Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Effects of Peer Modelling Technique in Reducing Substance Abuse among Undergraduates in Osun State, Nigeria

Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Effects of Peer Modelling Technique in Reducing Substance Abuse among Undergraduates in Osun State, Nigeria

Article excerpt

Abstract

The current trend of substance abuse among youth is a major national concern, it is troubling, it has derogatory effects on youth such as health and behavioural problems, or even death. The study investigated the effects of peer modelling techniques in reducing substance abuse among undergraduates in Nigeria. The participants were one hundred and twenty (120) undergraduate students in 100 and 400 levels respectively. There are two groups: one treatment group and one control group. A researcher-designed a questionnaire titled "Substance Abuse Questionnaire" was used to collect necessary data for the study. Research hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. The hypotheses were tested using abuse between treatment group and the control group that received placebo. There was no significant difference on the reduction of substance abuse of participants in the treatment group based on gender. Based on the findings of this study, it was recommended that the tertiary institutions should have a functioning counselling centers; school counsellors should be making use of peer modelling techniques to correct bad behaviours among undergraduates; school counsellors shoul be recognizing different educative programmes to encourage healthy living among undergraduates.

Key words: Effects, Peer Modelling, Substance Abuse, Undergraduates

Introduction

The current trend of substance abuse among youth is a major national concern, it is troubling, it has derogatory effects on youth such as health and behavioural problems, or even death. Falco (1988); as cited by Sambo (2008) viewed that "chronic use of substance can cause serious, sometimes irreversible damage to adolescents' physical and psychological development. Therefore, the issue of substance abuse has become a worrisome phenomenon, because youth are dying morally, socially, psychologically and physically. Currently, drugs ranging from alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, cocaine, heroin to hashish and many others are readily available to youth in Nigeria and this has made many youths to be perpetrators of social vices in the society.

Mersy (2003) described substance abuse as problematic use of alcohol, tobacco, or illicit and/ or prescription drugs and it has been referred to as nation's number one health problem. While, David, Derald & Stanley (1990) refers to substance abuse as a pathological pattern or excessive use, in take of a substance even though it may be causing physical damage, jeopardizing safety (such as driving a car while intoxicated) or impairing social relationships and occupational functioning. Need for substance may lead to a preoccupation with its acquisition and use.

Substance abuse may reduce undergraduate chances of graduating from school or of landing and holding a steady job, it may also be causing student unrest in the campus which will disturb academic calendar and this may also lead to poor academic performance. According to Hawkins, Cataland and Miller (1992) a low level of commitment to education and higher truancy rates appear to be related to substance use among adolescent. Bureau of Justice Statistics (1992) posited that cognitive and behavioural problems experienced by alcohol and drug-using youth may interfere with their academic performance and also present obstacles to learning for their classmates.

Substance abuse is common among undergraduate students; many of them abuse substance such as drug alcohol and tobacco. Alcohol is the most widely used and abused drug among youth, and it causes serious and potentially life threatening problems for this population. Eke Jumba (1991) notes that alcohol is the most abused substance in Nigerian campuses. Denga in Piwana and Haggai (2007) points out that alcohol has become a recreational past time with students, to the extent that students have found a new religion in which drinking alcohol is the major sacrament. This refers to the "Kegites" Fraternity. The findings of Piwana and Haggai (2007) also revealed that the drugs commonly used at cult meetings include first and foremost alcohol and tobacco; all cult groups abuse these two drugs regularly. …

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