The Study examined parental involvement and peer influence as predictors of study habit among secondary school students. The study was a cross sectional survey and adopted a 2x2 factorial design. Four hundred (400) adolescents made up of 147 males and 253 females were selected from a population of JSS2 and JSS3 students of Community Comprehensive Secondary School, Four Towns and Uyo High School, Oron road all in Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State using convenient sampling technique. Their age range was between 9 -15 years and their mean age was 13.11 years. Three instruments were used for this study. Study Habit Inventory developed by Israel (2013), Peer Influence Questionnaire developed by Corriveau and Harris (2010) and Parental Involvement Scale developed by Kenny, Frank and Nonan (2005) were the instruments used for data collection. A 2-way analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was employed for data analysis. Results showed that parental involvement as a significant influence on study habit among secondary school students [F (1,396) = 46.48; P.<.05]. Results also showed that peer influence has a significant influence on study habits of students in secondary schools [F (1,396) = 39.25; P<. 05]. Results further showed an interaction effects of parental involvement and peer influence on study habit among secondary school students [F (1,396) = 5.34;P<.05]. This study will reveal a new approach to help parents, policy makers, government, NGOs and other institutions in improving on the already poor level of study habit among students which has been identified as serious problems in Nigeria. Similarly, the findings of this study will help in educating students to the enormous benefits of a good study habit on their academic performance and indeed their future. Therefore, this study recommends that academic activities and programmes should be intensified as it will help students focus more on studying.    


Title page - - - - - - - - i

Certification - - - - - - - - ii

Dedication - - - - - - - - iii

Acknowledgement - - - - - - - iv

Table of Contents - - - - - - - vi

List of Tables - - - - - - - - viii

Abstract - - - - - - - - ix


Introduction - - - - - - - - 1

Statement of the Problem - - - - - - 13

Purpose of the Study - - - - - - - 15

Significance of the Study - - - - - - 15


Theoretical Review - - - - - - - 17

Empirical Review - - - - - - - 25

Statement of Hypotheses - - - - - - 33

Operational Definition of Terms - - - - - 33


Design - - - - - - - - 35

Setting - - - - - - - - 35

Participants - - - - - - - - 35

Instruments - - - - - - - - 36

Procedure - - - - - - - - 39

Statistics - - - - - - - - 41


Summary of Findings -------42


Discussion - - - - - - - - 45

Conclusion - - - - - - - - 46

Implications of the Study - - - - - - 47

Recommendations - - - - - - - 47

Limitations of the Study------48

Suggestions for Further Study - - - - - 49





In recent times, there have been reports on the continuous decline in academic performance of secondary school students, mass failure in external examinations, poor school grades and incessant repetitions, and thus subsequent withdrawals from school (Idaka, 2005). Also, serious concern has been expressed regarding the quality of school leavers from our secondary schools (Idaka, 2005). Consequently, Nigeria has been graded with reliability of half-baked Jamb candidates due to poor study habit of our secondary school students and this account for the mass failure reported by Jamb every year (Ayodele, 2014). Poor study habit also results in low learning ability, certificate racketeering and qualification influction (Nwaba & Nwaba, 2005). According to Sofola, (2004), over dependence and emphasis on academic qualification as a measure of one’s knowledge and competence has led to this mad rush by most students for educational certificates. Thus, the general moral decadence and high premium placed on achievement and certificates by most Nigerians has discouraged the study habit of secondary school students (Ejiogu, 2007).

Bashir and Mattoo, (2012) defined study habit as well planned and deliberate pattern of study which has attained a form of consistency on the part of the students towards understanding academic subjects and passing the examination. Ayodele and Adebiyi, (2013) also defined study habits as student’s ways of studying whether systematic, efficient or inefficient, implying that efficient study habits produces positive academic performance while inefficient study habits leads to academic failure.  Ayodele and Adebiyi, (2013) went further to define study habit as the activity or process of learning about something by reading and memorizing facts.

