The Effect Of Child Abuse On Primary School Children Academic Performance In Warri South L.G.A

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The Effect Of Child Abuse On Primary School Children Academic Performance In Warri South L.G.A


Abstract


This research investigates the effects of child abuse on academic performance of primary school pupils’ in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State. Specifically, the study tried to; identify the personal characteristics of pupils’ and teachers in public primary school in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State and investigate the effect of child abuse on pupils’ academic performance in primary school. In order to achieve these objectives, the following research questions were advanced; (i) what is the extent of the effect of child abuse on pupils’ assessment grades and academic performance?(ii) What is the extent of the effect of child abuse on pupils’ participation in class activities and academic performance? Two research hypotheses were also formulated in furtherance of the study; (i) Child abuse has no significant effects on pupils’ assessment grades and academic performance (ii) Child abuse has no significant effects on pupils’ participation in class activities and academic performance. The study uses the survey design and the population of the study was the 195public primary schools identified in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State. However the research selected 20 out of them for a closer study through the simple random sampling technique. Primary data was collected through the use of questionnaire, presented and analyzed by means of simple percentages. A cut-off mean of 2 points was the bench mark for answering research questions and hypotheses were tested using the one-sample t-test. The research revealed that; child abuse has significant effects on both pupils’ assessment grades and their participation in class activities; and thus concludes that child abuse has significant effects on pupils’ academic performance in primary school. It was recommended that; child abuse and it effects should receive attention in education policy forums; and that parents should always relate to their children with love and affection and provide for their needs; there should be public enlightenment programs to combat mass ignorance and public awareness on the right to freedom from all forms of child abuse; as much as possible, teachers/caregivers should avoid the use of corporal punishment because it only teaches children that violence is the best way of maintaining control and it encourages them to hit other children; there should be provision of nurturing and supportive child friendly school, learning environment free from noise, distractions, discrimination and abuse of any kind; a child should not be disciplined when the adult’s anger is out of control; intense awareness should be created among teachers and school managers using seminars, workshops and training programs about what constitutes child abuse; all forms of abuse should be exposed to this class of caregivers so as to draw their attention to some of the unintentional acts that bother on child abuse; teaching profession should be professionalized to ensure that there is no one teaching as a second best option, this would ensure that people in this profession really see it as their contribution to society’s development; and penalty for teachers’ who commit sexual abuse with their students should be severe enough to deter other perpetrators.


Table of Content


  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Area of Study
  • 3.2 Research Design
  • 3.3 Population of the Study
  • 3.4 Sample Size Determination/Sampling Technique
  • 3.5 Kinds and Sources of Data
  • 3.6 Methods of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Validity of Instruments
  • 3.8 Operational Measure of Variables
  • 3.9 Model Specification
  • 3.10 Model Justification
  • 3.11 Method of Data Analysis

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation, Analysis and Interpretation

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Data Presentation, Analysis and Interpretations
  • 4.3 Discussion of Findings
  • 4.4 Summary of Findings

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Introduction
  • 5.2 Summary
  • 5.3 Conclusion
  • 5.4 Recommendations
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Intoduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Child abuse is not a new phenomenon in the history of man. It has been going on right from time immemorial. In Africa/Nigerian society what constitute abuse today has never been regarded as abuse. It has been seen as a way of training the child to become a well behaved, disciplined and self actualized person in society. It is a normal process that children from birth be exposed to a variety of experiences from parents, caregivers and other adults in the society. This is to enable the children acquire the necessary basic norms and skills for effective participation in the society where they belong and for their personal growth and development.

The process of acquiring these skills is sometimes stressful for the children to bear. Some parents and care givers make the condition for acquiring these skills so difficult that the children may find it difficult to cope. The condition in which children are exposed to as they try to acquire the skills to become disciplined and hardworking individuals is where the problems lie. When these conditions become over-stretched it becomes an abuse. For instance, when a child is taught the skills of becoming a farmer, he is taken to the farm, he practice these skills and he is kept in the farm doing that same work from dawn to dusk, without any rest, or having a good meal, this becomes an abuse (Apebende, Umoren, Ukpepi andNdifon, 2010). Also it may be normal if a child is asked to hawk from morning to evening or before going to school he sales and immediately after school he continues until dusk. This becomes an abuse. Orere-Clifferd (2011) states that children suffer from child abuse because their parents and guardian demand a great deal from them for more than the children would bear. Most children in our public primary schools find themselves in such situation most often.

