This study examined the influence of
self-talk on achievement orientation among adolescents in Surulere LED Lagos
State. Four hypotheses were formulated to guide the study:
There is no significant influence of self-talk on
achievement orientation of adolescent.
There is no significant impact of age on self-talk and
achievement orientation of adolescents.
There is no significant influence or religious inclination
and self-talk on achievement orientation amongs adolescents.
There is no significant influence of socio-economic
background of the adolescents on their self-talk and achievement orientation.
The sample comprised of two hundred
(200) SS 2 students randomly selected from ten selected secondary schools in
Surulere. The data collected were analysed using the one-way analysis of
variance (ANOVA), all the hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance.
The result of data analysis obtained indicated as follows:
Achievement orientation influences the
adolescent self-talk and also that the age interaction of the adolescent does
not influence their self-talk and achievement orientation.
1.2 Theoretical Background
1.3 Statement of the Problem
1.4 Purpose of Study
of the Study
1.10 Definition of Terms
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE
The Nature of Self
Types/Levels of Self
Theories of Attitude
Self talks, achievement
orientation and gender
orientation and social economic background
Characteristics of the
Self and their Behavioural Implications
Self is Organized and Consistent
at a Given Moment
in Different Situations
The Self as the Origin
The Self is Separate
The Self Evaluates Self
Summary of Review
THREE: RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY
3.1 Design of the Study
3.2 Population of the Study
3.3 Sampling Technique
3.4 Sample Size
3.5 Research Instrument
3.6 Validity and Reliability of Instrument
3.7 Administration of the Instrument
3.8 Technique for Data Analysis
FOUR: Data Analysis, Hypotheses Testing and Interpretation
Hypotheses Testing and Interpretation of
4.3 Summary of Findings
FIVE: DISCUSSION OF THE FINDINGS, SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Discussion of the Findings
Suggestion for Further Studies
The level of
orientation achieved by the adolescent in the society today, plays back to the
kind of early care which the child received from parents, pre – school teachers
and the society at large. This is because all the key ingredients of emotional
intelligence such as confidence, curiosity, intentionally, self control,
relatedness, capacity to communicate and co-operateness that determines how a child learns and
relates in school and in life general are developed.
Anderson (1999), stated that, childhood
is the time we learn basic skills and establish the platform for our future.
Therefore, the need for achievement
orientation among adolescent in our society is paramount because it is what ever orientation he or she
get that affect the feeling about himself and his relationship with others.
People with a high need for achievement sick out situation in which they can
compete against some standard be it grades, money, or winning at a game and
prove themselves successful while people with low achievement orientation tend
to be motivated primarily by a desire to avoid failure as a result, they seek
out easy tasks, being sure to avoid failure or seek out very difficult tasks
for which failure has no negative implications, since almost anyone would fail
However, the beginning of the
adolescent perception of his environment is the accumulated experiences the
adolescent gathers from the infant stage
to the adolescent period. This is a period the adolescent begins to see things
as relative rather than absolute.
Piaget (1966) as contained in Osarenren
(2000), observed that it is a period known as formal operational stage (11-15 years)
the key patterns of reasoning at this stages combinational, proportional,
probabilistic and correlational during this period, the adolescent reason out
everything key perceive in their own way.
Bond (1989) asserted that adolescent
with a background of family tension may approach schooling as unhappy and
insecure, those from a culture different from that of the teacher and different
from that portrayed in the learning materials may experience unusual
difficulty in learning.
Some adolescents come from a home
environment which provides love, understanding, an opportunity to develop
individuality and a feeling of security which others do not. Quarreling
parents, broken homes, child neglect, child abuse, over protection, parental
domination, anxiety, hostility and destructive rivalry among siblings are
likely to produce nervous tension and
feelings of insecurity and consequently lead to low achievement orientation.
When the behaviour of a low achiever is
compared to that of an adolescent making normal progress, it becomes
obvious that there are differences in
personal and social adjustment. Adolescent who are failing to achieve well are more likely to show signs of
emotional and social maladjustment than their successful peers. Most
adolescent with low achievement manifest
some sort of maladjustment ranging in degree of mild to severe.
In the classroom, adolescent with low
achievement manifest symptoms of stress
in one way or the other. Often, they appear shy or restless, some seems unable
to concentrate. They lack self-confidence, they become discouraged easily and
tend to give up when work becomes difficult. The inability to achieve
satisfactory usually means severe frustration for the adolescent when his
unsuccessful attempts to achieve high make him conspicuous in a society
unfavorable way, the adolescent is hurt
and ashamed. His continued lack of success with attendant frustration and
feelings of insecurity bring on emotional maladjustment.
