The Relationship Between Peer Group Pressure And Bullying Among Adolescents In Selected Secondary Schools

Project and Seminar Material for Guidance and Counselling

The Relationship Between Peer Group Pressure And Bullying Among Adolescents In Selected Secondary Schools


Abstract


This study examined the relationship between peer group pressure and bullying behavior among adolescents in selected secondary schools in Lagos metropolis. The descriptive survey design was used in this study. The research instrument used for this study was a questionnaire tagged PPBBAQ which was adapted by the researcher. The population of this study covered the students in selected secondary schools in Ejigbo Local Government area of Lagos State where data was collected using simple random sampling. Collected data was analyzed using Pearson moment correlation co-efficient statistical tools, descriptive statistics. Demographic data such as gender, age, and class were used. Findings showed that peer pressure has a relationship with bullying. It was concluded that there is a relationship between bullying and gender of the participants. It was therefore recommended that school administrators, vice principals and teachers should refer all victims and perpetrators of bullying to the counsellor.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the study

Schools have always been recognised as an institution for the transfer of knowledge and culture to the future generation. It is a dynamic human system dedicated to the nurturing of mutual growth and understanding between children and adult.

The school is an institution designed for the teaching of students enrolled in it and part of the purpose of the school is to develop the student through knowledge acquisition so that he/she may become a social being. By this, the student is expected to learn how to relate with fellow students, teachers and significant others in the school on the one hand, live in a harmonious way (by blending with societal values) in the society on the other hand. The school is also expected to be a place where students should feel safe and secure, and where they count on being treated with respect. The reality, however seem to be that only few students or pupils can harmoniously with their school mates without experiencing violence in the school.

Human beings are gregarious and social in nature. They hardly live in isolation but prefer to live and interact with one another. The urge to interact creates some challenges, which need to be addressed. Therefore, in order to achieve development, norms are developed to guide human interactions. Although, the norms may vary from one place to the other, there are some commonalities. One of such norms, which promotes friendship and discourages aggressive behaviours is positive interpersonal relationship. However, interpersonal relationship among secondary school students in Nigeria is gradually being threatened by deviant behaviours such as bullying.

Bullying has become a source of concern to counsellors, teachers, school administrators and parents due to its adverse effects on relationship among students. Smith (2001) reported that ten percent of children in America indicated that they had ben bullied by other students, but had not bullied others. Another six percent stated that they had been bullied and had also bullied other children. A total of thirteen percent of the students noted thatthey had bullied other students but had not been bullied. Stephenson and Smith (1989), Olweus (1991) and Craig and Pepler (1997) observed that most bullying take place in school and usually encouraged by the audience. The researchers noted that the victims of bully are the most insecure, the least likeable and the most unsuccessful in school. Also, children who are bully-victims appear to be at the greatest risk of adjustment difficulties. Boys and girls are equally likely to report being victimized by bullies. It was found that most bullies have littles or no empathy for their victims and show littles remorse about bullying.

Bullying takes place in social settings with many onlookers aware of the distress caused to victims. Up until relatively recently, most researchers have tended to employ a standard, internationally accepted definition of bullying, and many studies are based on the work of Olweus (1992): ‘A person is being bullied when she or he is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more persons.’ Olweus further argues that bullying involves an imbalance of power. Bullying has various forms, it can be verbal (e.g., name-calling), physical or indirect (e.g., spreading unpleasant rumours) (Olweus 1992). Bullying is thus a complex phenomenon, and despite the generally accepted definition, bullying behaviour has been conceptualized in different ways.

Olweus (1972) coined bullying as “mobbing,” and defined it as an individual or a group of individuals harassing, teasing, or pestering another person. Bullying and victimization are prevalent problems in the area of adolescent peer relationships.

Experiences with peers constitutes an important developmental context for children and adolescents (Rubin, Bukowski, & Parker, 2006). Children’s experiences with peers occur on several different levels: general interactions with peers, friendships, and in groups. Social competence reflects a child’s capacity to engage successfully with peers at different levels. This section will provide an introduction and overview of friendships, peer groups, and socio-metric status, with attention to developmental changes that occur during childhood and adolescence.

The impact of peer influence on adolescent development is generally associated with negative connotations. I believe that the use of the peer group as a vehicle for problem-solving development has not been fully utilized, even though it presents significant opportunities for childcare practitioners and educators.

