This study was designed to find out peer influence and Social Environment on the academic achievement of senior secondary school students in Jos North. The study used ex- post factor design. Cluster and simple random sampling were used to select the sample. Four senior secondary schools with a total population of 1606 and a sample size of 338 students were drawn and used for the study. Two questionnaires were used for the study, peer support i and of Social Environment inventories. The academic achievement was obtained from the scores in English language and mathematics from the students mock qualifying examination. Three hypotheses were formulated for this study and tested using Pearson Product Moment Correlation. The findings of the study show that there is a significant relationship between peer support and academic achievement (r=0.742, p=0.018), Social Environment and academic achievement (r=0.756, p=0.003). A significant relationship also exist between parental monitoring for homework and academic achievement (r=0.838, p=0.002.) It is recommended that parents should offer psychological support to their children by way of communicating with their children about the value/utility of education, fostering educational and career aspiration in the child, linking of school work to current event, and making plans/preparations for the child‟s future. When students received such support they become more determined to achieve academically.

Operational definitions of terms
The following terms are defined operationally

• Social Environment: in this study refers when parents emphasize the value of reading books, monitor their children behavior regarding home work and study, offer psychological support by being more committed and involved with their children‟s academic work

• Peer support: Peer support in this work is when adolescent friend encourages a friend to do something positive or negative with regards to school work.

• Academic achievement: This refers to the scores in English language and mathematics obtained from the qualifying MOCK examination set by Plateau state Ministry of Education Board at the end of session term in senior secondary two (SS2) year 2016.

• Background to the study
Adolescents have always been exposed to peer influence and Social Environment, but the kinds of peer influence that they encounter have changed tremendously in the past years. Peers can influence everything from what an adolescent chooses to wear to whether or not an adolescent engages in drug related or other delinquent behavior. Thus, knowledge of the effects of peer support is important for all in the society. Teachers and other education practitioners and those in related professional training should have an understanding of the issues surrounding peer support.

Peer influence can be seen as a pressure exerted by peer group in encouraging a person to change or achieve his/her values or desires (Spear & Kulbok, 2001). Peer influence occurs when people provide knowledge, experience, emotional, social or practical help to each other (Shery, Hilton & Curtis 2006). Generally people cannot live alone in society. They need social belongingness, attachment and the feelings of affiliation for others. This need for affiliation may be based on genetics or experience. It constitutes a relatively stable trait or behavior. Basically people need social contacts that suit them. Sometimes they need parent‟s help, love, care and guidance and some time they need friend‟s intimacy, affection and love. Generally speaking, adolescents find their friendships to be enjoyable: together they relax, joke, watch television, and participate in sports activities.

Parent attachment and support may be stronger during infancy and childhood, whereas friend‟s attachment and support seems to be stronger during adolescence. Unfortunately for parents within this period, adolescence prefer to receive compliments and support more from peers than from parents.

In most cases, adolescent tends to replace the modeling value of the family context during early childhood with that of their peers. The adolescent in search of social acknowledgement may come under a certain amount of pressure that drives them to abide by the peers convictions or rejections. Harris (2002) maintained that peer groups have a stronger influence than that of parents because the adolescents in search for acceptance join‟s a particular peer group and identify with the behaviors and attitudes of that group. Adolescents are often willing to conform to their peers‟ behaviors in order to be accepted (Newman, 2000).

As a result peers are torn between accepting the support from their parents which is to concentrate on their studies and the pressure from peers to engage in other social activities like spending time chanting on social media, playing football, visiting friends, watching television and many others. It is observed that associating with friends that serve as academic and social resources could have a direct and positive influence on achievement outcomes at school; peers may have a less influential role than parents in influencing adolescents' academic performance.

Parents are said to be the most important mentors and teachers in a child‟s life. Research on child development continues to cite the importance of Social Environment from the early childhood years and highlights the influence of parent and community involvement in a child‟s academic achievement and social adjustment. ( Epstein, 2001; Smrekar & Cohen-Vogel, 2001; Henderson, 2002; & Comer, 2005; ).

