Social problems as a predictive factors of student academic outcome and social adjustment (case study of university of portharcourt)

The present research study was design to investigate the factors affecting academic performance of graduate students of university of portharcourt, Rivers State.

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The present research study was design to investigate the factors affecting academic performance of graduate students of university of portharcourt, Rivers State. The variables under consideration were the academic performance (student’s grades/marks) as a dependent variable and the gender, age, faculty of study, schooling, father/guardian social economic status, and residential area, medium of schooling; tuition trend, daily study hours and accommodation trend were independent variables. The data were collected from 100 students through separate structured questionnaire from different class of the University. Using the simple random sampling technique. For analysis, linear regression model, correlation analysis, and descriptive analysis were used. The findings revealed that age, father/guardian social economic status and daily study hours significantly contribute the academic performance of graduate students. A linear model was also proposed that will be helpful to improve the academic performance of graduate students at university level.










1.1      Background to the study

1.2    Statement of the problem

1.3   Purpose of the study

1.4   Research question

1.5   Significance of the study

1.6    Scope of the study

1.7   Definitions of Terms



2.1   Concept of Job Satisfaction




















1.0                                                        INTRODUCTION

Students academic gain and learning performance is affected by numerous factor including gender, age, teaching faculty, students schooling, father/guardian social economic status, residential area of students, medium of instructions in schools, tuition trend, daily study hour and accommodation as hostelries or day scholar. Many researchers conducted detailed studies about the factors contributing student performance at different study levels. Graetz (1995) suggested “A student educational success contingent heavily on social status of student’s parents/ guardians in the society. Considine and Zappala (2002) noticed the same that parent’s income or social status positively affects the student test score in examination. According to Minnesota (2007) “the higher education performance is depending upon the academic performance of graduate students. Durden and Ellis quoted Staffolani and Bratti, (2002) observed that “the measurement of students previous educational outcomes are the most important indicators of students future achievement, this refers that as the higher previous appearance, better the student’s academic performance in future endeavours.

Lot of studies have been conducted in the area of students achievement and these studies identify and analyze the number of factors that affect the academic performance of the student at school, college and even at university level. Their finding identify students’ effort, previous schooling, parent’s educational background, family income, self motivation of students, age of student, learning preferences and entry qualification of students as important factors that have effect on student’s academic performance in different setting. The utility of these studies lies in the need to undertake corrective measures that improve the academic performance of graduate students.

It is generally assumed that the students who showed better or higher performance in the starting classes of their studies also performed better in future academic years at degree level. Everyone can be surprised with this assumption if it could be proved scientifically. From the last two decades it has been noticed significantly that there is great addition in research literature and review material relating to indicators of academic achievement with much emphasis on this dialogue, whether traditional achievement measures of academic performance are best determinants of future academic gain at university or higher level or innovative measures. However, it is also observed that many of the researchers are not agree with this view point or statement. Reddy and Talcott (2006) looks disagree with these assumptions that future academic gains are resolute by preceding performance. In their research on the relationship between previous academic performance and subsequent achievement at university level, they found that students learning or studying at graduate level and the score secured did not predict any academic achievement at university level. They also cited Pearson and Johnson (1978) who observed that on the whole grade association of only 0.28 between graduate level marks and university degree achievement.

It is also confirmed in the study of the University (2003) on graduate admissions that normal measures of educational potential and academic performance such as high school GPA (Grade Point Average) scores showed only 30% of the deviation in initial or starting (first) year at college. It is important to note that even these studies do not agree with the former studies who explored that previous achievement affect the future performance of the students in studies, they confirmed that the admission scores are related to academic performance at university level but to a very minimal extent. McDonald (2001) also suggested that the scores of graduate level studies still out perform any other single measure of cognitive aptitude in predicting success at university level.

Parent’s socio-economic condition, which includes parents’ academic and professional qualification, revenue and occupational affiliation, is also associated with academic gain of students. The results of many studies confirmed that academic achievement of students is contingent upon parent’s socio-economic condition. So the students belonging from higher social economical backgrounds will perform better than other students associated with low social economic backgrounds. “Social and economical status of student is generally determined by combining parents’ qualification, occupation and income standard” (Jeynes, 2002). Among many research studies conducted on academic achievement, it is not very surprising to observe that Socio-economic status is one of the main elements studied while predicting academic performance.

Graetz (1995) conducted a study on socio-economic status of the parents of students and concluded that the socio economic background has a great impact on student’s academic performance, main source of educational imbalance among students and student’s academic success contingent very strongly on parent’s socio economic standard. Considine and Zappala (2002) also having the same views as Graetz (1995), in their study on the influence of social and economic disadvantage in the academic performance of school students noticed, where the parents or guardians have social, educational and economical advantage definitely strengthen the higher level success in future. But it is also noted that these parents make available sufficient psychological and emotional shore up to their children by providing good educational and learning environment that produce confidence and the improvement of skills needed for success.

On other hand Pedrosa (2006) in their study on social and educational background pointed out those students who mostly come from deprived socio-economic and educational background performed relatively better than others coming from higher socio-economic and educational area. They named this phenomena educational elasticity. It is obvious and true that the criteria for categorizing socio-economic standard in different countries are different depending of their norms and values. The criteria for low socio-economic status for developed country will be different from the criteria of developing nations and same will be in the case of developing and under developing countries. “The total income of families, monthly or annually and their expenditures also put a great effect on the learning and academic opportunities accessible to youngsters and their chances of educational success. Furthermore, he also pointed that due to residential stratification and segregation, the students belonging to low-income backgrounds usually attend schools with lower funding levels, and this situation reduced achievement motivation of the students and high risk of educational malfunction in future life endeavors” (Escarce, 2003).