It is wildly accepted that membership in peer groups is a powerful force during adolescence. These groups provide an important developmental point of reference through which adolescents gain an understanding of the world outside of their families. Failure to develop close relationships with age mates, however, often results in a variety of problems for adolescents – from delinquency and substance abuse to psychological disordered (Hops, Davis, Alpert & Longoria 1997). Furthermore, higher peer stress and less companionship support from peers has been associated with a lower social self-concept in adolescents (Wenz-Gross, Sipestein, Umtoh, Widaman, 1997).

As children progress through adolescence, they build knowledge baes that help them navigate social situations. An abundance of literature has suggested that there is considerable individual variation regarding cognitive skill development during adolescence as it relates to peer influence. Dodge’s (1993) research indicated that poor peer relationships were closely associated with social cognitive skill deficits. He found that adolescents who had developed positive peer relationships generated more alternative solutions to problems, proposed more mature solutions, and were less aggressive than youth who had developed negative peer relationships. Along those same lines Bansal (1996) found that adolescents who compared themselves negatively in reference to their peers experienced a reduction in attention to problem-solving tasks.

Most public and private childcare systems continue to overlook peer influence despite the growing body of literature indicating that it represents a powerful force in maintaining orderly, productive and positive academic and rehabilitative environments (Bellafiore & Salend, 1983; Brendtro & Lindgren, 1988; Emery, 1990; Gadow & McKibbon, 1984; Gibbs, Potter, Goldstein, & Brendtro, 1996; Salend, Jantzen, & Geik, 1992; Wasmund, 1988).

Pettit (1997) found the peer group to be a useful resource in decreasing violence and aggression in children; Brannon, Larson, and Doggett (1991) reported that the peer group process facilitated the disclosure of victimization by adolescent sexual offenders.

Over the past two decades, child and family-service programs have popularized the term empowerment and, to some extent, have incorporated peer-referenced paradigms into their approaches with adolescents. Many programs have failed to truly value children as partners in this process; instead, they have used peer influence to police the environment and maintain order once children have broken adult-imposed rules.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

There have been several studies on the relationship between peer group pressure and other concepts like academic performance, career choice, class courting, motivation, achievement, study habit, and truancy etc, with little or no research by scholars in the area of peer group pressure and bullying behaviour.

In addition there have been several worrisome cases in secondary schools where adolescents indulge in bullying the less stronger students and this attitude has been condemned by teachers, parents and administrators. Despite the fact that schools have rules and regulations to tackle or curb such deviant or delinquent behaviour it seems or appears inefficient and ineffective.

Also of recent the rate of bulling behaviour among adolescents in secondary schools is on the high side and several brows have been raised that such behaviour has been highly influence by peer group pressure.

It is therefore rationally viewed that if bullying behaviour can be curbed among adolescents in secondary schools it will reduce anxiety, fear and other psychological effects it has on its victims and as a result help them focus on their academics. The adolescents need to learn how to develop positive self-thought and have a personal philosophy that will guard and guide them through this period of storm and stress.

The adolescents needs to be given hints and speculations on how to select good friends, how to select or pick their friends and shouldn’t allow their friends pick them. They should vividly understand why they should move with good groups and not the bad ones because bad communication they say corrupt good manners. They should also be made to understand that a person who is a victim of bully can as a result of that commit suicide while some become fierce, wild, and notorious as a result of revenge. It is towards this view and assumptions that the study tends to ascertain the relationship between peer group pressure and bullying behaviour of adolescents in selected secondary schools in Lagos metropolis.


1.3 Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of the study will be directed to investigate the relationship between peer group and bullying behaviour of adolescents in selected secondary schools in Lagos metropolis. This research will specifically seek to;

  1. Ascertain the relationship between peer group pressure and bullying behaviour among adolescents in selected secondary schools in Lagos metropolis.
  2. Find out the relationship between peer group pressure and anxiety among adolescents in selected secondary schools in Lagos metropolis.
  3. Examine the significant relationship between peer group pressure and psychological effects among adolescents in selected secondary schools in Lagos metropolis.
  4. Ascertain the relationship between bullying and gender of the participants among adolescents in selected secondary schools in Lagos metropolis.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. Is there any significant relationship between peer group pressure and bullying behaviour among adolescents in selected secondary schools in Lagos metropolis?
  2. Is there any significant relationship between peer group pressure and anxiety among adolescents in selected secondary schools in Lagos metropolis?
  3. Is there any significant relationship between peer group pressure and psychological effects among adolescents in selected secondary schools in Lagos metropolis?
  4. Is there any significant relationship between bullying and gender of the participants among adolescents in selected secondary schools in Lagos metropolis?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

