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The study examined the influence of social demand, peer pressure and economic instability on adolescents’ behavioural pattern in Lagos State: Implication for Counselling in Mainland Local Government Area of Lagos State. In this study, the researcher made some important recommendations that would help in finding possible solutions to the problems identified and investigated in this study. The study employed the descriptive research survey design which was used to assess the responses of the representatives of this study with the aid of the questionnaire and the sampling technique.

Also, a total of 200 (two hundred) respondents were selected and used in this study. And a total of four null hypotheses were formulated and tested with the aid of Pearson Product Moment Correlation Statistics and the independent t-test statistical tool at 0.05 level of significance.

At the end of the testing of hypotheses, the following results emerged:

(1)         Hypothesis one revealed that there is a significant influence of social demand on adolescents’ patter of behaviour.

(2)         Hypothesis two should that there is a significant relationship between peer pressure and adolescents’ social adjustment.

(3)         Hypothesis three showed that there is significant relationship between economic instability and adolescents’ academic performance in school.

(4)         Hypothesis four showed that there is no significant gender difference in adolescents’ social adjustment in school.



1.1Background to the Study

Adolescents today, are generally perceived by the adults as a group who constantly engage in activities which are contrary to the norms, ethics and values of the society. According to Omoegun (2000), the adolescents due to their behaviour which are inimical to society’s norms and values, many at times, fail short of the demands of the society. The society demands that the youths should present good conducts and norms which are acceptable to the general community, which are also prerequisites for healthy living and good interactions in the society. As Onyedika (2003) observes, no decent society would like its youths to be recalcitrant to its laid down values and accepted norms.

According to Onwuama (1988), the youngsters are seen as a group constantly seeking independence from the adult society, particularly, of parents and other authority figures. This need for independence has led adolescents to take a position and views different from those of their parents and other adults, and to act in conformity with their peers, however unconventional their actions may be. Nowadays, it is not unusual to hear some parents complaining about their children’s uncooperative attitudes. These days, children tend to disobey their parents and obey their friends and take directives from them. Agunloye (2000) states that it is very essential for parents to watch out for the company that their adolescent children associate with or keep. A popular adage says, “show me your friend and I will tell you who you are”. This means that if a child associates with drug pushes or abusers, sooner or later, he would join the group. Or if he/she associates with rogues and armed robbers, he/she would sooner or later be persuaded to join the group on one of their trips and share in the booty”. A trial will convince you! So they say.

According to Onuoha (2005), parents are largely responsible for the lapses in the adolescent behaviour, because, they are expected to serve as role-models. Parents need to give more attention to the development of their adolescents in order to inculcate the right sense of discipline and correct orientation in them. This is because, where parents fail to train or bring up their child in the right direction, they (adolescents) tend to uphold the tenets of their of peers. These peers are seemingly inexperienced in child-upbringing, therefore, they inculcate in their friends wrong ideas that do not conform with the norms accepted in the community (Ayodele, 2002).

No doubt, adolescents in our contemporary society, need to be counselled and directed on the best part to follow in life. According to Mundi (2001), the school counsellors have enormous work on their hands, because they cannot afford to sit down and watch the youths who are regarded as the greater tomorrow to act as they like and then turn to deviants in the society. When the counsellors and other significant adult members of the society fail to advise and direct the adolescents against wrong behaviour, they (adolescents) would continue in their wrong acts and uphold them till adult life, and the resultant effect is a disjointed and perverse community in which anything goes, a wild jungle where anarchy reigns supreme.

Due to economic down-turn in Nigeria, and generally in the world today, parents have lost the firm grips they had on their children’s characters (Ajibola, 2000). According to Ajibola, in the olden days, when the economy was stable and in good condition, when parents were indeed breadwinners, they (parents) used to give effective instructions and directions to their children and these instructions were followed to the last letter, but these days, many parents are no more financiers of the home, and this has caused them to loose grips on their command structure to their children. Many parents these days, do not take proper care of their children. For instance, due to economic adversity, in many homes, children go out to work, by way of hawking and doing menial jobs and come to feed their parents. This situation does not warrant these parents to have the moral rights to discipline these children even though in the face of flagrant disobedience of parents’ rules and regulations.

In this perspective, guidance and counsellors have a lot jobs to do, because their natural duties are to advise and diplomatically persuade individuals to follow the part of good life in order to come out of their problems. According to Uzoma (1998), the school should use the counsellors to return the wrong behavioural pattern of the adolescents to the good behavioural patterns where they would conform to the demands and aspirations of the decent society, especially that of the parents, teachers and the significant others in the near community.

