Personality Traits and Academic Underachievement of Secondary School Students in Bayelsa State

Main Article Content

Demaro E. Taiwo
Glory N. Amadi


The study investigated the relationship between personality traits and academic underachievement among secondary school students in Yenagoa and Ekeremor local government areas in Bayelsa State. Correlational Survey research design was used for the study with a focus on three personality traits namely; openness to experience, conscientiousness and extraversion. The population of the study consisted of 3,610 SSII students in the two local government areas. Three instruments were used to gather the needed data; they are Bakare’s Progressive Matrices (BPM) which was used to identify students with high mental ability, Teachers Made Achievement Test (TMAT) and Students’ Personality Descriptive Scale (SPTDS). Purposive sampling techniques were used to draw a sample of 200 students identified as underachievers while simple random sampling technique was used to select the schools for the study. Pearson products moment correlation was used to answer the research questions and probability level with chosen alpha level of 0.05 used to test the hypotheses. The study found out that there was a significant negative relationship between openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion and academic underachievement among the senior secondary school students in Ekeremor and Yenagoa local government area. Based on the findings it was recommended among others that the government should establish effective guardian and counselling units in all the secondary schools in the local government areas to guide both high and low achieving students.

Personality, traits, academic, underachievement and students

Article Details

How to Cite
Taiwo, D. E., & Amadi, G. N. (2019). Personality Traits and Academic Underachievement of Secondary School Students in Bayelsa State. Asian Journal of Advanced Research and Reports, 5(2), 1-8. Retrieved from
Short Research Article


Anukwe SE. Factors related to academic underachievement among junior secondary school students in Rivers State: Unpublished M.Ed Thesis University of Port Harcourt Rivers State; 2006.

Ikpi EE, Enya DB, Johnny UA. The influence of personality traits on academic performance of secondary school students in Cross River State. Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences. 2014;19(3):12-19.

Ciobea L, Pasarica F. The study of the relationship between personality and academic performance. Procedia-Social and Behavioural Sciences. 2013;78:400-404.

Hakimi S, Livasani MG. The relationship between personality traits and students’ academic achievement. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences. 2011;29:836–845.

Reis S, McCoach D. The underachieve-ment of gifted students: What do we know and where do we go? Gifted Child Quarterly. 2000;44(3):152-170.

Smith E. Analysing underachievement in school (Empirical Studies in Education). Birmingham: Bloomsbury Academy; 2007.

Chukwu-Etu O. Underachieving learners: Can they learn at all? ARECLS. 2009;6:84-102.

Sousa DA. How the gifted brain learners. California: Cowin Press; 2003.

Lukasic M, Gorski V, Lea M, Cuiross R. Understanding among gifted/talented students: What we really know. Houston, TX: University of Houston- Clear Lake; 1992.

Pirozzo R. Gifted underachievers. Roeper Review. 1982;4(4):18-21.

Kalgo EA. Parenting styles and learning achievement of Nigerian children: A study of Usman Danfodio University Staff Primary School Pupils. Journal of Nigerian Society for Educational Psychologists. 2002;1(1):56-65.

Eyong EI, David BE, Umoh AJ. Influence of personality trait on the academic performance of secondary school students in Cross Rivers State, Nigeria. IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Science. 2014;19(3):12-19.

Barbara HS. Gifted underachievement: Oxymoron or educational enigma. Gifted Child Today. 2005;28(2):46-49.

Gazzaniga MS, Heatherton TF. Psychological science (2nd Ed). New York: W. W Norton & Company; 2003.

Ewen RB. An introduction to theories of personality. New York London: Academic Press Inc.; 1980.

Costa PT Jr., McCrae RR. Revised NEO personality inventory (NEO-P-I) and NEO five factor inventory (NEO-FFI) professional manual. Odessa, Fl: Psychological Assessment Resources; 1992.

McAdams DP. Personal narratives and the life story. In Pervin LA, John OP (Eds). Handbook of personality: Theory and research(2nded.). New York: Guilford Press. 1999;478-500.

Karatas H, Bademcioglu M. The explanation of the academic procrastination behaviour of pre-service teachers with five factor personality traits. The International Journal of Research in Teacher Education. 2015;6(2):11-25.

Troncone A, Drammis ML, Labella A. Personality traits, self-esteem and academic achievement in secondary school students in Campania, Italy. Universal Journal of Educational Research. 2014;2(7):512-520.

Akomolafe MJ. Personality characteristics as predictors of academic performance of secondary school students. Meditteranean Journal of Social Sciences. 2013;4(2):657- 664.

Conrad N, Patry MW. Conscientiousness and academic performance: A meditational analysis. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. 2012;6(1):1-14.

Shapiro BK. Academic underachievement; 2017.