  1. There is no significant relationship between peer group pressure and bullying behaviour among adolescents in selected secondary schools in Lagos metropolis.
  2. There is no significant relationship between peer group pressure and anxiety among adolescents in selected secondary schools in Lagos metropolis.
  3. There is no significant relationship between peer group pressure and psychological effects among adolescents in selected secondary schools in Lagos metropolis.
  4. There is no significant relationship between bullying and gender of the participants among adolescents in selected secondary schools in Lagos metropolis.

1.6 Significance of the study

The will be of immense benefit to innumerable members of the society who sees peer group as a negative or wrong community otherwise known as partners in crime, hence the saying birds of the same feather flock together. The research is meant to provide government officials with more information and ideas on how peer groups and teachers in public schools relate. It will further provide teachers with ideas on how to provide dynamics that will motivate learners and adolescents, so as to give room for good academic performance and good behaviour.

School Authorities: this is necessary so that parents can gain and will understand the implications and consequences of bullied children and thus mobilize all resources to curtail the problems arising from the situation.

Parents: through appropriate parental counselling programmes, parents will easily checkmate their children if they are moving with bad gangs and if their child is passing through psychological issues.

Students: it will help students to desist from wrong company, become selective before they make friends, in other words they will loop before leaping because bad company they say corrupt good manners. It will also help students desist from violence, destruction of properties especially chairs and tables during riot or demonstration or strike. They will become enlightened that the properties are used by them and destruction of it will or may hamper the process of teaching and learning.

Government: employment into schools will be strictly for those that study education and with competent knowledge in behaviour modification. More so, there will be pre service training and in-service training for teachers for exposure and experience will serve as feedback for the government agencies.

Ministry of education: more indices that will encourage the sector to determine the psychological level of a child and the allocation given to school will be properly monitored. Policy that will bring about positive change in adaptive behaviour that will transcend to the entire society will emerge.


1.7 Scope of the Study

The study covers the relationship between peer group pressure and bullying behaviours of adolescents’ in selected secondary schools in Lagos metropolis. It is limited to selected secondary schools in Ejigbo only.


1.8 Operational definition of terms

Relationship:

This is the way in which two things are connected e.g peer group pressure and bullying.

Adolescents:

These are young people developing into adult usually between the age of 11 and 19.

Bullying:

It is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively dominate others by adolescents.

Peer group pressure:

Positive or negative is when your classmates, or other people your age, try to get you to do something.


Chapter Five


Discussion, Conclusions and Recommendations

5.1 Discussion of the Findings

Levels of Peer Pressure among In-school Adolescent

The researcher found that there exists low level of peer pressure among inschool adolescent. Data from table 1 shown that a higher percentage of in-school adolescents experienced a low level of peer pressure. The experience of low level peer pressure among in-school adolescents could mean that peer group exercised positive influence on their members in this regard. This implies that peer pressure could influence in-school adolescents to engage in group discussion, going to library to read, that will enhance their bullying. This supports the view of Black (2002) that, peer pressure may be a positive influence and could help to motivate them to do their best. With the attainment such high percentage of level of peer pressure, it implies that peer pressure has a positive influence on school adolescents, behaviour.

The few percentage of in-adolescents with high peer pressure, it means that they are being influence negatively, such as engrossment in computer games, watching of films.

The findings that a significant number of in-school adolescent experienced a low peer pressure means that in-school adolescent received less pressure from their peers. The reasons for less pressure could be that they are matured and have know what is good for them and what is bad.

Relationship between Peer Pressure and Bullying of In-school Adolescents in Ejigbo

Data from table 3 shown that there is a medium direct positive relationship between peer pressure and bullying of in-school adolescents. The findings implies that an in-school adolescents experience positive peer influence. But their ability to perform very well was attributed to other factors studied. Probably, their teacher was able to cover the scheme of work before the assessment. As a result it leads to good bullying.

