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The study examined self-concept and students’ academic achievement in Government in Itu Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. Two research questions and hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. Quasi experimental research design was adopted for the study. The population of the study comprises of all senior secondary one to three (SS1-SS3) students who offer Government in all the nine (9) public secondary schools in the study area totaling two thousand, three hundred and forty five (2345) students.

Simple random sampling technique was used to select a sample size of two hundred (200) students from five (5) public secondary schools in the study area. Forty (40) students were sampled from each of the five schools selected for the study. Government Achievement Test (GAT) was used as an instrument for data collection. The data generated for the study was analysed using Independent t-test statistical tool. Results of the finding indicated that students with positive self-esteem will performed academically better than their counterpart with negative self-esteem.

However, it was also revealed that students who are exposed to self-evaluation will also perform better than their counterpart who are not. Based on the findings of the study, recommendations were made among others that; Sound and experience guidance counselors should be sent to secondary schools to professionally assist students based on self-esteem and self-evaluation.         

THE IMPACT OF SELF-CONCEPT AND STUDENTS ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IN GOVERNMENT                                                                          



1.1 Background to the Study

Children grew up to experience different changes based on difference aspects in life, physically, psychologically, emotionally and cognitively. These changes are the result of a combination of biological factor (maturation) and environmental factor (life experiences).

The term self-concept is a general term used to refer to how someone thinks about or perceives themselves. The self-concept is how we think about and evaluate ourselves. To be aware of oneself is to have concept of oneself (Saul, 2016). Baumeister (2014) provides that self-concept is the individual’s belief about himself or herself including the person’s attributes and who and what the self is. Starting infancy and continuing throughout later years, individual usually develop a changing image about themselves.


This changing image regarding oneself is a products of both the biological and the environmental elements. The biological element deals with the processes which undergo a gradual maturation during adolescence while the environmental elements concerns one’s educational level, life-style, socio-economic status and inherent life ambition. In the long run, these elements shape one’s self-concept.

Self-concept is the core of human an personality. It covers the totality of peoples’ opinions about their physical, social and academic competence. Such opinions are based on their sensitivity and awareness of their strengths and weaknesses (Leswis, 2000).

Shavelson (2008) point out that dimensions of self-concept become more differentiate as one grows up. The first stage of development of self-concept begins from infancy when the child recognizes itself as one individual. Early in infancy, they acquire information about themselves and organize this information as a means to understand the world and their relationship with the social environment. During meddle children hood, self-concept becomes more internalized as the child start to interact with various social relations like family and peers.

Mansier (2005) believes that the formation of self-concept goes thought three stages. In infancy, the infact develop[s self-concept of being a distinguished part of the environment. As he grows up, other people’s perspective, particularly, that of parents are assimilated. From this point, the child internalized society norms, that is acceptable societal behaviour. In this way, multiple of self-concept as individuals age. For example, consistent feedback from parents is considered a primary sourced of forming self-concept among children. However, as they grow up into teenagers, they tend to likely more on their peer’s opinions and views.

Smith (2007) has outlined some tips on developing a positive self-concept among children thus:

  1. Have a sense of family belonging by finding interest, affection and acceptance within your family.
  2. Have a feeling of uniqueness by understanding what sets you apart from other people.
  3. Believe in your capability to succeed in spite of adverse condition.
  4. Imitate role models that are renowned in their field of specialty.
  5. Have a passion for learning to improve your skills and talents.

In essence, adolescence is a very critical period of time in which a student metamorphosis through various physical and probably influence his/her self-concept. Teachers need to take cognizance of these changes to help learners adjust themselves properly without hampering their performance in school therefore, it is against this motion that the current researcher delves into examining the influence of self-concept on students academic achievement in Government in Itu Local Government Area

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Children bring to the learning environment certain attitudes and beliefs which constitute than self-concept. Self-concept plays an important role in helping students a day or themselves to school during childhood and adolescence. This may direct their efforts towards meaningful academic work. But if such attitude is not properly managed or handled, it can interfere with the educational attainments of the students (Okouna, 2011).

The researcher has observed with dismay that in Itu Local Government Area, many Secondary School students learn under extreme pressure, stress and depression. Some of them in most cases show signs of inferiority complex cannot freely associate with others and often worry about everything. To worsen matters, these students lack the impetus/drive to study or do well in school. Little wonder\, they usually come out with abysmal performance in nearly all subjects including Government.

In a nutshell, the problem that has necessitated this study is the apparent loss of confidence in learning Government among students in the Local Government Area.


1.3 Purpose of the Study

The general aimed of this study is to examine the influence of self concept and students’ academic achievement in Government in Itu Local Government Area. Specifically, the study sought to:

  1. Examine the influence of self-esteem on students’ academic achievement in Government.
  2. Investigate the influence of self-evaluation on students’ academic achievement in Government.

1.4   Significance of the Study

 The study is significant in the following ways:

  1. It will help students develop a positive mind-set of themselves and be motivated to learn Government.
  2. It will help teachers to treat school children with respect and empathy to boost their self-confidence.
  3. It will enable parents and guardians to create a pleasant atmosphere at home for their wards to study.
  4. It will be an eye-opens to the government on the need to train and post sound guidance counselors to secondary schools to render professional assistance to students.
  5. It will serve as a reference point for future researchers who might investigate similar variables.

1.5 Research Question

The following research questions were formulated to guide the study:

  1. To what extent does self esteem influence students’ academic achievement in Government?
  2. How does self evaluation influence students’ academic achievement in Government?

1.6   Research Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses were raised to guide the study:

  1. There is no significant difference between students who are exposed to positive self esteem and their counterpart who are not.
  2. There is no significant difference between students who are exposed to self evaluation during learning and those students who are not.

1.7   Limitation of the Study

In carrying out a research of that proportion, limitations are envisaged and these include:

  1. Insufficient Funds: This will pose a major challenge since the researcher may not be buoyant enough to extend the research to schools in other places.
  2. Time Constraint: This will be a setback since the period given for the completion of the study is quite short to allow for an in-depth research coupled with the researcher’s commitment in other academic activities.
  • Problem of Geographical Spread: The study was restricted to only one Local Government Area (Itu) out of thirty-one and did not cover others for the research to assess the prevailing situation.
  1. Limited Inputs: This was another setback as materials published on the research topic are very few.

1.8   Delimitation of the Study

The study is delimited to self-concept and students’ academic achievement in Government in Itu Local Government Area. In addition, only students offering Government will be used as respondent for the study. The sub-variable were self esteem and self evaluation.

1.9   Definition of Terms

  1. Self-concept: This refers to the way an individual sees and understands himself/herself.
  2. Student: This refers to a child receiving formal education in a post primary institution of learning.

iii.    Academic Achievement: This refers to the cumulative score of a child in the school’s record as obtained through text and examination.

iv     Self Esteem: Self-esteem refers to a degree to which a person values himself or herself.

iv     Self Evaluation: This is a form of authentic assessment in which each student reflects on her/his strengths and weaknesses in order to identify learning needs and reinforce weaknesses with the aim of improving achievement.

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