EFFECT OF CHILD ABUSE ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN NIGERIA


EFFECT OF CHILD ABUSE ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

This project work focuses on the effects of child abuse on students’ academic performance. The study attempts to unravel the causes, effects and remedies to child abuse among secondary school students. It was carried out in Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State. A sample of 100 was randomly drawn from selected secondary schools in the local government and questionnaires were administered to the respondents. The mean percentage test, which was adopted in the study’s analysis, indicated that excessive battering of a child by parents/teacher/guidance; broken homes, child hawking before and after school and unconducive learning environment are all causes of child abuse. Also, it was found that child abuse negatively affects child’s school performance; such abused children are vulnerable to early pregnancy. Ill treatment as well causes permanent and life long trauma, thereby making children develop low cognition to school subjects. The preaching of good morals by religious leaders to parents and guardians was part of the recommendations made in this study. Also, melting out punishment in form of fine on erring parents/guidance especially those forcing their children to hawk, and prevention from bad for peer influence will help eliminate or reduce to the barest minimum the incidence of child abuse among secondary school students.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page………………………………………………………………..ii

Certification………………………………………………………..……iii

Dedication…………………………………………………….…………iv

Acknowledgement………………………………………………………..v

Table of Contents……………………………………..…………….…….vi

Abstract……………………………………………………………………ix

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study…………………………………..………………1

Statement of the Problem……………………………..……..………..……6

Purpose of Study…………………………………….………....…….…….7

Research Questions…………………………………………………………8

Significance of Study………………………………..…….………………..9

Scope of Study…………………………………….……………………..….9

Definition of Terms…………………………………………………………9

CHAPTER TWO

LITERATURE REVIEW

The Concept of Child Abuse…………..………………………………….11

The Causes of Child Abuse…………………….…………………………12

The Effect of Child Abuse on Students Academic………………….……22

Factors Affecting the Consequences of Child abuse and Neglect….……26

Theoretical Orientations towards Child Abuse as it 

affect Academic Performance…………………………………………….34

Summary of the Literature……..……………………………………….…41

CHAPTER THREE 

METHOD OF STUDY

Introduction……………………………………………………..………….43

Research Design……………………….………………….......……………43

Population of Study……………………………………………...…….…...43

Sample and sampling procedure……………………………..…………….43

Research Instrument ………………………………………….…………...44

Validation of research instrument………………………………………….45

Administration of research instrument…………………………………….45

Data Analysis Technique..………………………………..……………..…46

CHAPTER FOUR 

DATA ANALYSIS INTERPRETATION & DISCUSSION

Data presentation…………………………………………………….……47

Analysis of research questions……………………..…………………..…48

Discussion………………………………………..…….…………………54

CHAPTER FIVE 

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND

RECOMMENDATIONS

Summary of Findings…………………………………………………….56

Conclusion……………………………………………………………..…58

Recommendations……………………..……………………………..……58

References…………………………………………………………………61

Appendix (Questionnaire)…………………………………………………66

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Child abuse and neglect are fastly becoming universal phenomena in the current world societies despite the fact the child’s rights are being recognized and even to some extent, protected by legislations and constitutions in many countries of the world. Childhood abuse potentially has major economic implications for Nigerian schools and for their students. Even conservative estimates suggest that at least 8 percent of U.S. children experience sexual abuse before age 18, while 17 percent experience physical abuse and 18 percent experience physical neglect (Flisher, Kramer, Hoven, & Greenwald, 2007). Childhood maltreatment, and aversive parenting practices, in general, has the potential to delay the academic progress of students (Shonk & Cicchetti, 2001). It therefore has the potential to undermine schools’ ability to satisfy standards of school progress entailed in the No Child Left Behind legislation (U.S. Department of Education, 2005), putting them at risk for loss of federal funding. It also has the potential to adversely affect students' economic outcomes in adulthood, via its impact on achievement in middle and high school (Cawley, Heckman, & Vytlacil, 2001).

Child abuse has been defined by the African network for the prevention and protection against child Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN) as the intentional and unintentional acts which endanger the physical, health, emotional, moral and the educational welfare of the child. Hopper (2004) also described child abuse as any act of maltreatment or subjection that endangers a child’s physical, emotional and health development.

Gelles, (2007) affirmed that child abuse include not only physical assault but also malnourishment, abandonment, neglect, emotional abuse and sexual abuse. 

According to Mba (2002), prominent form of child abuse in Nigeria are child battering, child labour, child abandonment, neglect, teenage prostitution, early marriage and forced marriage. Kolander (2000) stated that emotional and sexual abuses are highly noticeable in Nigeria. Oji (2006) observed that babies born by teenage mothers in Nigeria were 625,024 as at the reporting time. 