Relationship between Time Management and academic performance of Inschool Adolescents

The result of the study in table 4 shown that there is medium direct positive relationship between time management and bullying. This means that the in-school adolescents utilize their time very which enhances their bullying. The finding could be attributed to some factor like time table, group discussion, doing assignment and read ahead before examination. When in-school adolescents map out thing to do daily and follow them sequentially there is tendency of them managing their time well. When such happens, it leads to better bullying which supports the finding that there is a positive relation between time management and bullying.

This is in line with Atusenuwa (2002) who pointed out that how well a student manages his or her time determines to a large extent individual chances of success and the degree of success as well. The researcher is of the opinion that proper management of time on the side of in-school adolescents could bring better bullying.

Relationship among Peer Pressure, Time Management and Academic
Performance of In-school Adolescents with Regard to Gender

The researcher found out that their exist a medium direct positive relationship between peer pressure and time management of male and female student and their bullying. The data in table 5 shown that female inschool adolescents experience high positive peer pressure, manages their time well which makes them to performed higher than the male in-school adolescents academically. This finding implies that bullying of female in-school adolescents is a little bit higher that the male in-school adolescents. This means that both female in-school adolescents and male in-school adolescents did well academically only that female in-school adolescents’ performance is a little bit higher than the male counterpart. This implies their peer group is the type that do not miss lessons instead of loitering about while classes are on. It could also be that their peer group encourages one another, in their studies through group discussions before examination. This supports Head, (1965) that a child whose siblings and peers are well motivated towards their academic work tend to achieve higher than one whose peer are more interested in social life.

The data also shown that male experienced slight negative peer pressure such as smoking of cigarette and even drinking of alcohol, but their female were able to manage their time that made them performed well academically than the male counterpart.

The analysis from chapter four revealed that there was a significant relationship between peer pressure and bullying of in-school adolescents in Ejigbo. It also revealed that there was a significant relationship between time management and bullying of in-school adolescents in Ejigbo. There was a significant relationship among peer pressure, time management and bullying of in-school adolescents with regards to gender. Based on the result of this analysis, the peer pressure and time management put together have a positive influence on bullying of in-school adolescents. The reason could be that they know why they are in school and also have the determination to succeed. Because those of the females are boarders they managed their time more than those that comes from home, where other environmental factors that tend to disturbs them.


5.2 Conclusions of the Study

In light of the findings obtained in this study, the following conclusions are made.

  1. The finding implies that as in-school adolescents experience peer pressure, the ability of them performing well academically may not be there.
  2. This shows that negative peer pressure can bring about poor bullying.
  3. The medium positive relationship between time management and bullying implies that proper management of time enhances a better bullying while the reverse is the case. Educational Implications of the Study

This study has a number of implications:

The result of this study has some obvious implications to teachers, guidance counselor, the society and the students.

The findings have revealed that their exist a low level of peer pressure among in-school adolescents in Ejigbo means that the relationship exist is the one that makes them to know why they are in school and also disassociate themselves from bad friends because evil communication corrupts good manners.

The findings that there is a low level of time management among in-school adolescents. This means that the in-school adolescents do not manage their time will in terms of supervision by their parents at home. Hence parent should monitor their adolescent and make sure they read their books. The fact that female inschool adolescent performed slightly higher than the male in-school adolescents academically means that female in-school received less peer pressure and more time for their studies and hence improved bullying. The few male inschool adolescents that receive negative relationship, the school guidance counselor should work on them and let them know the effect of negative peer pressure to bullying. Teachers should ensure that they do their assignment as at when do.


5.3 Recommendation of the Study

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

  1. Trained counselor should be posted to all the secondary schools so as to help counsel few adolescents with negative influences.
  2. Parents should have effective supervision and should not allow other home environmental factor to distract their children. There is a need for teacher to have greater supervision and regulations on in-school adolescents to enhance effectiveness of their time management.

5.4 Summary of the Study

The study was on the relationship among peer pressure, time management and bullying of in-school adolescents in Ejigbo, Lagos State Nigeria.

The researcher discovered that in-school adolescent are found loitering about when lesson is going and watching film at video centre. It is this act that necessitated the present study in investigating relationship among peer pressure, time management and bullying of in-school adolescents in Ejigbo, Lagos State, Nigeria.

The purpose of the study generally was to investigate the relationship among peer pressure, time management and bullying of in-school adolescents in Ejigbo.

