The study surveyed the influence of on the child abuse on academic performance of secondary school students in Ilorin metropolis. Data were collected from 200 randomly selected students. 

A questionnaire was the major instrument used for data collection. The data collected were analysed using t-test and Pearson Product Moment Correlation. 

The results indicated that the respondents were abused by their different parents; no significant relationship was found between child abuse and student’s academic performance when correlated. There is also no significant influence of child abuse on the academic performance of students. 

It was recommended that public enlightenment campaign should be carried out on the danger of child abuse.










Background to the Study 1

Statement of the Problem 6

Purpose of the Study 7

General Questions 7

Research Hypotheses 7

Significance of the Study 9

Delimitation of the Study 10

Definition of Terms (Operational) 11


Concept of Child Abuse 12

Pattern of Child Abuse 22

Prevalence of Child Abuse 27

Consequence of Child Labour/Errand Child  31

Appraisals of the Related Literature 36


Introduction 38

Research Design 38 

Population of the Study 39 

Sample and Sampling Technique 39 

Instrumentation 39 

Validity of the Instrument 40 

Reliability of the Instrument 41 

Administration of the Instrument 41

Data Analysis 42


Hypothesis Testing 45

Discussion of Results 49



Summary 52 

Conclusions 53

Implication of the Study 54

Recommendations 54

Limitation of the study 55

Suggestion for further studies 55

References 57

Appendix 60


Table 1: Distribution of Respondents by Sex 43

Table 2:Distribution of Participants by Parental

Education 43

Table 3: Distribution of Participants by Age Group 44 

Table 4: Distribution of Participants by Family Type 44

Table 5: Results of Pearson Product Moment Correlation 

Coefficient on Child Abuse and Student 

Performance 45

Table 6: Results of t-test analysis on male and 

female performance 46

Table 7: Duncan Multiple Range Test on Students

Performance by Parental Education 47

Table 8: Results of t-test statistics on student 

performance by age group 48

Table 9: Results of t-test analysis on the students’ 

performance by family types 49



Background to the Study 

Nigerian children are faced with many problems. Many of them suffer abuse in various forms such as neglect, abandonment and starvation. Some of them are victims of broken homes and conflict laden families. As a result of this, many of them are brought up in either single parent homes to by guardians.

Nigerians have positive attitudes to having and rearing the children (Oyebanre, 1991). This is because, they are considered as continuation of the family generation. Thus, according to Oyebanre (1991), is the reason why the extended family system serves to safeguard the welfare of its members. 

Another reason for having children was to complement the family labour force. Garuba (1998) stated that Africans and Nigerians in particular have many children in order to use them for farming. She pointed out that in olden days, the larger your family members, the larger your extra hands to work in the farm and the healthy the individual would be in. thus, children in traditional society are taken to the farm at very tender age to cultivate the land.

It is also part of the child-rearing pattern to see children in the family as part of economic aspect. This was related by Oyebanre (1991) in two categories. 

The first category is an aspect of socialization, she explained this method is a way of socializing children into the commercial activities. Thus, children are sent out to hawk commodities like cigarette, Kola, Water, groundnuts, etc. This is meant to teach the child how to count money, giving and collecting change. 

The second category as noted by Oyebanre (1991) are the parents affected by economic recession in order to find alternative source of income, they engage their children to hawk commodities so that they (the children) could raise money to support the family. Others send them out as householders or as a child labourer called errand child (omo onise). In whatever form, the purpose is to work in order to raise money for the family sustenance. 

In all enumerated practices, the children could be exposed to abuse, neglect and danger which could have adverse effect on the development of the children. Nwaomu (1990) asserted that many parents in Bendel State engaged their children in child labour and refuse to send them to school. This, according to her was because of the monetary gains which might not be used for the child’s benefit.

Many of these children that were engaged in this form of labour experienced different form of abuse, some were physically abused. Example of this form of abuse was a house mistress who poured kerosene on a house girl was beaten to the extent of being unconscious for alleged neglect of a baby put under her care. 

