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.