Peer Group Characteristics And Secondary School Students’ Academic Achievement In Commerce

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Peer Group Characteristics And Secondary School Students’ Academic Achievement In Commerce

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

Peer groups are one of the most powerful social factors influencing adolescent behavior, from everyday decisions about dressing, hairstyles, music, and entertainment to more important decisions about short and long-term educational objectives. Peer influence is influenced by factors such as students’ ethnicity, socioeconomic background, family ties, and group interests. Peers are valued even more than parents, guardians, and instructors throughout the adolescent years, and adolescents’ peer-influenced actions can have long-term effects. Peer groups are important to parents, as seen by their choices of neighborhoods, schools, and activities.

The role of peer impacts in schooling is widely acknowledged. Despite this assumption, no one can agree on the direction in which peers influence one another. Different hypotheses seek to explain this, with some implying that peers’ average ability has a negative impact on one’s schooling results and others implying that it increases one’s successes (Marsh, 2005). Peers may also have an indirect impact on students. This is mainly caused by how teachers react to various groups of students. One possible result is that if students are placed in courses based on their ability, teachers will be able to better adapt instructions to the requirements of their pupils since the group will be more homogeneous, which will benefit all students. However, the major goal of this work is to empirically prove the presence and direction of peer effects, rather than to differentiate the channels via which they act.

Recognizing the importance of peer impact, both families and policymakers have prioritized peer quality in educational decision-making. Parents, for example, are more likely to seek out better companions for their children through residential alternatives and other school selection possibilities. Many divisive educational programs, such as vouchers, school desegregation, and ability monitoring, aim to enhance student performance by altering peer groups. Nonetheless, identifying peer influences is a difficult undertaking. The most serious issue is that families and kids frequently select schools and peer groups in which they have comparable characteristics. As a result, peer characteristics may just be a proxy for other unobservable individual factors that influence results, such as student motivation to work and parental ambition and resources. A selection bias problem arises as a result of this endogenous decision. This results in a classic simultaneity bias problem, often known as the Manski reflection problem (1993).

Although a large amount of research supports the positive peer influence in the learning community, few studies have been undertaken to indicate a negative peer effect on academic achievement (krik. A. Johnson, 2000). Individuals’ sense of responsibility is seen to be absorbed by communities, which is thought to contribute to successful learning (J. Scott Armstrong, 2012). In social psychology, such a distribution of responsibility among community members leads to social loafing, in which individuals put in less effort to attain a common objective than they would if they were working alone (Karau. Steven J & Williams Kipling D, 1993, and Gilovich, T; Keltner, D & Nisbett R. E, 2006). Such a sense of disconnection and irresponsibility has a significant influence on students’ performance and ongoing evaluation. Negative peer pressure has been linked to poorer levels of academic attainment nearly as much as a Hispanic or African-American minority group in the United States (krik. A Johnson, 2000). Consistently being around unpleasant people (e.g., a lousy roommate) can also have a detrimental impact on academic performance. Males who were allocated a roommate who drank alcohol prior to college had a poorer GPA on average, according to a research on peer impacts and alcohol use among college students.

In the Karau and Williams Collective Effort Model, this ambiguity in attribution about whether peers have a positive or negative influence has been resolved (1993, 2001). According to the paradigm, highly driven people provide social facilitation (i.e., boosting one’s effort in the company of others), but less motivated people are more prone to participate in social loafing (Forsyth, D. R, 2010). Furthermore, Karau and Williams discovered that motivation is related to the activity’s difficulty and value (Forsyth, D. R, 2010); the more difficult a work is and the higher its worth, the more motivated people are. It is widely believed that peer group variables such as students’ ethnicity, socioeconomic background, family relationships, and group interests have a significant impact on students’ academic performance, and this was the focus of this study, which focused on secondary school students in the Isu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, Nigeria.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

For many years, some scholars have been interested in addressing the relationship between peer social interactions and learning achievement in school. Several studies have found that a child’s peer group has an impact on his or her social and academic development, and that these affects begin from the beginning of formal schooling. Children’s conduct, including study habits and personal academic growth, is influenced and motivated not just by their classmates, but also by their parents, teachers, and anyone with whom they come into intimate contact. Peer impact on a teenager may be quite important because of the amount of time a child spends with his or her pals each day.

