This study was carried out to examine the influence of peer pressure and time management on academic performance of in-school adolescents in Oredo Local Government Area, Benin City. Specifically, the study determined the extent peer pressure influences academic performance of in-school adolescents in Oredo Local Government Area, Benin City and, examined the extent time management influences academic performance of in-school adolescents in Oredo Local Government Area, Benin City. The study employed the survey descriptive research design. A total of 141 responses were validated from the survey. The study adopted the Ausubel’s (1963) meaningful learning theory. From the responses obtained and analysed, the findings revealed the extent does peer pressure influence academic performance of in-school adolescents in Oredo Local Government Area, Benin City is very high. Furthermore, the findings revealed that the extent does time management influence academic performance of in-school adolescents in Oredo Local Government Area, Benin City is very high. The study recommends that in-school adolescents should be be advised and guided on better time management and the adverse effects of peer pressure. This will directly increase their academic performance.
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
As children grow and develop, profound physical changes occur. These changes usher them into adolescence. Adolescence is the developmental period of transition between childhood and adulthood which involves biological, cognitive, and socio-emotional changes (Grabber; Brooks-Gunn & Peterson, 1996). Adolescence is really a difficult period. This is in-line with what Nwachukwu, (2002) called a challenging time in which physical, mental and social developments occur quickly. In other words, one can say that adolescence is a period when there is a fast tremendous change in physical, mental and social development. It is a time of transition and includes important biological, social, emotional and cognitive changes that take place quite rapidly over a relatively short period (Smith, 1998).
Traditionally, adolescence has been viewed as a critical period in development. Popular discussion, plays, films, drama and books portray adolescence as a period of storm and stress especially in a more technologically advanced society (Nwachukwu, 2002). Generally speaking, the adolescents in Nigeria are classified as youths. This is in line with Ibeh, (1990) who pointed out that the youths in Nigeria are adolescents who are in the secondary schools, polytechnics, colleges of Education and Universities. Many scholars among whom are (Uba, 1987; and Adesomowo, 1988) agree that adolescence is a transition period between childhood and adulthood. It refers to that period of the life span of an individual when physiological and psychological processes are in transition between puberty and maturity.
Behavioural scientists like Erikson also tend to agree that adolescence is a period of storm and stress (Nwachukwu, 2002). The physiological changes that take place at puberty and the necessity to pass through development tasks imposed on adolescents by society, like press for independence, vocational preparation, development of basic philosophy of life and for sexual adjustment are some of the problems which the adolescents face (Nwachukwu, 1993). It is also presumed to be rather a critical period in psychological development, forcing basic reorganizations in personality. Lewin, (1989) asserted that adolescents experience a rapidly widening life space along geographic, social and future time dimensions, and are caught in an ambiguous overlap between the roles of the child and the adult. In a dynamic and heterogeneous culture, the broadening of the life space introduces the youngster to many ambiguous or out-and-out conflict situations, which he is ill-equipped to handle. In other words, adolescents have psychosocial problems like acting –out behaviours such as aggression, anger, arguing too loud and impudence, fighting, truancy, depression, moodiness, disruptiveness, distractibility gangsterism and even cultism. With these problems, they are unable to handle the situations and even come out of them.
In-school adolescents are those students who are between childhood and adulthood stage of life usually around the ages of 12 and 18 years and are within the school setting. Speculations are rife that in-school adolescents with these psychosocial problems may not concentrate on their learning which may influence their results. Uncertainty of role, similarly creates ambiguities for the adolescent who, for example, is at one time expected to behave as an adult and at another is treated as a child.
To many specialists, like (Lingren, 2001) adolescence is presumed to be a psychologically stressful and critical period, characterized by a variety of special types of behaviour. Among the most striking psychological developments of adolescence are those involving relationships with peers. As children grow, develop, and move into early adolescence, involvement with one’s peers and the attraction of peer identification increases. As they begin rapid physical, emotional and social changes, they begin to question adult standards and the need for parental guidance. They find it reassuring to turn for advice from peers who understand and sympathize with friends who are in the same position as themselves. They feel that by trying their new values and testing their ideas with their peers, they have less fear of being ridiculed. (Lingren, 2001).
A peer can be anyone you look up to or someone who you would think is an equal in age or ability. A peer could be a friend, someone in the community or even someone on television (Hardcastle, 2002). Adolescence is associated with peer pressure. Peer pressure may play a key role in academic success. This may be true because when an in-school adolescent experiences a negative peer pressure, there may be the tendency of loosing the sense of knowing why he/she is in school and when such happens, it will surely affect his/her academic performance. According to Kirk, (2000), academics recognize that a child’s peer can have an impact on achievement, but the extent of that effect has been an open question with no conclusive answer.
Peer pressure means the influences that people of the same rank or age have on each other. Again, peer pressure is emotional or mental force from people belonging to the same social group (such as same age, grade or status) to act or behave in a manner similar to themselves (www.nation/tcc.org/tcc/). Peer pressure has a great influence on adolescent behaviour and reflects young people’s desire to fit in and be accepted by others. One can say that peer pressure is emotional feeling from people of the same age, grade or status to do things in a manner similar to themselves (www.rho.org/htm/glossary.html).
