The descriptive survey research was adopted in this study. It is an attempt to investigate the impact of deviant behaviour on the academic performance of senior secondary students in Educational District VI of Lagos State Oshodi/Isolo Local Government Area. A sample of 200 randomly selected students were used, from four secondary schools. Another sample of 50 randomly selected teachers were also used from the above measured schools. A 5 point likert scale type questionnaire containing 20 items and 30 questions in Mathematics and English Language were also administered to the students. The content of the instruments were face validated by my supervisor and other experts in the department. While the reliability was ascertained at 0.9 significant level.

Two null hypotheses were postulated and tested using the independent t-test. The first and second hypotheses were analyzed at 0.9 level of significance. The result from this study showed that deviant behaviour of students has a negative impact on their academic performance.

Governments should adequately provide the needs of the learner at school. Parents on their parts should adequately provide for their children because this will go along way in preventing deviance. Parents should show love and affection for their children. Also parents, must control and prevent their children from watching unwholesome mass media programmes.

Teachers should on their part, show affection and care to their students. They should also have interest in their teaching as a career and attend classes regularly in order to prevent students from developing deviant behaviours.



Title page





Table of Contents



1.1         Background to the Study 

1.2         Conceptual Framework

1.3         Statement of the Problem

1.4         Purpose of the Study

1.5         Research Questions

1.6         Research Hypotheses

1.7         Significance of the Study

1.8         Scope of the Study

1.9         Delimitation of the Study

1.10      Limitation of this Study

1.11      Definition of Terms



2.1         Theories of Deviance, Its Impacts on Learning Activities

2.2         The Influence of Peer Pressure to Academic Performance of Students

2.3         The Adolescent and Parental Responsibility and Academic Performance

2.4         The Adolescent in the School Environmental

2.5         Indisciplinary Problems of Adolescents in Secondary Schools

2.6         The Problems Associated with Youths in the Society and Its Effect on Academic Performance

2.7         Summary of the Literature Review



1.1         Research Design

1.2         Area of Study

1.3         Population of Study

1.4         Sample Size and Sampling Technique

1.5         Research Instrument

1.6         Validity of Research Instruments

1.7         Reliability of Research Instrument

1.8         Procedure for Data Collection

1.9         Administration of Instruments

1.10      Data Analysis Procedure



4.1       Introduction

4.2       Descriptive Analyses of Teachers’ Bio-Data Based on Age, Sex, Marital Status and Duration of Service

4.3       Descriptive Analysis of Data Collected from Teachers

4.4       Descriptive Analyses of Students’ Bio-Data According to Sex and Age Range 

4.5       Descriptive Analysis of Data Collected from Students 

4.6       Hypothesis Testing

4.7       Summary of the Finding



5.0         Introduction

5.1       Discussion

5.2         Summary of the Study

5.3         Recommendations

5.4         Suggestions for Further Studies

5.5       Conclusion







1.1         Background to the Study 

In everyday language, to deviate means to stray from an accepted path. Many sociological definitions of deviance simply elaborate upon this idea. Thus, deviance consists of those acts which do not follow the norms and expectations of a particular social group or society (Arnolds, 2005). In practice, a field of study covered by the sociology of deviance/delinquency, is usually limited to deviance which results in negative sanctions. Infact, the American Sociologist Marshal (2000), has suggested that the term deviance should be reserved for those situations in which behaviour is in disapproved direction and of a sufficient degree to exceed the tolerance limit of the community.

Recently, there has been increasing concern in the tertiary institutions that students’ behaviours have deteriorated. The most concerning behaviours for teachers are those that involve minor violations of rules and regulations, disruption to the smooth running of the classroom. Violent behaviour in schools is also a major concern of most teachers, although, extreme incidents of school violence are a global phenomenon (Infantino and Little, 2004). There is considerable evidence that those students who are deviate are not regular in school for whatever reason, have limited lifetime opportunities, socially, professionally and economically (Reid, 2004). They are more likely to experience unemployment, underemployment and long term dependency. There are strong association, between deviant behaviours like truancy, exclusion, crime and high students’ achievement in school (McCarthy, 2004).

Deviant/delinquent behaviours like poor attendance to classes is a major source of discontent among teachers and it hinders socialization, teaching and learning (Macbeath, 2005). Teachers are often frustrated by the persistent non-attendance of certain students, particularly as helping them to catch-up takes time and distracts from teaching the remainder of the class. Students who are deviant in school fall behind in their work and frequently have difficulties within friendship, McCarthy et al (2005).

