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Peer group is phenomenon peculiar to the adolescent stage. Young people have the tendency of wanting to associate with members of their age group.

However, smoking is one of the bane of many societal problems developing with the adolescents. This study investigates the influence of peer group on adolescent smoking habit among students of secondary school in Ikorodu local government area of Lagos State.

In this study, theoretical framework were reviewed which inform the current state of knowledge regarding peer influences on teenage smoking. A total of 40 (forty) respondents were sampled for the study through stratified random sampling technique. Participant consisted of male and female with diverse characteristics. A self constructed Questionnaire was the instrument used to gather relevant data for the study. Two Null hypothesis were formulated and tested in the study using the Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient statistical tool at 0.05 level of significance. At the end of the analysis the null hypothesis was neglected and alternative hypothesis was accepted at 0.05 level of significance, r-calculated = 0.57, r-critical= 0.30.       




















Title page                                                                                          Pages         


Table of content                                                                     



1.0 Introduction                                                                              1

1.1 Background to the Study                                                         1                

1.2 Statement of  Problem                                                              6

1.3 Purpose of the Study                                                                8

1.4 Research Questions                                                                  8      

1.5 Research Hypothesis                                                                8

1.6 Significant of the Study                                                             9

1.7 Scope of the Study                                                                     9

1.8 Limitation of the Study                                                             9

1.9 Definition of Terms                                                          10    



2.1 Literature Review                                                                      11

2.2 Theoretical Perspectives                                                 17

2.3 Social Learning Theory (Akers 1977,1998; Bandura 1977)  18

2.4 Primary Socialization Theory                                                   19

2.5 Social Identity Theory                                                               20

2.6 Social Network Theory                                                              22



3.1 Introduction                                                                              29

3.2 Research Design                                                                       29

3.3 Population of the Study                                                            29

3.4 Sample and Sampling Technique                                             30

3.5 Research Instrument                                                                30

3.6 Validity and Reliability of Research Instrument            30

3.7 Administration of Instruments                                       31



                          OF RESULTS

4.1 Introduction                                                                              32

4.2 Data Presentation                                                                     32

4.3 Result                                                                                         33

4.4 Hypothesis Testing                                                          34

4.5 Hypothesis One                                                                         34

4.6 Hypothesis Two                                                                         35


                        AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1   Introduction                                                                            36    

5.2   Discussion                                                                               36

5.3   Summary of the Study                                                            38

5.4   Conclusion                                                                              38

5.5   Recommendation                                                                    39



1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Adolescent in Latin means to grow up. Adolescence is the period of
psychological and social transition between childhood and adulthood.
This is a period of adjustment Wikipedia- free encyclopedia defines Adolescence as a transition between dependent childhood and independent adulthood. Whose cultural purpose is the perception of children for Adult roles. In Nigeria the age of the adolescence falls between twelve to eighteen years, though it varies with economic status and cultures. The adolescent period is characterised by rapid physical, emotional and behavioural changes. There is an increase in height, weight accompanied by secondary sex characteristics such as enlargement in breast size for girls and growth of public hair in both boys and girls. (Eke 1989). This period which is also characterised by social, emotional and psychological changes have a direct impact on the individual self evaluation, body image and self concept.


The transition to adulthood poses a lot of challenges for the young in this modern technological age than it has been in previous years. Hall (1904) denotes this period as a period of "storm and stress" while Engels (1975) describes it as a "moratorium" phase or "crises stage", a period of conflict in the developmental state, which Piaget (1948) attributes to great increase in development of cognitive abilities of the adolescent. He maintains that the cognitive abilities gained at this stage gives the adolescent the ability to reason, dispute and theorerise on an adult level which can cause conflict for him/her since society is unable to accord him/her an adult status. Keninston (1972) describes this stage as a separate stage of life that lacks any clear definition. In this sense the adolescents are neither psychologically adolescents nor sociologically adults. They struggle in search for identity and the search for identity within society and its inability to accord them a firm identity and tentative roles leaves the future values unidentified for the adolescents. Engels content that a feeling of being nobody or wanting to be, may lead to withdrawal from the reality and in some cases to mental illness and delinquent behaviours which exposes them to vulnerable situations where they turn to their peers for assistance. According to Denga (2001) conformity to peers gives them the sense of belonging they wish and through non-conventional ways turn into delinquent acts such as armed robbery, drug abuse, in the process of desiring the taste of adult life or having access to comfort of life.


According to Mallum (1988) the inability of the Nigerian adolescent to define his status was exposed the Nigerian adolescents to many vices and social problems such as unemployment  crime, delinquency, drug abuse etc.


Smoking during adolescence is primarily a social activity and research has consistently identified peer group influence as a significant factor in the uptake of smoking. Peer group may variously be defined as best friendships, romantic attachments, small social ‘network’ and larger social ‘crowds’. Each of these type of peer group may influence the decision to smoke or not to smoke.

 Research has also shown that the clustering of smoking  behaviour within peer groups could be because adolescents seek out friendships with individual who share similar interests, of which smoking may be just one signifier. In a review of peer influence  and smoking habit, it is concluded that, the effect of peer pressure has an influence on adolescent health behaviours. It is probable that peer influences both interact  with and are compounded by a host of other predictive factors and that the nature of peer influences on smoking changes over time across social and cultural groupings.

Recent research also suggest that peer influences may vary, in importance at different point among the adolescent continuum, with the influence of close friends smoking have most impact in earlier adolescence.