The main purpose of the study was to:

  1. Find out the levels of the peer pressure among in-school adolescent.
  2. Find out the level of time management among in-school adolescents.
  3. Determine the relationship between peer pressure and academic performance of in-school adolescents.
  4. Determine the relationship between time management and academic performance of in-school adolescent.
  5. Determine the relationship among peer pressure, time management and bullying of in-school adolescents with regards to gender.

Some related literature were reviewed concerning the study. Five research questions and three null hypothesis were formulated to guide the study. The population of the study was ten thousand seven hundred and ninety (10,790). A thirty-two item research questionnaire was developed; it was administered to ADOLESCENT students. A correlational survey method was used for the study. In-school adolescents in (ADOLESCENT) composed the population from which a sample of 500 inschool adolescents was drawn in four local governments that made up the Ejigbo. They were composed using random sampling and purposive sampling technique. The instrument for data collection used was a researcher’s made questionnaire titled “Relationship among peer pressure, time management and bullying of in-school adolescents in Ejigbo, Lagos State Nigeria”. The instrument was validated by three experts from University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Two of the experts are from Educational Foundations (Guidance and Counselling) and one from Measurement and Evaluation of the Faculty of Education. Reliability of the instrument was tested using Cronbach Alpha for the internal consistency. The administration of the questionnaire was done by the researcher with the help of research assistants. The data were analyzed using mean and standard deviation, Pearson product moment of correlation coefficient while hypothesis was tested at 0.05 level of significance using multiple regression analysis.

  1. The research findings, showed that a higher percentage of in-adolescents experience low pressure while lower percentage of adolescents experience negative peer pressure.
  2. This is followed by a higher percentage of in-school adolescent with low time management.
  3. There is a medium direct positive relationship between peer pressure and bullying.
  4. There is medium positive relationship between time management and bullying.
  5. There exist a medium direct positive relationship among peer pressure, time management of male and female students and their bullying, but female in-school adolescents performed slightly higher than the male in-school adolescents performed slightly higher than the male in-school adolescents academically.
  6. There was a significant relationship between peer pressure and bullying of in-school adolescents.
  7. There was a significant relationship between time management and bullying of in-school adolescents.
  8. There was a significant relationship between male and female student with regards to peer pressure, time management and bullying of in-school adolescents.

The study made the following recommendations:

  1. Based on the finding that there exist low peer pressure among in-school adolescents, trained counselor should be posted to all the secondary schools so as to help counsel few adolescents with negative influence.
  2. The finding shows that there is low level of time management among inschool adolescents as a result of involvement in household chores and lack of parental supervision. Parent should have effective supervision and should not allow other home environmental factor to distract their adolescent. There is a need for teacher to have greater supervision and regulations on in-school adolescents to enhance effectiveness of their time management.
  3. The finding revealed that there exist a medium direct positive relationship between peer pressure and students’ bullying implies that inschool adolescents received good peer pressure that enhances their bullying. Notwithstanding the school counselor should encourage them to maintain the good relationship.
  4. The finding shows that there is a medium direct positive relationship between peer pressure and time management of male and female students and their bullying. It implies that the relationship among the opposite sex is very cordial that enhances bullying. The researcher in this recommends that the school counselor should counsel the few students with negative peer pressure such as smoking, gambling, holding parties to avoid poor bullying.

The study had the following limitations

  1. The possibility that some of the respondents may not be honest with their responses may affect the result. However, the number of the responses was good enough for meaningful generalization of the result.

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Frequently Asked Questions


Does peer pressure influence bullying behaviour among adolescents in schools?

Also of recent the rate of bulling behaviour among adolescents in secondary schools is on the high side and several brows have been raised that such behaviour has been highly influence by peer group pressure.

Does the peer group process reduce violence and aggression in children?

Pettit (1997) found the peer group to be a useful resource in decreasing violence and aggression in children; Brannon, Larson, and Doggett (1991) reported that the peer group process facilitated the disclosure of victimization by adolescent sexual offenders.

Is there a relationship between bullying and gender of participants?

It was concluded that there is a relationship between bullying and gender of the participants. It was therefore recommended that school administrators, vice principals and teachers should refer all victims and perpetrators of bullying to the counsellor.

How does bullying start?

How Bullying Starts With Peer Pressure Peer pressure is pressure from others to conform to the behaviors, attitudes and personal habits of a group or clique. Sometimes kids within a clique will pressure other kids to participate in bullying. 

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