Sornson (2002), stated that, some of
these adolescent easily become convinced that
they are stupid. This feeling of inadequacy is enhanced by the attitude
of their classmates, their parents and their teachers. Sometimes, failure leads
adolescent to become timid, withdrawn
and they frequently day dream. Others may
compensate for their feelings of inferiority by developing various forms of
anti social behaivour which leads to negative self talk.
Negative statements about self
originated from poor conceptualization of idea and thoughts. An individual first think of something within him before he
acts. This is because a thought of an idea is first generated or conceptualized
before one verbalizes or acts it. This thought might be rational or irrational,
positive or negative.
The achievement orientation of an adolescent plays back at
his thought process which consequently makes that adolescent make either
rational or irrational statement about self which are capable of influencing
Hensen (1997) observed that because man has been endowed
with the ability to verbalize, thinking and emotion as presented by Elis takes
the forms of self talk, and this self talk directs the individuals behaviour in
either rational or irrational direction
It is imperative however, that the
handicapped who has been tagged with various adjectives like unproductive,
totally dependant, second class citizen, by the society tends to direct his
behaviour towards irrational direction and hence negative self concept, wrong
perception of self, poor actualization, poor judgmental value of the ideal
self. He makes distorted statements about self and about others. He is biased
about other people’s opinion about him. On the whole, he is socially
maladjusted in the society.
Nelson (1997), asserts that teachers
can become more effective classroom managers by increasing their rate of
contingent positive statement for appropriate
students behaviour and decreasing the rate of negative statements for in
appropriate students behaviour.
The praise and ignore techniques has
been repeatedly demonstrated to be an
effective classroom management procedure
by some behaviourist (Becker, Madsen abd Thomas, 1987, Madson and Thomas 1988 )
(1997), carried out two experiments with classroom teachers, using
self-monitoring to alter negative classroom verbalization. In experiment 1, two
teachers self-recorded positive and negative classroom verbalization during
different phase of the study. In experiment 11, four teachers self-recorded
positive or negative classroom verbalizations and received experimental
instructions to increase positive
statements or to decrease negative statement the result of their study showed
that self-recording tend to increase positive statements but was less effective
in decreasing negative statements.
Merchenbaum (1995), noted that
negative self talks contribute to maladaptive behaviour in many situations.
He went further to say that adolescents thinking style or what he says to
himself has an important role in the definition of the present problem.
According to Meichanban, investigations
who had treated phobias with different treatment procedures have all suggested
that a common mediating mechanism underlying the therapy process is a change in
the client’s self statements. Those who have attempted to reduce phobia behaviour
by means of desensitization, modeling, flooding and altering cognitions about
internal reaction have all commented on the change process, even when no direct
effort is made to change these talks.
As Herter (1994), noted the therapy technique which is used to modify
the internal dialogue and maladaptive behaviour in large part depends upon how
one views the thinking style. Different
conceptualizations leads to different therapeutic interventions.
Mecichenbaum (1995) also observed that some semantic or cognitive therapists view the negative self.
Talks and poor achievement orientation of the faulty belief system and faulty
thinking patterns. It was however concluded that modeling, behavioural and
imagery rehearsal, operant and aversive
conditioning and others could be
used to modify the adolescent’s self talk and belief systems for positive
As we go about our daily lives, we are
constantly thinking about and interpreting the situations we find ourselves in.
It is as though we have an internal voice on our head that determines how we
perceive every situation. We call this inner voice our self- talk and it
includes our conscious thoughts as well as our unconscious assumptions or
beliefs. This study is basically anchored on four major theories. These are
Rational Emotive therapy (RET), Eilis
(1967), achievement orientation theory by Michem (1973), the A-B-C- of self
talk by (Edelmen’s abd Remond, L 2005) and attribution theory
1. Rational Emotive Theory: The central
point of RET is that psychologist can help their clients to live the most self fulfilling, creative and emotionally
satisfying lives by teaching them now to organize their thinking.
Rational psychotherapy is based on the assumption that
thought and emotion are not too entirely different processes but that they
significantly overlap in many respects
and that therefore, disordered emotions can often (though not always) he
modified by changing one’s thinking.
According to Elis (1967) thinking is a
more harmful, less accurate directed mode of discrimation than emotional thinking and emotion tend to
take the form of self-talk or internalized sentences
Nevertheless, the psychologists main
goals should be those of demonstrating to client that their self- talk have
been and still are the prime source of their emotional disturbance.
