Influence of gender and religion on prevalence of social phobia among in-school adolescents
Numerous studies have concluded that social phobia contributes to school dropout, deterioration in relationships, marital problems and an impaired ability to work effectively. However, researchers also agree that a moderate degree of anxiety may well motivate the student and encourage them towards better academic achievement. Hence, some degree of anxiety is considered a necessity for learning and high academic achievement. The contrary is unfortunately also true, as a high anxiety level may be a severe obstacle to academic achievement. For this reason, this study examined the influence of gender and religion on the prevalence of social phobia among in-school adolescents. The study was predicated on Theory of Planned Behaviour. The target population of the study were in-school adolescents and sample was drawn from secondary school students of Oduduwa College, Ile-Ife, Osun state, Nigeria. The final sample consisted of 200 in-school adolescent. Their age ranged from 12 to 19 years with a mean of 15.10 years and a standard deviation of 1.69 years. The sample was drawn such that the result obtained could be generalized. Data were collected using questionnaire. Two hypotheses were formulated for the study and they were tested at 0.05 level of significance. 2-way ANOVA was used to analyze data gathered for the hypotheses. The result showed no significant influence of both gender and religion on the prevalence of social phobia among in-school adolescents. The study thus concluded that although there is evidence of social phobia in the study area as majority (39%, 30% and 16%) of the respondents had mild, moderate or severe social phobia respectively, gender and religion does not influence its prevalence. The study therefore recommended that students should be encouraged to engage themselves in different activities that can conquer social phobia at an early age so that its prevalence can be reduced.
Keywords: Gender, Religion, Social Phobia