The Influence of Peer Groups on Students Academic Performance in Secondary Schools within Buea Municipality

Saturday, November 19, 2022

The Influence of Peer Groups on Students Academic Performance in Secondary Schools within Buea Municipality

Department: Curriculum Studies and Teaching

No of Pages: 38

Project Code: CST3

References: Yes

Cost: 5,000XAF Cameroonian

         : $15 for International students

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The present study was intended to find out the Influence of Peer Groups on students’ academic performance. Some specific objectives were made to investigate whether peer group affect the academic performance of students, to find out whether peer influence determines variation in the academic performance of male and female students, to investigates whether age does determine the extent to which peer influence affects academic performance of students. 

A survey was used to carry out the study which sample the opinion of students. The targeted population of the study comprised of three (03) secondary schools in the Buea Municipality. The sample size was made up of 25 students of B.G.S Molyko, 30 students of G.H.S Bokova and 35 students of S.B.H.S Molyko (salvation).


The instrument used for data collection was a questionnaire addressed to the students of the above institutions. The data collected were analyzed using statistical descriptive method. It was recommended that school administrators should sensitize the students about the effects of influence on students’ academic performance.


Other main stakeholders like the ministry of education should take an active part in designing policies to govern schools so as to control the behavior of students. Parents should also join schools administrators so as to help them to enforce these rules.




When children move out from the family to childcare centres, school, and the community at large, they begin to form attachments, and friendships emerge through their play. Even infants and toddlers are observed reacting rance or comfort.


By about age three, early friendships begin to form and children’s to other infants by touching them, by crying when others cry and later by offering nurtupeers begin to have a more lasting influence (Barbour, Barbour & Scully 2002).


These children begin to think and act like their friends and they begin to see that there are other values, opinions, and rules besides those set by their parents.  Peer influence is a core of every successful institution of learning and forming attachment, for any student to achieve this he or she must form positive attachment needed for his or her survival.


Background to the Study

The oxford advanced learners dictionary (2001) defined peer groups as a group of people of same age or social status. The peer groups are the first social group outside the home in which the child attempts to gain acceptance and recognition. Peer group is an important influence throughout one’s life but they are more critical during the developmental years of childhood and adolescence.


Adolescents always emulate their mates in whatever form of behavior they exhibit, particularly that which interest them thus, since socialization only refer to changes in behavior, attitudes having their origin in interaction with other persons and those which occur through integration, a child learn more through interaction with peers.


Socialization being a life-long process cannot be limited to the family members alone. As a child grows older and more matured, it become more necessary for the external bodies to be involved in his/her life. The family is not expected to provide all the education required by the growing child.


The school that is an established academic institution in which the behavior of an individual is sharpened to get him/her equipped for occupational socialization. In the school system, the child gets into the social group of “like minds” and interest. Because of the various attitudes, skills, knowledge is acquired through role-play.


Peer groups as an agent of socialization is the most important socializing is the most important socializing agent for the developing child. Peer groups are the pivot of social change and during interaction peers; the child’s life is transformed from the helpless child into a mature adult.    


Each peer group has its code of conduct which does not always conform to adult standards. The important thing is that each child takes his/her membership of the peer very serious and attempts to do anything to ensure he/she is accepted and recognized. Lack of acceptance by the peer disturbs the child especially at adolescent age.


Some children have been known to do badly in school not because they lack the academic ability to do well but because they are disturbed by the fact they are not accepted by their peer groups. What makes learning comparative is the fact that the child has equal status with the other children. There is an atmosphere of freedom in which each child learns the way of the world from others. The peer groups thus become more and more important to the child as he advances in age.


Other ways in which the peer groups can help the child include, teaching the culture of the society, making possible social mobility, providing opportunity for the child to play many social roles such as that of a leader, a follower, teacher or student.


The peer groups also help the child to win his/her independence easily from domination and set before him a goal which is more easily attainable than the expectation of adults. This in itself provides motivation for learning and is mainly responsible for the fact that all children at one stage or the other regard their membership of peer group as very important.   


When the family is not supportive for instance, if the parents work extra jobs and are largely unavailable, their children may turn to their peer for emotional support. This also occur when the conflict between parents and children during adolescence or at any stage during a child’s development becomes so great that the child feels pushed away and seeks company elsewhere.


Most children and adolescents in this position do not discriminate about the kind of group they join. They will often turn to a group simply because the group accepts them even if the group is involved in negative tendency (Smith and Pellegrini, 2001). 

The need for affection or closeness is often greater than the need to do the right thing. For some adolescents who feel isolated and abandoned by members of their family being part of a peer group provides such individual with acceptance and security not available at home.


In the Cameroon society today, the influence of peer group cannot be over emphasized in a child’s life most especially child education. Peer group has in one way or the other influenced the life of children both academically, socially, morally, psychologically and otherwise. 

It helps just like any other agent of school students in Cameroon, Buea in particular Socialization such as family, religion, mass media, and school among others help in modifying the behavior of the child.


In conclusion, therefore the influence of peer group on the academic performance of secondary school students cannot be over emphasized. The peer group forms the main basis through which the child learns lot of empirical facts about his physical and social environment, acquisition of skills and value as well as attitude for a better future. 


Statement of problem

Children socialize with the people with when they associate. Through interaction over many years, acceptable social customs are taught and fostered. Other children as well as adults can have a great impact on a broad range of issues in the child’s life including achievement in schools.


The research is geared towards having a proper understanding of the way social interaction affect academic achievement and it is very important for parents, educators, and policy makers. The immediate environment such as peer, family, school, religion and other factors can encourage or discourage students’ academic performance.


This research is thus an inquiry into the influence of peer group on the academic performance of secondary school students within the Buea municipality.


Purpose of the study

The purpose of the study is to examine the influence of peer group on students’ academic performance.

Objective of the study

The objectives of this study is to:

  1. To investigate whether peer group affect the academic performance of students.
  2. To find out whether peer influence determines variation in the academic performance of male and female students.
  3. To investigates whether age does determine the extent to which peer influence affects academic performance of students. 

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