Specifically Sokan (1996), states that effective therapist
should continually help in unmasking his clients past and especially his
present illogical thinking of self defeating talks by
Bringing them to his attention or consciousness
Showing the client how they are causing and maintaining
their disturbance and unhappiness
what that illogical links in his
internalized sentence are
Teaching him how to
rethink and re verbalize these sentence
in a more logical self helping way
In changing the clients illogical thought, he/she should
be exposed to main irrational thought, that human beings are prone, to so that at the expiration of the therapy
he does not fall a victim to another set.
Consequently, unequivocal attack on the
client’s general and specific irrational idea and to try induce him to adopt
more rational ones in their place.
Sokan (1996) lists two main ways by
which rational therapist attack the
He serves as a frank counter –propagandist who directly
contradicts and derives the self defeating propaganda of the client
(2) The therapist encourages, persuades and sometimes commends the client to partake in some activity which itself will act as a
forceful center propagandist against the client irrational thoughts.
Achievement orientation: The level of aspiration in all
human endeavour is a factor of the
individuals internalized construct known
as achievement orientation or need for
achievement. Achievement orientation as
a personality trait or construct encompasses learned predisposition to achieve
or attain success in completion with an internalized standard of excellence.
Achievement orientation makes an individual to man and execute tasks and
actions leading to the achievement of a
Anameze (1992), beliefs that
achievement orientation enables an individuals to plan a task, feel
connected with the plan and select
appropriate steps and carry them out to achieve a goal. Many students who fail
examination are likely to have negative achievement orientation. This can be
inferred from their negative attitude towards planning academic tasks and
selecting appropriate strategies to tackle them, besides, they hardly feel
connected with work and this denies them success. To escape the problem many of
them indulge in examination mal-practice.
According to Mauku (1996), achievement
orientation or motivation is a psychological motive to accomplish, excel or
attain higher goals similarly, Igwebuke
(1997), defined it as the degree of completion for excellence it equally means
that the internal drive that makes an individual to put in all efforts in any
work in order to achieve the purpose or goal of such work or it is the internal
urge that makes an individuals to set up a task of moderate difficulty ,
fashion out strategies of performing the task and persist in doing it in order
to achieve standing excellence. All said and done, it can be seen that
individuals having positive achievement orientation engage in challenging or
competitive tasks, make use of their
creative abilities and take responsibility for their success and failure. They
equally try to perform to standard of excellence in relation to others competing
Achievement orientation has three component (Cognitive
ego, enhancing and effiliature) Bakare
(1976). The degree or level of these components in an individuals determines
the individual’s striving to succeed in academic task or any other task.
It should be noted that the way an
adolescent sees himself in relation to his goals and to others, the kind of
person he believe himself to be and the kind of fear and aspirations he has are
major factors in delineating the things for which he strives.
of levels of achievement orientation have shown that one of the
important variable in determing the levels of achievement a child proposes for himself is his previous
experiences in like situations and
self-talk (Sears, 1996).
A-B-C of self-talk
(A) Is of Activating situation the Activating
situation refers to the situation
itself, or the things that happened when an adolescent begins to feel bad such as being overloaded with
essays and assignments or making a silly
comment which he later regretted. It is important to stick to the facts when
activating situation has been identified.
(B) Is for beliefs. Belief
comprise self-talk (thoughts) and assumptions, that an adolescent makes about a
situation. Identifying self-talk, can sometimes be tricky this is because it is
so automatic that often adolescent is not even aware of what is going on his
mind, when something happens and he suddenly feel upset, he assumes that it is
the situation itself that has made him
feel that way. However it is not the situation (activating situation) but the way he perceive it (Beliefs) that makes him feel the way he
(C) Is for consequence: The consequences of beliefs include feelings and
behavious feelings are emotions such as sadness, anxiety, guilt, anger,
embarrassment, joy, excitement or stress. Behaviours are the things adolescents
do, such as communication, withdrawal, ask for help etc thinking negatively
about situations makes the adolescents feel bad and it can cause them to behave
in an unhelpful way.
(iii) Attribution theory: This theory helps us to
understand human motivation, reminds us that people who experience frequent
achievement often attribute their success to their own effort or ability and
their failure to their own lack of effort or ability people who experience
repeated failure, however, often attribute their failure to bad luck or to task
difficulty and their success to good luck or the case of the task (Weiner
2000), for adolescents with a history of failure teaching learning strategies alone may not be
sufficient to consist entry increase effort and persistence because the
attribution state often determines whether and to what extent a learning
strategy will be used.
