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ATTITUDINAL DIFFERENCE IN HOSTEL BEHAVIOUR ON SOCIAL AND ACADEMIC ORIENTATION AMONG UNDERGRADUATE FEMALE STUDENTS


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ATTITUDINAL DIFFERENCE IN HOSTEL BEHAVIOUR ON SOCIAL AND ACADEMIC ORIENTATION AMONG UNDERGRADUATE FEMALE STUDENTS

ABSTRACT

This study examined the attitudinal difference in hostel behaviour on social and academic orientation among undergraduate female students in University of Lagos, who were randomly selected from the five female hostels of the University of Lagos.

Questionnaires were administered and results obtained and findings show that attitude towards hostel behaviour, religious value, socio-economic status and sex education influence the social and academic orientation of undergraduate female students.

CHAPTER ONE

1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

Attitude is often defined as a tendency to react favourably or unfavourably towards a designated class of stimuli, such as a national or ethnic group, a custom, or an institution. Here, we want to look at the hostel behaviour of female students as it concerns their social and academic orientation.

According to Anastasi (1982), attitudes have three components. These are cognitive, affective and behavioural components. The cognitive component refers to the belief or factual knowledge about the person, idea or object. The affective component refers to one’s emotional response to or feelings toward a person, idea or object. The behavioural or action component refers to one’s disposition to do something about one’s feelings, beliefs and knowledge. To this effect, some students see hostel accommodation as a means of escape from family control (freedom) instead of a means of concentrating on their studies and getting away from outside influence.

According to Johnson (1975), the reliance on attitudes is part of a fundamental psychological economy referred to as the ‘least-effort’ principle. The principle states that whenever possible, apply past solution to present problems or wherever possible, apply past reactions to present experiences. The hall administrators, who ought to set the rule, put up the I-do-not-care attitude as they tend to turn a blind eye to what is going on in the hostels. Students go out and come back in the early hours of the morning without anybody showing any concern. Some students travel out of the school environment for months without being noticed, sometimes in the company of non-students living with them in the hostels.

According to Krumbolt and Thorenson (1976), behavioural counselling is a process of helping people to learn how to solve certain interpersonal, emotion and decision problems. With training, a client can be taught to change his behaviour. Some of these students need the services of a guidance counsellor to help them overcome their mal-adjusted behaviour.

Yates (1970) defined behaviour modification as the attempt to alter human behaviour and emotion in a beneficial manner. Behaviour modification according to Anastasi (1982), represents the direct utilization of major learning principles in the practical management of behaviour change. It involves the application of conditioning principles to the acquisition and strengthening of wanted behaviour and the elimination of unwanted behaviour.

There was a time university education was seen as a veritable platform for the acquisition and development of virtues. Students were thought to be productive, morally upright, disciplined, decent and virtuous. Not anymore, now, a typical female student does not bat an eyelid over flaunting her escapades with rich “Aristos” (sugar daddies) to her friends. And why not, when she has so much to show for it- a flashy car, vacations abroad, expensive clothes and gifts etc. These “Aristos” spend on their flirtatious girls what they cannot afford with their wives at home.

It has equally become fashionable for married men to boast to one another about their dates with female undergraduates. Some girls go as far as keeping multiple boyfriends including students, whom they maintain with money from their rich sugar daddies. Fights between girls competing over a man are quite common.

There exists in the female hostels a worrisome situation in which non-students buy bed space and occupy rooms in order to run their business. It is said that a lot of prominent people outside who patronize these girls, prefer undergraduates. These commercial sex hawkers, some of whom may have failed to gain admission either through JAMB or the diploma programme, remain on campus for prestige’s sake, giving away the impression that they are students.

These undesirable attitudes lead some students into truancy and absenteeism. They keep late nights or travel out for weeks on end. The consequence is that they are absent from lectures. During these times however, their friends help them mark attendance registers during lectures, complete assignments or even continuous assessment tests. There are mercenaries who are adept at these. They are not easily detected by the school authorities either.

