The Extent at Which Peer Group Affect Students Academic Performance

Topics: High school, Peer pressure, Peer group Pages: 15 (5166 words) Published: April 14, 2011
The Extent to which Peer Groups Affect Academic Performance
Have you ever wondered about the extent to which peer groups affect academic performance? Make no mistake; a peer group can impact your child's academic performance significantly. However, to say that one's peer group is the most influential factor in academic performance isn't true either. Let's take a look at just how influential one's peer group is. [pic]

The Extent to Which Peer Groups Affect Academic Performance
To answer the question, to what extent do peer groups affect academic performance, in quantifiable terms is actually quite difficult. There are numerous variables to consider, however, here are a few statistics: [pic][pic][pic][pic][pic][pic]Ads by Google

Distance Learning Courses - Higher Education Master’s or PhD. 100% Online, 100% Supported! Study In Ukraine - Cheap Education in Europe All Faculties - Apply Now! Bourses D'études Canada - Scholarships for CANADA & USA Étudiants Étrangers • According to a study published by the Williams Project on the Study of Economics in Higher Education, stronger students do have an impact on their peers and actually help improve the overall academic performance of the peer group. • In a comparison of students surveyed, 34% of African American students said that their friends make fun of people who are smart or do well in school. However, by 8th grade only 23% agreed with that statement--regardless of ethnicity. • Another rather large study done by CREDE (the Center for Research in Education, Diversity and Excellence) suggests that peer groups are highly influential during early adolescence but that peers are less influential as kids get older. Undoubtedly, experts agree that peer groups have an influence on academic performance. What experts do not agree on is to what extent and the variables within that influence. A Look at Peer Group Influence

There are several ways in which peers influence each other. Not all of them are bad. Variables of peer influence include the ethnicity of the students, the socio-economic background of the students, family relationships and group interests. Negative Influences

In some peer groups, being smart is looked down upon. Similarly, these groups tend to share low aspirations of going to college or getting certain careers. There may be other values in place, such as taking care of the family or making money sooner rather than going to college first. In addition, studies suggest that peers influence each other more heavily in the early teen years. 14 year olds are more than twice as likely to engage in risky, self-destructive behavior than 18 year olds are. The theory is that by 18, a young man or woman is more autonomous and has clear aspirations of where he or she wants to go and how to get there. Consequently, if risky behavior doesn't fit into the equation, an older teen is able to pass easily without feeling badly. However, the pressure to 'fit in' for someone entering high school is tremendous. Positive Influences

Many peer groups can be a positive influence on their friends as well. It is thought that intelligent students help their peers bring up their grades. Likewise, girls with good friends who are considered intelligent tend to do better in school. There definitely seems to be a pattern in the influence of studious kids.With that said, another common theme is similar aspirations. Students that want to go to a four-year college tend to hang out with others with similar aspirations. Connecting Through Activities

One way of looking at influence from a parental perspective is to consider that your child will most likely be friends with students who are interested in the same activities. Most high school activities require a certain GPA and consequently, kids who are involved in school sports, drama, student council and other activities tend to do better in school. However, it's important to...
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