Academic achievement is the outcome of education. It represents performance outcomes that indicate the extent to which a person has accomplished specific goals that were the focus of activities in instructional environments. It is one of the major goals of a school and it plays a very important role in the life of a student. Academic achievement as measured by the standardized examination set by the Plateau state ministry of education at the end of second and third term determines whether a student will have the opportunity to sit for the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the National Examinations Council (NECO). Therefore academic achievement defines whether the adolescent will be able to continue his or her studies. Besides its relevance for an individual, academic achievement is of utmost importance for the wealth of a nation and its prosperity (Anja, 2014). Giving the individual and societal importance of academic achievement, it is not surprising that the knowledge of the factors that influence the outcome of academic achievement are to be clear to the educators, parents, students and the society so that the standard of academic achievement could be enhanced. It is on this note that the researcher wants to find out the influence of peer and Social Environment on the academic achievement of senior secondary school students in Jos North.

• Statement of the Problem
The education of students is of utmost importance to the development of a nation. Therefore academic achievement is the best legacy a country can give to its citizens. This is evidence in the adoption of education as an instrument “par excellence” for effecting national development as contained in the National policy on education. Every nation looks up to those who achieve academically to occupy significant positions in order to improve the society.

Students who are academically successful and with high levels of education are more likely to be employed and enjoy stable employment; have more employment opportunities, earn higher salaries, more likely to be less dependent on social assistance, less likely to engage in criminal activity, more active as citizens and charitable volunteers and are healthier and happier than those with less education. Those who achieve academically introduce new vision and techniques that foster development.

As such parents, teachers, researchers as well as the society are concerned about the outcome of any academic activity. Parents are most especially worried when their children do not achieve academically. Parents therefore put in their best by ensuring that children achieve academic excellence by offering psychological support, helping with home work, monitoring the amount of time spent on study, emphasis the value of reading books. The researcher wants to find out whether these forms of involvement by parents and the peer influence enhance the student‟s academic achievement. The problem of this research therefore is relationship between peer influence and Social Environment on the academic achievement of senior secondary school students in Jos North.

• Objectives of the Study
This research aimed to achieve the following objectives:

• Determine the influence of peer support on the academic achievement of senior secondary school students;

• Determine the influence of Social Environment on the academic achievement of senior secondary school students;

• Determine the influence of parental monitoring for home work and study on the academic achievement of secondary school students.

• Research Questions
The following research questions are raised

• How does peer support influence the academic achievement of senior secondary school students in Jos North?

• How does Social Environment the academic achievement of senior secondary school students in Jos North?

• How does parental monitoring for home work and study influence the academic achievement of senior secondary school student in Jos North?

• Hypotheses Testing
The following hypotheses were formulated for this study.

• There is no significant relationship between Peer support and academic achievement of secondary school students.

• There is no significant relationship between Social Environment and academic achievement of Secondary School adolescent.

• There is no significant relationship between parental monitoring for home work and academic achievement of Secondary School adolescents.

• Significance of the study
The current study aims to examine the link between peer and Social Environment on the academic achievement of adolescent. This research findings might help in the design and development of interventions that maximize parental involvement where it may show to have the most positive and powerful effect.

This study will be beneficial to parents because it will enable them evaluate the different types and level of parental involvement and their influence on academic achievement of their children so that they may choose the one that is appropriate for enhancement of academic achievement among adolescence.

Non-Governmental organization like; United Nations Children‟s Funds (UNICEF) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNISCO) dealing with adolescent will find this study useful to bring about better ways of addressing problems of peer influence and Social Environment adolescens face in the society.

The study will be relevant to students in secondary school as this will guide them on how to deal with negative peer influence. It will also help them to have an in depth knowledge on the need to achieve academically. The study will bring to light the influence of peer group on adolescents‟ academic achievement

This research work will lead to further in-depth study on the influence of peer influence and Social Environment on adolescents‟ academic achievement.

Lastly, it will serve as a contribution to knowledge on adolescents in Nigeria. In this regard, it will be useful for other researchers who might want to carry out research in related area.

• Scope and Delimitation of the study
This research work investigates the Influence of Peer and Social Environment on the Academic achievement of Senior Secondary School student in Jos North. The study is delimited to public senior secondary school students (SS2). It covers both male and female students.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Size: 75 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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