A STUDY ON THE EMOTIONAL MATURITY ON SCHOOL ADJUSTMENT OF FRESH UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION Background to the study Transition from secondary school to the University is a complex process for almost all students. Adjusting to college life immediately after school becomes a difficult transition for many students. The decision to go to University depends on many reasons. It can be for higher education, earning a degree, increasing knowledge or personal growth. Going to the University gives a chance to the students to learn new things, meet new people, to deal effectively with new experiences and challenges which eventually help them in their personal growth and development. Adjustment difficulties arise from the differences between the expectations of the students and realities of University life. Students whose expectations were fearful reported more stress, depression, and poorer university adjustment than students with other types of expectations, particularly prepared. Adjustment to the University involves a variety of demands differing in kind and degree and requiring lot of coping responses or adjustments. It’s not only academics with which the students are concerned; they are equally affected by the social and emotional changes. The first year students have an increased personal freedom where they have to make their own decisions and take the responsibility to maintain balance between various newfound demands. In college they are required to adjust to the new environment and to work out their concerns directly with the teachers. As far as the academic adjustment is concerned, students are expected to be independent learners in college where they need to adjust with the new academic demands. It is different from what they experienced in school because here they have to face more competition, deal with more academic load and to maintain pace with other students in the class they need to follow the different teaching styles. For fresh students it is again important to adjust themselves with the social climate of the university. A major task for them is to learn to manage their feelings and to express them appropriately. According to Geredes and Mallinckrodt (1994) who studied 155 freshmen, and found that personal adjustment and integration into the social fabric of campus life play a role at least as important as academic factors in student retention. Pascarella and Terenzini (1991) describe this transition as a "culture shock involving significant social and psychological relearning in the face of encounters with new ideas, new teachers and friends with quite varied values and beliefs, new freedoms and opportunities, and new academic, personal and social demands”. According to Astin’s (1999) theory of involvement, a highly involved student is one who, for example, devotes considerable energy to studying, spends much time on campus, participates actively in student organizations, and interacts frequently with faculty members and other students. Enochs and Roland (2006) examined the relationship between living environment, gender, overall adjustment to college and social adjustment in freshmen’s academic and overall adjustments. The study found that boys had significantly higher overall adjustment levels than girls regardless of living environment. The main purpose of education is the progress of physical, social activity, emotion, and wisdom of student sustainability. The adequate education makes good quality human resources for a rapidly developing country. According to this reason, many countries have been trying to develop the educational quality in the national policy and strategy to enhance effective implementation. The student’s academic achievement problem is not only occurring in Nigeria but it also in many countries around the world. Some countries have been trying to solve this problem by educational staff development, teaching processes, and parent and community cooperation and some country have been looking backward to student inner character by depicting causal relationship influencing to academic achievement. The result of studies revealed some important factor strongly related with academic achievement is “Emotional Maturity” and “Self – confidence”. Emotional maturity is a process in which the personality is continuously striving for greater sense of emotional health, both intra-physically and intrapersonal. Emotional maturity can be understood in terms of ability of self-control which in turn is a result of thinking and learning. Emotional Maturity is a process in which the personality is continuously striving for greater sense of emotional health both intra psychically and intra personally. “An Emotional mature person is one who is able to keep a lid on feelings. He can suffer in silence. He can bide his time in spite of present discomfort. He is not subject to swing in mood, he is not volatile. When he does express emotion, he does so with moderation, decently and in good order”. Emotional maturity is the ability to bear tension and it is the ability to develop high tolerance for disagree circumstance. Dosanjh (1956) says, ‘Emotional maturity means a balanced personality. It means ability to govern disturbing emotions, show steadiness and endurance under pressure and to be tolerant and free from neurotic tendencies’. Good (1981) has stated that emotional maturity refers to emotional patterns of an adult who has progressed through the inferior emotional stages characteristic of infancy, childhood and adolescence and is not fit to deal successfully with reality and in adult love relationship without under emotional strain. Self-confidence is considered as one of the motivators and regulators of behavior in a Individual’s everyday life (Bandura, 1986). Self-confidence is a positive attitude of oneself towards one’s self concept. In general terms, “self-confidence refers to an individual’s perceived ability to act effectively in a situation to overcome obstacles and to get things go all right” (Basavanna 1975). Self-confidence has been directly connected to an individual's social network, the activities they participate in, and what they hear about themselves from others. Self-confidence has been linked to factors such as psychological health, mattering to others, and both body image and physical health. On the contrary, low self-esteem has been associated with the outcomes of depression, health problems, and antisocial behavior. Usually, adolescents of poor health will display low self-confidence. During adolescence, self-confidence is affected by age, race, ethnicity, puberty, health, body height, body weight, body image, involvement in physical activities, gender presentation, gender identity, and awakening or discovery of sexuality. Self-confidence can vary and be observed in a variety of dimensions. Components of one's social and academic life affect self-esteem. An individual's self-confidence can vary in different environments, such as at home or in school. Many researchers like Goswami (1980) Agnihotri (1987) and Kaur (1993) have observed positive relationship between self-confidence and adjustment There is a paucity of research on assessing the adjustment processes of students in universities in Nigeria. Not much work done on student adjustment and related interventions. Deducing from above studies it has found that entering to university is considered as a time full of stress and strain many emotional and psychological issues are raised as a result. Since pursuing university degree students put their major time, energy and money into it, it is crucial to give proper attention to the problems related to adjustment among freshmen students. A major adjustment difficulty could mean an inability to graduate which in turn can affect their future.