The Influence Of Social Demand, Peer Pressure And Economic Instability On Adolescents’ Behavioural Pattern

Project and Seminar Material for Guidance and Counselling

The Influence Of Social Demand, Peer Pressure And Economic Instability On Adolescents’ Behavioural Pattern


The study examined the influence of social demand, peer pressure and economic instability on adolescents’ behavioural pattern in Lagos State: Implication for Counselling in Mainland Local Government Area of Lagos State. In this study, the researcher made some important recommendations that would help in finding possible solutions to the problems identified and investigated in this study. The study employed the descriptive research survey design which was used to assess the responses of the representatives of this study with the aid of the questionnaire and the sampling technique.

Also, a total of 200 (two hundred) respondents were selected and used in this study. And a total of four null hypotheses were formulated and tested with the aid of Pearson Product Moment Correlation Statistics and the independent t-test statistical tool at 0.05 level of significance.

At the end of the testing of hypotheses, the following results emerged:

  1. Hypothesis one revealed that there is a significant influence of social demand on adolescents’ patter of behaviour.
  2. Hypothesis two should that there is a significant relationship between peer pressure and adolescents’ social adjustment.
  3. Hypothesis three showed that there is significant relationship between economic instability and adolescents’ academic performance in school.
  4. Hypothesis four showed that there is no significant gender difference in adolescents’ social adjustment in school.

Chapter One


1.1 Background to the Study

Adolescents today, are generally perceived by the adults as a group who constantly engage in activities which are contrary to the norms, ethics and values of the society. According to Omoegun (2000), the adolescents due to their behaviour which are inimical to society’s norms and values, many at times, fail short of the demands of the society. The society demands that the youths should present good conducts and norms which are acceptable to the general community, which are also prerequisites for healthy living and good interactions in the society. As Onyedika (2003) observes, no decent society would like its youths to be recalcitrant to its laid down values and accepted norms.

According to Onwuama (1988), the youngsters are seen as a group constantly seeking independence from the adult society, particularly, of parents and other authority figures. This need for independence has led adolescents to take a position and views different from those of their parents and other adults, and to act in conformity with their peers, however unconventional their actions may be. Nowadays, it is not unusual to hear some parents complaining about their children’s uncooperative attitudes. These days, children tend to disobey their parents and obey their friends and take directives from them. Agunloye (2000) states that it is very essential for parents to watch out for the company that their adolescent children associate with or keep. A popular adage says, “show me your friend and I will tell you who you are”. This means that if a child associates with drug pushes or abusers, sooner or later, he would join the group. Or if he/she associates with rogues and armed robbers, he/she would sooner or later be persuaded to join the group on one of their trips and share in the booty”. A trial will convince you! So they say.

According to Onuoha (2005), parents are largely responsible for the lapses in the adolescent behaviour, because, they are expected to serve as role-models. Parents need to give more attention to the development of their adolescents in order to inculcate the right sense of discipline and correct orientation in them. This is because, where parents fail to train or bring up their child in the right direction, they (adolescents) tend to uphold the tenets of their of peers. These peers are seemingly inexperienced in child-upbringing, therefore, they inculcate in their friends wrong ideas that do not conform with the norms accepted in the community (Ayodele, 2002).

No doubt, adolescents in our contemporary society, need to be counselled and directed on the best part to follow in life. According to Mundi (2001), the school counsellors have enormous work on their hands, because they cannot afford to sit down and watch the youths who are regarded as the greater tomorrow to act as they like and then turn to deviants in the society. When the counsellors and other significant adult members of the society fail to advise and direct the adolescents against wrong behaviour, they (adolescents) would continue in their wrong acts and uphold them till adult life, and the resultant effect is a disjointed and perverse community in which anything goes, a wild jungle where anarchy reigns supreme.

Due to economic down-turn in Nigeria, and generally in the world today, parents have lost the firm grips they had on their children’s characters (Ajibola, 2000). According to Ajibola, in the olden days, when the economy was stable and in good condition, when parents were indeed breadwinners, they (parents) used to give effective instructions and directions to their children and these instructions were followed to the last letter, but these days, many parents are no more financiers of the home, and this has caused them to loose grips on their command structure to their children. Many parents these days, do not take proper care of their children. For instance, due to economic adversity, in many homes, children go out to work, by way of hawking and doing menial jobs and come to feed their parents. This situation does not warrant these parents to have the moral rights to discipline these children even though in the face of flagrant disobedience of parents’ rules and regulations.