Child abuse is found in all societies and social class. It is found in the rich or poor home, as well as illiterate or literate homes. The parents abuse their children by frequently using them in their farm work, trade and businesses. This is to help support the income of the home and sometimes to provide for children needs. They are sometime asked by their parents to do some menial jobs such as house helps, cooks, baby sitters, and gardeners to help improve the income of the home (Apebende, Umoren, Ukpepi andNdifon, 2010).

The rich on the other hand have enough to care for their children but they exploit the children they employ as house helps and cooks. This they do by over working the servants in the daily house chores, while their own children are over pampered.

The servants or house helps work 24 hours a day, without any rest. Others do not have good food, clothes and sometimes no good place to lay their heads. Some are treated like animals, they are beaten, kicked pushed, and sometimes, hot oil, water and even acid is used on them. (Falaye, 2013).

Many more, caregivers called abusive names such as; good for nothing, block head, etc. sometimes some are tired hands and feet and locked in a room, for hours and even days. These actions demoralize the child (Falaye, 2013).

Those who go to school may not be attentive in class because of the work they do at home. The classroom may be the only place where they have a rest from such home activities so they may fall asleep in the class. They may therefore not partake in classroom activities and so may not acquire any learning (Apebende, Umoren, Ukpepi andNdifon, 2010).

The children of the rich parents may not be allowed to take part in the general activities in the home. They may therefore not know how to cook, wash or care generally for the home. This constitutes an abuse because the child needs to be exposed to such activities because it is certain that the child may need such knowledge in future (Falaye, 2013).

The term child abuse is seen as the process by which children are exposed to maltreatments by parents or guardian (Apebende, Umoren, Ukpepi and Ndifon, 2010). Axmaher (2010) defined child abuse as any mistreatment or neglect of the child that result in non-accidental harm or injury and which cannot be reasonably explained. Obekpa (2011) view child abuse as any condition injurious to physical or emotional health that has been inflicted by parents, guardian or other caretakers. Igbo and Ekoja (2013) defines it as a non-accidental injury inflicted on a child by a parent or guardian.

An abuse according to Isanghedehi (2004) could be seen in three perspectives physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. To Oniyama, Oniyama and Asamaigbo (2004), child abuse manifest in four main categories viz; physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and neglect.

Physical abuse refers to any contact with the body of the child, which may result in an injury. Such contact may involve beating, hitting, kicking, shaking, punching, biting or any act or omission that is not an accident but that which brings some injuries to the child’s body.

Emotional abuse is any act on the part of a parents or caregiver that has the potential for or has actually caused serious emotional cognitive, mental or behavioral disorders. Emotional abuse is evident when a parent or care giver uses abusive words such as blockhead, good for nothing, a mistake, on the child or when the child is locked up in a room, tired both hands and feet, or not allowed to make friends. Mba (2013) maintained that emotional abuse implies constantly blaming the child, belittling and or berating the child, being unconcerned about the child’s welfare and overtly rejection of the child by parents or caretakers or caregivers.

Sexual abuse occurs when a parent or care giver engages in inappropriate sexual behaviours with the child. This may take the form of actual sexual intercourse, kissing, or foundling or genitals or either the abuser or the abused. According to Uzoezie (2004) sexual abuse occurs when an adult or older person uses his or her power over a child. The abuse may trick, bribe, threaten and if possible force a child to take part in sexual activity.

Neglect according to Okpara (2001) include inadequate feeding, shelter and lack of supervision, inadequate body care, poor clothing, poor and denial of medicinal attention and inadequate provision of educational materials and supervision. Other aspects of neglect may include letting the child live in a filthy environment and non provision of proper nourishment.

Other aspects of child abuse may include child exploitation, slavery, trafficking and abandonment. The different forms of abuse affect the child in all spheres of life including academic attainment.

