SOCIAL NETWORKING, AGE AND GENDER: A CONTEMPORARY CHALLENGE ON STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN NIGERIA
This study investigated social networking, age and gender as contemporary challenges on students’ academic performance. Six hundred (600) participants were selected from ten secondary schools in Imo State using random sampling. Three hundred and sixty-eight (368) were males, while two hundred and thirty-two (232) were females within the age range of 13-20 years with a mean age of 15.18 years. The participants were administered a 21 item inventory which measures social networking, developed by the researchers and has a reliability coefficient of cronbach alpha of .76. Three hypotheses were postulated and tested. These include: (a) Students who are involved in social networking would not differ significantly from those who are not involved. (b) Gender of students would not differ in their academic performance and (c)Age of students would not differ in their academic performance. The study adopted mediamorphosis theory as its theoretical framework. Chi-square statistics was used to analyze the data. Results showed that social networking influences the academic performance of school children. Gender and age were found to vary accordingly as males were more involved than females, and students within the age of 13-16 years dominated usage of social networking. Recommendations were offered based on these findings.
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