(Borkowst; Weyling, and Turner 1996)
The research of attribution thoughts has spined investigations into expectancy
theory (Betancert and Weriner 2002; Dweak, 1996; Licht, 2003), which states
that when a person feels success is possible he or she is likely to exert
greater effort, persist for a longer period of time, and attribute a greater
proportion of success to the effort execrated than in someone who does not
expect success (Carr, Boikowski, and Maxwell, 2001, Deshler, Shumaker and Lenz,
2004; Garner, 2000; Xasutake, Bryen and Dohin, 1996) to determine “where” and
“how” self talk fits into the scheme of achievement orientation must be derived. The reality of
emotional choice that people have definite control over their emotional state
is known in various circle as self-talk, interpersonal communication (IAPC),
imaging and visualization (Weaver 1997 )
self-talk is part of 1 APC, but the part can not be equal to the whole.
Self-talk and 1APC are separated but related model of communication, but all
elements of ‘sender, receiver’, receiver,” and transmitter, are carried out
within individual people.
Pearson and Nelson (1995) expanded the
definition as not restricted to talking to ourselves. It also includes such
activities as internal conflict planning for the future emotional evaluation of
ourselves and others.
Self-talk has potentially far reaching
effects and will likely be used by those who have a high internal locus of
control and place a high value on
achievement self-talk is categorized as
being positive or negative. Positive
self-talk has good implication
for achievement and people’s
mental and physical well-being. However, the negative is not all bad. The key
to using self talk is to strive for an appropriate balance between the two.
1.3 Statement of the Problem
It is quite unfortunate that achievement
orientation is seriously jeopardizing the self-talk of the adolescents in
secondary schools. The adolescent self-talk could either be positive or
negative, when the self talk is negative, it is because self-defeating for
instance, ‘I’m going to fail for sure’.
Negative self-talk often causes
adolescents to feel bad, and to experience upsetting emotions or anxiety which
influences their academic work. It should be noted that what people say to
themselves does affects their ability to combat and ward off achievement. To
this end, an adolescent can tap into the power of his own self-talk by recognizing it for what it
is, reducing harmful negativity and
increasing the number of positive internal
messages and it can be achieved when the right thought process is
encouraged (Positive self statement), the self-talk of the adolescents will
continue to be poor and invariably a succession of failure may
discourage student to a point where
frustration may block further efforts. This trend if unchecked, may increase
drop out rate in the secondary school level. Mass failure is equally
frustrating to parent and the trend may
hinder Nigeria’s scientific and technological advancement and general progress.
The question that how readily comes to
mind is whether gender, age and religious inclination of the adolescent affect
their self-talks. If these variables are assumed to be correct then the problem
of self-talk on the achievement
orientation of adolescents needs
to be addressed.
1.4 Purpose of Study
This study is set
out to find out the influence of self-talks on achievement orientations of
adolescents. Specifically, it is to achieve the following objectives.
Examine the difference in self-talks between adolescent boys
and girls and achievement orientation.
Find out the influence of ages on adolescents self-talks and
Determine the role of religious inclination of the
adolescents on their self-talk and achievement orientation.
Examine the effect of socio-economic background on
adolescent self-talks and achievement
To what extent does gender of the adolescent influence their
self-talks and achievement orientation?
Does adolescent’s age influence their self-talk and
Will the self-talks and achievement orientation of the adolescents be influenced
by their religious inclinations?
Will there be any significant influence of socio-economic
background on adolescent, self-talks and achievement orientation?
1.6 Research hypothesis:
The following hypothesis will be tested in
There is no significant influence of self-talk on
achievement orientation of adolescents.
The impact of age on self-talk does not significantly
influence achievement orientation of adolescent.
There is no significant influence of religious inclination
and self-talk on achievement orientation among adolescents.
There is no significant
influence of socio-economic
background of adolescent on achievement
1.7 Significance of the Study:
This research will help in detecting
and establishing facts about the main causes of self-talks and factors
predisposing adolescent on achievement orientation. Thereby helping them to
modify their behaviour appropriately.
The research will help in sensitizing
the readers on how to handle negative self achievement orientation. The
psychologists/counselors will explore many techniques in handling this
behaviour and relative effectiveness of each of the techniques used.
It will also contribute to the pool of
existing literature where other researchers could make reference to.
1.8 Delimitations of Study:
This study will
focus attention on the adolescents only in selected secondary schools in
Surulere Local Government. It should be recognized that many factors could
affect achievement orientation but this study will only examine self-talks
among these factors
1.9 Limitation of Study:
This study will be limited to only
adolescent in public secondary schools in Surulere Local Government. This
limitation is likely to be as a result of financial and time constraints
despite the limitations, however, the study will be used to generalize on the
1.10 Definition of Terms
This is referred to the way an
individual sees himself, judges himself and values himself with a view to
silently expressing the thought in
statement or talking to self
is the particular interest, activities or aims a person has relating or
connected with studying and thinking. Adolescent:
The adolescent is a person who is between ages of 12 years to 19 years.