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Educational activities are designed to help pupils master educational objectives. At school, the amount to which these aims are met is decided by their level of peer pressure and time management, as pupils’ academic achievement reflects their success. Peers have a significant impact on teenagers’ social and emotional development (Allen 2005). Their effect begins at a young age and grows throughout the adolescent years; it is natural, healthy, and necessary for adolescents to have and rely on friends as they mature and grow. A peer can be somebody you look up to in terms of behavior or someone you believe is on a par with your age or abilities (Hardcastle, 2002). On the other side, the phrase “pressure” refers to the process through which individuals are persuaded to do something they may not have chosen otherwise.

Peer pressure, according to Hartney (2011), refers to the impact that peers can have on one another. Peer pressure refers to emotional or mental pressures exerted by members of the same social group (by age, grade, or rank) to act or behave similarly to themselves (Weinfied 2010).

Jones (2010) defined peer pressure as “the capacity of persons of the same social rank or age to exert influence over another person of the same age.” Although peer pressure is frequently associated with teenagers, its impact is not limited to them.

Adults, adolescents, young adults, and youngsters have all been seen engaging in behaviors in attempt to get acceptance from their peers. Peer pressure is frequently related with teenage risk taking behaviors (such as delinquency, drug misuse, and sexual behavior), as these behaviors frequently occur in the presence of peers. It can also have beneficial benefits when peers urge adolescents to engage in positive behavior. As an example, volunteering for a charitable cause or academic excellence (Kellie, 2013).

Peers, on the other hand, can have a detrimental effect. They can coerce one another into skipping courses, stealing, cheating, abusing drugs or alcohol, or engaging in other harmful behaviors. The majority of teenagers who develop substance misuse issues do so as a consequence of peer pressure. Negative peer pressure can manifest itself in a variety of ways, including joining groups that use alcohol, smoke cigarettes, or use Indian hemp. Additionally, it may influence the decision to have a boy/girl buddy. Peer pressure encourages youngsters to linger in the streets, watch films, and attend parties during school hours, tape-recording as an alternative to stealing, which may progress to armed theft (Kellie, 2013).

Peer pressure can occur at work, school, or in society, and it can influence people of all ages. It may have a variety of effects on individuals, but the focus here is on peer pressure and its effect on the academic performance of in-school teenagers. Peer pressure may be beneficial in that it can serve as a motivator or a challenge to perform one’s best. Peer pressure may also lead to behavior that contradicts one’s sense of what is good or wrong. In other words, when peer pressure compels someone to do something that others disapprove upon, this is considered negative peer pressure. Peer pressure is a force exerted by individuals and is always connected with teenagers. It is impacted by beliefs, values, and behavior. Numerous studies have demonstrated that popular pupils who are unable to manage their time effectively get poorer marks than less socially acceptable adolescents (Hartney, 1990). This might be because popular students spend more time thinking about their social lives than they do studying.

Academic performance refers to a student’s ability to complete assigned assignments and studies (Scortt’s, 2012). Grades are unquestionably the most widely used metric of academic accomplishment. Grades are a student’s “score” for each class and for their whole term. Grades are frequently calculated as the sum or average of assignment and test results and are frequently influenced by factors like as attendance and the instructor’s assessment of the student. Grading systems vary significantly by county and school; popular scales include percentages ranging from 1 to 100, lettering systems ranging from A to F, and grade point averages (GPA) ranging from 0 to 4.0.

According to Ward, Stocker, and Murray-Ward (2006), academic performance refers to the consequence of education; the degree to which a student, teacher, or institution achieves its educational objectives. Academic performance is defined as the capacity to learn and recall facts, as well as the ability to transmit one’s knowledge vocally or in writing (Answers, 2010). Academic accomplishment is used in this study to refer to the extent to which pupils have mastered the goals of the disciplines they are exposed to in school. Academic success in school subjects, particularly mathematics and English language, has been found among secondary school pupils (Aremu and Sokan 2003).

1.2       Statement of the Problem

In recent times, teachers and students no longer have time for group study. Teachers on their own part developed non challant attitude towards the  use  of  peer-group  during and after class activities  while students  on their own parts  are lazy to review whatever might have been taught in classroom  in group.  Success of peer relationships is linked to later psychological development and to academic achievement. Therefore if one does not have successful peer relationships it may lead to developmental delays and poor academic achievement — perhaps even incompletion of a high school degree. students with poor peer relationships may also experience job related and marital problems later in life.


Several studies have shown that peer groups are powerful agents of risk behaviors in adolescence. Adolescents typically replace family with peers regarding social and leisure activities, and many problematic behaviors occur in the context of these groups. Both peer group pressure and control were positively related to risky behaviors. However, adolescents who were more committed to a personal identity had lower rates of risk behaviors.


Another observation is that group study might be slow and time consuming while it gives a lot of time for each question to be answered by students. If the group study not properly arranged in the class, some students especially the introverts may not be involved in learning process. Hence, problems of poor study may create apartheid and confusion for students in the class as this may lead students away from what the lecturer/teacher intends to teach in the classroom.

 Enamiroro & Atakpo (2008) observed that common problems that affect peer relationship and group study is to students shouting, calling names, sleeping and talking while engaging in group study and discussion during and after class hours. Identified causes of these problems were seen as originating in: overcrowded classrooms; school administrators’ neglect of the health conditions of classroom facilities; and an unhygienic and below-standard teaching and learning environment.