Peer pressure comprises a set of group dynamics whereby a group in which one feels comfortable may override personal habits, individual moral inhibitions or idiosyncratic desires to impose a group norm of attitudes and/ or behaviours. One may be right to say that peer pressure is the emotional force people of the same social group receive through imposing of the groups’ norm of attitude or behaviours.
Peer pressure may be a positive influence and help to challenge or motivate one to do his/her best. When an in-school adolescent who performs poorly in his/her academic activities joins peers who do group study and read very well comes out with a good academic performance, such peer may have positive effect on his members and such is a good peer pressure. Peer pressure may also result in one doing things that may not fit with ones sense of what is right and wrong. In other words, when peer pressure makes one do things that people frown at, we call such a negative peer pressure. Peer pressure may influence one in various ways like joining group who take alcohol and other drugs. It may also lead to the decision to have a boyfriend/girlfriend, joining a group whose members are crazy about what they wear and loitering about. There is evidence of peer pressure among students in Delta State. As it is usually, in – school adolescents could seen by passer by moving about in the streets, watching films and attending parties during school hours. Among in-school peers, it has also been observed that either for answering or asking questions, students are ridiculed by others. When such happens, it inflicts depression into the adolescent and such may influence his/her academic performance. Peer pressure may be present in the work place, at school or within the society. It can affect people of all ages and general community. It may affect people in different ways but here, we are concerned with peer pressure as it influences academic performance of in-school adolescents. In order to achieve peer cleavage, adolescents engage in loitering and truancy during school hours and this does not help in school success. Furthermore, the urge to do other bad acts like drinking alcohol and smoking cigarette are capable of eliciting pressure in adolescents, which have impact on their school achievement. There is on going debate that in-school adolescents with negative peer pressure may perform poorly academically while those with positive peer pressure may have enhance academic performance. However, the true position will be elicited by this work.
According to Lakein (2003) concerning adolescents is the issue of how they manage their time. It is important to get to know yourself so that you can make good decisions about what you want to do and how to use your time well to achieve it. We all have 168hrs in a week to use as we wish; however, it appears that some people make better use of this time than others. This implies that those who manage their time well do so in order to achieve the set goal while there is a tendency or possibility of those who can not manage their time not to succeed in their set goal (Lakein, 2003). However, this research work will provide an answer as to show the extent the ability to manage time or not is dependent on peer pressure.
Time management has to do with planning and scheduling activities, organizing tasks in a prioritized order, and allocating time to the tasks according to their order of importance and helping one achieve objectives (Achunine, 1995). Time management is the ability to manage and control time. The use of planners, calendars, and the like are effective tools in managing time. Implementing a routine is a method of scheduling actions, which enforce regiments to fit with a person’s flow of work and production activities. Time management teaches a number of techniques that maybe helpful in increasing the effectiveness of a person in getting things done. Time management is some what of a misnomer as time passes without regard to what we do; the only thing we can manage is ourselves. Hence, time management is mostly about self-management. One may be right to say that time management is the ability of an individual or group of individuals to make proper use of their time in order to achieve set goals.
The concept of time management is explained as behaviours that are believed to aid in productivity and alleviate stress (Misra, 2000). Implementing time management strategies helps to organize aspects of one’s life, therefore allowing one’s time to complete all the tasks necessary to reduce one’s stress level. In completing the tasks in a scheduled and organized fashion, a student will also enhance his academic performance and achievement. Time management behaviours consist of starting large assignments well before their due dates, breaking down large assignments into small ones, and completing small tasks on a regular schedule. Other effective tactics include setting goals and priorities, the use of lists and mechanics, an organized workplace, and the perceived control of time (Misra, 2000). Going by Misra, an in-school adolescent who spends his/her time on irrelevant things instead of concentrating on his/her studies may end up having a poor academic performance or total failure. The picture of loitering about by students that one sees on television and roads tends to give the indication that students in Delta -State do not manage their time well. If this is the case, academic performance may be affected.
Academic performance of a child could be defined as the learning outcomes of the child. This includes the knowledge, skills and ideas acquired and trained through their course of study within and outside the classroom situation (Epunam, 1999). According to West African Examination Council (WAEC) State Committee Meeting (2008) on students’ performance in the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) (2005-2007) in Nigeria, Delta State inclusive, thirty percent (30%) of the candidates obtained grades 1-6 (credit and above) in the same number of subjects (23 subjects) in 2005, 2006 and 2007. However, the ranges of the performance were not the same. In 2005 the percentages of performance were between 31.76% and 66.47%; in 2006, it was between 33% and 53% while in 2007, it was between 30.91% and 63.09%. This research work will establish the assertion that peer pressure and time management influence performance is true or not. This is why there is the need to investigate the influence of peer pressure, time management on academic performance of in-school adolescents in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State.