Jaha, (2013) defined study habits as regular practices a person perform to maximize their productivity, efficiency, and retention in preparation for a particular evaluation. Jahan, (2003) posited that the definition of study habits depends largely on the student, the material being studied, and the goals of the students (which may range from getting a good grade to learning the material well). However, there are a number of general study habits that can be helpful to students across a wide range of subjects and goals. 

Study habits can be good or poor. Good study habit include; being organized, keeping good notes, reading textbook, listening in class and doing ones assignment on time. Poor study habit on the other hand include skipping classes, not doing take home assignment, excessive watching of TV, playing with friend in the time of studying (Ayodele & Adebiyi, 2013). Good study habits and environment should prevail among the schools, and Improvement of study habits of the students is necessary so that they perform well in their studies (Berk, 2005).

Globally, the rate of study habits has witnessed a decline in recent history. Hatch and Bulcroft, (2004) found that students study habit has declined by 12.7% in the last 10 years. This decline in study habit according to Hatch et al., (2004), is due to the advent of technological inventions which has made education easy and affect how much time students are willing to spend studying since much can be achieved with regards to learning within a short period of time using the internet. Kulik, (2004) also posited that the decline in study habit among young students is because of the distraction of social media. Adolescents and other young students are the most vulnerable to becoming addicted to social media, they spend most of their time on social media and rarely spend time studying. They enjoy chatting with friends than engaging in study which many described as boring compared to the experience they have when they are chatting. Furthermore, Castrops, (2008) revealed in a sample of American 8th grade students that study habits declined drastically with a difference of 8.5% among males and 7.1% among females. Acheaw and Larson, (2014)also reported that only 56% of students in secondary school reported to have a good study habit. According to him, this is significantly low compared to the 76% reported in the past 10 years. 

In developing countries like Nigeria, the situation is indeed worse as other factors unique to the country weaken study habit. Adefola (2009) in his study revealed that 51% of male secondary school students in Nigeria have good study habit while 56.9% of female secondary school students reported to have good study habit. Ekpo, (2014) also reported that over the past 10 years, study habit has declined significantly by 22.3% among male students in secondary school and 19.7% among their female counterparts. He went further to give a possible explanation for this decline in study habit among students  in Nigeria,  that  most families in Nigeria are poor and because of this, school children engage in trading, fishing, marketing, farming e.t.c to support their parents meet basic family needs. Therefore, they have less time to think of study given their financial situation, as a result they loss interest in education. Furthermore, the issue of corruption and bribing experienced in most African society has also given rise to decreased commitment to study (Davis & Adeboye, 2009). Parents would do anything possible (including giving bribes) to help their children obtain certificates even when no useful skill is acquired in the process. Much value has been placed on certificates rather than skills (Effiong, 2016). Students resort to various examination malpractices to earn grades that will sale them in the marketplace rather than acquire skills through study that will make them useful in the society. When much value is placed on certificates rather than skills, students will not be motivated to study rather the emphasis will be to get the certificate (Danok & Peaceson, 2010).

Indeed, establishing a proper and efficient study habit will make one’s secondary school life meaningful and challenging. In addition, it is a pre-requisite on attaining a successful and prosperous life in the near future (Bashir & Mattoo, 2012). But, if the students do not have a good study habits, this could be a reason for them to get low grades or fail the subject and may even drop out from the school. This constitutes one of the problems facing most schools in Nigeria (Bashir & Mattoo, 2012).Furthermore, when a student has a poor study habit, he/she may resort to other methods to pass examinations including cheating and bribing of teachers. This will affect learning adversely and subsequently produce half-baked college leavers which may find it difficult to cope with higher learning (Gidma, 2003).

