IMPACT OF DEPRESSION ON EDUCATIONAL PERFORMANCE AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA

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IMPACT OF DEPRESSION ON EDUCATIONAL PERFORMANCE AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA  

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to investigate ―Influence of Depression on the Academic

Performance among Secondary School Student in Kaduna State Nigeria‖. Five objectives, research questions, and hypotheses guided the study. Descriptive Survey design was used to study a sample size of 777 secondary school students purposely selected from six educational zones. A close ended questionnaire and a researcher designed academic performance test were used to obtain responses from the subjects. Data collected for this study were analyzed using descriptive statistics of percentages, mean, standard deviation, and inferential statistics of Pearson Product Moment Correlation (r) and Analysis of Variance ANOVA tested at 0.05 alpha level of significance. The findings showed that significant relationship exists between depression and academic performance among secondary school student in Kaduna State, (r =-0.723, p<0.05), significant relationship exist between depression and academic performance among male secondary school students in Kaduna State,( r =-0.738 p < 0.05) and also significant relationship exist between depression and academic performance among female secondary school students in Kaduna State, (r =-0.827 p < 0.05) similarly, the result showed that significant difference exist in the academic performance of students with different age bracket (f = 11.152 p <0.05) and significant difference exist in the academic performance of secondary school students from different home background in Kaduna State (f = 4.103, p < 0.05). On the basis of the result, recommendations were made among which are; professional psychologist and counselor should render psychological interventions using cognitive behavioral techniques to counsel secondary school students who are depressed so as to help improve their academic performance. Similarly, Schools psychologist and counselor should target depression by teaching coping strategies and this should be targeted towards those female students who are at risk for depression.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1        Background to the Study

The issue of academic performance among secondary school students has been a matter of great concern to educators, parents and government. Even though measures have been taken to improve the situation, a large proportion of secondary school students perform poorly. Secondary school students in recent times tend to perform below expectation in most of the internal and external examinations; this may be attributed to the influence of so many factors. For most among them is the influences of depression and host of others.

Everyone has most likely experienced a sad mood at one time or another in his or her life.  A short period of sadness is not uncommon as humans struggle with the pressures of everyday life, such as financial, marital, and job difficulties.  Raising children and taking care of aging parents add to the increase in people‘s sometimes sad moods.  However, it is depression that is of significant concern in the society, today.  Many adults experience depression which can result in significant health consequences and even death from suicide.

Furthermore, depression is one of the most common disorders that occur among secondary school adolescents. Depression affects 5 to 8 percent of adolescents (Son,

2000).  Depression can have devastating effects on secondary school adolescents.  Research indicates that depressed secondary school students are at risk for increased illness, low academic performance, difficult family and peer relations, substance abuse, and delinquent behavior (Allen-Meares, Cola Rossi, Oysterman, & DeRoos, 2003).

Depression is often associated with suicide among youths and suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth ages 15-24 in almost all parts of the world but most especially in America (McCarthy, Downes, & Sherman, 2008).  The dangers associated with depression are evidence that recognizing, understanding, and treating depression are extremely important.  However, while adolescent depression is common it is difficult to recognize.  It is imperative that society, especially parents, educators, and mental health professionals understand what depression is (most especially among secondary school students), recognize its symptoms and its causes, as well as recognize the effects depression has on secondary school students.

Depression is an emotional state that involves feelings of great sadness, worthlessness, and guilt. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders (4th ed., text revised) (DSM-IV TR) requires that five out of nine symptoms must be present for at least two weeks for a diagnosis of depression to be given.  These nine symptoms include a sad, depressed mood most of the day, for most days, loss of interest and pleasure in regular activities, difficulties sleeping, lethargy or agitation, loss or increase in weight and appetite, loss of energy, negative self-concept and feelings of worthless and guilt, difficulty concentrating, and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.  The symptoms of either depressed mood or loss of interest and pleasure must be one of the five symptoms for a depression diagnosis to be made.  Other symptoms include low self-esteem, and somatic complaints.  Depression is a recurrent disorder and has increased steadily over the last fifty years, especially among adolescents worldwide (Davison & Neale, 2001).

Secondary school students may experience more symptoms of somatic complaints, social withdrawal, and irritability rather than a sad mood.  Symptoms of depression can also be different for secondary school students of different ages.  Younger secondary school students may have symptoms of anxiety manifested in clinging behaviors, fearfulness, and physical complaints.  Furthermore, research indicates that 89% of depressed adolescents usually show signs of sleep difficulty while 79.5% show appetite and weight disturbances (McCarthy, Downes, & Sherman, 2008).

