EFFECT OF BULLYING ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of Study

There are many reported cases of bullying among students in Nigeria secondary schools and other school levels. School administrators in their meetings with parents, for example at Parent – Teacher Association (PTA) meetings and other occasions report that bullying is on the increase and warn that parents should caution their children (Owuamanam andMakinwa, 2015).

Bullying among students of secondary school occur worldwide, among all problems of secondary schools, none is as debilitating as bullying because of its effect on the bully and the victim as well. Bullying is a pattern of behaviour in which one individual is chosen as the target of repeated aggression by one or others, the target person (the victim) generally has less power than those who engage in aggression (bullies) (Baron and Bryne, 2005).

It is difficult to discover a secondary school today where bullying does not exist. According to the Journal of the American Association; out of more than 15,000 public school students surveyed in the United States, nearly 30 percent reported occasional to frequent involvement in bullying, whether as a bully, a target or both. In the united Kingdom, the British School Health Education unit found that a quarter of 10-11 years old survey were bullied either every day or “often”, another report says that 15percent of Australian children admit to have being bullied weekly, the case with Nigerian secondary schools may not be different if appropriate statistic is taken. These figures can be higher in percentage depending on how one defines the problem and view its prevalence. If we will accept nicknaming children and excluding them from games as bullying, then these figures we see would get up to 100 percent (Tambawal and Umar, 2017).

Bullying is a significant problem that can have impact on physical and psychological health of those who are bullied. There may be a commonality between delinquency and bullying in so much as many physical aggressive manifestations of bullying characterise delinquent behaviour. The students who bully their peers at an early age may gain undue boldness and confidence to engage in more anti-social acts. School bullying can interfere with students’ concentration in their studies which can lead to poor academic performance, failure or eventual drop out.

The problem of bullying is not new but seems to be an age long phenomenon in Nigeria as discussions with parents and other adults reveal personal experiences of bullying during the school days of the adults. The problem has probably been ignored or regarded as a normal rite of passage for children.

Bullying is a form of aggressive behaviour manifested by use of force or coercion to affect others particularly when the behaviour is habitual and involves imbalance of power. Olweus (cited in Owuamanam and Makinwa, 2015) explained bullying to mean an intentional, repeated hurtful act, word or other behaviour committed by one or more children against another. According to him, a student is being bullied when another student or several other students mean, say hurtful things or make fun, call him or her hurtful names, completely ignore or exclude him or her from their groups of friends or leave him or her out of things on purpose; hit, kick, push, shove around, tell lies or spread rumours about him or her.

Therefore this study seeks to find out the effect of bullying on academic performance of junior secondary school students in Lagos State.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Bullying is a common phenomenon among secondary school students in Lagos State yet it is infrequently addressed. The available data on the prevalence of bullying is inadequate and unreliable. However, it is seen by some as ‘part of growing up’ and this thinking contributes to the soaring incidents of bullying. This thinking perpetuates the behaviour especially if the perpetrators go unpunished making them think that what they are doing is right and acceptable. Many students have dropped out of school as they could not get protection against the school bullies while others had no choice but to join the ‘bully groups’ in order to gain acceptance and security. These acts of indiscipline engage by the bullies disrupt learning and have direct impact on students’ academic performance.

The culture in most junior secondary schools in Lagos State seems to be encouraging and accommodating bullying as these institutions do not have any clear policies on how they could counter the problem neither do they have adequate and effective measures in place to fight the practice. This tends to be the case because school authorities may not be aware of the adverse effects of bullying on students’ academic performance.

It is against this backdrop that this study seeks to investigate the effect of bullying on academic performance of junior secondary school students in Lagos State.

1.3 Aims and Objectives of the Study

The general aim of this study is to examine the effect of bullying on academic performance of junior secondary school students in Lagos State. Other specific objectives are:

a. To find out the consequences of bullying on the victims and the perpetrators.

b. To identify the common types of bullying among junior secondary schools students in Lagos State.

c. To identify strategies for effective management of bullying.

1.4 Research Questions

This was guided by the following research questions:

a. What is the relationship between bullying and academic performance of junior secondary school students in Lagos State?

b. What are the consequences of bullying on the victims and the perpetrators?

c. What are the strategies for effective management of bullying?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

The study was conducted with the following hypotheses:

Hypothesis 1

H0: There is no significant relationship between bullying and academic performance of junior secondary school students in Lagos State.

Hi: There is a significant relationship between bullying and academic performance of junior secondary school students in Lagos State.

Hypothesis 2

H0: There is no consequence of bullying on the victims and the perpetrators.

Hi: There is a consequence of bullying on the victims and the perpetrators.