Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

Influence of Demographic Variables on Social Adjustment of In-School Adolescents in Ibadan Metropolis of Nigeria

Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

Influence of Demographic Variables on Social Adjustment of In-School Adolescents in Ibadan Metropolis of Nigeria

Article excerpt

This study investigated the influence of demographic variables on social adjustment of in-school adolescents in Ibadan Metropolis of Southwest Nigeria with a sample of 210 participants randomly selected from four secondary schools. A self-developed instrument duly validated by experts in Science Education and Counselling Psychology titled: Adolescent Social Adjustment Scale (ASAS) was used to obtain information from the participants. Using multiple regression and t-test statistics for data analysis, the study revealed significant composite influence of demographic variables on in-school adolescents' social adjustment. The study also revealed minimal influence of school type and significant effect of religion on in-school adolescents' social adjustment. Finally, the study revealed no significant gender difference on the influence of demographic variables on in-school adolescents' social adjustment. The study recommended counselling services to ensure appropriate social adjustment among Nigerian in-school adolescents.

Adolescence is a critical youth stage in life when people tiy to liberate themselves from the shackles of parental control and seek for identity elsewhere. According to Sebald (1992), adolescents in a bid to seek autonomy from their parents often turn to their peers to discuss problems, feelings, fears and doubts thereby increasing the salience of time spent with friends. To Oni (2010), it is a period that young people begin to break away from their families and tiy out different roles and situations to figure out who they are and where they fit into the world. Through peer influence, some adolescents become deviant, socially incompetent, aggressive, and delinquent and evoke negative responses from their peers which can lead to peer rejection (Olusakin & Aremu, 2009). Some are however socially adjusted as they can relate and interact with both peers and parents positively.

Social adjustment is an important index of personality development in human histoiy which begins with the period of dependence in childhood and terminates in the period of independence and care for others in adolescence and adulthood. This is an era of socialization described by Osarenren (2002) as a process of acquiring societal values, norms and mores through family members, peers and significant others in the society. According to Turnbull, Turnbull, Shank, Smith and Leal (2002), students with social maladjustment are identified with emotional or behaviour disorders who find it difficult to follow classroom rules, attend to tasks, complete assignments, respond to discipline and maintain good teacher and peer relationships.

Social adjustment determines students' success in coping with interpersonal demands, social skills and ability to meet people and make friends (Estrada, 2006). Falaye, Falaye & Ogundokun (2006) see social adjustment as adolescents' ability to relate and interact effectively well with their immediate social environment through social acceptance to peers, parents and self-acceptance as evident in their selfesteem and self-concept. It is a psychological process that deals with coping with new standards, values and getting along with the members of the society. For Enochs & Roland (2006), students' social adjustment is linked to their involvement in school activities which serve as a coping mechanism and for making new friends and finding their place in the community.

Bamanja (2000) opines that students in Nigeria hardly learn and adjust appropriately as class sizes are too large and their attention is often fixed to the happenings and distractions that such environment provides. Besides, these inschool adolescents who are in senior secondary schools (Aremu, 2011) are differentially socially adjusted due to certain intervening variables that affect their successful interaction with others in order to achieve a balance in social relationships. Among the intervening factors are demographic variables like gender, religion, school type, parental education, family size, parental occupation, ethnicity, social class and affluence as widely reported in literature (Luster & McAdoo, 1994; Murdoch, 2001; and Falaye, Falaye & Ogundokun, 2006). …

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