Conversely, a child is said to be abused when the parents, care givers or any human action leads to physical, emotional and sexual abuse of the child. It also involves failure of the parents to provide the necessary love and care for the child.

It has been observed of late that the academic performance of children in public primary schools in the State, particularly, in Warri South Local government Area is becoming low. One wonders if such low academic performance is as a result of the maltreatment children are exposed to. The study therefore seeks to find out if child abuse has any effect on the academic performance of primary school pupils. Specially, the big question is; does physical, emotional and sexual abuse affects the academic performance of primary school pupils?

The major objective of the study is to determine the effect of child abuse on primary school children academic performance in Warri South of Delta State, specifically, the academic performance of pupils who are physically, emotionally and sexually abused.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

At the heart of every educational system lays the desire for the students, teachers and the institutions to achieve their educational goals; however, the extent to which this desire is achieved in the study period of a student varies based on individual differences. Individual differences in academic performance have been linked to differences in intelligence and personality. Students with higher mental ability as demonstrated by IQ tests and those who are higher in conscientiousness (linked to effort and achievement motivation) tend to perform highly in academic settings. A recent meta-analysis suggested that mental curiosity (as measured by typical intellectual engagement) has an important influence on academic performance in addition to intelligence and conscientiousness. Despite high mental abilities, conscientiousness and intellectual engagement demonstrated by most children it has been observed of late that the academic performance of children in public primary schools in the State, particularly, in Warri South Local Government Area is becoming low. It has also been observed that in this recent times issues of child abuse and neglect is on the rise in the local government due to economic depression caused by the global economic backdrop and incessant social/civil unrests. One wonders if such low academic performance is as a result of the abuse/maltreatment children are exposed to. This became the motivation to investigate the effect of child abuse on primary school children academic performance in Warri South Local Government.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The broad objective of the study is to investigate the effect of child abuse on primary school children academic performance in Warri South Local Government Area.

Specifically, the study seeks to investigate;

  1. The prevalence of child abuse of primary school children in Warri South Local Government Area.
  2. The effect of child abuse on primary school pupils’ assessments grades and academic performance.
  3. The effect of child abuse on primary school pupils’ participation in the class and academic performance.

1.4 Research Questions

In order to achieve the objectives the following questions are hereby posed;

  1. What is the prevalence of child abuse of primary school children in Warri South Local Government Area?
  2. What is the extent of the effect of child abuse on primary school pupils’ assessments grades and academic performance?
  3. What is the extent of the effect of child abuse on primary school pupils’ participation in the class and academic performance?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

In furtherance of the objectives the following hypotheses are hereby projected;

  • HO 1: Child abuse has no significant effect on pupils’ assessments grades and academic performance.
  • HO 2: Child abuse has no significant effect on pupils’ participation in the class and academic performance.

1.6 Significance of the Study

In a society where children’s academic performance in most public schools is getting lower, any study which will discover some of the causes will be very relevant. Many research studies have been carried out outside of Delta State on child abuse and its effect on pupils’ academic performance. There is need therefore for such a study to be carried out in our locality with different cultural settings. The result of this study will be an added advantage to governments stand on child’s right act and care, if it shows a significant influence. Parents, Guardians, Teachers, other caregivers and the general public will find the result of this study useful, as it will reveal to them the need for effective care and protection of their children, especially the importance of providing educational needs for a higher academic performance. The research will also be a resource of value to other researchers carrying out research on the topic or similar subject matter.


1.7 Scope of the Study

The study is intended to cover 195 primary schools in Warri South Local Government Area. However, due to time and financial limitations the study is limited to 20 selected public primary schools. The researcher deems it appropriate to select these primary schools because all the state owned primary schools are attended by almost children of the same social class and a bound the face the same social and life challenges. Also, the calibers of teachers that teach in such schools are mostly of same social orientation. More so, the researcher targets to cover 10% of the total number of public primary schools in the Local Government.

The study is also limited to the issue of child abuse and academic performance of primary school pupils since it will be too cumbersome to study all the factors that deter academic performance of school children in the area.