Considine & Zappala (2002) observed that children comes from those families having low income make known more subsequent models in terms of learning outcomes; low literacy level, low retention rate, problems in school behaviour and more difficulty in their studies and mostly display negative attitude towards studies and school. The view point of Considine and Zappala is more strengthen by this statement of Eamon, According to Eamon (2005) “Those students usually come out from low socio-economic status or area show low performance in studies and obtained low scores as compared to the other students or their counter parts”.

It is also assumed that children learning outcome and educational performance are strongly affected by the standard and type of educational institution in which students get their education. The educational environment of the school one attends sets the parameters of students’ learning outcomes. Considine and Zappala (2002) quoted Sparkles (1999) showed that schools environment and teachers expectations from their students also have strong influence on student performance. Most of the teachers working in poor schools or schools having run short of basic facilities often have low performance expectations from their students and when students know that their teachers have low performance expectations from them, hence it leads to poor performance by the students. Kwesiga (2002) approved that performance of the students is also influenced by the school in which they studied but he also said that number of facilities a school offers usually determine the quality of the school, which in turn affect the performance and accomplishment of its students. Sentamu (2003) argue that schools influence educational process in content organization, teacher and teaching learning and in the end evaluation of the all. All these educationists and researchers agreed with this principle that schools put strong effect on academic performance and educational attainment of students.

Students from elite schools are expected to perform good because they attend these elite schools and the main reason behind is that these schools are usually very rich in resources and facilities. Some researchers have the view that school ownership and the funds available in schools do indeed influenced the performance of the student. Crosne and Elder (2004) noticed that school ownership, provision of facilities and availability of resources in school is an important structural component of the school. Private schools due to the better funding, small sizes, serious ownership, motivated faculty and access to resources such as computers perform better than public schools. These additional funding resources and facilities found in private schools enhance academic performance and educational attainment of their students. It is also very pleasing that students from Govt schools colleges and some universities are providing the laptops by their Government, so that the students could interact with the whole world and know about the latest developments and innovations.

It is concluded that the type of schools in which students studies greatly influence the educational performance and academic achievement of the students. Miller and Birch (2007) summarized the views of many researcher and educationist in their study on the influence of high school attended on university performance.

1.2                                           SIGNIFICANCE  OF THE STUDY

Previous studies focuses on different factors such class schedules, class size, English text books, homework, environment of the class, technology used in the class and exams systems, extracurricular activities, family and work activities, financial, and etc. The study may helpful for both college’s policy makers and parents of the students. It helps the college administration to design and implement the policies to improve the students’ performance and the quality of education by changing the attitude of students towards learning, facilitating students and improving the teaching procedures. Parents can use the outcomes of the study to solve the students’ problems especially financial problems and to look after them. It may also create awareness among students about their rights and responsibilities to achieve quality education.

1.2                                                   RESEARCH QUESTION

What are the important factors that affect students’ academic outcome?

1.3                                                  RESEARCH OBJECTIVES


The objective of this research paper is to explore the important factors that affect the academic outcome of the students of university of portharcourt.

1.4                                              RESEARCH CONTRIBUTION

Previously a lot of research has been done on this topic. Different researchers researched on various variables and a lot of different variables were studied.


This research is different in a way that it is the first research in which a variable “proper guidance” is studied, moreover in Pakistan only one research was carried out on this topic and it was conducted by Abid Hussain in 2006 and that too was based on the findings of school’s whereas this research is conducted on colleges.

Our contribution to this study is that we explore the four factors that affect students’ academic performance. These factors are students’ communication skills, learning facilities, proper guidance and family stress. In Pakistan scenario, many researchers have done a lot of work on communication, learning facilities and family stress.

This research will be helpful for the parents as well as the teachers of the students to guide them properly and as per their abilities.

1.5                                                   SCOPE OF THE STUDY

Many studies have examined the factors that influence academic performance in primary and secondary education as well as at university, with the purpose of enhancing learning at these stages and reducing drop-out rates. It is within this research framework that we want to emphasise the deficient performance of students enrolled on the statistics course in the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Barcelona. Consequently, this paper attempts to determine the factors that affect student performance in this subject by undertaking an analysis of a structural equation model and determining its stability over time. In order to accomplish our objective, we worked with two samples of students enrolled statistics classes

1.6                                                 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

This study let the research scholars to hypothesize that the background to the students positively correlates with the academic attainment of graduate students.

  1. H = on average the academic performance of male and female student are equal.
  2. H = on average the academic performance of graduate students with respect to their schooling perspectives or background (i.e. Government /Private) are equal.
  3. H = on average the academic performance of graduate students with respect to their residential area (i.e. Urban /Rural) are equal.
  4. H = on average the academic performance of graduate students with respect to their medium of instruction in school (i.e. English /Urdu) are equal.
  5. H = on average the academic performance of graduate students with respect to their accommodation (i.e. Hostelries/Day Scholar) are equal.


2.0                                                    LITERATURE REVIEW

Educational achievement of students demands urgent attention to attain their goals. A numerous researches have been conducted to contribute to determine the predictors of educational success of college students. A research work always takes the advantages of the information and the knowledge that had been accumulated in the past as a result of constant research endeavour by mankind. According to Koul (2009) research can never be undertaken in the isolation of the work that has already been done on the problems related to the study propose by any researcher. Every researcher reviewed the related literature from the different resources..


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