Jan 27, 2023 Comments Off on PEER GROUPS AND STUDENTS’ PERFORMANCE OpenBook



The study was investigated the influence of peer group on academic performance of mathematics students in senior secondary schools of Kaduna metropolis, Kaduna state. Two research questions, two objective and two null hypotheses guided the study. The design of the study is descriptive survey, while the sample size of the study was 60 Senior Secondary Mathematics Students used in the Study were Randomly selected, while a Researcher self-developed 15-items, was used to get information from the respondents. Pilot study was conducted and split-half was used to obtain reliability coefficient of 0.69. The findings of the study revealed that there is no significant influence of peer group on academic performance of mathematics students in senior secondary school in Kaduna metropolis. On the bases of figures, the researcher recommended that Students should effectively equip themselves with knowledge and technique of promoting performance in mathematics, in the secondary school student’s discussion with their peers to improve teaching and learning of mathematics.



1.1     Background to the Study

Mathematics is a universal subject. The knowledge of it is not only necessary for successful schooling but also unavailable for human survival in everyday life. There is hardly any field of study where mathematics is not useful. The farmers, carpenters, hunters, house wives and so on. They make use of it even though they may not be aware. The importance of mathematics in it ramification cannot be overemphasized in our present scientific and technological age.

Chambers (2004) defined mathematics as an organized body of knowledge, abstract system of ideas, a useful tool a key to understanding the world, a way of thinking a deductive system and intellectual challenge, a language, an aesthetic experiences s creation of the human mind where the ability of suspect is only minor aspect. Mathematics is an essential tool for various purpose of life. Although we may not always be aware of it, we make so use of mathematics in our everyday life. In education mathematics plays an important role. It is the study of numbers, and the relationship between numbers, and various operations performed on them. It is the science of quantity, size and shape. It is also a way to communicate and analyze ideas, a tool for organizing and interpreting data and above all perhaps a method of logical reasoning unique to man.

Markarfin (2001) stated that mathematics is universal not only in the way it influence the basic sciences, applied science, engineering and technology but also, its influence on day to day activity. Odgwu (2002) explained that in recognition of usefulness of mathematics the Federal Government of Nigeria in her National Policy on Education (F R N, 2014), made mathematics a core subject to be offered at both the primary and secondary school levels of education. Peters (2001) submitted that mathematics remain the pivot on which any true science cannot succeed without going through mathematics demonstration. Aremu (1998) opine that the importance of mathematics as a necessary tool needed for the realization of national goals and objectives of our secondary school.

The success and failure of student’s performance in our secondary schools are determined by students’ interest in mathematics. Peer group are among the most influential social forces affecting adolescent behavior mundane decisions concerning clothing, hairstyle, music and entertainment to more significant decision concerning short and long-term education plans. During the formative adolescent years, peers are arguable even more important than parents, teachers, counselors and the peer influence of youth cam have long lasting consequences (Coleman, 1966). Parents recognize the importance of peer group and through their choice neighborhoods, schools and activities (Lareu et-al, 2003). Attempt to guide and direct their children’s friendship selection, in schools which can be increasingly challenging during adolescent. Peer group has always been menace in our societies, social relations and students’ performance.

Menheim (1998) claims that students throughout their school career will be grouped with their contemporaries to they will become accustomed to having the limitations and additions of each age group intensified. Taiwo (2004) wrote that the peer group outsides the home from which does not always conform with adult standard a and each child strive to abide with the ethics of the group they takes members with because rejection by the group may have negative effect on the learning of the child.

Regardless of socioeconomic status, parents wants their children’s to be surrounded by the best possible social networks, especially during adolescent period when youth are increasingly independent from parents. During these formative years evolutional goals take form, and youth make a series of decisions that shapes their educational trajectories even as their friendship network gain influence upon these decisions unfortunately the peer effects literature is lacking in two main areas. The first is that peer effect are assumed to be uniform across class, gender, race and ethnicity  is especially like to be important because adolescents are more likely to choose friends of the same racial and ethnic group (Hamm, Brown & Heck, 2005); Introducing t5the possibility that peers have differing effects by race and ethnicity. The second problem is that few studies focus on academic decisions that are directly influenced by friends, such as course or track selection and college choices, instead most studies of peer group effect focus on educational out comes that are indirectly influenced by friends, such as early cognitive development,  grades promotion and most commonly test scores ( Zimmerman, 2003). Hanushek (2003) have pointed out that if innovations to behavior form an important avenue through which peers effects outcomes, in mathematics the in ability to capture such behavior might lead to a serious underestimation of peer influences. Thus, behavior decisions may lie at the intersection between peers and performance effectively acting as a mediator through which the influence of peer passes prior to shaping students’ performance in mathematics.