It is common knowledge that girls always have problems staying together unlike male students. Fights, quarrels, vulgar exchange of words, malice and open jealousy are bad traits found commonly among girls in hostels. There are those who persist in noise making, the blaring of music from radio sets, dirty habits or stealing anything including underwear.

Cult membership is another problem on campus. Female students, seeking influence or sheer pleasure often secures membership of these nocturnal groups. Others are intimidated into joining or forced through peer pressure. Yet some others seek protection from fellow students in cults. Some students see hostel accommodation as a means of escape from family or parental control. They see their undergraduate programme as an opportunity to explore the world. So they delve recklessly into vices such as late night parties, indecent dressing, prostitution, cult membership etc.

It is instructive to note that some of these girls have returned with incurable sexual diseases and mysterious illnesses which usually lead to death. There are also those who were not properly brought up or given parental care and instruction. Such delinquents are often given to the above-mentioned behavioural traits.

The problem of student’s adjustment to university life is of paramount importance. The way people adjust or fail to adjust to demanding problems or new environments have been subjected to a sequential series of attitudinal patterns over the ages. The university environment is not only known for the pursuit of academic excellence but also for multifarious innovations and challenges for each student. To adjust to university life, it is not uncommon that a student passes through psychological strains and stresses such as worry, frustration, anxiety and conflict to mention a few. Left without help, a student may find it extremely difficult to cope with life at a university.

Woman (1973) describes adjustment as a relationship between the individual and the environment as he strives to survive the various physical and psychological stresses. It requires a lot of discipline on the part of the student to be able to hold his/her own without undue influence in such an environment as the University of Lagos. Eysenck et al (1976) define adjustment as a process of activities geared towards survival in a given environment.

Education is a process of influencing, reinforcing and changing people’s knowledge, attitudes and behaviours, and then the university, as an educational institution, can assume the role of creating an environment conducive to the optimal growth and development of an educated person with the following characteristics:

a.     She has an open mind and allows reason and scholarship to guide her in her decisions. At the same time, his emotions are alive and sensitive to the world around her.

b.     Such woman has some understanding of herself. She is aware of her prejudice; she also knows her own limitations. In order words, she has the vision to know where she is going and where she has been.

c.      She understands the society and the world in which she lives and she is alert to her responsibilities to all segments of society. Thus she accepts her jobs with grace and performs them with all possible integrity and ability.

d.     A well education person has developed a philosophy of life that is grounded in an intellectually grasped set of values. Hence, her life has meaning and the way is paved for the achievement of future goals.

Our hopes and aspirations to have educated and well cultured citizens of the characteristics listed above will not be accomplished throughout university education unless our students are well adjusted to university life. Failure of a student to adjust adequately to the university life may lead to adverse consequences some of which may be frustration, inability to cope with studies, repetition of course due to failure, drop-out or even expulsion from the institution. Failure of a student to benefit from university education may also lead to wastage of human and material resources can ill-afford. (Olayinka, M. S and Omoegun O.M)

The first perennial problem is lack of accommodation for the efficient adjustment of students to university life. Acute shortage of accommodation is notable in halls of residence, in the library, the lecture rooms and lecture theatres.

Lazarus (1969) describes adjustment as man’s efforts, successful or unsuccessful, to deal with life in the face of environmental demands, internal pressures, and human potentialities. These university facilities built around 1962 for an optimum student population of about five thousand are now expected to serve the need of over twelve thousand students. Some students have to stand outside to listen to lectures as there is no room to stand inside.

Classrooms are also grossly inadequate because many students peep through the windows to glance at what the lecturers write on the boards. Provision for accommodation in halls of residence is shockingly inadequate as only about 40% of the student population can hope to get campus lodging.

The University Library and faculty libraries are incapable of providing reading spaces and adequate books and journals for the numerous anxious students who are desirous of drinking of the fountain of knowledge that a university is expected to supply. Many students go to the university with different goals and objectives. The great silent majority of students normally go about their lectures with a view to passing their examinations with good grades and later obtain good certificates and degrees.

