Peer Influence and Its Effect on Students’ Academic Performance in Tiko Sub-Division

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Peer Influence and Its Effect on Students’ Academic Performance in Tiko Sub-Division

Department: Curriculum Studies and Teaching


No of Pages: 53


Project Code: CST10


References: Yes


Cost: 5,000XAF Cameroonian


         : $15 for International students


This research study Peer influence and its effect on the academic performance of the students in secondary schools in Tiko sub-division. The study was limited to four secondary schools in Tiko sub-division. Six research questions guided the study.


The findings of the study revealed that the peer group influences learning and certain factors like the social economic status and parental factor as they determine membership in most groups. The study also found out that pupils are closer to their friends than to their teachers and parents concerning their academics and that parents monitor their children’s peer group association. The findings were discussed and recommendations were made.




This chapter deals with the background of the students various problems,  generally and specific objectives, research question, which are generally and specific,  justification of the study, delimitation or scope of the study and finally definition of terms.

Background of the study

People with similar interest, age group, background and social status forms a part of the Peer Group. This type of peer group is both social and primary group of like-minded and aesthetics group. The student’s behavioral change happens in the school wherein peers have a vital role in achieving such a change. Role of peer influence has direct or indirect influence in the academic achievement.


Social and emotional development and educational objectives are influenced by peer group. (Allen 2005). Peers play an increasing role of influence from early age to teenage. Adolescents have healthy relationship with their peers and give importance to them compared to other age groups and their trust.

According to Marquis, Christopher, Tilcsik, Andrais (2016) peer influence is the direct or indirect influence on people of peers, members of social groups with similar interest experience social groups with similar interest, experience, or social status. Members of a peer group are more likely to incline a persons' beliefs and behavior.


According to them, a group or individuals may be encouraged and want to follow their peers by changing their attitudes, values or behaviors to conform to those of the influencing group or individual. For example the individual affected by peer pressure, this can result either a positive or negative effect or both. These social groups include both membership in which individuals hold formal membership in this research schools.


Researchers have frequently studied the effects of peer influence in children on and on adolescents and in popular discuss the term peer influence is used most often with reference to those age groups. For children the themes most commonly studied are their abilities for independent decision-making.


For adolescents peer influence relationship to sexual intercourse and substance abuse have been significantly researched. This peer influence can be experienced through both face-to-face interaction and through digital interaction and through social media.


According to Ryan (2015), the peer group influences are more pronounced and noted in higher institutions of learning than in secondary and primary schools, partly because some of the students go away from home and stay in hostels or residents close to school where parental supervision and contact is very limited.


The influence of peer group on students with physical and health impairment is great both socially and academically in the school, because there is the tendency for members to be comfortable with the group norms and values. Sometimes, influence of peer groups may lead to aggressive behavior such as rioting in school.


Peer group influence also prompt students to form social clique with nicknames. Students with physical and health impairment are always anxious to initiate their peers socially whether in a good or bad way, they would want to go to the church or mosque due to their peers‟ influences. They may also join different clubs like Girls‟ Guides, Boys‟ Scout, Brigade, Red Cross, to mention but few (Owuamanam, 2011).

Adeola (2013) posited that the attitudes may influence students‟ social and academic achievement 0either positively or negatively. The negative aspect which could be detrimental to students‟ social and academic work are the cases of group behavior such as truancy, persistent lateness to school, juvenile delinquency, stealing, absenteeism from school, disobedience, laziness, disregarding school rules and regulations and so on.


On the other hand, the influence could be geared towards positive aspect of students‟ social and academic achievement. For instance, students could be influenced socially, psychologically, intellectually to mention but few, and all these can boost academic performance as well as good social behavior. For instance forming a reading group, going to the library, anxious to join others in answering questions in the classroom, and making friends with brilliant students (Coleman, 2014).


Castrogiovanni (2012) stated that at adolescence stage, one’s sense of identity is unstable. Apeer-labelling process may be contributing to the construction of positive identities for some adolescents with physical and health impairment but negative identities for others (Ademorokun,2013). Best friends have been found to be similar in regards to frequency of cutting class and time spent on homework.


Thomas and Landau (2012) asserted that students with physical and health impairment who care about learning are more likely to associate with peers who share this interest in academics than those who have less interest in learning. The personal value that an individual attaches to a characteristic also affects the individual’s response to change.


Adolescence is a time of transformation in many areas of an individual’s life. In the midst of these rapid physical, emotional, and social changes, youth begin to question adult standards and the need for parental guidance. (Nicole, 2004 in Castrogiovanni, 2002). It is also a time for individuals to make important decisions about their commitment to academics, family, and perhaps religion. 

Young adults begin to ask questions such as, “Is school important to me?” and “How do I want to spend my time?” The choices that adolescent make regarding their motivation, engagement, and achievement in school (and in life) and the satisfaction they obtain from their choices depend, in part, on the context in which they make such choices (Ryan, 2000 as cited in Castrogiovanni, 2002).