According to Walsh (2005), unwanted pregnancy has been identified to be a major cause of child abuse in Nigeria. Many abused children were unwanted in the first place and turned out to be a severe burden on their emotionally immature or impoverished parents. Odey (2003) stated that children from poor homes are more vulnerable to abuse and Todd,(2004) in  his support said that Nigeria, which is are known corrupt nation in Africa is heading towards a dangerous  poverty where her teeming population does not have enough food for healthy living. Oluwole (2002) equally lamented when analyzing the situation of children which are being used for house helps. Child labour is the major obstacles to the achievement of education for all (EFA) and this result into a setback on the achievement of the world target of universal primary education by 2015.

According to Onye (2004), child abuse is an evidence of poverty. Aderinto and Okunola (2008) equally recorded that some children reported that they were pushed into street hawking for maintenance needs of the family. That means that they are the breadwinners of their various families at their early age. It is a common sight in major parks and streets in Nigeria to see children of school age between 6-16 years as bus/taxi mates, hawking wares, pushing trucks for money or begging for money when they are supposed to in the classroom learning in the schools. All these point to the fact that the worst hit groups are children who are at the risk of diseases, exploitation, neglect and violence. 

Although, the potential impact of child   abuse is large, but evidence of causal effects of maltreatment on children's longer term outcomes in school is generally lacking. The current state of evidence for a link between childhood maltreatment (physical and sexual abuse or neglect) and school performance is limited to negative associations between maltreatment and school performance. On average, children who are abused receive lower ratings of performance from their school teachers, score lower on cognitive assessments and standardized tests of academic achievement, obtain lower grades, and get suspended from school and retained in grade more frequently (Erickson, Egeland, & Pianta, 2003). Abused children are also prone to difficulty in forming new relationships with peers and adults and in adapting to norms of social behavior (Shields, Cicchetti and Ryan, 2004). Although, these examples of negative associations between child abuse and school performance are suggestive of causal effects, they could be spuriously driven by unmeasured factors in families or neighborhoods that are themselves correlated with worse academic outcomes among children (Todd and Wolpin, 2003). 

In addition, not much of the previous evidence linking childhood maltreatment to worse school performance generalizes well to older children in middle and high school and to children not already identified as needing services. Evidence of the impacts of maltreatment on academic performance in the general population of middle and high school students is needed to establish evidence of effects on schooling attainment in the general education population and on economic outcomes in adulthood. 

Using a large dataset of U.S. adolescent sibling pairs, this study explores effects of maltreatment—neglect, physical aggression, and sexual abuse on adolescents’ performance in middle and high school. First, the questions of how childhood maltreatment theoretically could negatively affect later school performance, and of how unobserved family background and neighborhood characteristics might influence ordinary least squares and fixed effects regression estimates of relationships between childhood maltreatment and later school performance, are discussed. Second, empirical estimates from models that controlled for observable and unobservable family and neighborhood characteristics are presented.

1.2 Statement of Problem 

Grill (2009) stated that the school can do a lot of things about child abuse since it has a way of affecting the school system. The problem of child abuse have long been existing in Nigeria, and have even become more even devastating to the society has whole. That history of child abuse in Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State is as old as the persistence of the phenomenon in Nigeria itself cannot be overemphasized. Children suffered all forms of abuse ranging from child battering, child labour, child abandonment, neglect, teenage prostitution, early marriage and forced marriage. And in most cases, the parents are even at the centre of the root cause of all these social maltreatment.  The school though, as an agent of socialization portends  to have a strong and overwhelming influence on the development of the  child, but observation has shown that these essence of  education could probably be defeated if  the children are made to continually suffer  the pains of  child labour (Martins E.O. 2010). This study however, centers on the extent to which the school has been involved in its attempt to develop the child within the social context of child abuse. And It is in the light of these, that the study attempts to unravel the major causes of child abuse and how it affects the child’s educational performance.

1.3 Purpose of Study

This research project has its main objectives the problem of finding out the effect of child abuse on the academic performance of secondary school student in Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State. Moreover, this research study sets:

1. To examine the causes of child  abuse in Esan West Local Government Area

2. To determine the  effect of child abuse on child’s educational performance in Esan  West Local Government  Area

3. To examine the consequences of child abuse on child’s academic performance. 

4. To determine possible solutions to child abuse among secondary school students.

1.4 Significance of the Study

This study is to provide parents and school administrators with an insight into how much damage child abuse and especially hawking after school can have on the academic development of student in general. This study is significant as the findings will be beneficial to parents, guardians, teachers, school heads and all other stakeholders in the educational sector, as they will be better enlightened on the problems associated with child abuse.  Such knowledge may curtail any further action of exploiting the child especially been used as object of raising family economy. Hawking no doubt expose the child to many social vices, thus the fact that the study attempts to create a model for proper upbringing of the child in the society makes it justifiable. 

1.6 Delimitation/Scope of study

The study laid emphasis on the effect of child abuse and how it affects the academic performance of the child using secondary schools in Esan West Local Government Area as case study.