In this perspective, guidance and counsellors have a lot jobs to do, because their natural duties are to advise and diplomatically persuade individuals to follow the part of good life in order to come out of their problems. According to Uzoma (1998), the school should use the counsellors to return the wrong behavioural pattern of the adolescents to the good behavioural patterns where they would conform to the demands and aspirations of the decent society, especially that of the parents, teachers and the significant others in the near community.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Adolescent life is no doubt, a life full of storm and stress. Many adolescents have grown wings and flown above parental control, due to peer pressure and bad ganging up. In many circumstances now, the youths in the society have turned recalcitrants, they hardly obey the rules and regulations stipulated by their parents, teachers and the significant others in the community or the school. The economic downturn in Nigeria today, has caused parents and many adults to become handicapped, and could not usurp authorities on the young ones. In this circumstance, the youths have turned away from their parents, and have focused attention to their peers who have swayed them into becoming armed robbers, prostitutes, violent demonstrators, examination cheats, thieves, hired assassins, thuggs, rioters, rapers drug abusers and addicts etc.

Due to the fact that youths of these days have not met the social demands of good values and norms of parents, teachers and others in the larger society, it has not augured well in the social community where orderliness and decorum are expected of all decent members of the society. For this lapses in lives of the young ones, the society, and indeed, parents, teachers and other adult members of the larger community have been at great pain and distress due to the seeming lack of good behaviour in majority of our youngsters. For instance, the laid down norms and expected values of the society, especially of parents and teachers are neglected by the youths, this has caused our social system, a great collapse, and no wonder there is so much decay in the system nowadays.

The above problems necessitated the examination of the influence guidance and counselling on psychosocial adjustment of students in secondary schools.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

Specifically the study intends to:

  1. Examine the relationship between school counselling practices and psychosocial adjustment of students.
  2. Investigate the perception of students to guidance and counselling.
  3. Assess the extent of psychological adjustment problems among students.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions addressed the following:

  1. Is there any relationship between school counselling and students’ psychological adjustment?
  2. To what extent does the students’ perceive guidance and counselling positively?
  3. To what extent does the students’ perceive guidance and counselling negatively?
  4. To what extent do students have psychological problems?

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study is essential when we consider the power of peer group influence on the students and the need for guidance to enable the students understand and adjust well within the school environment.

The work would be a contribution to knowledge and literature in the area that the study covered.

It will help to check some re-occurring problems which may hinder the attainment of well planned curriculum.

This study will also be beneficial to the following individuals:


Parents, no doubt, are those who nurture and take care of children after giving birth to them in the home. With this findings and recommendations made in this study, parents would be well informed, pertaining to different levels of patterns of parenting in the home. This study, no doubt will enable parents/guardians to be able to know how best to rear their children and wards, it will help them to be able to identify those recommended parenting styles that will give the children or wards good rearing process and upbringing in the society. This is because children reared in proper ways by good parenting styles, will be different from the children reared under bad or harsh parenting styles. With the application of this recommended styles of parenting, parents would be able to rear children who would be very respectful to them and the society.


The children, especially the youth in the society would benefit from the recommendations of this study because it will help them to understand the way of nurturing and bringing them up as adolescent. With this study, children would be able to identify some of the values in the family and society. With this study also, adolescents would be enable to know that they ought to be controlled and obedient to their parents, teachers and the significant others in their communities.


Teachers would no doubt, be able to understand more, the different aspect of adolescents’ behaviours. Some teachers are parents also, they will be exposed to the essence of child-upbringing by reading this work. This study will create important knowledge on parents’ demands, peer grouping and economic instability. Teachers will also be able to learn the more, that good parenting would be beneficial to both the teachers and the school system where both the teachers and the children are found. This is because, if the children are well brought up, they would be good and right thinking individuals in the society and the school.

The Society:

The society will benefit from this study because there will be great impact of this study on the individual in the society. Also both the new researchers and students who want to carry out new research on topics related to this study will find this study a reference point or material.

1.6 Scope of the Study

The study covers the influence of guidance and counselling on the psychosocial adjustment of students in secondary schools in Mainland Local Government Area of Lagos State.

1.7 Definition of Terms

The following terms were defined in this study:

(1) Adolescence:

This is described as the age of storm and stress. It is the age before eighteen years. It is a period between childhood and adulthood.

(2) Psychological Adjustment:

This is the term that denotes the psychosocial and socialization of an individual child.

(3) Transition Period:

This is the period in which an individual or a thing changes from one level to another.

Chapter Five

Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Conclusion

To conclude, we can briefly summarize the main ideas discussed above which are as follows:

Factors which might strongly affect and determines different types of human behavior styles created are mostly related to people’s community’ characteristics under which they are living which part of it reflects their living conditions, their norms ,believes, their psychological and emotional feelings towards each other within their community and towards other people of other communities and cultures.

Same styles of behavior can occur in different communities of different characteristics for an ethic, religious, psychological or historical rivalry reasons.

