SIBLING RELATIONSHIPS AND SOCIAL NETWORKING AS CORRELATES OF ADOLESCENTS’ ADJUSTMENT IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN UDI EDUCATION ZONE OF ENUGU STATE

ABSTRACT

This study investigated sibling relationship and social networking as correlates of adolescents’ adjustment in secondary schools. The area of the study was Udi education zone of Enugu State, Nigeria. The study adopted a correlational survey research design. The sample of the study was 420 senior secondary class two students drawn through multistage sampling technique, from a population of 2446. One instrument- Sibling Relationship, Social Networking Involvement and Adolescents’ School Adjustment Questionnaire (SRSNIASAQ) in three clusters was used for data collection. Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation was used to answer the research questions while Multiple Regression was used to analyze the hypotheses. Major findings of the study revealed that the nature of adolescents’ sibling relationship is positive. The extent of adolescents’ involvement in social networking is low. Adolescents adjust positively academically and negatively socio-psychologically. There is a positive relationship between sibling relationship and adolescents’ adjustment in school. There is a positive relationship between social networking and adolescents’ adjustment in school. There was no significant difference in the mean score of male and female adolescents’ adjustment in school. Therefore gender is not a significant predictor of adolescents’ adjustment in school. There was no significant difference in the mean score of urban and rural adolescents’ adjustment in school. Therefore location is not a significant predictor of adolescents’ adjustment in school. Based on the findings, it was recommended that adolescent students be given orientation geared towards building healthy relationship with siblings and other social networks through cooperation and support. Workshops and seminars should be organized for the students to guide them on the importance of social networking in their life, especially for academic engagements. Social networking developers should be sensitized through symposium on the need to create more educational sites and encourage the young ones to participate in such sites. The social networking developers should also build in parental control as a measure to control sharing and viewing explicit contents that may not be healthy for the adolescents. Parents, guardians and the society at large should be sensitized on the need for the adolescents to have good school adjustment. They should be made to understand that how a child is reared goes a long way to determine the later adjustment in life. Children should be treated with equal love and care.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Background of the Study
Adjustment is necessary in one’s daily life. Life is full of challenging situations and individuals make frantic, but, sometimes forlorn effort to conquer it. Individuals struggle to get adjusted to the situation they find themselves in school. For instance, how to reconcile parents’ and peer norms, whether to obey rules and regulations or not, whether to give in to peer pressure or not, to engage in risky behaviour, whether to continue schooling or drop out, whether to build a working relation with others or be isolated has to do with adolescents’ adjustment.

Adjustment is the interaction between a person and his environment. Birch & Ladd (1996) see adjustment as the individual’s struggle to get along or fit into his or her social environment. Adjustment is a state in which the needs of the individual on one hand and the claim on the environment on the other hand, are fully satiated (Haars, 2000). Haars further stated that if the needs are not fully satiated, there will be maladjustment among or within the organism of such environment. An individual who has experienced significant level of adjustments acts purposefully. He is real to himself. Adjustment in the researcher’s view could be seen as the individual’s way of adapting to changing situations. This is because the environment changes over time and there is need for a corresponding change in the life of the person in order to survive. How one adjusts in a particular situation depends upon one’s personal characteristics and also the circumstances of the situation (Arkoff in Mangal, 2007). An individual is adjusted when he copes well with himself and with his environment. Proper adjustment will require that the adolescent within the confines of his various needs acquire the necessary skills and competences to be able to deal with the environment in a realistic way. The school is a veritable ground where an adolescent’s adjustment is paramount and holds sway on other outcomes.

School adjustment is construed historically in terms of children’s academic progress or achievement (Birch & Ladd, 1996). This outcome is important but, being very limited, it narrows the search for precursors and events in children’s environments that may affect adjustment. On a broader level, one might think of school adjustment as involving not only children’s progress and achievement but also their attitude toward school, anxieties, loneliness, social support, and academic motivation such as engagement, avoidance and absences (Roeser, 1998). Newman (2000) construed school adjustment as the process of adapting to the role of being a student and to various aspects of the school environment. Failure to adjust can lead to mental health issues and school refusal or school dropout. Bond & Compass (2000) asserts that the principle of school adjustment focuses attention on the substance of the school environment; structures, norms, attitudes and policies which, when taken together, constitute the demand characteristics of the school. This principle assesses what the schools require of students as they cope with the school environment. School adjustment is the individual’s ability to cope with the demands of the school learning (Mangal, 2007). In the researcher’s view, school adjustment has to do with being emotionally intelligent, psychologically balanced, socially and academically competent, and the ability to cope with the activities that goes on in the school environment.