Conventional teaching methods have been in place for a while no and Public secondary Business studies teachers have failed to adapt the modern methods of teaching in their various topics which have not made business studies to record a remarkable success. Many of the students that offered the subjects in examination failed and some of them that secured clerical oh have not been able to adjust to the practical working of Business studies and finally some of those that gained admission for further studies have not been able to cope due to their poor foundation in business studies. It has become necessary to seek strategies that will employ approaches that will ensure and enhance better academic performance of the students in business studies. Thus, this study is to examine the influence of peer group on the academic performance of Business studies students.

1.3      Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to examine peer group influence on the academic performance of public secondary school students in Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area. Specifically, the objectives of the study are:

  1. To find out if peer group method can influence academic performance of students
  2. To examine if the  use  of  peer group  is  appropriate  for  teaching  and    learning  in secondary
  3. To examine if availability of instructional resources influence peer group and academic performance of
  4. To find out if the academic performance grades of students taught using peer group method differ from the academic performance grade of students taught the same lesson using conventional method.

1.4      Research Questions

  1. What is the difference in the pre-test and post-test academic performance of students taught with the peer group method?
  2. Is the  use  of  peer group  appropriate  for  teaching  and    learning  of  public secondary  schools?
  3. Is there a difference between the pre-test and post-test academic performance of students taught with the lecture method of teaching?
  4. To what extent do the grades of students taught lesson using peer group method differ from that of students taught the same lesson using the lecture method of teaching?


1.5      Research Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study and would be tested at 0.05 level of significance.

Ho1 There is no significant difference between the pre-test academic performance of students and the post-test academic performance of students taught with the peer group method.

Ho2: The  use  of  peer group  is  not appropriate  for  teaching  and    learning  in  secondary  schools.

Ho3: There is no significant difference between the pre-test academic performance and post- test academic performance of students taught with the lecture method of teaching..

Ho4: There is no significant influence in the academic performance grades of students taught lesson using peer group method and those taught same lesson using lecture method.

1.6      Significance of the study

The significance of  this study would  be of importance  towards  improving the peer-group through  teaching  and learning   in public  secondary  school  level. This study is significant in that its findings are useful for these categories of people:-

Students: The outcome will help students to create interest in their study that will improve academic performance in exam. The outcome of this research will enhance students’ preference for peer-group   and traditional   teaching-learning strategies in any subjects. The study is expected to help students identified those problems area affecting students adoption of peer-group in an environment.  The study will identify major problems affecting students’ approach towards peer-group and traditional method of group studying. The study will aid peer-group  in solving difficult subject in the classroom. The study will enhance cooperative learning  strategy in any subjects.

Teachers:  The  outcome  of  research  study  will  enhance  teachers  usage  of    peer-group and traditional method as  appropriate teaching methods  that  will enhance students understandings in any peer-group learning. The  study will  enhance  teachers to  use  appropriate instructional resources that  will enhance students  understandings  in any education concept.

The research work will enhance teachers to prepare very well in the area of subject scheme of work while impacting on students understandings in education class.   Teachers will be willing to teach and assist the students in any areas of difficulties in education.

Curriculum  Planners: The  outcome  of  study  will  be an eye  opener to  curriculum planner  to review as  at  when  due  as  this  will enhance students  academic performance in  the subject.

Also, there is  need  to consider  adequacy  of  relevant text books  for  students usage  in the classroom and  school library as  this help cultivate constructivist  and collaborative  learning strategies in learning.

The study will help schools to guide the curriculum and ethics of good curriculum planner, also the policy makers in the provision of effective Business studies curriculum as well as recommended materials as necessary for proper implementation of the school curriculum at the secondary school level.

The study would help various government agencies to understand the benefit of effective classroom management at various levels of education. It would enable school administrators to know the best management strategies to adopt in order to have sound classroom effectiveness.

Ministry of Education: The research study will hasten government policies towards supporting adequate provision of instructional materials in Technology.

The Ministry of Education will also benefit from this study through proper planning and implementation of good policies to various classrooms to have relevant Business studies textbooks. Lastly, it would be useful to future researchers in the related line of study.

Parents: Parents will benefit if they can do a lot in providing needs  that will influence  their  children interest in major  subject  like Business  studies. Also, the outcome  of  study will be an eye opener to parents  as  this  will influence parents  to  monitor their  children academic performance in major subject like Business  studies

1.7       Scope of Study

This study examines peer group influence on the academic performance of public secondary school students in Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area.


1.8       Operational Definition of Terms

The following terms have been defined as they will be used during the course of this study:

Peer Group: This a group of people of approximately the same age, status, and interests.

Academic Performance: This is the level of academic education attainable by an individual at a particular point in time as depicted by the subjects’ performance. It is how well a student is accomplishing his or her tasks and studies and the ability of the student to attain success in his or her studies.

Conventional Methods of Teaching: is concerned with the teacher being the controller of the learning environment. This is the lecture method or teacher centered method.

Public Secondary School Performance: This is the total educational performance of a child in subject of school curriculum at the public secondary school.

Learning Difficulties:  This  refers to students  area  of deficiencies in Business studies  topics  which could  be poor business study  skills, poor accounting  skills  and so  on.

Method of Teaching: comprises of the methods and principles used for instruction to be implemented by teachers to achieve the desired learning by students.

Performance: This refers to the extent to which students have achieved their educational goals as represented by their examination scores.

Public school: A public school refers to any school funded and managed by the government; be it local, state or federal as well as their agencies.

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