The Impact of School Environment and Peer Influences on Students’ Academic Performance in Vihiga County, Kenya

Daniel K. Korir, Felix Kipkemboi


The aim of this paper is to examine the relationship between both school environment and peer influences on the one hand and students’ academic performance on the other hand. The study assessed school environment factors and peer influences in terms of the level of psychological impact they have on learners. The study was based on Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory, which considers leaning as an interaction between environment, behaviour, and one’s psychological processes. It was a correlation study carried out in Sabatia District of Vihiga County in twenty-one public secondary schools. The respondents were selected using simple random sampling technique. Questionnaires were used to collect data, which were analyzed by multiple regressions. The study established that school environment and peer influence made significant contribution to the students’ academic performance. A school, as a learning institution and as a second home for learners, has a strong relationship with students’ academic performance. The head teacher and the teachers through their specific roles either have negative or positive influence on students’ academic performance. Therefore, the head teacher and the teachers should enhance a conducive learning environment in which the learners are free to consult them when in need, provide adequate learning facilities and arouse interest in the learners to work hard. Peer level factors also have a relationship with students’ academic performance. It is hoped that the findings of this study will be useful to teachers, principals and parents to gain more insight into the psychosocial factors that affect students’ academic performance and therefore help improve their academic performance.

Keywords: Impact, School Environment, Peer Influences, Students Academic Performance, Vihiga County, Kenya

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