This study was carried out to investigate the influence of parental achievement orientation on achievement motivation and school adjustment of in-school adolescents. Five research questions and two null hypotheses guided the study. The study adopted ex-post-facto research design. The population for the study was 10,077 SS2 students and a multi-stage sampling technique was used to select 420 students for the study. The instruments for data collection were questionnaire titled: parental achievement orientation questionnaire (PAOQ) and students’ achievement motivation and school adjustment questionnaire (SAMSAQ). The data generated from trial testing were analyzed using Cronbach Alpha statistics an overall reliability index of 0.802 was obtained. Mean and standard deviation were used to answer research questions while paired sample t-test was used to test the hypotheses at 0.05 probability level. The findings of the study revealed that, achievement orientation of in-school adolescents’ parents is significant as perceived by the students. The findings also showed that, parental achievement orientation has significant influence on achievement motivation and school adjustment of in-school adolescents. Based on the findings the researcher recommended that parents should develop positive parental achievement orientation that will make their children to have high achievement motivation and good school adjustment.
Background of the Study
School is a formal organization established by the government or the community or an individual to carry out the business of teaching and learning in the society. School is one of the major stepping stones for academic, socio-economic, cultural and political development in Nigeria.And it has been described as one of the most influential socialization domains in an adolescent’s life (Catalano, Haggerty, Oesterle, Fleming and Hawkins, 2004). School alsoprovides adolescents with the forum for interaction with peers from different socio-economic backgrounds and teachers of different standing and exposure. And provides arena for personality development, social adjustment and it help adolescents to realize their potential.
Adolescence is a period of rapid exploration, a particular period between puberty to adulthood. Meyer in Santrock (2005) defines adolescence period as a time of growing up, of moving from the immaturity of childhood into the maturity of adulthood. Okafor in Landies (2000) defines adolescence period as a period when the individual is in process of transfer from independent, irresponsible age of childhood to the self-reliant, responsible age of adulthood. Okafor in Landies (2000) added that, this period is used to describe youths within the age limit of 12 to 19 years. As a result of developmental changes that take place during this period, an adolescent becomes physically, socially and intellectually mature. Physiological and psychological changes, which accompany sexual maturity, come so quickly that individual is unsure of himself, his capacities and interest. Iwuama (1997) opine that, adolescents often feel insecure in articulating their obvious need as a result of on-going changes on their body. Iwuama (1997) added the features associated with adolescents which includes body contour and stature taking an adult shape, physical and sexual maturation as shown by changes in both the primary and secondary sex characteristics, they are often concerned about what people think or say about them, experience a lot of storm and stress as a result of increased emotion tension resulting from physical, emotional and psychological development. During this period, adolescents are given ambiguous treatment by their parents or caregiver, at a particular stage the adolescents are seen to be too young, at another stage they are expected to take up responsibilities (Iwuama, 1997). If adolescents are given proper guidance services and education at this period they may become very useful and fulfilled citizens but if neglected they may constitute greater problems to themselves, their parents, teachers, school authorities and the society at large (Iwuama, 1997). Some parents and caregiver may give their adolescents’ children proper orientation, like changes that occur at adolescence period, teach them sex education at home before they enroll in secondary school, give them proper guidance and counseling and also teach them moral education while some parents and caregiver may fail to give their adolescents’ children such orientations. A child that was opportune to acquire the above mentioned orientations from their parents at home may become a successful adolescent in school.
In-school adolescents are those adolescents who are still in secondary school. According to Onyejiaku (1991), they are referred to as “School Stayers”. Some of the in-school adolescents see school as the most significant institution in their lives because school helps adolescents to realize their potentials but when they do not perform well in school, it may lead to unrealized potentials which could result to low achievement motivation and poor school adjustment. Some of the in-school adolescents may see school as a challenging because some of them may not have the ability to carry out school tasks while some of them may be interested to continuing academic pursuit to higher institution.
Operationally, in-school adolescents are young children who are studying in secondary school. Some of in-school adolescents may find it difficult to cope and deal with the challenges that exist in school environment which could result poor school adjustment.