Many studies have reported gender difference in study habits. It has been reported that female students have better study habit than male students (Finman, 2013; Sunday & Effiong, 2014). Cridlle and Andre (2009) in their study reported that female students reported better study habits than males.  Also, Robinson (2011) in his study revealed that feminine characteristics were more strongly related to effective study habits than masculine characteristics. He further explained that this is true because parents supervise and control their female children more than their male children. Because of this, female children stay more at homes and are less likely to be distracted by peers, hence more likely to spend time studying than male students. Gender-related characteristics, especially instrumentality, appear to be important in influencing study habits (Wonder & Staint, 2009). Moreso, Tomar, (2016) also reported gender differences in the study habits of students. Specifically, he found that females take short breaks during study, devote more time to self-study, follow time table more than males.  

Several factors have been reported by many researchers to predict study habit among secondary school students. These include personality type, peer pressure, socio-economic status, fear of failure, self-esteem, parental influence, societal influences, self-handicapping, gender, age, school type, level of study, etc. (Anderson, 2012; Olushola, 2006; Berliner, 2008; Kobiowu & Alao 2005; Khan & Khan, 2011). Aside these factors listed above, this present study will examine factors such as parental involvement and peer influence as predictors of study habit among secondary school students.

Studies have showed that parental involvement predicts study habit among young adolescents (Bajwa & Jindal, 2005). Kobiowu and Alao, (2005) defined parental involvement as the extent of engagement parents have in the activities of their children. Olushola, (2006)also defined parental involvement as any form of verbal or non-verbal communication or assistance in reference to a child’s academic activities. Rich, (2012) further define parental involvement as the totality of activities and time parents invest towards the success of their children. Renn, (2003) highlighted six types of parental involvement which include; Parenting: parents establish home environments to support children as students such as ensuring the home is quiet enough to aid reading and provide instructional materials for children at home. Communication: here parents design effective forms of school-to-home and home-to-school communications about school programs and children’s progress. Volunteering, here parents recruit and organize help and support for their children such as paying teachers to organize extra-moral classes for their children. Learning at Home: parents provide information and ideas to families about how to help students at home with homework and other curriculum-related activities, decisions and planning.

Decision-Making: parents in school decisions, develop parent leaders and representatives, an example is the formation of Parent’s-Teacher’s Association which provides a platform for parents to be involved in the decision making process about their children’s welfare and academic progress. Collaboration with Community: parents can also identify and integrate resources and services from the community to strengthen school programs, family practices and student learning and development. 

Rich, (2012) further asserted that child’s education is the shared responsibility of the school and the home outside the school, the home is the most salient source of learning, encouragement and support for a child. Parent can influence their children’s educational outcome by maintaining an interest in their child’s progress at school and their post school plan. They can also assist a child in developing a good study habit by providing the necessary assistance that will help a child work less after school, spend less time on television and game but invest more time engaging in educational activities (Goldpark & West, 2007).

Rich (2012) argues that the home environment should be conductive for learning. In the years prior to school, parents can do a lot to build strong foundations for a successful and positive school experience. Parents can continue to help, develop their children skill and abilities, even if this means talking to their children about certain issues or school related topic. This will kindle the child to read more about a certain subject or topic and in the process develop a stable study habit (Sukhwant & Shalu, 2005).If parents cannot invest time in active school participation, or cannot afford to provide educational materials or lack the academic ability to help with school work, they can at least provide parental support this can be done by making an effort to enforce good study habits and by holding high aspiration for their child’s progress (Henderson & Berla, 1995). Ufero, (2002) reported that the increase in the rate of divorce in recent history accounts for the decline in the level of parental involvement which is reflected in the poor study habit experienced in most adolescents.

In Nigeria, like other growing economies, families are finding it more difficult to stay connected with their children’s education (Adebayo & Ekpo, 2009). This is most common to families living in mega cities such as Lagos where both parents work outside of the home (Acheaw & Larson, 2014). Carmen, (2007) reported that the situation is worse when polygamous family as parents have so much to care about and as a result think and spend less time with the children. He further revealed that for families not led by a parent, but by a grandparent, guardian, or some other adult, involvement in children academic activities is not even expected.