According to Owuamanam (2003), deviant/delinquent behaviours refer to the problem of wrong doing by young persons. It involves the problem of truancy, absenteeism, stealing, vandalism, drug abuse, use and addict, terrorism, disobedience to laid down rules and regulations of the school authorities, including other behaviours that are against the social norms. Anyamele and Adeleke (2004), observe that adolescents tend to move in groups because they are in the era of peer-group relationship. They want to be seen acting in conformity with their peers, however, unconventional such act may be. Hence, the need for some understanding and responsible adults at the background, who would serve as role-models for the youngsters to re-direct their energies towards the right channels that would produce rewarding and satisfying pattern of behaviours in them. This patterns of wrong behaviour enstrange them from their teachers and peers and the resultant effect is low academic achievement and negative socialization.

1.2         Theoretical Framework

Man has always found the stage of human development interesting and fascinating. Consequently, man has always entertained theories about the nature of development. One of the ancient notions was known as pre-information, that is, man'’ tendencies and attributes were thought to exist performed at birth. Then came the homonculus view of human development which was an elaboration of pre-formationism and which proposes that the sperm contains a fully form miniature man, who simply-develops, once conception has taken place, in an incremental way until maturity is reached (Herbert, 1981).

Theologians and philosophers also speculated about the nature of man and his motives. While some thought of man’s nature as selfish, and pessimistic, others fell that man is not basically selfish and had optimistic views of man’s behaviour. One of the controversies in developmental psychology concerns the concept of “stage”, and its importance in describing the development of psychological processes such as thinking and personality. Ausubel and Sullivan (1990) describe the periods in which qualitatively new and discontinuous (inter-stage) changes in personally organization are being formulated as transitional phases or developmental changes. During this transitional periods, the individual is in the marginal position of having lost an established and accustomed status, and of not yet having acquired new status towards which the factors impelling developmental changes are driving him.

These transitional periods according to Eriks (1993) are ‘sensitive period and impose a heavy burden on his adjustive capacities. Since each stage of development corresponds with a particular form of social demand, the individual must deal with and master a central problem in order to avoid a potential crises”. Various theories of adolescent development have been formulated as far back as the period of Plato and Aristotle, the great Greek Philosophers.

The next stage which is between the ages of the five and twelve is described by Freud as the period of ‘latency’. This is a period of calm, when the attention of the child is focused on the school work, play and friends. This period of calm is disrupted by the onset of ‘puberty’. And once again the child relives the conflicts of early childhood. Psychoanalysts are of the opinion that, the adolescent turmoil as postulated by Hall is inevitable. They claim that without this turmoil, the young person will not be able to make necessary adjustments which will help him in his transition to adult life (Adamson, 1995). Psychoanalysts believe that at adolescent stage, girls have strange feelings towards males, and boys also get themselves attached to the females. However, both male and female engage in forms of sublimation in order to meet the demands of society and in forms of intellectualism and ascentism. 

Morrish (1978) on his part, suggested that deviant behaviour was not necessarily delinquent or criminal behaviour. Although, it may of course, be the first step to some anti—social behaviour which may come within the sanction of the law and therefore irrevocably delinquent. According to him “deviancy” was relative as well as contextual. He suggested that it was better to speak of deviant forms than to stigmatize the individuals as deviants. Similarly, Tattum (2002), and Brown (2004) subscribed to the belief that norm was genetically or instinctively violent and aggressive. These writers haven maintained that human beings are killers by nature, stating that it was a built-in characteristic which man had inherited from his animal ancestors and instincts. The adolescent child begins to manifest good reasoning power. He therefore begins to ask questions and to challenge the adult authority at home, in the school and in the society at large. There is need for proper guidance in order to curb indisciplinary behaviours among the adolescent children since this is a common problem. Certain actions embarked upon the adults should be explained to them in order to carry them along (Adamson, 2000).

Adolescents get excited because of their intellect. They begin to show interest in things of the mind the arts and ideas for their own sake. They have certain interests which get them excited and worked up when the adults are opposed to such. For example, religion could be a bone of contention. Hence, many adolescents nowadays are found trooping in large number to the new found ‘Pentecostal’ churches which seem to satisfy their needs socially and intellectually when compared with the Orthodox churches.