Adjustment can be defined as the reaction of an individual to external or internal demands and pressures which social environment imposes on him. Mangle (2006) defines adjustment as an outcome of the individual’s attempts to deal with stress and meet his needs and effort to maintain harmonious relationship with his environment. A change in an environment requires a change in the organism in that particular environment for it to thrive well. Arkoff in Mangal(2007) opine that, how one copes in a particular environment depends on one’s personal characteristics and the circumstance of the situation. Arkoff in Mangal (2007) added that, both personal and environmental factors therefore, work together in adjustment. This implies one cannot do without each other. For an individual to be well adjusted in the environment there should be interaction between an individual and the environment.
A person is well adjusted if he or she copes well in the environment.Adjustment is a state in which the needs of the individual on one hand, and claim of the environment on the other hand are fully satisfied. If otherwise, there will be maladjustment among or within the individuals in the environment. There are three areas where an individual need to be adjusted to live a balance life. These areas include: family, school and society (Margett, 2002).
Operationally, adjustment can be defined as the individual’s way of dealing with changing situation. This is because people do not exist in a vacuum. They live in social environment, knowing that change is the only constant thing in the life situation and circumstance. A person who is well adjusted at home may also have good school adjustment.
School adjustment has to do with ability of the students’ to cope effectively with internal or external demands and pressures which school environment imposes on them such as attending lessons, doing assignments, being attentive in subject, not cheating in examination, making a good grade and not dropping out of school, Mangal (2006). According to Coleman (2005), school adjustment is a degree to which adolescents become comfortable and successful in school environment. Secondary school students, either at home or in the school, struggle to cope in environment they find themselves, Onyejiaku (1999).
School adjustment could be good and poor. Good school adjustment has to do with ability of the students to cope well in the school while poor school adjustment also has to with inability of the students to cope well in the school. Adolescents’ adjustment to school required assistance from parents and family members since child’s development and adjustment start from home, (Onyejiaku, 1999). Recently in Orlu Education Zone of Imo State the researcher has observed through the help of teachers and school counselors that secondary school students have poor school adjustment and some of these students indulge in examination malpractice, bullying,truancy, school drop-out, fighting, secret cult, and other school violence and offences.
School adjustment could be academic, emotional, psychological and social. Academic, well adjusted students will overcome learning problems and instructional difficulties, and they make a satisfactory progress in exploratory experiences. Emotionally, well adjusted students have control their emotion; have a stable emotion and will not exhibit action like anxiety, fighting and aggression. They have internalized control over their emotion. Psychologically, well adjusted students have good self concept about themselves and others. They know how to cope or deal with disappointment and loss; can also influence their environment positively in order to achieve their goal. Socially, well adjusted students do not exhibit withdrawal behavior and other anti-social behavior (Onyejiaku, 1999).
Operationally, school adjustment can be seen as ability of a student to cope and deal with the challenges that exist in school environment. For a student to be well adjusted in school they need to be motivated firstly at home by their parents, siblings or caregivers and this may enable them to study hard and achieve success. A student who has good school adjustment may also have high achievement.
Achievement is task-oriented behavior that allows the individual’s performance to be evaluated according to some internally or externally imposed criterion, which involves the individual in competing with others, or that otherwise, involves some standard of excellence. Ukah, (2008) defines achievement as a progressive realization of a predetermined worthwhile goal. Ukah (2008) added that, it is a “Journey” that is “on Going” but is not an event rather is a positive result of steady forward movement. Harackiewicz and Sansone (2000) opined that, students’ achievement increases their motivation to achieve more success in whatever activities they are doing.
Motivation is generally defined as internal and external conditions that stimulates, directs and maintains behavior. According to Deci and Ryan (2000), motivation is greatly appreciated because of the positive and negative outcome it produces. Motivation also explains, for example, why some students swot to pass examinations, while some students wait for manners from heaven, and why an individual perseveres and deprives himself of some pleasures in order to achieve a life goal, (Ngwoke, 2010). Bernstein and Maier (2005) were of the view that, motivation shapes a person’s behavior based on their own self view and can influence their choice and responses from outside cues.
Motivation could be Intrinsic or Extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation can be defined as a driven force from within an individual which cannot be control byexternal factor. Bulter (1997) defines intrinsic motivation as striving to engage in activity because of self satisfaction. Students’ that demonstrate intrinsic motivation, engage in academic tasks due to the enjoyment or satisfaction they derive from such task. Extrinsic motivation on the other hand, comes as a result of wanting to earn grade or reward, avoid punishment, and please the parents, teacher and family members. Children who are extrinsically motivated perform in order to obtain some reward or avoid some punishment, (Mark, 1998).