Daroven (1995) reported that many children had been exposed to work harzard of various forms, children who are sent to engage in street trading have been found to meet with one form of accident or the other. He explained that some of them have been attack by thieves, beaten and money realized from hawking stolen away. Others, particularly girls, have been exposed to danger of sexual abuse leading to unwanted pregnancies and unclaimed child.

  One of the growing concerns in the society seems to be the contribution of child abuse on the behavioural, emotional and living problems of children. All these, according to Gill (1999) are not without adverse effect of child’s development. These include juvenile delinquency, hooliganism, drug abuse, theft, teenage pregnancies, drop out and mass failure in school examinations. 

Adegbite (1991) reported that poor academic performance of children could be attributed to the child’s background. This refers to the home in which the child is raised. He reported studies which found children of professionals, executives and clerics who receive parental support to be as advantage and academically performed better than children who are abused by their parents.

Personal experience has also shown that children who are abused could find it difficult to adjust to school situation. He could, therefore, found to be habitual late comers, to be always sleeping in the class while others are learning, to always be in short supply of needed school materials and to be among the backward students in the class. It is also the researcher’s opinion that children in this category need assistance in coping with their situations. This is the area of concern for the study.

Statement of the Problem 

Child abuse as one of the social problems plaguing the society could have far reaching effect and constitute block to children’s development. This is because the forms in which most of these children have been abused have prevented them from pursuing normal developmental trends as their colleagues. Thus they face the problem of under development in many areas. (Mustapha, 2002). 

Many secondary school children who were abused face many problems including insufficient time for schooling, destruction from the normal academic programme, insufficient time for rest and denial of opportunity of enjoy as other children. All these could have negative effect on the school going and academic performance of secondary school  students. This is why, these researchers deem it fit to investigate the effects of child abuse on the academic performance of secondary school students.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to investigate the effects of child abuse on students academic performance in Ilorin. I also sought to compare differences between academic performance of students on the basis of sex, age, family type and parental education.

General Questions

What is the influence of child abuse on the academic performance of secondary school students in Ilorin.

Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses will be tested in the study: 

H01: There is no significant relationship between the influence of child-abuse on the academic performance of secondary school students.

H02: There is no significant difference in the teachers perception of the effects of child-abuse in the academic performance of male and female secondary school students.

H03: There is no significant difference in the teachers perception of the effects of child-abuse in the academic performance of children from illiterate and literate homes. 

H04: There is no significant difference in the teachers perception of the effects of child-abuse on the academic performance of young and old secondary school students. 

H05: There is no significant difference in the teachers perception of the effects of children from polygamous and monogamous home. 

Significance of the Study 

The study is very necessary to determine if children that are abuse do well in secondary school or not. This is in view of the psycho-social problem confronting these children on the daily basis. Mass failure is a common phenomenon in our educational institutions, knowing the contribution of child abuse in the lives of young school children is an important factor for embarking on this study.

The study could be useful to the abused children themselves through the knowledge of negative consequences it has on them. They may therefore, learn to adjust and cope with the situation in order to improve on their academic activities. 

The children abused could also benefit by knowing the damage they area causing on the lives of the innocent children.

The result of this study could be useful to administrators and educators who can use it for assisting abused children in school and to cope with their situations. 

The study is very important to the counsellors. This is because, the result could provide necessary information to be used as sources for counselling. Thus, this could sere as aids to the counsellors for assisting the affected children. 

The study may be useful as a source of information on the danger inherent in child abuse. This may propel the general public to rise against the abuse of children’s rights. 

Delimitation of the Study 

The study investigates the effects of child abuse on the academic performance of primary school children in Ilorin. Data on pupils were collected and analysed across sex, age, parental education and family type. 

The study involved 200 randomly selected primary school students. It is however limited to the teachers in the primary schools and the aspect of child abuse measured in the questionnaire.

Definition of Terms (Operational)

The following terms are defined as used in the study. 

Abuse: Being subjected to ill treatment or harsh conditions that may not be morally acceptable. 

Child Labour: Engaging a child of tender age on very difficult task or labour beyond their capacity. 

Errand Children: School going children who engage in manual work such as washing clothes, fetching water, cooking, etc for monetary gains. 




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