Influence Of Developmental Psychology On The Academic Performance Of Students In Selected Secondary Schools

Influence Of Developmental Psychology On The Academic Performance Of Students In Selected Secondary Schools
Influence Of Developmental Psychology On The Academic Performance Of Students In Selected Secondary Schools

ABSTRACT: This study investigated the Influence Of Developmental Psychology On The Academic Performance Of Students In Selected Secondary Schools. Based on the purpose of the study, four objectives were raised and used to formulate three research questions to guide the study. The correlational design was adopted in the study. The population of the study was made up of 4,563 SS II students, out of which 2001 students were drawn from four senior secondary schools. A sample size of 100 students was randomly selected from these school that serve as respondents for this study. The research instruments used to collect data was the “Students Psychological Factor Questionnaire” (SPFQ). Data collected were analyzed using simple percentage for background information of the respondents. Research questions were answered using frequency and mean scores.

The findings of the study revealed that students’ anxiety in the class, phobia for particular subject, students’ hatred for subject teachers, interest in schooling were among psychological factors that affect students’ academic performance. However, the study showed that general mental ability of the students influences students’ academic performance but there is no clear indication that students’ character influence students’ academic performance. Based on the findings of the study, it was recommended among others that School guidance counsellors should encourage students to develop a positive self-concept and attitude towards learning, parents and teachers can also serve as motivators encouraging students in their academic achievement and ministry of education should motivate students by giving scholarship to students who perform well in their academics.

Influence Of Developmental Psychology On The Academic Performance Of Students In Selected Secondary Schools



1.1 Background to the Study

Many Nigerian students are performing below expectation in their academics. The tread in the academic performance of secondary school students in Nigeria in the last two decades has become a major source of concern to all stakeholders in the educational sector (Nwadinigu and Azaka-Obieke, 2012). There is a mass decline in the performance of students in both National Examination Council (NECO) and the West Africa Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) (Dawa, Adamu and Olayomi, 2005). Adesemowo (2005) further stressed the issue by explaining that the annual release of senior secondary certificate examination (SSCE) conducted by West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) depicts the problematic nature and generalization of poor secondary school students’ performance in different school subjects especially mathematics and English language among secondary school students. The stakeholders in education agree that the huge investment on education is not yielding the desired dividend.

According to Nwadinigu and Azuka-Obieke (2012), poor academic performance is the performance that is adjudged by the examiners as falling below an expected standard. It is when a student’s performance is below his actual ability. It could be as a result of several factors such as poor teaching, psychological factors, unpreparedness on the part of the students, poor learning environment, location of schools and the evaluation process. Several factors such as attitude of students and teachers, study habit, teachers’ qualification, teaching methods, school environment, government policy, school location, family types have been identified in several studies as factors influencing students’ academic achievement (Edwards, 2000; Aremu and Sokan, 2003; Asikhia, 2010; Akomolafe and Olorumfemi-Olabisi, 2011).

Academic performance of students especially at the secondary school level is not only a pointer to the effectiveness or otherwise of schools but a major determinant of the future of youths in particular and the nation in general. Learning outcomes have become a phenomenon of interest to all and this account for the reason why scholars have been working hard to untangle factors that militate against good academic performance (Aremu and Sokan, 2003). This phenomenon has been variedly referred in literature as academic performance, or scholastic functioning. Academic performance of learners has attracted attention of scholars, parents, policymakers and planners. Adeyemo (2001) opined that the major goal of the school is to work towards attainment of academic excellence by students. According to him, the school may have other peripheral objectives but emphasis is always placed on the achievement of sound scholarship. Besides, virtually everybody concerned with education places premium on academic performance; excellent academic achievement of children is often the expectation of parents (Osiki, 2001).

The influence of home environment on students’ academic performance at the individual level is still prevalent, but less strong in much of the literature. There is an awareness of the importance of the home environment or family structure on student’s academic performance. The home has a great influence on the students’ psychological, emotional, social and economic state. In the view of Ajila and Olutola (2000), the state of the home affects the individual since the parents are the first socializing agents in an individual’s life. This is because the family background and context of a child affect his reaction to life situations and his level of performance. Although, the school is responsible for the experiences that make up the individual’s life during school periods, yet parents and the individual’s experiences at home play tremendous roles in building the personality of the child and making the child what he is. Thus, Adeyemo (2006) concluded that the environment in which the student comes from can greatly influence his performance in school.

Psychological factors like attitude, self-efficacy and social interaction of students plays a great role in student’s academic performance and are essential for the delivery of high quality teaching and learning process. They remain the key determinant of student academic performance (Bandura, 2000 and Brophy, 2008). There is also general belief that human behaviour and actions are influenced by attitudes whereby attitudes are seen as the cause and behaviour as the effect (Chepchieng, 2004). This could be attributed to the fact that teachers contact with students in or out of the classroom is very crucial in student’s motivation and involvement in all facets of life. Whereas negative psychological factors distort teaching and learning techniques, positive psychological factors facilitate academic performance positively and outright expression of both teacher and student intelligence because schools have no any value without students or teachers as they are the greatest paramount quality for any educational institution.

The development of any society is directly connected with students’ academic performance (Mushtaq and Nawaz, 2012). Student academic performance plays a crucial role in bringing qualitative graduates who will move a country to the right path in the near future (Ali et al., 2009). And poor student academic performance is not only frustrating the students and parents, its effects are equally grave on the society in terms of dearth of manpower in all spheres of the economy and politics (Aremu and Sokan, 2003).

According to Adunola (2011) and Ganyaupfu (2013), teaching is a collaborative process that involves interaction between students and the teachers that at the end brings about change in the students behaviour. But, psychological factors in teaching and learning process is a multidimensional concept that measures various interrelated aspect of learning in educational system which include students’ attitudes towards teacher, students’ academic self-efficacy and student-teacher interaction. Therefore, consistent evaluation of the aforementioned psychological factors is very crucial most especially among secondary school students in Nigeria.

Therefore, this study is set to investigate the influence of developmental psychology on the academic performance of students in selected secondary schools in Gwagwalada Area Council, Abuja.

Influence Of Developmental Psychology On The Academic Performance Of Students In Selected Secondary Schools

1.2 Statement of the Problems

A lot of psychological constructs influence students’ academic performance. It is therefore not surprising for Mushtaq and Nawaz (2012) stated that, academic performance is affected either by social, psychological, economic, environmental and personal factors in which the factors have a powerful influence on academic performance of students as either positive or negative, but they vary from one society to another. Hence, the present study examined the influence of developmental psychology on the academic performance of students in selected secondary schools in Gwagwalada Area Council, Abuja in order to bridge the gap in the existing literature particularly in Nigerian context and world at large considering the fact that the factors vary from one locality to another.

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