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This study investigated the the influence of hostel squatting on academic performance, interpersonal relationship and emotional adjustment of students in University of Lagos. The study employed a descriptive survey research design. An instrument titled: Influence of Hostel Squatting on academic performance, Interpersonal Relationship and Emotional Adjustment of Students (IHSAPIREAS) was used to collect relevant data for the study. The representatives of the study involved were selected based on simple random sampling technique and the statistical tools employed to analyse the data collected were percentages while the inferential statistics of chi-square(x2) was used to test the stated hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. 200 sample sizes were used for the study.  Three (3) research questions and three (3) research hypotheses were designed and formulated for the purpose of the study. The study revealed that there was a significant influence of hostel squatting on academic performance of students. It also revealed that there was a significant influence of hostel squatting on interpersonal relationships among university students. The study further revealed that there was a significant influence of hostel squatting on emotional adjustment of students in university. Based on the findings of this study, recommendations and suggestions were made for students, parents, lecturers and university administrators and relevant agencies for further research.



1.1 Background of the study

In the face of growing enrolment of students in tertiary education, students’ accommodation has become one of the teething problems faced by higher institutions in developing countries (Centre for Global Education, 2005). In many countries, especially in developing countries, governments have been the main provider of student accommodation for public higher institutions. As a result of limited government resources, government in developing countries are unable to adequately meet the accommodation demand for all public higher institutions. Over past two decades, governments in many developing countries have involved private hostel providers to participate in building hostels and halls of residence for students in order to meet the demand for more accommodation infrastructure (Centre for Global Education, 2002). This has attracted some private individuals into investment in students’ hostel accommodation.

The importance of accommodation covers the entire aspects of human life. Primarily, it involves physical protection from hazards which ordinarily may be regarded as shelter but also provide the setting from many of the basic biological and social processes necessary to sustain life, which permit the healthy growth and development of the mind. In all, accommodation as a unit of the environment of man, has a profound influence on the health, social behaviour, satisfaction and general welfare of the community. It reflects the cultural, social and economic values of a society as it is the best physical and historical evidence of civilization in a country (Aluko, 2009). Research on student development in higher education system in many developed nations is not restricted to academic activities; diverse issues relating to hostels are also involved (Shelton, Nicole, Tessa and Trail 2010; McCorkle and Mason, 2009; Hanasonso and Nadler, 2012). Thus, problems relating to students campus residential settings have been of interest to many researchers, most especially human resource practitioners, Social Psychologists, Sociologists and scholars in humanities etc, in these societies for decades.  Despite the prevalence of a large body of literature on college roommate relationships in developed nations, literature on roommate interpersonal relationships among tertiary students is very scanty in sub-Sahara Africa (SSA). The dearth of knowledge in this area in Nigerian higher institutions of learning is precarious and it is traceable to the poor-state-of- the- art-facilities, which have been hindering effective learning. The most crucial aspect of these facilities as related to this study is insufficient accommodation for students. Where accommodation is available, it usually is poorly maintained and managed due to poor funding of higher education and prevalence of endemic corruption in higher institutions.  Consequently, the management of higher education system resorted to ‘private developer policy on students’ residential matters’ in order to make provisions for students’ accommodation without any financial implication on the institution (Omonijo, Uche, Rotimi & Nwadialor, 2014). 

The study on student development is never restricted to academics in developed nations. It equally involves diverse issues relating to hostel, off-campus apartments, parents’ homes etc. Thus, problems relating to students hostel squatting, whether on campus or off, have been of interest to many researchers in these societies, for decades. The students need comfortable accommodation in the universities for them to study hard and pass their examinations (Osagie, 1993). The original idea of hostel accommodation was to provide a more conducive academic atmosphere for students. As a result, the first generation Universities built beautiful hostels, befitting the image of undergraduate and post-graduate students. Students’ population then was within control. In some of the hostels, two or a maximum of three students occupied a room (Guardian, 2004). Abubakar (2007) noted that students are supposed to be accommodated one per room and where two or more students shared a room often lead to conflict among them.