1.3         Statement of the Problem

The study of deviant/delinquent behaviours in our secondary schools and other institutions of learning, have assumed greater attention. For sometime now, especially in the last decade, it has become a common feature in our secondary schools and universities to see students engage in street fighting, sports hooliganism or carry out violent acts, and in the process engage in wanton destruction of lives and property It has become a more common feature in Nigeria today, to hear from one media or the other about secondary and tertiary school students that engaged in crimes such as drug abuse or addictions, sex offences, smuggling, armed robbery, pick-pocketing, snatching of cell phones, cybercafe crimes, rapping, truancy and theft of all kinds. These no doubt, are heights of deviant/delinquent behaviours and its resultant effect has been maladjustment of the perpetrators (students) and consequently the dismal failure or downward performance of students in our tertiary institutions. More so, students who continually engage in the above negative character traits, exhibit negative social adjustment in the society and the school.

Deviant/delinquent  behaviour refers to the problem of wrong-doing by young persons. It involves the problem of truancy, stealing, vandalism, terrorism, drug addiction and other behaviours that are against the social norms. Adolescents tend to move in groups because they are in the era of peer group relationship. They want to be seen acting in conformity with their peers, however unconventional such act may be, (Owuamanam, 1988). Hence, the need for some understanding and responsible adults at the background who would serve as role models for the youngsters to re-direct their energies towards the right channel that would produce rewarding and satisfactory patter of behaviour in them.

1.4         Purpose of the Study

The followings were the specific objectives of the study:

1.            To find out whether truancy of students influences their behaviour at school.

2.            To examine whether stealing influences students’ deviant/delinquent behaviours.

3.            To assess whether absenteeism influences students’ behaviours in the school.

4.            To ascertain the influence of deviant behaviours on social adjustment in schools.

5.            Find out whether armed robbery influences students’ social adjustment in school.

1.5         Research Questions

The following research questions were asked in this study:

1.            Will truancy influence students’ behaviours at school?

2.            Will stealing influence students’ deviant behaviours at school?

3.            To what extent will absenteeism influence students’ behaviours in school?

4.            To what extent does deviant behaviour impact on students’ social adjustment in school?

5.            Will armed robbery influence students’ social adjustment in school?


1.6         Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses stated in the null guideed the study:

1.            There is no significant influence of truancy on the behaviour of students in the secondary schools.

2.            There is no significant influence of stealing on students’ deviant/delinquent behaviours in secondary schools.

3.            There is no significant influence of absenteeism on students’ behaviour in school.

4.            Students’ deviant behaviour will not significantly influence their social adjustment at school.

1.7         Significance of the Study

This study focused on the beneficial of the following individuals:

(1)          The Students: The findings and recommendations of this study will be of great benefit to the students who would be enlightened concerning the character they should put across in the society. This study will also afford the students, the opportunity to know the effects of deviant behaviours. This study will also lead them to avoid those behaviours labelled as deviant in the society. With the recommendations of the study, students would be able to identify the attributes of deviants. This study will also assist students at all levels to stop the use of cell phones and watching of blue films in the classroom when lesson is going on. The reason being that it makes students to loose concentration in the class thereby affecting learning.

(2)          Teachers: Would be beneficiaries of this study, because, the study will afford them the golden opportunity of knowing how to detect students who exhibit deviant behaviour and how to tackle them or remedy them. With the findings and recommendations of this study, teachers would be able to know those activities that would enable them to remedy the bad behaviour of the students who are under their care.

(3)          The School Authorities: With the recommendations of this study, the school authorities would be able to solve the problem of deviation of students or adolescents in our tertiary institutions. This study also, will recommend to the school authorities all it takes to arrest the dwindling or negative behaviours of students in our schools and the society at large. Though some school do not allow the use of cell phones and other P3 equipment in schools, but some students smuggled them into the classroom and used them to disturb learning in the classroom. Schools should be more restricted and punished any child found in the classroom with any of this equipment that can distract attention in the classroom while the lesson is going on.

(4)          Government: Government would be opportuned to gather information concerning adolescents’ deviation in the society. It will be of great help to the government, if this study is completed. This is because, it will afford the government the opportunity to know how to go about solving the society’s problems which is mostly on youths.

(5)          The Parents: Parents would also benefit from this study because, it will enable them to be able to know the characters of their children and wards and how to go about solving the perceived problems. No doubt, deviant behaviour of the youths has been one of the major problems of the society, and government is interested in solving the problems of youth restiveness in the society. Therefore, government will collaborate with parents and teachers to solve this problem of deviance amongst the youths in our schools and homes. They should observe their children and wards on the use of cell phones especially in the schools because of its negative effect on learning.

(6)          Not only that, the society will be able to benefit from this study, because it will help it to know or identify the problems of deviation amongst the youths and how to help in solving it.

1.8         Scope of the Study

This study examines the influence of personality variables on predisposition to deviant/delinquent behaviour among adolescents in Ibadan South East Local Government Area: Implication for Counselling.


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