An emotionally intelligent adolescent may be able to understand emotions, such as shame, guilt, and empathy in oneself and others. A psychologically balanced adolescent experiences school connectedness, is in touch with reality, thinks positively and influences his environment favourably. A socially competent adolescent obeys school rules, is respectful, exhibits pro-social behaviours and abhors anti-social behaviours. An academically competent adolescent excels in schoolwork, persists at a given task, and is good at problem solving. Adolescents are susceptible to constant changes in environmental demands. This is partly due to the corresponding change in their developmental life. The features associated with this stage are very critical and delicate. Adolescence is a period when adjustments must be made if the individual would live a normal life in the society. Adolescence is a period when an individual learns to adjust to the complex series of social roles expected of during adulthood.

Adolescence is the period of transition from childhood to adulthood, starting from around 10-12 years old, up to 18-21 years old. The transition period is characterized by rapid biological, physical, emotional, and cognitive changes that take place at this time (Santrock, 2007). Biologically, it begins with the onset of puberty. This is the time of life during which the reproductive organ become capable of functioning. Physically, it is characterized with a growth spurt. The individual at this stage experiences a rapid increase in height. Cognitively, the stage is characterized by the increase in critical thinking, reasoning ability and the way he perceives his environment. Emotionally, the stage is fraught with affection, aggression and fear. This could be as a result of the changes that take place in the body. Some adolescents are less satisfied with their body while some are more satisfied with their body. Coinciding with these changes is an increased frequency of interaction with opposite-sex peer, which doubles the number of potential risky behaviours such as romance and premarital sex (Craig, Pepler, Connolly, and Henderson, 2001). These transitions make adolescence a time of rapid change, which may cause adolescents to be particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of maladjustment. According to Igbo in Onwuasoanya (2008), adolescence is a period when developmental changes are seen in girls from ages 10 – 12 and in boys from ages 12 – 14, when the capability for sexual reproductive system starts. Adolescence as defined by Rideout, Mellisa, Allison, Seeta & Betssy, (2012) is a time of life that is both exhilarating and daunting. It can be fraught with excitement and disappointment, self-confidence and insecurity, companionship and loneliness.

For the purpose of this study, adolescence is a developmental period between late childhood and young adulthood. Adolescence period can be a time of both disorientation and discovery. The transitional period can bring up issues of independence and self-identity. Adolescence as a period of strain, storm, and stress is as a result of problems associated with development and the changes the individual undergoes in every aspect of his life during this period. The period of adolescence is usually characterized with conflicts. This is particularly true in relationship with their parents, siblings and peers. Data reveals that between 5% and 15% of adolescents are antisocial and excessively rebellious of adult authority (Collins & Laursen, 2004). They added that disagreement grow in number and severity throughout adolescence as they seek out autonomy and independence from parental rules. Conflicts are typically about rule negotiation, with adolescents seeking more independence and parents struggling to accommodate them.

Successful resolution of problem of this period could be as a result of the orientation adolescents get from the various agents of socialization one of which is the family. At the helm of affairs of the family are the parents. Others include immediate siblings who are the most powerful influence on children’s development (Landry, Smith & Swank, 2006). The child’s behaviour is affected by the way he interacts with siblings. A sibling is a brother or a sister. Most brothers and sisters share the same mother and father. But sometimes siblings have the same mother but different father or the reverse – the same father and different mothers. Nielson (1996) described siblings as two or more individuals having one or both parents in common; a brother or sister. Egbule (2009) sees siblings as relations of the same parents living together in the same household. Winch and Goodman (1991) describes siblings as childhood constant companions, sharing the same friends and the same games. Sibling often grow up in the same household, they have a large amount of exposure to one another. Operationally, siblings could be seen as those who share the same parents and who grew up together in the same household. Siblings have the responsibility of transmitting values, rules....

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