Education at secondary school level should supposedly be the bedrock and sure foundation for higher knowledge in tertiary institutions. It is an investment as well as an instrument that can be used to achieve a more rapid economic, social, political, technological, scientific and cultural development in the country. The Federal Ministry of Education (2007) by emphasizing the National Policy stipulated that secondary education is an instrument for national development that fosters the worth and development of the individual for further education, general development of the society and equality of educational opportunities to all Nigerian children, irrespective of any real or marginal disabilities. The role of secondary education is to lay the foundation for further education and if a good foundation is laid at this level, there are likely to be fewer problems at subsequent levels.

Depression is a disorder that may affects secondary school students. It leads to sadness, discouragement, and a loss of self-worth and interest in their usual activities. Depression can be a response to many situations and stresses. In teenagers that are in the secondary school, depressed mood is common because of the normal process of maturing and the stress that occurs with it, which include the influence of sex hormones, Independence conflicts with parents, It may also be a reaction to a disturbing event, such as: The death of a friend or relative, breakup with a boyfriend or girlfriend, Failure at school. Girls are twice as likely as boys to experience depression. A family history of depression also puts secondary school teenagers at greater risk. Depression in secondary school teenagers is often difficult to diagnose because normal adolescent behavior is marred by both up and down moods, these moods may alternate over a person, time or day.

The following events or situations can cause depression among secondary school students: Bullying or harassment at school or somewhere else, Child abuse – both physical and sexual, Lack of social skills, Learning disabilities, Long-term illness, Poor parenting or caregiving, Stressful life events, such as the loss of a parent to death or divorce .Many secondary school students with depression may also have: Anxiety disorders, Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Bipolar disorder, Eating disorders. Depression may change the way secondary school students see themselves, their lives, and the people around them. Most secondary school students who are depressed usually see everything more negatively. They can’t imagine that any problem or situation can be solved in a positive way. Depressed secondary school students may be at risk for much co-morbidity, including conduct problems, personality disorders, and substance abuse, and obesity, interpersonal conflict, failing social relationships, educational and occupational under achievement (Zalsman Brent &Weensing 2006).   Physical signs of depression in secondary school students include appearance and hygiene neglect, pale and tired appearance, sad or irritable affect, psychomotor retardation or agitation.  Impaired concentration, and diminished abstract reasoning ability for their age (Jettery, 2005). According to Chen and Li (2000) depression affects academic performance of adolescents in secondary school, students with depression are vulnerable to educational under achievement. Also using the information based on a resources allocation model of the effect of a depressed mood on cognition, students with symptoms of depression are predisposed to focus their attention on interfering, irrelevant thoughts, leaving the little sustained attention available for cognitive tasks which may then leads to academic failure (Busari & Uwakwe 2001).  Frojd (2008) reported that depression impair cognitive functioning blocks cognitive sources and many of the academic performance and also homework depends on the ability to sustain attention and concentration, thus depression which is known to disrupt concentration and attention in school is likely to undermine academic performance.

Furthermore, cognitive risk factors for depression in secondary school students may include elevated level of anxiety, low self-esteem, high self-criticism, cognitive destructions, poor school performance, and social skills deficient (Bearly & Beardslee,

1998).  Depression as a mood disorder may affect a person‘s ability to perform life activities including academic performance (Hysenbergasi, Hass & Rowland 2005).  It is common for people who suffer from depression to engage in self-blame, experience confusion and a feeling of hopelessness.

 

1.2       Statement of the Problem

Depression and other affective disorders continue to be an area primarily ignored by the public schools. Countless number of secondary school students may be affected by depression which may also affect academic performance. Depressed students often result in having other behavioral problems like skipping school which may result in poor academic performance. Also secondary school students that are depressed are usually hopeless, have concentration ability difficulty and pay less attention in class and their studies in general and thus may low performance.

Depression has a great effect on students‘ age and to a large extent students‘ academic performance, is a well-known fact that there is a certain period in student development that they tend to learn faster and whatever they learnt are permanently stamped in their memories. Similarly, there are certain periods in one‘s life that the rate of learning tends to decline that is to say the rate of assimilation is slow, and as such students who are young and depressed may tend to have low academic performance and those who are older may even have a worst case scenario.  On the influence of depression on gender, it is worth noting that the academic performance of male students may likely be higher than that of their female counterparts in some areas and vice versa. Depressed females may likely perform better than their male counterpart because female have higher impulse control than the males.  Similarly, depressed secondary school students from different home background may have different educational outcome that is, student from divorced, separated and single parents are likely to have difficulties with their studies, lower literacy level and display negative attitude to school, in other words, one‘s educational success may depends largely on the parental marital status of his or her family. Therefore, it is important to understand the extent to which depression influences academic performance among secondary school students in Kaduna State.