In addition, in school both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation may be found to be unavoidable thus the need is to find out the different ways in which students could be motivated so they may have the motive to learn in school. AStudent who demonstrates intrinsic motivation may also have high achievement motivation in whatever activity he is doing.
Achievement motivation can be seen as desire of an individual to perform well and strive for excellence and fear of failure. Gesinde (2000) defined achievement motivation as self-determination to succeed in whatever activities one engaged in, it may be academic work or other activities. It is in the view of McClelland (1961) that, those who strive for excellence and success without consideration for the material reward have high achievement motivation. McClelland (1961) opines that, high achievement motivated people seem to be more concerned with personal achievement than with the reward of success. They want to know how well they are doing. McClelland added that, high achievement motivated people have common characteristics which includes they have the capacity to set high personal but obtainable goals; have the desire for job-relevant feedback (how well am I doing) rather than for attitudinal feedback (how well do you like me?) and constantly seeks for improvement.
Students’ achievement motivation has three patterns which include: mastery goals, performance goals and performance –avoidance goals. Mastery goals: This has to do with ability of the students to have a complete knowledge about the desired result. Students with mastery goals sustain effort; have high self-efficacy, willingness to accept challenges, and high achievement. Performance-approach goals: This has to do with ability of the students to complete an action that is challenging. Students with performance-approach goals can sustain effort and have high self-efficacy. They can increase achievement and detract from willingness to accept challenging tasks, which decreases achievement. Performance-avoidance goals: This also has to do with ability of the students to keep away from goals which were challenging. Students with performance- avoidance goals are detracts from motivation and achievement, particularly for learners that lack confidence. Ngwoke (2010) opines that, students’ achievement motivation could be high or low. It may be high if a student is motivated to achieve success in any challenging tasks; it may also be low if a student is not motivated to achieve success in any challenging tasks.
Students with high achievement motivation exhibit certain characteristics which make them look unique from students with low achievement motivation, (Byme in Sheffer, 2005). Students with high achievement motivation may have good school adjustment. Students with high achievement motivation want to expect success in whatever they are doing but eventually if they fail, they will redouble their effort until they succeed ( Gesinde ,2002). Students with low achievement motivation tend to dodge classes or may show lack of interest in school work. Some students are highly motivated to succeed and excel while others are not motivated to succeed and may not be positively disposed to work hard to achieve success, (Santrock, 2005). Being achievement motivated keeps students dynamic and it makes people to have self respect for them (Santrock, 2005 & Adedeji, 2007). It has been in recognition of Mau and Biko (2000) that, students’ perception of achievement motivation for learning tend to have strong impact in their life. Researcher has observed that, some secondary school students in Orlu Education Zone of Imo State have low achievement motivation and these students dodge classes while some of them lack interest in school work, and this is attributed to negative parental achievement orientation.From counseling report conducted by Nwamou in Orlu Education Zone in 2008, it was discovered that some of the secondary school students in the Zone have low achievement motivation.
Operationally, achievement motivation can be defined as tendency to endeavor for success or failure activities. Parents that do not motivate their children in school may have their children come out with low achievement motivation and school adjustment problems. This is so becauseparents play positive and negative impact in children’s developmental and learning processes. Recognition of the roles parents play is reflected on educational policies and current legislature including No Child Left Behind, 2102 (4) (2001) and the reauthorize of Title 1. These policies mandated that schools should implement procedure that actively involves parents in educational process (Fishel & Remiirezi, 2005). The influential roles played by parents ginger their children to have high achievement motivation and good school adjustment because children from different backgrounds have different orientations which they carry into school or social environment, (Akaneme and Ngwoke, 2010).
Achievement orientation can be seen as attitudes and behaviors of the individual toward achievement. Witt (1999) opine that, achievement orientation is a concern of working well or surpassing a standard of excellence. Achievement orientation is what motivates an individual to work hard in order to achieve success or failure.
Operationally, achievement orientation is the value or worth one places on success or failure or positive or negative outcome of one’s effort to succeed in life. This value or worth an individual places on success or failure may be negative or positive. This means the value or worth parents places on success or failure is parental achievement orientation.