Teachers, parents, and peers all provide adolescents/students with suggestions and feedback about what they should think and how they should behave in social situations. These models can be a source of motivation or a lack thereof.


Modelling refers to individual changes in cognition, behaviour, or effects that result from the observation of others (Ryan, 2000 in Castrogiovanni, 2002). Observing others perform a particular behavior or voice a certain opinion can introduce an individual to new behaviors and viewpoints that may be different from his or her own.


Observation also enlightens an individual on the consequences of such behavior and opinions. Depending on these consequences, observation of a model can strengthen or weaken the likelihood the observer will engage in such behaviour or adopt such beliefs in the future.


Peer group effect/influence is an important component in determination of student outcomes. A typical student learns from discussions with his peers and can possibly be affected by their personality and attitude towards learning. Peer students can also be motivated by working together. It is well established that the quality of peers could affect a wide range of student outcomes from school performance to health conditions or even juvenile criminal behaviour.


Economists have investigated in the peer effects for a variety of peers include proximity based peers such as schoolmates. (Evans et al., 1992, Sacerdote, 2001, Hoel et al., 2005), classmates (Ammermueller and Pischke, 2009), or linkage based peer, such as friendship (Cooley 2009, Bramoulle et al., 2009).Children’s peer relationships in the early grades have consequences for children’s short-term and long-term school adjustment, including academic achievement (Bierman, 2004; Ladd, 1990).


The most frequently studied aspects of peer relations are peer acceptance/rejection and friendships. Low peer acceptance (or high peer rejection) forecasts school avoidance and disaffected patterns of engagement from kindergarten through the middle grades (Buhs& Ladd, 2001; Furrer& Skinner, 2003; Ladd, Birch, &Buhs, 1999; Wentzel, 1998).


Longitudinal studies with elementary students have clarified processes responsible for the impact of peer acceptance on achievement, highlighting the mediating roles of both classroom participation (Buhs, Ladd, & Herald, 2006) and self-perceived academic competence (Flook, Repetti, & Ullman, 2005).

With respect to the role of friends on achievement, having a close friend may promote academic achievement due to the buffering effect of friendships on children’s feelings of loneliness, which predicts lower academic motivation and achievement (Kochenderfer& Ladd, 1996). 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 behaviour they exhibit, particularly that which interest them thus, since socialization only refer to changes in behaviour, attitudes having their origin in interaction with other persons and those which occur through integration, a child learn more through interaction with peers. (Bierman, 2004; Ladd, 1990).


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 which is an established academic institution in which the behaviour 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. As a result of the various attitudes, skills, knowledge is acquired through role-play. Peer group as an agent of socialization is the most important socializing is the most important socializing agent for the developing child.

Peer group is the pivot of social change and during interaction peers; the child’s life is transformed from the helpless child into a mature adult. (Bierman, 2004; Ladd, 1990).   According to Peter and Pellegrini, (2001) 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 group. 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 group thus becomes more and more important to the child as he advances in age. Other ways in which the peer group can help the child include, teaching the culture of the society at large, 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 group 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. (Peter 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 Nigerian 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. Socialization such as family, religion, mass media, and school among others help in modifying the behaviour of the child.


Statement of the Problem

According to performances of secondary schools in Tiko Sub-division has been drastically been decreasing with time including the number of drop outs and absenteeism, at first, students were more serious with studies than now, reasons being that they were not so attached to groups made up of friends but today most students do form their own groups made up of members of the same group.


These groups created are peers, these peers ad held or are sources of bad habits leafing to poor performances despite the upgraded teaching strategies, teaching and aids than before but students’ performance has instead declined and teaching is even more student based. Some students have both positive and negative influences but the researches interest in on   the negative aspects of those peer groups and see how it affects students' academic performance.


Therefore it is on this background that the(researchers) decided to carry out a study on the consequences of peer influences on students' academic performance, with aspects of smoking, drug abuse, drinking, clubbing, absenteeism, and so on.


General Objectives

  • To examine how peer influence impacts on the students’ academic performance.


Specific Objectives

  1. To investigate the effect of peer influence on students’ academic performance in Tiko-subdivision.
  2. To   Examine how smoking affects students’ academic performance of secondary schools in Tiko Sub-division.  
  3. To   examine how drinking affects students’ academic performance of secondary schools in Tiko Sub-division.
  4. To    examine how clubbing affects students' academic performance of secondary schools in Tiko Sub-division.
  5. To     Examine how dressing code impacts students' academic performance of secondary schools in Tiko Sub-division.
  6. To examine how promiscuity affects students’ academic performance of secondary schools in Tiko Sub-division.
  7. To examine how absenteeism affects students' academic performance of secondary schools in Tiko Sub-division.


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