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Background to the study

Chemistry is one of the three main branches of pure science, others being biology and physics. Chemistry has been defined differently by various authors. Ababio (2004), defined chemistry as the branch of science that deals with the composition, properties and uses of matter. It probes into the principles governing the changes that matter undergoes.


Encyclopedia (2015), chemistry is a branch of science concerned with the properties, composition, and structure of substances and the changes they undergo when they combine or react under specified conditions. Furthermore, chemistry can be characterized and studied under its varying branches; organic, inorganic, physical, analytical, industrial, nuclear.

Human beings naturally learn from natural and social environment through the observation using their five senses. This learning process, whether aware or not, occurs continuously from the beginning until the end of human life. In this case, human being especially students, grow and develop various ideas and conceptions about everything they receive from their environment.


Consequently, students do not enter the classrooms as blank vessel, but they enter classrooms with preexisting knowledge or ideas of science concepts. That will be delivered by teacher (Gonen & Kocakaya, 2010). These ideas, from the students’ point of view. Can be understood in such a way that is strongly held by the students. These ideas and conceptions are possibly correct. But most of them are significantly different from accepted scientific viewpoints and tend to be rationalized by students arbitrarily by only considering what they receive from their five senses.

Anti-social activities are rampant in the contemporary Nigerian Society. This is evident in the deluge of social problems witnessed on regular bases. These problems which include various factors. Such as social inequality, ethnicity, limited resources, corruption, poverty, criminality. And other socio-economic crises pervade the length and breadth of the country.



There is a wide gap between the expectations of the society and its actual manifestations. Hardly would a day go by without a record of one form of social problem or the other.

In line with the above, Osarenren (2002) argued that societal attitudes change. Because society is dynamic and changes occur quite frequently. Therefore, to support her claims, she advanced some fundamental reasons for anti-social behaviours in the society.

From a sociological perspective, a social problem exists when there is a sizable difference between the ideals of a society and its actual achievements. From this perspective, social problems are created by the failure to close the gap between the way people want things to be and the way things really are (Coleman, 1999).


In addition, certain social conditions are detrimental in any situation (Eitzen, Smith & Baca-Zinn, 2009). These conditions prevent members of a society from developing and using their full potential. Those conditions like poverty, racism, unequal opportunity are, therefore, social problems in any social setting.

Matza (1964) came up with the idea of treating deviant cases when he projected a premise that something must be wrong with a deviant actor and which compels him to be lawless and inhibits him from conformity to conventional norms and the laws of the society.

Education is a watchdog that is essential for correcting the problem of deviance and ensuring conformity to institutional rules and regulations.


The impact of education on change and adjustment is tremendous in that knowledge is light, it transforms and leads in the right direction. The thrust of this study is to explore the effect of social problems on the academic performance and social adjustment of secondary school students.


In the account of Osaat (1999),the present Nigeria generation has been a generation of youth restiveness and moral decadence, sporadic ethnic. Also, religious violence, insurgent tribal youth militias, and labour unrest among adult workers, and a generation. Where youths grow with criminal tendencies, with growing interests in cultic activities, and examination malpractice as the dominant means of achieving success in educational institutions. The analysis of societal conditions on students chemistry outcome among secondary schools.

The primary focus of this study is to lay emphasis on these problems with a focus on the educational sector and especially among students of senior secondary schools in Nigeria. Student participation in anti-social behaviours is on a steady rise. The alarming effect of this behavior constitutes a major challenge Teachers, Parents, Guardians, and the Government, the stake-holders in the educational sector and even among the well meaning Nigerians at large.


Statement of Problem.

In recent times, it has become a common phenomenon to read, hear or witness incidences of students’ involvement in anti-social behaviours such as teenage pregnancy/parenting, child abuse, alcohol intake, drug abuse, rape, prostitution, sexual perversion, stealing, cultism, adolescent suicide, school dropout and all kinds of wanton misdemeanor.

Sad to say that some of these social problems are unfortunately fallout of the social ills in the society. It is the society that creates severe poverty, homelessness and economic hardships. Kyra (2009) supports the assumption that social problems are created by social structures when she revealed ‘that much of what goes on in society leaks into the school system, impacting students and their learning experience’.


Eitzen et al (2009), also seconded the assumption by suggesting that norm violations are symptoms of social problems and that the source of deviance is found within the social structure. He continues, society plays a role in creating and sustaining deviance by labeling victims as. This shows that anti-social behaviours expressed by students are reflective of what obtains in the larger society. The analysis of societal conditions on students chemistry outcome among secondary schools.

Many have agreed that deviant acts perpetrated by students in the secondary schools are responsible for the downward turn in the academic performance and social adjustment of these students. It is not certain whether efforts taken by  researchers, teachers ,school administrators and stakeholders  at linking  behaviours  among secondary school students to social problems with a view to curbing these behaviours have yielded any fruits in the past.

In the light of the overall challenges of social problems in schools, this study sets out to examine the effect of societal conditions on chemistry students outcome among secondary schools.


Purpose of the Study

The specific objectives of the study include:

  1. To identify the common types of social problems exhibited by students in the selected schools for this study.
  2. To evaluate the social implications of the behavior exhibited by the students.
  3. To assess the various ways in which social behavior affects students’ classroom activities.
  4. To ascertain the impact of social problems on students’ academic performance.
  5. To ascertain the impact of social problems on students’ social adjustment.



The study set out to examine effect of societal conditions on chemistry students outcome among secondary schools. The findings that emerged from the research work are:

  1. The Social Problems that students exhibit in school have negative effect on their academic performance.
  2. Students’ Social problems significantly interfere with their social adjustment.
  3. There is no gender difference in students deviant behaviour.


There is a growing concern about the issue of social problems among Secondary School Student in recent times. There is prevalence of deviance, disturbances, crises, unrest and all sorts of anti-social behaviours in the society.

That is why Osaat (1999), referred to the present Nigeria generation as a generation of youth associated with social vices. How these problems affect students have becomes a concern for Parents, Teachers, Authorities, Government and the general public. These problems have been found to be associated with poor academic performance and social adjustment of Secondary School Students.


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Joselyn Nya

My Name is Joselyn Nya A Publisher in Project Boss Team. I'm a Nigerian I'm a graduate/Educational Researcher. Project Boss Team. We are the best for Project materials and project writing services. Email:

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