Prior to this time, in what is sometimes called a traditional Nigerian family environment, parents were able to monitor the school work of their children carefully  and actively participated in Parents-Teachers Associations purposely to monitor the progress of their children. Report cards were valued and trusted in the home as an accurate reflection of academic achievement. Parents were able to keep in touch with the school and the life of their children in the school, and to monitor success or lack thereof (Bhan & Gupta, 2010). When children came home from school, homework was completed, assignments finished, and other school works were done. 

Deslandes and Bertrand, (2005) posited that with the changes in family life and indeed in societal makeup, schools are now finding it increasingly difficult to keep parents involved and actively engaged in the day-to-day progress of their children. Teachers and administrators are discovering that the support they once received from parents in getting students to do their homework and study hard is not there anymore, because the parents are no longer at home due to career to assist their children in their academic activities. Most parents return from work late and are stressed out to the point that mothers struggle to make food for the family, so would not have the time to assess the children educational progress which will in-turn improve the child study habit (Ozmert, 2005).

Bajwa and Jindal, (2005) revealed that students whose parents assist in their academic work are likely to have better study habit, higher grades and test scores, attend school regularly, have better social skills, show improved behaviour, and adapt well to school challenges. Fielden, (2004) reported that the most accurate predictors of student study habit are not family income or social status, but the extent to which the family creates a home environment that encourages learning, communicates reasonable expectations for the child’s achievement, and becomes involved in the child’s education. Furthermore, Kenny, (2013) reported that parental involvement significantly influence study habit of secondary school students. Conversely, Goffman, Handson and Elvis (2009) asserted that when parental involvement is lacking students are left to themselves concerning their study and as a result developed a poor study habit.

The second variable of interest is peer influence. Plowden, (2009) reported that peer pressure is a predictor of study habit among students in secondary school. Henderson and Berla (1995) described peer influence as the pressure adolescents feel from their peers. Oluwatimilehin and Owoyele, (2012) also defined peer influence as the direct influence on people by peers, or the effect on an individual who gets encouraged to follow their peers by changing their attitudes, values or behaviors to conform to those of the influencing group or individual. This type of influence differs from general social pressure because it causes an individual to change in response to a feeling of being pressured or influenced from a peer or peer group (Gidma, 2003).

Peer group can become an agency of enculturation and learning. Even very young children develop a sense of self from their perceptions of important people in their surroundings, including relatives, teachers, and peers (Gidma, 2003). In this study, peer influence is defined as positive and negative peer influence.

Bornstein, (2002) posited that as children leave the home setting, their self-perception and socializing skills become influenced by how their peers view them. When adolescents move out from family to school, they begin to form attachments, and friendships through their interaction with other peers. These relationships begin to influence their behaviour as they strive to behave in a way that conforms to the norm of the peer group (Parke, 1990). 

There has been considerable study regarding peer influence effects on study habit among students in secondary school (Friend & Einsen, 2011). Plowden, (2009) asserted that students in secondary school are most susceptible to peer influence because peer influence has been identified as a hallmark of adolescent experience and most students in secondary school are adolescents. Showkeen and Khan, (2015) also posited that peer influence in young people is most pronounced with respect to style, taste, appearance, ideology, and values. Khan, (2002) asserted that peer influence can affect students of all schools, gender and ages.  These influences are either negative or positive. Negative influence produces maladaptive behaviours such as drinking, sexual activities, substance abuse and cultism. Peer influence can also have positive effects, when students are pressured by their peers toward positive behavior such as attendance to classes, effective study habit, commitment to completing home works, they tend to develop good study habit in order to remain in the peer group e.t.c (Bhan & Gupta, 2010).

