Chapter One: Introduction

Adolescent pregnancy is formally defined as a pregnancy in a young woman who has not reached her 18th birthday when the pregnancy ends, regardless of whether the woman is married or is legally an adult. The main issues that have strongly influenced the pattern of adolescent pregnancy include the declining age at menarche and the increase in the number of years spent in school.  The major problem with adolescent pregnancy and relating to this study is that many girls who become pregnant have to leave school. This has long-term implications for them as individuals, their families and communities. Although, studies have shown that delaying adolescent births could significantly lower population growth rates, potentially generating broad economic and social benefits, in addition to improving the health of adolescents; scholars are yet to directly link pregnancy on early and later adolescents as a factor which affects students’ performance in schools.

Chapter Two: Literature Review

The aim of the study was to find out the effect of pregnancy on early and later adolescents on students’ performance in schools and its implications for guidance. This chapter outlines the review of literature. The literature is presented under sub-headings derived from the study’s research questions. The sub-headings are: theoretical framework, Teenage pregnancy and school attendance, teenage pregnancy and emotional behaviour, and teenage pregnancy and school performance. Gaps to be filled by the present study are highlighted.

Chapter Three: Research Methodology

This chapter deals with the methodology and the research instrument to be used in getting data for the study. This study uses descriptive survey type. The target population consisted of all secondary school teenagers in Ijebu-Ife metropolis, an area of Ogun State. The sample for this study constituted three hundred (300) respondents. Questionnaire will be used as instrument for data collection. Inferential statistical analysis of Pearson Product Correlation Coefficient was used in analyzing the hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance.

Chapter Four: Data Analysis

In this chapter, the researcher will analyse the data collected for the research work and interpret it according to the research hypotheses formulated in chapter one.

Chapter Five: Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

Summary and conclusions are to be drawn from the research literature, research findings and data analysis. Recommendations will be made in the final chapter.

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Research Overview

The problem of truancy in schools has persisted over the years. These acts have either been carried out individually by the students or as a group which has resulted into disruption of school activities. There is no doubt that students’ truancy generally militates against effective teaching and learning and production of useful acceptable members of the society. This study seeks to examine the place of parental occupation, family size and home location as factors that predict students’ truancy in secondary schools.

 Purpose of the study

The general purpose of this study is to investigate parents’ occupation, family size and home location as predictors of students’ truancy in secondary schools in Nigeria. The specific objectives are to:

i.  Find out the extent to which parent socio-economic background predict truancy among students.

ii. Examine whether large family size serve as producing agents of truancy

iii. Investigate the relationship between location of the home and truancy among students

iv. Discuss the extent to which peer-group influence has contributed to truancy among secondary school students?

v. Identify and discuss preventive measures to curb truancy among students in Nigeria.




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Family Background, School Location and Peer Group as Predictors of Juvenile Delinquency among Secondary School Students


Socio-criminologists overtime have been engaged in analyzing juvenile delinquency as a concept, as well as establishing causal factors with the aim of prescribing effective measures of control.  An overview of juvenile delinquency in Nigeria points towards several casual factors such as the family background, school environment, peer group influence, home location and even the negative messages derived from the mass media.

Studies have revealed that family is a major predictor of delinquency (Breivik, Olweus, Endersen, 2009; Mandara and Murray, 2006).  According to Simons, Simons and Wallace (2004) children in single-parent homes are more likely to be delinquent. there is evidence to suggest that single-parent families, especially single-mothers, expect less of their children, spend less time monitoring them and use less effective techniques to discipline them. This means that children have greater opportunities and motivation to participate in delinquent acts than do those living in a two-parent family. Hence, the absence of one parent is a major predictor for juvenile delinquency (Mack et al., 2006).

Also, the idea that many schools are delinquency-producing agencies is fundamentally based on two types of accusations:(1) the school’s failure as a socialization agency- this refers to the school’s inability to inculcate upon students the necessary social skills that enable them to interact especially with peers and adults and (2) failure in academic subject may produce a situation in which students are frustrated and they (pupils) may turn into delinquent conduct.

The peer group may be viewed as an informal network of individuals of approximately the same age. Peers are thus individuals with whom a youth shares common problems and experiences. The peer group is a convenient structure which is suitable for needs of emotionally disturbed children who are unable to meet the demands required for participation in normal groups. The peer group is a crime predisposing factor as it creates opportunities outside family situation for children to commit crime.