Behavioral styles of the same ones differ in its characteristics’ too at the same time, depending upon the reasons behind the creation of each style in the same / different community / communities and under the same characteristic of that/those community/communities which could be related to other factors (e.g., The low level of education in CA and the higher one in CB, as discussed above under point 5.

These five characteristics discussed above do not reflects the whole characteristics’ of both communities, it represents only a few of it, which the researcher assumed it as a samples to test, more over these results of this testing methodology doesn’t mean that, it is a common and the only results which could be reached, but it is the opposite case in reality- since reality shows for example that whenever democracy found to be available and exist in the society, people behavioral styles must be assertive ,democratic and positive and visa-versa – which is applicable to all of it’s characteristics discussed above in points (1-5) in a normal and real situations, in which a positive characteristics of any community must yields positive behavioral styles and visa-versa.

Techniques which might help us to deal with difficult people:

The researcher suggested the following techniques as a tool to help us in dealing with difficult behavioral styles of people, these techniques suggested are shown in the below table.

Collect the required Data and information, and then analyze the personality type of the individual:
The Timetable shown below could help us to collect the required data and information about others as the first step, and to analyze the collected data and information as the second step, in order to understand others very well and then proceed to deal with them as the third and final step

Human behavioral styles are subjected not only to socio-economic and political living conditions of the people, but to many other factors such as genetic, psychological, brain structure, norms and values act.

The development and enhancement of human behavior must be preceded by the deep understanding of those factors which affects and determines human behavioral styles through the understanding of its interdependent and interrelated relationship, and through finding out how these relations could be affected and changed among those different factors and other variables as what have been done by this research.

More over this research came to the conclusion that, the improvement of human behavior at the local or international level could leads to more cooperation, collaboration among people and exchange their experiences with each other, which enhances and promote their skills and productivity, leading to better socio-economic living conditions which strengthen those people to live under a good and positive political conditions and gain their freedom and independence.

The above minimum mentioned expected outcomes as a results of improvement in human behavior will leads automatically to bring about much more improvement in human behavior- creates a positive, productive, peaceful, assertive and creative behavioral styles of people- which will contributes strongly and directly to decrease violence, aggressiveness among people and build a peaceful societies and in turn a peaceful globe.

The ten elements shown in the chart above, on which human behavior might be based on, could be understood through discussing briefly any one of these 10 elements, such as element number one (1) – Self-Interest-Based Behavior- as an example.

Self-Interest-Based Behavior element means that, an individual behaves according to his own interests only, taking into consideration and concentrated on the achievement of his own personal goals and final mission and vision.
Burner stated that as mentioned before in this research that, “there is a deep human need to respond to others and to operate jointly with them towards an objective (Burner, 1996). This statement can be applied too to the second (2) elements

Group-interests- based behavior- as shown in the above chart. In both cases, either there is an individual objective or group objectives, human behavior might be based on one of these elements or in both of it at the same time.

This type of personal behavior which based on the first element might leads to less cooperation with others and the individual might became more aggressive in order to gain his objectives. In this case he could be categorized as a difficult person or a user (the individual who uses others relations to gain his own goals and objectives).

Therefore, to achieve the individual objectives through a self-interest -based behavior doesn’t nesecassry means that this could be achieve through a limited number of behaviors and in a limited time, it depends on many factors which might affect his behavior which usually comes prior to, during and after any behavior, the individual behaviors might allow him to gain his objectives either in the short-run or in the long – run or face a failure. This type of behavior might deteriorate human relations among people at the local level in one hand, and at the international level in the other hand.

The discussed above element (No1) can easily helps us to understand the rest of other nine elements of behavior. We have to note that, these nine elements could be influenced by these 10 elements and his relationship with each of it.

5.4. Recommendations for Future Research.

To study and understand human behavior deeply, what you have to do? The first step is that, you have to live and deal directly with a given samples of people of different cultures in their communities for at least 6 months – as the least and the minimum time – to be spent in each of these communities, in order to be able to understand the minimum information about their behavior and human relations. Human behavior is not an easy task to understand it thoroughly in reality which might need tens of years to understand for the reason that , still the previous studies either the ones which have been done by the scientists or the researchers at the individual or at the institutional level did not reach up to date to a clear and accepted common vision and it will never happen in the future because, human behavior issue is related to human beings directly, their behaviors are not stable and static due to many factors as this study concluded, more over, some of our human behavior cant be measured since it is related to our emotional and psychological feelings.

The same living conditions of a given group of people are not always necessary reflects and determines the same behavioral styles, since there are many other major and sub-major factors intervene in determining people’s behavioral styles such as, religious, ethnic, psychological, emotional, genetic, nutritional and environmental factors.

Human behavior is the most important element of growth and development for any society, therefore, great attention must be given to improve and change negative behaviors into a positive ones. The achievement of this task lays directly on the first hand on governments and on the educational institutions on the other hand.

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