1.3       Objectives of the Study

The objectives of the study are:

  1. To determine the influence of depression on academic performance among secondary school students in Kaduna State.
  2. To find out the influence of depression on academic performance of male secondary school students in Kaduna State.
  3. To find out the influence of depression on academic performance of female secondary school students in Kaduna State.
  4. To determine the differential influence of depression on the academic

performance of secondary school students on the basis of age in Kaduna State.

  1. To determine the differential influence of depression on the academic performance of secondary school students on the basis of their home background in Kaduna State.

 

1.4        Research Questions

The following were the questions this study answered.

  1. What is the influence of depression on the academic performance of secondary school students in Kaduna State?
  2. What is the influence of depression on the academic performance of male secondary school students in Kaduna State?
  3. What is the influence of depression on the academic performance of female secondary school students in Kaduna State?
  4. What is the differential influence of depression on the academic performance of secondary school students of different age bracket in Kaduna State?
  5. What is the differential influence of depression on the academic performance of secondary school students of different home background in Kaduna state?

 

1.5        Hypotheses

The following hypotheses guided the study,

  1. There is no significant influence of depression on the academic performance among secondary school students in Kaduna State.
  2. There is no significant influence of depression on the academic performance of male secondary school students in Kaduna State.
  3. There is no significant influence of depression on the academic performance of female secondary school students in Kaduna State.
  4. There is no significant differential influence of depression on the academic performance of secondary school students of different age bracket in Kaduna State.
  5. There is no significant differential influence of depression on the academic performance of secondary school students of different home background in

Kaduna State.

 

1.6     Basic Assumptions

This study was based on the following assumptions

  1. That depression may not influence the academic performance of secondary school students in Kaduna State.
  2. That depression may not influence the academic performance of male secondary school students in Kaduna State.
  3. That depression may not influence the academic performance of female secondary school students in Kaduna State.
  4. That depression may not have differential influence the academic performance of secondary school student of different age bracket in Kaduna State.
  5. That depression may not have differential influence the academic performance of secondary school students of different home background in Kaduna State.

1.7       Significance of the Study

The outcome of this study would benefit the government, school administrators, psychologist and counselors, parents, public, and students

Government:  The findings of this study would be of significant importance to the government in making educational decisions; the studies would therefore provide government with evidence based data which would help in making appropriate educational decisions and to ensure the reduction of depression among students at all levels of education particularly at secondary school level. The study was also important at state level, because students were evaluated by their performance on standardized tests geared toward specific ages and based on a set of performance students in each age group are expected to meet

 

School administrators:  Similarly, school administrators would find the findings of this study of great importance in planning school activities and curriculum to ensure that all the variable (depression) advantages and disadvantages were incorporated for a smooth school planning and administration.

 

Teachers: The findings of this study would expose teachers to understand how depression in particular can hamper the effort of students to achieve high academic performance. Thus exposing them to having the knowledge of who needs more attention and why, how and when

 

School psychologist and counsellors: would find the findings of this study very important because they could serve as key players in depression management, gender bias issues, mediators in giving family therapy, which would in turn help improve students‘ academic performance.

 

Parents: The findings of this study would be very important to the parents who were concerned with their children‘s education and welfare. It would help parents to understand what they should do to minimize poor academic performance of their children and also know the symptoms and causes of depression so as to take early precaution against repeated episodes or severe depression.

 

Public: The findings of this study would be of immense importance to the general public who on daily basis face lots of challenges; this could be achieved if the findings and recommendations of this study would be disseminated to the public through media, conferences, workshops, and seminars.

 

1.8       Scope and Delimitation of the Study

This study was centered on depression and how it could influence the academic performance of secondary school student in Kaduna State. This study was also delimited to SSSII public senior secondary schools in Kaduna state and the research only used senior secondary school students in SSSII both male and female as respondents. The study was also delimited to depression because other variables like anxiety, self -concept and stress were not included.

IMPACT OF DEPRESSION ON EDUCATIONAL PERFORMANCE AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA  

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