The vocal minority among students tend to be trouble shooters who champion the cause of student confrontation with the police as a method of bringing about more amenities for students. Such students are apt to block the roads, destroy, molest innocent students and precipitate a breakdown of law and order.

Student unrest cannot be completely eliminated but our students should learn to apply constitutional procedures to bring about a desirable change. They should be informed that negotiation and not confrontation is a better method of seeking redress. They should always keep open the channel of communication with significant others who are in a position to listen to their grievances with sympathy.

The role of cohort advisers should be well explained to the students in this wise. Students should be motivated to be achievement oriented and to re-order their priorities. They should not allow side issues to detract them from their main objective of coming to the university.

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

The problem to be investigated here is the difference in hostel behaviour of undergraduate female students living in the hostel.

This is a problem because students are from different socio-economic backgrounds but some of them fail to recognize this as they strive to live up to the expectation of their peer group. In the hostels you will find call-girls who take up residence in various halls pretending to be students because it has become fashionable for men to come to campus and pick girls supposed to be undergraduates.

The non-students make a lot of money from the men. Their rooms are heavily furnished with every gadget that makes life comfortable. They ride in flashy cars and exhibit wealth. They generate noise through their electronic gadgets and the type of visitors they receive. They engage in scandalous activities, going out at odd hours with men to night parties and come back in the early hours of the day disturbing those that are sleeping.

Some students want to emulate their lifestyle believing them to be enjoying life. They join the non-students in their nefarious activities. The students get distracted from their studies; they begin to lag behind in their academic work. In order to meet up they pay people to do assignments and write tests for them.

There is therefore need for a form of orientation for new intakes who are confronted with different lifestyles mostly confusing upon entry into the university. If we accept the assumption that education is a process of influencing, reinforcing and changing people’s knowledge, attitudes and behaviour, then the university as an educational institution can assume the role of creating an environment conducive to the optimal growth and development of an educated person.

1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

i.            To determine the extent to which attitude towards hostel behaviour affects the social and academic orientation of undergraduate female students.

ii.         To examine whether religious values influence attitudinal difference in hostel behaviour.

iii.       To assess whether socio-economic status influence the attitudinal difference in hostel behaviour.

iv.       To determine to what extent sex education affects the attitudinal difference in hostel behaviour.

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

In order to do an in depth study on the attitudinal difference in hostel behaviour on social and academic orientation among undergraduate female students, the following questions have to be addressed:

       i.            To what extent does the attitudinal difference in hostel behaviour influence the social and academic orientation of undergraduate female students?

     ii.            To what extent do religious values influence the attitudinal difference in hostel behaviour of undergraduate female students?

  iii.            Does socio-economic status influence the attitudinal difference in hotel behaviour among undergraduate female students?

  iv.            To what extent does sex education affect the attitudinal difference in hostel behaviour of undergraduate female student?

1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

1.     There is no significant influence of attitudinal difference in hostel behaviour on social and academic orientation among undergraduate female students.

2.     There is no significant influence of religious values on the attitudinal difference in hostel behaviour among undergraduate female students.

3.     There is no significant influence of socio-economic status on the attitudinal difference in hostel behaviour among undergraduate female students.

4.     There is no significant influence of sex education on the attitudinal difference in hostel behaviour among undergraduate female students.

1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

       i.            This research will help students to know how their attitude and hostel behaviour affect their social and academic orientation.

     ii.            It will help parents/guidance know how hostel behaviour affects the social and academic orientation of their children.

  iii.            It will help the school authority to know how attitude and hostel behaviour affect social and academic orientation of students.

  iv.            It will put the society in the knowing that attitudinal difference in hostel behaviour affects social and academic orientation of students.

1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

This study will be carried out among female undergraduate students of University of Lagos. It will study the attitudinal difference in hostel behaviour on social and academic orientation among female undergraduate students. The limitation is that it will exclude male students and Post graduate students of the Institution.


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