The research intend to find out the level of students performance in mathematics and the problem associated with the performance of the subject as a result of peer group interaction as well as solution to the problem in the study area and even beyond are to be highlighted. There are many factors affecting performance in mathematics, peer group influence is one of the major factor especially in physical science, particularly mathematics which is consider as the mother of natural and applied science as well as technology( Morrish, 2001).

The peer group to examine here are between the ages of (15-20) years which are senior secondary school students. According to F R N, (2014) the system of education should be 9,3,4 system, which means 9 year for basic education and 3 year for senior secondary school and 4 year for higher education. In this study the researcher focus on senior secondary school students only.

Influence of peer group is strong during adolescent stage of child development as such parents are concern about the attitude and behavior of their children most especially during this time. Children behavior and attitude are change by the influence of their group especially when they reach the age of puberty children who had entered adolescent were most likely to respect what they are willing to follow within their peers on all matters whether positive or negative depending on the group interest. Also Cole (1991) made similar observations that “peer relation has an important in social development of adolescent and effect which can be positive or negative depending on the group norm and value”.

Peer group attitude have propounded influence of performance toward many values for example education in general and mathematics in particular, peer group plays a vital role in the performance of students in school, also it can be motivating factor for learning.

This study would focus its attention in finding out whether peers could affect the performance of senior secondary school mathematics students, because school are motivational influence, for example when students sense of belonging they may likely to adopt goals valued  by the schools likewise if students feel disconnected from the school they like to reject school goals. The teachers and adults can promote positive peer culture through increase awareness of adolescent social system enhance the status of peer performance in mathematics and avoid making performance in game of winners and losers.

Against this background the study is set to examine the influence of peer group on academic performance of mathematics students in senior secondary school of Kaduna metropolis, Kaduna State.

1.2     Statement of the Problem

The low academic performance in school has brought the need to investigate the factors influencing learning. The peer group influence is one of the factors causing low academic performance. There is need to look into peer group relationship and individual approach to learning, membership of the peer group they belong and find out how factors such as sex, age, social status or ethnicity determine their membership in a group.

1.3     Objectives of the Study

The objectives of the study are to;

  1. Examine the concept and nature of peer group
  2. Find out the influence of peer group on academic performance of mathematics students in senior secondary school in Kaduna metropolis.
  3. Determine the influence of peer group on male and female student’s performance in mathematics in secondary school of Kaduna metropolis.
  4. To investigate the effects of attitude of students towards mathematics
  5. To find out how teaching techniques and instructional materials would improve the lukewarm attitudes of students towards mathematics.
  6. Assess the impact of socio-economic background of students towards mathematics(Environmental factors)

1.4     Research Questions

The following research questions will guide the study:

  1. What is the influence of peer group on academic performance of mathematics students in senior secondary school in Kaduna metropolis?
  2. Is there any difference in the academic performance of male and female students in mathematics in senior secondary school of Kaduna metropolis due to peer group influence?

1.5     Research Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses would be tested at 0.05 level of significance:

H01.  There is no significant influence of peer group on academic performance of mathematics students in senior secondary school in Kaduna metropolis.

H02. There is no significant influence of peer group on male and female student’s performance in mathematics in senior secondary school of Kaduna metropolis.

1.6     Significance of the Study

The study would be of great benefits and importance not only to the schools under study but would be a great benefit to curriculum planner’s, school administrators as well as classroom teachers and implementers of educational policies.

However, the findings of this research project will be beneficial to mathematics teachers in dealing with peer groups and how to improve their academic performance meet up with their regular counterpart. Likewise parents will take advantage of the ways of encouraging their children before and during academic pursuits.

1.7     Basic Assumption of the Study

The basic assumptions of this study are as follows;

  1. Peer group influences on academic performance of mathematics students in senior secondary school in Kaduna metropolis.
  2. Male and female students’ performance in mathematics in senior secondary school of Kaduna metropolis due to peer group influence.

1.8     Scope and Delimitation of the Study

This research work is strictly delimited to Chukun local government of Kaduna state. The researcher restricted the work to SS II students because they are neither beginners nor final year students. The research data collection, findings and conclusions are within some selected secondary schools located in Kaduna metropolis. The researcher used SET as content to be used which include definition of set, types of set, notation of set and relation of set.

1.9     Operational Definition of Terms

In the course of study, some terms were used in special way. The terms are as follows;

Academic Performance: This is the level of achievement attained through effort or skills during the learning processes (theoretical and practical) and has effect on standard of education.

Influence: These are the problems which hinder the effective teaching and learning of mathematics.

Peer Group: This is the association of close friends of the same sex which are bound together by common emotional attachment and have complex social system of which they possess certain code of conduct such as dressing code.

Peer: Students of same age status in senior secondary schools of Kaduna metropolis.


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