 With university life can be a strong indicator of the academic level of the students from one hand and the level of social relations development and achieving personal goals from the other hand. It could be noted that many educational scholars studied this aspect in order to explore the status of the academic, social and psychological level of undergraduate students then determining the problems facing them when trying to achieve their goals. (Al-nabhan, 2007).  The stage of university life is an important part of the student’s life as he moved from the total dependence on the teacher, family and curriculum into the complete independence. Moreover, many students move away from their cities into new places causing a change in their cultural, social and psychological environment, this may affect their adjustment with the university life. (Al-shinawi& Abdurrahman, 1994).  Students living in Hostel are a distinct group, who have unique needs and problems. They have particular physical, social and emotional characteristics. They are away from home for the first time and have to learn to manage their own affairs, and adjust to new conditions of living without a family member of greater experience to guide them . Also students who live independently are subjects to less parental control that can inhibit unhealthy behaviour. Such students are more prone to poor eating habits, lack of sleep, or the acquisition of new habits, such as smoking or drug use.  Furthermore, student persistence toward graduation is positively correlated with the quality of roommate relationship, the hostel social environment, adjustment and emotional support.  Satisfaction with social life and other social factors also have been shown to contribute to overall persistence. Interpersonal relationships are defined as an association between two or more people that ranges from informal interactions to formal partnerships and commitments. Interpersonal relationships develop over time, and researchers have proposed a life-cycle of this development. The relationship typically starts in the acquaintance stage.

1.2 Statement of problem

Nigerian University students live within and outside University campuses with many students to a room. The behaviour they exhibit toward one another often results in a series of conflicts. Some students exhibit deviant social behaviour in the room, some squat their friends or relation without informing other roommates, some practice their religion to offend other roommates, some use the fact that they belong to intimidate other roommates and roommates who support different contestants in student union elections and principal officers’ of the Universities in crisis period sometimes end up with conflict in their rooms. Patch (2005) noted that some roommates never contribute to bills, steal and use other roommate properties without permission and sell drugs in the room.

The problem which bought to the investigate concerned recent changes in the programmes and enrolment of students in universities in Nigeria. The increase in the social demand for university education has led to increasing demand and need for more quantitative and qualitative learning environment. Presently, the situation still persists, more worrisome is the situation of students’ hostel accommodation issues experienced in universities in Nigeria. The National Universities Commission (2005), whose goal is to ensure quality and comparative education in the Nigerian university system, recommended minimum standards. It is very appalling that most often, government emphasizes provision of education to students without a corresponding emphasis on provision of affordable students’ accommodation. Lack of hostels have serious effect on students’ health and learning (Chukwu, 2007). Accommodation problems experienced by these students have become a barrier to the realization of university education goals, as indicated in the Nigeria National Policy on Education (FRN, 2004). It is these factors that motivate this study to examine accommodation problems in universities in Nigeria with particular reference to the University of Lagos. Specially, the study will investigate the influence of hostel squatting on interpersonal relationships and emotional adjustment of students in university of Lagos.

1.3 Purpose of Study

The aim of this study is therefore to access the influence of hostel squatting on academic performance, interpersonal relationships and emotional adjustment of students in university of Lagos. Specifically, the objectives are:

1.    Examine the effect of hostel squatting on the academic performance of students.

2.   Examine the influence of hostel squatting on interpersonal relationships among university students.

3.   Examine the influence of hostel squatting on emotional adjustment of students in university

4.   Identify the students problems facing the student housing in University of Lagos;

1.4 Research Questions

1.   What is the effect of hostel squatting on the academic performance of students?

2.   Is there any significant influence of hostel squatting on interpersonal relationships among university students?

3.   Is there any significant influence of hostel squatting on emotional adjustment of students in university?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

1.   There is no significant influence of hostel squatting on academic performance of students.

2.   There is no significant influence of hostel squatting on interpersonal relationships among university students

3.   There is no significant influence of hostel squatting on emotional adjustment of students in university.

1.6 Significance of Study

It is hoped that the information collected from this research will be useful to the University management and the government of Nigeria, in defining their priority areas at the University when preparing and approving the budget of the institution. The information would also help the University management in determining rules and principles on safety, expansion of facilities and effective rules in guiding students’ accommodation.

1.7 Scope of the Study

This study was limited to the University of Lagos, Yaba, Lagos State.

1.8 Limitations of Study

The study will be constrained by time, finance and mobility. The study will cover undergraduate students residing in five hostels from University of Lagos, Yaba, Lagos State

1.9 Operational Definition of Terms:                                  

Academic performance: It is the outcome of education-the extent to which student has achieved their educational goals.

Hostel:  A residential facility where students live temporarily away from home for pursuing their education away from home

Students:   In this study it refers to students who are attending the tertiary institution.

Interpersonal Relationship: is a strong, deep, or close association or acquaintance between two or more people that may range in duration from brief to enduring. This association may be based on inference, love, solidarity, regular business interactions, or some other type of social commitment.

Emotional adjustment: is the maintenance of emotional equilibrium in the face of internal and external stressors. This is facilitated by cognitive processes of acceptance and adaptation.


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