1.8 Limitations of the Study

This study was constrained by a number of factors which are as follows:

  • Just like any other research, ranging from unavailability of needed accurate materials on the topic under study, inability to get data.
  • Financial constraint, was faced by the researcher ,in getting relevant materials and in printing and collation of questionnaires
  • Time factor: time factor pose another constraint since having to shuttle between writing of the research and also engaging in other academic work making it uneasy for the researcher

1.9 Definition of Terms

The following words and phrases are been defined or given explanations as used in this work. Thus, they are put to the scale of contextual meaning. However, the researcher strives as much as possible not to deviate totally from their conceptual meanings.

A Child:

A child is any person under the age of 18 years.

Child Abuse:

Child is said to be abused when the parents, care givers or any human action leads to physical, emotional, spiritual and sexual abuse of the child. It also involves failure of the parents to provide the necessary love and care for the child.

Child Neglect:

Child neglect refers to the failure by a parent or caregiver to provide a child (where they are in a position to do so) with the conditions that are culturally accepted as being essential for their physical and emotional development and wellbeing.

Academic Performance:

Academic performance is the outcome of education; the extent to which a student has achieved his/her educational goals. It may also refer to a person’s strong achievements in a given academic arena. Thus, it is sometimes called proficiency and may be quantified in several ways, such as exams and tests. In a given term or session, high academic performance may mean a student is on the honor roll.


1.10 Organization of the Studies

The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions and hypothesis, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and empirical review. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, and selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter(chapter five) contains the summary, conclusion and recommendation.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Introduction

This chapter presents the summary of the study, the conclusion reached from the study, recommendations arising from the research findings, and the suggestions for further studies.


5.2 Summary

The research centers on investigating the effects of child abuse on academic performance of primary school pupils. By this, it investigates the effects of child abuse on academic performance of public primary school pupils’ in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State. Child abuse is not a new phenomenon in the history of man. It has been going on right from time immemorial. In Africa/Nigerian society what constitute abuse today has never been regarded as abuse. It has been seen as a way of training the child to become a well behaved, disciplined and self actualized person in society. It is a normal process that children from birth be exposed to a variety of experiences from parents, caregivers and other adults in the society. This is to enable the children acquire the necessary basic norms and skills for effective participation in the society where they belong and for their personal growth and development. The process of acquiring these skills is sometimes stressful for the children to bear. Some parents and care givers make the condition for acquiring these skills so difficult that the children may find it difficult to cope. The condition in which children are exposed to as they try to acquire the skills to become disciplined and hardworking individuals is where the problems lie. When these conditions become over-stretched it becomes an abuse.

The main problem on hand here is that at the heart of every educational system lays the desire for the students, teachers and the institutions to achieve their educational goals; however, the extent to which this desire is achieved in the study period of a student varies based on individual differences. Individual differences in academic performance have been linked to differences in intelligence and personality. Students with higher mental ability as demonstrated by IQ tests and those who are higher in conscientiousness (linked to effort and achievement motivation) tend to perform highly in academic settings. A recent meta-analysis suggested that mental curiosity (as measured by typical intellectual engagement) has an important influence on academic performance in addition to intelligence and conscientiousness. Despite high mental abilities, conscientiousness and intellectual engagement demonstrated by most children it has been observed of late that the academic performance of children in public primary schools in the State, particularly, in Warri South Local Government Area is becoming low. It has also been observed that in this recent times issues of child abuse and neglect is on the rise in the local government due to economic depression caused by the global economic backdrop and incessant social/civil unrests. One wonders if such low academic performance is as a result of the abuse/maltreatment children are exposed to. This became the motivation to investigate the effect of child abuse on academic performance of primary school pupils in Warri South Local Government.

Specifically, the study investigates the personal characteristics of pupils’ and teachers in public primary schools in Warri South Local Government Area and tries to determine the effects of child abuse on pupils’ assessment grades and participation in class activities which are identified as measures of academic performance of primary school pupils’ in Warri South Local Government Area. In order to achieve the above objectives the following research questions are advanced by the research: What is the extent of the effects of child abuse on pupils’ assessment grades and academic performance? What is the extent of the effects of child abuse on pupils’ participation in class activities and academic performance?

In furtherance of the efforts to achieve the research objectives, the following hypotheses are projected: Child abuse has no significant effect on pupils’ assessment grades and academic performance; Child abuse has no significant effect on pupils’ participation in class activities and academic performance.