Peer impacts also become increasingly prominent with time, culminating around around puberty. As a result, children must foster healthy peer groups from an early age in order to grow into well-adjusted teenagers and possibly adults. Having classmates enables a kid to develop a variety of abilities, including group interaction, dispute resolution, and trust building, to name a few. The absence of good peer group connections leads to the development of major social disorders. Peer rejection in early infancy and adolescence, for example, is a strong predictor of subsequent social and scholastic difficulties. As a result, the purpose of this study was to look at the effects of peer group factors on academic achievement in Commerce among secondary school students in Ebonyi State, Nigeria.

1.3 Research Questions

The following are some of the questions which this study intends to answer:

  1. What is the prevalence of peer group factors and academic achievement in Commerce among secondary school students in the Isu Local Government Area?
  2. What are the effects of peer group characteristics on secondary school students in the Isu Local Government Area’s Commerce subject academic performance?
  3. What efforts are being taken by parents of secondary school children in the Isu Local Government Area to improve academic achievement in Commerce?

1.4 Objectives of the Study

The major goal of this research was to look at the effects of peer group factors on academic achievement in the Commerce subject among secondary school students in Ebonyi State, Nigeria. The following were the precise objectives:

  1. Determine the prevalence of peer group factors and academic achievement in Commerce among secondary school students in the Isu Local Government Area.
  2. To see how peer group variables affect academic achievement in the Commerce subject among secondary school students in the Isu Local Government Area.
  3. To look into the measures made by parents of secondary school students in the Isu Local Government Area to guarantee higher academic achievement in Commerce.

1.5 Significance of the Study

The government of Ebonyi State, Nigeria, might benefit from this research in formulating and implementing policies that boost student performance in relation to peer influence. The findings of the study might also help schools eliminate negative peer pressure on Commerce achievement. It would also benefit researchers since it would contribute to the development of new literature in the areas of peer group factors and academic performance in Commerce among secondary school students in the Isu Local Government Area.

1.6 Scope of the Study

This study investigated the impact of Peer group variables and academic performance in Commerce among Secondary school Students in Isu Local Government Area. The study shall be concentrated to only students from Isu Local Government Area.

1.7 Limitation of the Study

The researcher was faced with inadequate time however the researcher keenly followed the time frame. The respondents were also shy about giving information thinking it was for commercial purposes but they were assured of confidentiality. Lastly it was not easy to get some respondents to respond to the questions but the researcher was patient and made several trips to collect the questionnaire.

1.8 Definition of Terms

The following terms were used in the course of this study:

Academic Performance:

Scores attained in form one end of year examination.


A social science subject that study human behaviour in buying and selling.

Peer group:

A group of students in the same class.

1.9 Organizations of the Study

The chapter one consist of the introductory part of the study which includes the study background, the statement of the research problem, the study objective and scope of the study.

The second chapter is a critical review of other literatures relevant to the study and its objectives including the theoretical framework for the study. While the third chapter is methods of data collection, sampling and data analysis used in conducting the study. The fourth chapter centres around the research findings including an analysis of how it relates to previous findings. The fifth chapter consists of the summary of findings, conclusion and recommendations base on the study objectives.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do peer groups influence academic achievement?

Peer group influence on academic achievement Table 1 showed that the students agree on ten items and disagree on five items.

Do peers relationship influence academic performance of secondary school students?

The instrument used in the study is the Peer Group and Adolescent’s Academic Performance (PGAAP) questionnaire. The reliability of the instrument was determined through test-re-test method. The finding showed that peers relationship influence academic performance of secondary school students.

What is the difference between students that belong to peer-group?

The students that are involved in peer group have a mean achievement of 59.61 while those that do not belong to peer-group have a mean achievement of 44.57%. The p- value of 0.00 is less than the alpha value (α =0.05). This means that, there is significant difference between the two groups on their academic achievement.

How do peers influence classroom engagement?

The differences may be sample-specific; Kindermann and Skinner (SCM) groups showed about the same amount of influence on changes in classroom engagement. children as active participants in relationships that will influence them over time. Thus, the active examined in terms of the resulting influences from peers.

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