1.2Statement of the Problem

Adolescent life is no doubt, a life full of storm and stress. Many adolescents have grown wings and flown above parental control, due to peer pressure and bad ganging up. In many circumstances now, the youths in the society have turned recalcitrants, they hardly obey the rules and regulations stipulated by their parents, teachers and the significant others in the community or the school. The economic downturn in Nigeria today, has caused parents and many adults to become handicapped, and could not usurp authorities on the young ones. In this circumstance, the youths have turned away from their parents, and have focused attention to their peers who have swayed them into becoming armed robbers, prostitutes, violent demonstrators, examination cheats, thieves, hired assassins, thuggs, rioters, rapers drug abusers and addicts etc.

Due to the fact that youths of these days have not met the social demands of good values and norms of parents, teachers and others in the larger society, it has not augured well in the social community where orderliness and decorum are expected of all decent members of the society. For this lapses in lives of the young ones, the society, and indeed, parents, teachers and other adult members of the larger community have been at great pain and distress due to the seeming lack of good behaviour in majority of our youngsters. For instance, the laid down norms and expected values of the society, especially of parents and teachers are neglected by the youths, this has caused our social system, a great collapse, and no wonder there is so much decay in the system nowadays.

The above problems necessitated the examination of the influence of social demands; peer pressure and economic instability on adolescents’ behavioural patterns.

1.3Purpose of the Study

The specific objectives of this study are:

1.           To find out whether social demand influences adolescents’ patterns of life.

2.           To assess whether peer pressure influences adolescents’ academic performance.

3.           To examine the effect of economic instability on adolescents behavioural patterns.

4.           To find out whether gender difference exists in the social adjustment of youths.

5.           To investigate whether peer pressure affects students’ social adjustment in school.

1.4Research Questions

The following research questions will be raised in order to conduct this study:

1.           Will social demand influence adolescents’ pattern of behaviours?

2.           To what extent will peer pressure affect adolescents’ academic performance?

3.           Will the economic instability affect adolescents’ behavioural patterns?

4.           Will gender difference affect adolescents’ social orientation?

5.           Will peer pressure affect students’ social adjustment?

1.5Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses will be formulated and tested in this study:

1.           There will be no significant influence of social demand on adolescents’ pattern of behaviour.

2.           There will be no significant relationship between peer pressure and adolescents’ social adjustment.

3.           There will be no significant relationship between economic instability and adolescents’ academic performance in school.

4.           There will be no gender difference in adolescence social adjustment in school.

1.6    Significance of the Study

This study is essential when we consider the power of peer group influence on the students and the need for guidance to enable the students understand and adjust well within the school environment.

The work would be a contribution to knowledge and literature in the area that the study covered.

It will help to check some re-occurring problems which may hinder the attainment of well planned curriculum.

This study will also be beneficial to the following individuals:

2.           Parents: Parents, no doubt, are those who nurture and take care of children after giving birth to them in the home. With this findings and recommendations made in this study, parents would be well informed, pertaining to different levels of patterns of parenting in the home. This study, no doubt will enable parents/guardians to be able to know how best to rear their children and wards, it will help them to be able to identify those recommended parenting styles that will give the children or wards good rearing process and upbringing in the society. This is because children reared in proper ways by good parenting styles, will be different from the children reared under bad or harsh parenting styles. With the application of this recommended styles of parenting, parents would be able to rear children who would be very respectful to them and the society.

3.           Adolescents: The children, especially the youth in the society would benefit from the recommendations of this study because it will help them to understand the way of nurturing and bringing them up as adolescent. With this study, children would be able to identify some of the values in the family and society. With this study also, adolescents would be enable to know that they ought to be controlled and obedient to their parents, teachers and the significant others in their communities.

4.           Teachers: Teachers would no doubt, be able to understand more, the different aspect of adolescents’ behaviours. Some teachers are parents also, they will be exposed to the essence of child-upbringing by reading this work. This study will create important knowledge on parents’ demands, peer grouping and economic instability. Teachers will also be able to learn the more, that good parenting would be beneficial to both the teachers and the school system where both the teachers and the children are found. This is because, if the children are well brought up, they would be good and right thinking individuals in the society and the school.

5.           The Society: The society will benefit from this study because there will be great impact of this study on the individual in the society. Also both the new researchers and students who want to carry out new research on topics related to this study will find this study a reference point or material.

1.7    Scope and Limitation of the Study

The study covers the influence of social demand, peer pressure and economic instability on adolescents’ patterns of behaviours in Lagos State: Implication for Counselling.

This research was  carried out in the Kosofe Local Government Area of Lagos State. The idea behind carrying this study in Kosofe area is because, Kosofe Local Government area is one of the populous Local Development Areas in Lagos. It is one of the oldest local government areas in the state.

In this study, the main constraints are sourcing of materials and other logistics that may crop up during the investigation of this problem, and may subsequently hinder the timely completion of the project. Also, the respondents’ unwillingness to give correct and sincere information regarding the study will be a hindrance.

This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research

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