Parental achievement orientation can be defined as attitudes and behaviours of the parents toward achievement. According to Johnson (2009), parental achievement orientation is the desire of parents to improve on their self awareness and performance of life goal. Johnson (2009) added that, parental achievement orientation have two dimensions which include positive parental achievement orientation and negative parental achievement orientation. Parents with positive achievement orientation have improved on self awareness and performance of life goal while parents with negative achievement orientation have not yet improved on self awareness and performance of life goal.It is expected that student’s desire to excel in school and achieve success is when parental achievement orientation will be enhanced. Students consider going to school more seriously when there is positive parental achievement orientation.
Parental achievement orientation has four patterns which include: Mastery goals, performance-approach goals, performance- avoidance goals and work-avoidance goals. Mastery goals: This type of orientation focuses on accomplishing a task, improving, and increasing understanding. Parents with mastery goal orientation will like to accomplish any task which they are pursuing. (Wolters, 2003) opines that, parents with mastery goal orientation will persist in the face of challenges and difficulty, attribute success to effort, use effective strategies such as self-question and maintain their interest and effort even after formal instruction is finished. Performance-approach goals: This type of orientation emphasizes on looking competent and receiving favourable judgment from others. (Midgley, 2001)opines that, parents with performance-approach goal orientation tends to be confident and have high self-efficacy, but may exert only minimal effort or use superficial strategies, such as memorization, to reach them. When goals become challenging, they may engage in self-behaviours, such as not trying when they are not sure they can meet the goals, even cheat , (Midgley, Kaplan and Middleton, 2001 and Brophy, 2010). Performance-avoidance goals: This type of orientation emphasizes on attempts to avoid looking incompetent and being judged unfavourable, and this is the most detrimental for motivation and achievement. Ryan (2007) opine that, parents with performance-avoidance goals orientation attempt to avoid looking incompetent and tend to have negative achievement orientation while those parents who are looking competent tend to have positive achievement orientation. Work-avoidance goals: This type of orientation has to do with inability of an individual to face challenging tasks. Parents with work-avoidance goal orientation feel successful when tasks are easy or can be completed with little effort (Dowson and Mchnerney, 2001). Dowson and Mchnerny (2001) added that, parents with work-avoidance goal orientation tend to use ineffective learning strategies, make minimal contribution to group activities, ask for help even when they do not need it, and complain about challenging activities.
Parental achievement orientation has both positive and negative influence on students. If parental achievement orientation is positively carried out it may result to high achievement motivation and good school adjustment but if it is negatively carried out it may result to low achievement motivation and poor school adjustment. Amato and Fowler (2002) opine that, parents with positive achievement orientation express happiness at time of accomplishment, they set high standards for their children, and they think how well they have done something and look for new and better ways to improve their skills and performance.
Parents with negative achievement orientation may be preoccupied with their business, work and other things outside home than their children education that is why some of the parents may not to be familiar with positive parental achievement orientation. Some of these parents exhibit non-challant attitude towards the needs of children in school and at home as well. And this condition may lead to Children that have such parents to fill helpless and confused because they consider going to school more seriously when there is positive parental achievement orientation. Parents with positive achievement orientation may not have good parents-child relationship; they may not show love, care and warmth to their children. Such children may have low achievement motivation and poor school adjustment. Positive parental achievement orientation could breed high achievement motivation and good school adjustment whereas negative parental achievement orientation may also breed low achievement motivation and poor school adjustment.Smetana (2002) also opines that, parents with positive achievement orientation set high standard for their children and they take time to monitor their children’s academic achievement.
Statement of the Problem
The trend of low achievement motivation and poor school adjustment among secondary school students in Orlu Education Zone of Imo State seems to be increased. It may be that their parents do not have positive parental achievement orientation that will make their children to study hard in school. Consequently, some parents seem to be more preoccupied with their businesses, work and other things outside their home which makes some of the parents not to be familiar with positive parental achievement orientation that is necessary for them. Some of these parents exhibit non-challant attitude towards what their children may need to study in school and at home as well, while some parents with low literacy may not take part in the academic assignments and activities of their children. And some parents may be busy with their household chores or both parents work outside the house for daily sustainability of the whole family. As a result, they may not have enough time to monitor their children school lessons and assignments regularly. This condition may lead the children that have such parents to feel helpless and confused because they consider going to school more seriously when there is positive parental achievement orientation. Studies also show that, some secondary school students in Orlu Education Zone of Imo State have low achievement motivation and these students dodge classes while some of them lack interest in school work, and this is attributed to negative parental achievement orientation.
