SOCIO-ECONOMIC FACTORS AFFECTING READING HABITS OF JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN NSUKKA LOCAL GOVERNMENT
The study investigated the socioeconomic factors affecting reading habits of JSS students in Nsukka Local Government Area with the aim of finding out if socioeconomic factors have effect on the reading habits of JSS students. The study has a population of 12,200 students and a sample of 366 students, drawn with proportionate stratified random sampling. Seven research questions were set to: determine the attitudes of JSS students to reading, explain the reading habits of JSS students, determine the access of students to reading material, investigate the effect cultural and home attitude on the reading habits of JSS students, determine the extent to which the use of electronic media affects their reading habits, explain the ways socioeconomic factors affects their reading habits and to identify strategies for improving the reading habits of JSS students using ex post facto research design. The study used questionnaire and focus group discussion as the instruments of data collection and use of frequency, charts and percentage as method of data analysis. Two hypotheses were tested with t- test statistics. The study found out that socioeconomic factors have influence on the reading habits of JSS students inp the areas of provision of reading materials in the sense that the students of high socio economic class was found out to have more positive attitude to reading, and develop more reading habits possibly because they spent more time to read, have access to reading materials. It was also found that the attitude of parents to reading has a significant role on the reading habits of JSS students, and that electronic media especially watching television influences the reading habits of JSS students negatively particularly for students of higher socio-economic status. The study recommended that interesting books in both fictional and informational forms should be provided and made accessible to the students, education authorities should make sure that each school is provided with a librarian and allotted library hour which should be adhered to. Adequate funds should be provided to keep classroom and school libraries current with quality literature and book clubs should be established in the nook and corners of Nigeria as in developed countries to ensure a dynamic readership nationwide.