EFFECTS OF ADOLESCENT PEER STATUS, METAMEMORY AND ETHNIC AFFILIATION ON CRITICAL THINKING
The effects of peer status, metamemory and ethnic affiliation on critical thinking were investigated using 615 participants (299 males and 316 females). Three hundred and fifty two (352) of the participants (195 males and 157 females) were of Igbo ethnic group and were drawn from St. Theresa’s Collage Nsukka (for males) and Queen of the Rosary Secondary School Nsukka (for females) in Enugu state. Participants that were of Ibibio ethnic group were 263 (112 males and 151 females) and were drawn from Cardinal Ekandem Seminary, Uyo (for males) and Immaculate Conception Secondary School, Itak (for females) in Akwa Ibom state. The participants comprised the entire population of Igbos and Ibibios in Senior Secondary II of the four schools sampled. Their ages ranged from 15 to 21 years. Three instruments were used. They include Rating and Nomination Sociometric Scale for peer assessment; Critical Thinking Scale and Eysenck General Intelligence Test 4 (EGIT-4). Participants in the experimental prgroups were given metamemory prompts while those in the control groups were not. A 3x2x2 factorial design was used and Analysis of Covariance used for the analysis. A one-way Analysis of Covariance, using general intelligence as the covariate showed that there was a significant difference in critical thinking among peer status conditions. Sheffe post hoc test revealed that those in the popular status group performed better in critical thinking test than those in other two conditions while those in the neglected group performed better than those in the rejected group. Result also showed a significant difference in critical thinking between metamemory conditions. Those in the metamemory prompt group were found to have performed better in critical thinking test than those in the no prompt group. The result did not show any significant difference in critical thinking between ethnic affiliation conditions as well as any significant interaction effect among the dependent variables. Results were discussed in relation to the cognitive gains of social interaction and behavioural correlates of peer status as well as the connection between the knowledge of one’s memory and cognitive performance.