Effects of Cognitive Restructuring on Stress Factors and Academic Performance of Senior Secondary Students in Ogun State, Nigeria

Author: Akin-johnson, Olusade Ibironke

Supervisors: Omoegun O. M. and Makinde B. O.

This study investigated the effect of Cognitive Restructuring on stress factors and academic performance of Senior Secondary School Students in Ogun State, Nigeria. The study was carried out due to persistent low performance in Mathematics and English Language, which could be attributed to a lot of stress that students encounter in the quest to learn and understand these two subjects. Senior Secondary School students hold the negative view that Mathematics and English Language are subjects that are too stressful and difficult to record good grades. Ensuring good performance in these subjects, students undergo a lot of stress which has an adverse effect on their normal body functions and eventually affects their academic performance Cognitive Restructuring was introduced as a counselling therapy to reduce stress and improve academic performance in Mathematics and English Language. Quasi-experimental pre-test/post-test Control Group designs were adopted for the study. Simple and stratified random sampling techniques were used to select 161 participants, consisting of 84 male and 77 female participants drawn from four Senior Secondary Schools in Ogun State. Four research instruments were adapted and used to generate data for the study. The instruments were Mathematics Performance Test (MPT), English Language Achievement Test ( ), Scale for Assessing Academic Stress (SAAS), and Educational Stress Scale for Adolescents (ESSA). All these instruments were used for pre-test and post-test assessments. Six research questions were raised and six research hypotheses were formulated guide the study. The data generated were analysed statistically, using Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) tested at 0.05 level of significance. Three hypotheses were rejected while three others were not rejected. The results of the data analyses revealed that gender did not significantly influence social and physical stress among participants. There was also no significant effect of experimental conditions and stress level on post-test scores of academic performance in Mathematics among the participants. However, the study found out that there was significant effect between experimental conditions and gender in post-test mean scores of academic stress among participants. There was also significant effect between experimental conditions and gender in post-test mean scores of general stress among participants, and there was significant effect of experimental conditions and stress level on post-test scores of academic performance in English Language among the participants. In view of the findings of the Study, some recommendations were made. Recommendations were proffered among which is the need for workshops and seminars to be organized to train teachers on the use of cognitive restructuring intervention techniques in the classroom to address the issue of student’s stress. Counsellors and psychologists should endeavour to attend conferences, workshops to be acquainted with current and relevant literatures on cognitive restructuring and stress to enable them tackle the problem of low achievers in Mathematics and English language. Some suggestions for further research were also stated, implication of findings for counsellors, teachers as well as parents were highlighted and conclusions drawn.