The importance of this study cannot be overemphasized because in a society where children’s academic performance in most public schools is getting lower, any study which will discover some of the causes will be very relevant. Many research studies have been carried out outside of Delta State on child abuse and its effect on pupils’ academic performance. There is need therefore for such a study to be carried out in our locality with different cultural settings. The result of this study will be an added advantage to governments stand on child’s right act and care, if it shows a significant influence. Parents, Guardians, Teachers, other caregivers and the general public will find the result of this study useful, as it will reveal to them the need for effective care and protection of their children, especially the importance of providing educational needs for a higher academic performance. The research will also be a resource of value to other researchers carrying out research on the topic or similar subject matter.
The study is intended to cover all the 195 public primary schools in Warri South Local Government Area. However, due to time and financial limitations the study is limited to 20 selected public primary schools. The researcher deems it appropriate to select these primary schools because all the state owned primary schools are attended by almost children of the same social class and a bound the face the same social and life challenges. Also, the calibers of teachers that teach in such schools are mostly of same social orientation. More so, the researcher targets to cover 10% of the total number of public primary schools in the Local Government.

The study is also limited to the issue of child abuse and academic performance of primary school pupils since it will be too cumbersome to study all the factors that deter academic performance of school children in the area.
The survey research design was adopted for the study and the analysis was purely descriptive. The population of the study was all the 195 public primary schools identified in Warri South Local Government Area. The study adopts a probability sampling technique; to be precise, the simple random sampling technique and in this manner the study selected 20 public primary schools for a closer study, and the close-ended questionnaire was used to elicit data from respondents and was designed based on a three points “Likert-Summated Rating Scale” range from 1 (Disagreed) to 3 (Agree). This satisfies data collection through the primary source.

Secondary source of data collection include textbooks, journal articles and annual reports both from the internet and hard copies. These materials have been reviewed to draw relevant information on the research topic and have formed the basis for the design and formulation of the conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and the empirical studies.

The one-sample t-test was adopted to evaluate the variables since the data is parametric, which is the basis of testing the relevant hypotheses. Percentages and frequencies were also used to analyze characteristics of respondents. A cut-off mean of 2 was set as the bench mark. Based on the test, it was revealed that; child abuse has significant effects on pupils’ assessment grades as well as their participation in class activities thereby having significant effects on their overall academic performance.


5.3 Conclusion

In the study, the researcher tried to investigate the effects of child abuse on academic performance of pupils’ in public primary schools in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State. This was done through investigation of the personal characteristics (data) of pupils’ and teachers in public primary schools and the effect of child abuse on pupils’ assessment grades and their participation in class which are identified to be measures of academic performance of primary school pupils’ in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta state.

The statistical analysis reveals that; child abuse has significant effects on pupils’ assessment grades and their participation in class activities during and after lessons periods. Base on this, the research therefore conclude that child abuse has significant effects on academic performance of primary school pupils’ in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta state.


5.4 Recommendations

Based the findings, the research recommend the following:

  1. The effects of child abuse on children‘s classroom behaviour and later academic performance should receive attention in education policy forums; and that parents should always relate to their children with love and affection and provide for their needs.
  2. There should be public enlightenment programs to combat mass ignorance and public awareness on the right to freedom from all forms of child abuse.
  3. As much as possible, teachers/caregivers should avoid the use of corporal punishment because it only teaches children that violence is the best way of maintaining control and it encourages them to hit other children.
  4. There should be provision of nurturing and supportive child friendly school, learning environment free from noise, distractions, discrimination and abuse of any kind.
  5. A child should not be disciplined when the adult’s anger is out of control.
  6. Intense awareness should be created among teachers and school managers using seminars, workshops and training programs about what constitutes child abuse.
  7. All forms of abuse should be exposed to this class of caregivers so as to draw their attention to some of the unintentional acts that bother on child abuse.
  8. Teaching profession should be professionalized to ensure that there is no one teaching as a second best option, this would ensure that people in this profession really see it as their contribution to society’s development.
  9. Penalty for teachers’ who commit sexual abuse with their students should be severe enough to deter other perpetrators.

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