, as a result of the study’s recommendations. This can be accomplished by holding a tutorial for students based on the study’s results. The study’s findings would also be useful to high school guidance counsellors.

1.7 Limitation Of Study

The study’s focus was limited due to a shortage of funding, research resources, time restrictions and students refusing to speak up.

1.8 Definition Of Terms


Depression is a type of mood condition that can have a significant impact on a person’s everyday life. Sadness, loss, or rage are some of the emotions that come to mind when People think of it.

School Students:

Secondary school is a school that serves as a bridge between elementary and university, typically providing general, technical, vocational, or university-preparatory courses.


Anxiety is described as a state of extreme, constant, and ongoing worry and concern about daily events.

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