Oluwatimilehin and Owoyele (2012) reported that students who experience positive peer influence are more likely to develop a good study habit compare to students with negative peer influence.  Oluwatimilehin et al., (2012) further explained that competition among peers on who performs better make them serious with class attendance and studies. Showkeen and Khan, (2015) also reported that peer influence has a positive relationship with students’ study habit. Sukhwant and Shalu (2005) also found that peer relation is a significant predictor of students’ study habit.

There is gender difference in peer influence. Studies have revealed that female students are more susceptible to peer influence. Deslandes and Bertrand, (2005) reported that female students were more likely to be influenced by peer than their male counterparts.  Jevena, (2007) also reported that female students are easily influenced by peers especially with regard to fashion and styles. Henson and Henson, (2009) reported that female students are more likely to be influenced towards a good behaviour than males. He further explained that females enjoy working in groups and teams than doing things alone and these explained why they are more likely to be influenced by peers than males.

Even though socially accepted children often have the most opportunities and the most positive experiences. Research shows that social acceptance (being in the popular crowd) may increase the likelihood of engaging in risky behavior, depending on the norms in the group (West & Harris, 2010). Groups of popular adolescents showed a propensity to increase risky, drug-related and delinquent behavior when this behavior is likely to receive approval in their groups (Bashir & Mattoo, 2012). In the same way, if a child finds his/her self in a group of peers who are competitive academically, the child will develop a good study habit so that he/she will do well in his/her examinations in-order to remain in the group (Health, 2009).This present study will examine parental involvement and peer influence as predictors of study habit among secondary school students.

Statement of the Problem

The adverse effects of a poor study habit have been widely documented. Poor study habit among secondary school students affect individuals and the society at large (Fielden, 2004; Bhan & Gupta, 2010). These effects include increase in examination failure experienced by many students in Nigeria, increase in examination malpractice and subsequent graduation of unfit and unskilled persons into the society, increase in the rate of drop out and increase in work hazards as unskilled personnel are employed e.t.c (LaLid, 2003). Poor study habit among secondary school students has resulted in delinquents such as violence crime, rape, social apathy among others (Kerrin, 2015). 

Furthermore, the rate of failure in secondary school in Nigeria is on the increase as Nwaba and Nwaba, (2005) reported that more than 45% of secondary school students have a poor study habit. Idaka (2005) also reported that about 41 – 44% of secondary school students in Nigeria have poor study habits.  Students with poor study habit will drop out of school, hang out more with peers at bars and clubs, in the process they become influenced by such peers and begin to behave accordingly. Moreso, research has showed that parental involvement has an influence on study habit as students with high parental involvement report a better study habit than those with low parental involvement (LaLid, 2003).

Attempts made to improve  study habit among secondary school students and research conducted to guide researchers in providing solutions to the declining rate of study habit among secondary school students seem abortive as the prevalence of poor study habit remains on the increase. There also seem to be a dearth of literature on how factors such as parental involvement and peer influence predict study habit especially among secondary school students in Nigeria. This study therefore seek to provide empirical based findings in this area, add to existing literature and as a results suggest possible solution to this lingering problem. To achieve this, the following questions will guide the study

1. Will parental involvement predict the study habit of secondary school students?

2. Will peer influence predict the study habit of secondary school students?

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to investigate if parental involvement and peer influence will predict study habit among students in secondary school.

Significance of the Study

The findings of this study will be useful to a number of people and institutions in several ways. 

⦁ Students will find the result of this study useful as the information obtained from this study will provide and serve as a guide on how best they can improve on their study habit.

⦁ Parents and guidance will also benefit from the findings of this study as it will provide knowledge on best parental practice that will motivate students in secondary school to initiate and maintain a good study habit.

⦁ Counselors will find the results of this study beneficial since the study will provide empirically tested knowledge on the predictive roles of parental involvement and peer influence on study habit.

⦁ Researchers will also benefit from the findings of this study as it will serve as a reference material for future research.



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