Relationship between Substance Abuse, Study Behavior and Academic Performance: A Case Study of Senior High Students of Some Selected Schools in the Accra Metropolis

  • G. F. K. Agbakpe Psychology Department, Methodist University College - Ghana


Research has shown that substance use negatively affects academic performance of students. This study investigated the relationship between substance abuse, study behavior and academic performance. Five hundred randomly selected Senior High School Students were administered a 45-item validated instrument-Study Habits Inventory (SHI). The questionnaire comprised sections designed to provide information on academic performance, study behavior and use of substances. Results identified alcohol as the most commonly used substance and this is predominant among male students as opposed to use of prescription pain killer pills by female students. Cocaine was identified as the least abused substance whose use was predominant among female students. Rate of substance abuse among the sample was 30.8%. Substance abuse correlates negatively with study behavior and academic performance. Students who used substances engaged in poor study behavior and performed poorly in school compared to those who did not use substances. It was concluded that in order to reduce use of substances by students, school authorities should educate students on dangers associated with the use of drugs and develop well-defined comprehensive and realistic programs to control drugs use.