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1.1   Background to the Study     

  There have been several studies done within and outside Nigeria on the effects of home environment as well as the socio-economic status of parents on the academic achievement of students (Ajila  & Olutola,  2007; Uwaifo, 2012) .  Research has found many factors that influence how well a student does in school and the amount of confidence the students have for themselves. However, in Nigeria, like other growing economies, families are finding it more difficult to stay connected with their children’s education. This is most common to families living in populated areas such as Lagos where both parents work outside of the home. Carmen (2007) noted that the extended family has become significantly less extended as mobility has increased. Parents are becoming isolated from their children and finding it difficult to keep a careful watch on what needs to be done to help them succeed in school. Many families are not even led by a parent, but by a grandparent, guardian, or some other adult.

                Prior to this time, in what is sometimes called a traditional Nigerian family environment, parents were able to monitor the school work of their children carefully  and actively participated in Parents-Teachers Associations purposely to monitor the progress of their children. Report cards were valued and trusted in the home as an accurate reflection of academic achievement. Parents were able to keep in touch with the school and the life of their children in the school, and to monitor success or lack thereof. When children came home from school, homework was completed, assignments finished, and other school works were done.

With the changes in family life and indeed in societal makeup, schools are now finding it increasingly difficult to keep parents informed of and  actively engaged in the day-to-day progress of their children (Deslandes & Bertrand,  2005). Teachers and administrators are discovering that the support they once received in getting students to do their homework is not there, because the parents are not home to insist that students complete their assignments.

It must be noted that while there are so many factors influencing the ability of students to adjust to the demands of adolscence, Ozmert (2005) emphasized the importance of environmental influence as a major factor in the development of students. The family background of the student, however is the most important factor that affects the student’s. In view of this, Hussain (2006) noted that secondary school students in public schools often come from economically poor and average income families. These families face various problems causing emotional disturbance among their children.

As a result of the challenges faced by families, many adolescents however engage in unhealthy risk behaviours such as: substance abuse, dangerous dieting, eating disorders, staying out all night, unprotected sexual activity, gang violence, handling weapons, bullying, shoplifting and stealing. Specific problems that can arise from such risky behaviours during adolescence include increased levels of stress, depression, anxiety, anorexia and substance dependence.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

Although, scholars have identified the correlation between psycho-social factors and maladjustment among children, it must be noted that secondary school students are different from the typical elementary-aged children and therefore reacts differently to direct parent involvement in their lives. The focus and indeed the intent of this study concern the relationship between psychosocial factors and maladjustment among adolescents in Abuja.

1.3       Research Objectives

The purpose of this study is to investigate psycho-social factors that influence adolescent behaviour.  Specifically, the goal of this study is to determine whether the psychosocial variables of family background, parents’ socio-economic status, peer influence and the adolescents’ self concept have direct effect on their maladjustments. Hence, the general aim is expressed in the following specific objectives which are to:

  1. Examine the correlation between family background and maladjustment among adolescents in secondary school;
  2. Find out whether parents’ socio-economic status have any effect on maladjustment among adolescents in secondary school
  3. Investigate the effects of peer group influence on maladjustment among adolescents in secondary school;
  4. Examine the whether self-concept have significant effect on maladjustment among adolescents in secondary school

1.4            Research Questions

Is there any correlation between family background and maladjustment among in-school adolescents in Nigeria?

Would parents’ socio-economic status have any effect on maladjustment among adolescents in secondary school?

Does peer group influence have any effect on maladjustment among adolescents in secondary school?

Does self-concept have significant effect on maladjustment among adolescents in secondary school?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

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 1.6 Scope and Limitations of the Study

This study examines the effects of psychosocial variables of family background, parents’ socio-economic status, peer influence and self concept on maladjustments among adolescents in secondary schools using some selected schools in Abuja as case study.

The study will be delimited by a convenience sample of approximately 20 (twenty) students from five secondary schools and 20 (twenty) parents from Abuja.

Apart from the shortage of fund and time frame, the following limits are expected to be encounter in the study:

1.  It is recognized that not every parent will fit neatly into a particular parenting style.  These parent-child pairs will be discarded from the sample.

2.  Some adolescents will rate their parents as fair when in actuality they are not, therefore there will be some bias in the parents nominations.

3.  It is recognized that many adolescents may not give factual information as regards their maladjustments

4.  The accuracy of the data was limited by the skills of the researcher and validity of the tests administered.

1.7 Significance of the Study

This study will be useful to many people who may want to know the factors that could make or mar students’ during adolescence. Therefore, the study is significant in the following regards:

  1. It has provide empirical evidence to schools, parents, and students about the nature of development adolescents may encounter and how it affects their behavior.
  2. It offers a reference for future research that might investigate the same variables.

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