1.7   Definition of Terms

The following terms are defined for the essence of this work:

1. Child Abuse: harsh or ill treatment melted on any child; it could be by physical pr emotional means. 

2. Physical Abuse: any form of corporal punishment melted on a child by his parent, teacher or guardian.

3. Neglect: paying no attention, not given enough care, to leave undone what need to be done.

LITERATURE REVIEW  

This chapter focuses on the literary works of scholars that have been done in the area of child abuse and its effect on the educational performance of secondary school students. The chapter will be grouped and treated under the following sub headings:

The Concept of Child Abuse The Causes of Child Abuse The Effect of Child Abuse on Students Academic. Factors Affecting the Consequences of Child  abuse and Neglect Theoretical Orientations towards Child Abuse as it affect Academic Performance. Ways of Preventing Child Abuse.

2.1     The Concept of Child Abuse

The terminology child – abuse is a compound word formed from child and abuse. From English definition, child means an infant, one that is very young, a son or a daughter, offspring; and abuse simply means an improper treatment or employment of angry or violent attack in word melted on any one. Psychologically, the term child used to present that developmental state of man encompassing the early stages of development ranging from Neonate (few months after birth), early children (1-2 years), pre-school ages (first to five years and middle childhood (Pre-adolescence). In chronological term, childhood can be broken as a teenager. As commonly used by parent, a father or mother would refers to his or her offspring as a child irrespective of the age. Child in the present context is any one between the age of one to twenty years who is still largely dependent on a caretaker for duly survival and maintenance. It is such dependency that makes the child susceptible to treatment that may be termed maltreatment from whoever the child is dependent on.

2.2 Causes of Child – Abuse and Human Issues

The causes are hard to determine, child abuser come from all income level, geographic area, family settings, religious background, ethnic groups and residential environment. Some of the causes are discussed below.

Adults that were abused as children

There is one factor that seems related to child abuse. Although, a cause-effect sequence has not be demonstrated. According to Kline, (2007) has reported a clear relationship between child abuse and neglect. This researcher found that of children judges to be abuse or neglected, 27% of them where subsequently enrolled in special education classes. When the question was asked why do these parents do it? It was found out that child abuse is a psychological problem. The authors of one study claim that as infants and children all of the (abusing) parents were deprived both of basic mother care about from the beginning of their lives (Spinetta and Rigle, 2002). This statement could be interpreted to mean that all abused children will grow to become abusing adults; and that any one who has not been abused as a child will not abused his/ her own children, because violence is very likely to reject the violence. A child learns violence as a solution and an outcome when there is family conflict the intense emotion that accompanies the witnessing of violence by a child enhance the learning process. The violent lessons of family conflicts are likely to be forgotten. According Leonard, J.R. (2004) wrote of an abused child growing up in violent family might not have learnt an alternative means for dealing with conflict violence. His or her reporting of behavior may not include such facilitative skills as negative reasoning, exchange of services or humor. Such a person may know of no other way to deal with a child than to use physical force. According to Fontana, (2008) suggests that parents who abuse their children have great difficult in developing trust, a difficulty that is linked to isolation of parent from family and other social groups. Isolation has been used to explore violence towards children in number of studies. For example, Modern and Wrech Smith (2003) found that child abused has been found in family where there is no ongoing relationship outside the home. According to Gelles and Straus found higher audience of violent in a family that has live or in a neighborhood less than three years. Those who did not attend or belong to any organization in the community have a much higher rate of child abuse than those who belong to or attend at least an organization (Straus, 2009). The child abuse problem is complicated by guilt on the part of both parent and children. Few children even in the pre – school years will appear to outside for help. Any parent, an abuse one may be deeply loved by the child. And it hardly need to be said that  very few parent even among those who believe in physical punishment would consciously feel justified in doing their children serious harm. According to Younes, (2007) in his write up on “child – abuse and neglect incidence”, wrote that physical abuse of children by their parent is a phenomenon of maladjustment that can be diagnosed and treated.

Broken Home

According to Anykam, (2004), a study of spouses who was involved in divorced action revealed a significant incidence of violent family behavior. The pattern of violence is cynical, children who have been abused or neglected group lack trust and are unable to form a close relationship with their spouse when they marry. They frequently lack a sense of positive self – esteem and competence. In other words, they exhibit the helplessness syndrome, such individuals often want children but when they become parent they have no knowledge of appropriate child – rearing practices or normal growth and development. As a result, they may punish a six month old child for crying when this is his only means of communicating his needs. Battering usually occurs as crisis when parent anger and frustration are multiplied; and the parents interpret the child behavior as being accusatory and rejecting. Children have been ill – treated by adults throughout history, but are very recently that concern about the issues has gathered momentum. In order to assess the significant of recent development, it is important to locate the special reaction to children’s problem in a wider historical context from the beginning of the century to the 1970s’ concern for children has focus primary on the promotion of society from children and the control of delinquent youth. The primary concern with children has been in terms of the prevention of crime and anti-social behavior.

 

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EFFECT OF CHILD ABUSE ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN NIGERIA



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