Initiating smoking may arise as a response to more subtle influences such as being a means of facilitating acceptance and bonding and avoiding exclusion from peer groups. Some adolescents experimenters and habitual smokers saw trying a cigarette in the spirit of joining in or ‘giving it a go’.

Being ‘cool’ is important to teenager although what is deemed to be cool also changes across time, peer groups and social contexts. Smoking has traditionally been viewed as one of the badges of ‘coolness’ among teenagers. While ‘coolness’ is still identified by young people as one of the reasons why some of their peers smoke.

Research Undertaken in Western Australia in 2004 suggests that the inverse is increasingly true, with those who smoke often regarded as ‘losers’ or trying too hard to be cool.

Refusing an offer of cigarette or declaring that I don’t smoke is increasingly socially acceptance and normative among many youth cohorts. Among groups with negative prevailing attitude to smoking, peer influence may of  course, deter uptake of smoking.

British research has found that forming romantic attachment (dating) at  an earlier age is a predictor for becoming a smoker later, independent of other confounding  factors. The researcher speculate that dating and smoking behaviour may be connected by a desire to appear to be more grown up which is consistent  with tobacco industry advertising to link its product with sex appeal and popularity. Research also suggest that young people who are sexually active have a higher risk of taking up smoking the reason for this could be that when young teenagers engage in serious intimate relationships and later had breakups, such teenagers may be at a greater risk of experiencing loneliness, isolation and depression. They often find solace and succour in cigarette smoking.

Young smokers tend to congregate together and also to overestimate the extent of smoking in their own age group, giving them a distorted sense of what is normal behaviour. The National Drug Strategy Household survey for 2004 found that about two-third (64% of recent smokers aged 12-15 said that ‘all or most of their friends and acquaintances were smokers as well. A further 20% said that ‘about half’ of their peer group were smokers only 1% of smokers in this age group said that none of their friends and acquaintances smoked. The effect declined with increasing age, with 28% of smokers aged 20 years or older reporting that all or most of their friends and acquaintance were smokers, 32% saying around half were and 39% saying only a few of their peer group smoked. Adolescent who think that smoking is normative and that most of their peers smoke, are more likely to start smoking.

1.2 Statement of Problem

Peer group is a common phenomenon in adolescents. Adolescents are loyal to their peers and they rely on them for support and understanding. Most young adult copies certain things which are considered to be  in vogue from the member of their peer group.

Adolescence is clearly a sensitive period in the onset of cigarette smoking more than one –third of high school students smoke at least once in a month  and 17% smoke a cigarette almost every day (USDHHS, 1998).

One major problem often confronted by adolescent is psychological. Erickson’s (1963) emphasized two main areas of personality development viz psychosocial aspect and the developmental crisis. Developmental crisis is a specific conflict whose resolution prepares  a way for the next stage  of life.

-      Adolescent are often confronted with the problem of searching for a unique identity.  Identity problem is one of the challenges confronting adolescents. Their problems are rooted form their inability to understand who they are, the type of attitude to choose, the authorities to respect, their choice of lifestyle, coupled with unavailability of parental guidance in modern society.

-       Another problem confronting the adolescent  is over bearing influence of education and technology. Inferring that, the adolescent rarely stay at home rather they engage in different types of risk behaviour because they are always on their own in their own group unknown to them most of these contending challenges force them into future health implications (Moronkola &Aremu, 2004) habit.  

Another problem faced by adolescent  in the midst of their peers is emotional instability whose sources could be low self-esteem and self concepts. When an adolescent is having such problems, they are easily cajoled by peers who encourage them to smoking cigarette in order to boost their morale among other peers who do not belong to the same cliques they belong.


1.3 Purpose of the Study

 This study was embarked upon to investigate the influence of peer group on adolescents smoking habit among student of selected school in Ikorodu Local Government Area of Lagos State.

This research specifically seeks to investigate.

i.              Whether there is any significant influence of  peer group on adolescent smoking habit.

ii.           Whether there is any significant influence of social relationship on adolescent smoking habit.

1.4 Research Questions

1.   Is there any significant influence of peer group on adolescent smoking habit among student?

2.   Is there any significant influence of social relationship on adolescent smoking habit.

1.5 Research Hypothesis

1.   There is no significant influence of peer group on adolescent smoking habit among students of secondary.

2.   There is no significant influence of social relationship on adolescent smoking habit among students of secondary school

1.6 Significant of the Study

This research work will be of great relevance to the society as a whole. Most importantly, students, educational bodies, non governmental organization, the government and other relevant organization on how to tackle social problems that often accompany adolescent period.

It will also provide them with useful information and ideas on how to tackle psychosocial  problem of adolescent.

This study will serve as a useful tool for teachers, principals, school authorities at both the state and Federal Levels on how to manage students during adolescent period which is often characterized as a period of storm and stress.

1.7 Scope of the Study

This study looks at the influence of peer group on adolescents smoking habit of students in selected schools in Ikorodu Local Government Area of Lagos State.

1.8 Limitation of the Study

The study is limited to two Junior Secondary School and two Senior Secondary School situated in Ikorodu Local Government Area. This is actually due to time and financial constraint.

1.9 Definition of Terms

Adolescent: adolescent in Latin means to grow up.

Habit: A thing that you do often and almost without thinking especially something that is hard to stop doing.

Adolescence: The time in a person’s a child into an adult.

Smoking: Is to suck smoke form a cigarette, pipe etc into your mouth and let it out again.

Peer Group: Is a social group consisting of people who are equal in such respect as age educational background social status with whom a person associates with and interact within the same social aggregate.



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