The researcher has discovered that, there is also poor school adjustment among secondary school students in Orlu Education Zone of Imo State and some of these students indulge in examination malpractice, bullying, truancy, dropping out of school, fighting, secret cult, and other school violence and offences. This phenomenon could be the type of parental achievement orientation these parents have and how motivated the students’ could be. Several studies have been carried out on students’ achievement motivation and school adjustment of secondary school students and it appears however, that there is no available study on the influence of parental achievement orientation on achievement motivation and school adjustment of in-school adolescents. Therefore, the problem of this study posed as question, “What is the influence of parental achievement orientation on achievement motivation and school adjustment of in-school adolescents in Orlu Education Zone of Imo State?
Purpose of the Study
The general purpose of this study is to determine the influence of parental achievement orientation on achievement motivation and school adjustment of in-school adolescents in Orlu Education Zone of Imo State.
Specifically, this study sought to:
1. Find out the pattern of achievement orientation of in-school adolescents’ parents.
2. Find out the pattern of achievement motivation of in-school adolescents.
3. Find out the pattern of school adjustment of in-school adolescents.
4. Determine the influence of parental achievement orientation on achievement motivation of In-school adolescents.
5. Investigate the influence of parental achievement orientation on school adjustment of in-school adolescents.
Significance of the Study
This study has both theoretical and practical significance. Theoretically, the findings from this study will help to verify and sustainDavid McClelland’s theory of achievement motivationwhich posits that, some people have an intense desire to achieve while others are not so eager about achievement.
Practically, the study which is the influence of parental achievement orientation on achievement motivation and school adjustment of in-school adolescents will generate data that will be found useful to psychologists, educators, curriculum developers, school administrators, parents, students and the general public.
For the psychologists, they will benefit through seminars and workshops because the findings when published are expected to provide data that will help in propounding more theories on parental achievement orientation, achievement motivation and school adjustments.
For the educators, they will hopefully benefit from this study through seminars and workshops because the information from the findings when published will give them more knowledge on level of achievement motivation and pattern of school adjustment of the students.
For the curriculum developers, they will benefit through seminars and conferences because the findings when published are also expected to help them to design educational programme that is necessary for the students.
For the school administrators, the findings when published will provide a high quality curriculum and instructions in a supportive way for effective teaching and learning in schools.
The findings from this study when published will also be beneficial to parents through seminar and workshop. Thus, Information they will get will help them to know the pattern of parental achievement orientation that is necessary for them and the findings will also help them to give their children the needed motivation and support that will enable them to adjust well in school.
For the students, the findings when publishedwill help them to know the pattern of achievement motivation and pattern of school adjustment that is necessary for them And the findings willhelp them to develop spirit of hard work, self-confidence, purpose and goal setting before enter into any programme, and it will also help them to have high achievement motivation and good school adjustment.
Generally, the findings from this study will also form bedrock for the future researchers in similar areas. This is because the results when published will provide more empirical studies for future researchers.
Scope of the Study
The geographical scope of this study comprised of all the SS2 students in the 98 public secondary schools in Orlu Education Zone of Imo State. Orlu Education Zone is made up of 12 local government areas. The content scope of the study is delimited to influence of parental achievement orientation on achievement motivation and school adjustment of in-school adolescents in Orlu Education Zone of Imo State.
The following research questions guided the study:
1. What is the pattern of achievement orientation of in-school adolescents’ parents?
2. What is the pattern of achievement motivation of in-school adolescents?
3. What is the pattern of school adjustment of in-school adolescents?
4. What is the influence of parental achievement orientation on achievement motivation of in-school adolescents?
5. What is the influence of parental achievement orientation on school adjustment of in-school adolescents?
The following Null hypotheses were guided the study and were tested at P < 0.05 probability level.
H01: The influence of parental achievement orientation on achievement motivation of in-school adolescents in Orlu Education Zone of Imo State is not significant.
H02: The influence of parental achievement orientation on school adjustment of in-school adolescents in Orlu Education Zone of Imo State is not significant.