The Impact Of Child Abuse On The Academic Performance Of The Junior Secondary School Students

Project and Seminar Material for Child and Basic Education

The Impact Of Child Abuse On The Academic Performance Of The Junior Secondary School Students


The research work aim to look at the impact of child abuse on the academic performance of junior student in some selected school in Oshodi –Isolo Local Government Area of Lagos State. The research raised pertinent question on the issue of child abuse and provide relevant answers based on data collected from respondents.

A structural questionnaire was used to obtained data from the respondents in the selected schools. The research shows that there is a relationship between child abuse and students academic performance, as well as rate of school dropout and cases of children involving in juvenile delinquencies.

The research concluded by opined that child abuse goes along way in affecting children emotional state thereby recommending the need for parents and guardians to pay close attention to their children in order to detect and understand factors that could affect their academic progress.

Chapter One


1.1 Background Of The Study

The issue of child abuse is a global phenomena especially within the context of developing countries of which Nigeria belong. In Nigeria cases of child abuse is as common as the air we breathe in, this is in view of the fact that, there can hardly be a day without news report about child abuse. Many of these cases of child abuse went unreported. Thus one can say with conviction that an average Nigerian child is a potential victim of child abuse. The question arising from the foregoing is what is the impact of child abuse on children development and growth in life especially with regards to academic performance in schools­­?

Shonk and Cichetti (2001) postulated that childhood maltreatment, and aversive parenting practices, in general have the potential to delay the academic progress of student. The argument from the view above is that, there is a correlation between parenting practices, childhood maltreatment and academic progress. The argument that, child abuse is a global phenomenon cannot be disputed beyond reasonable doubt.

Consider the following; in United State, childhood maltreatment potentially has major economic implications for United State schools and for their student (Flisher, 2007). Even conservative estimates suggested that, at least 8% of United State children experience sexual abuse before age 18, while 17% experience physical neglect (Kramer at al., 2007).

Although, its potential impact is large, evidence of causal effects of maltreatment on children longer term outcome in school is generally lacking. the current state of evidence for a linkage between childhood maltreatment physical and sexual abuse or neglect and school performance is limited to negative associations between maltreatment and school performance (Eric,2008).On average children who are maltreated receive lower ratings of performance from their teachers, score lower on cognitive assessments and standardized tests of academic achievement, obtain lower grade and get suspended from school and remain in grade more frequently (Erickson et al., 2008).

The association between maltreatment and poor performance in school has been explained by some as a second order effect stemming from the impact of maltreatment on children’s social cognitive and emotional development. Kendall (2011) opined that, childhood abuse and neglect is associated with a host of negative academic outcomes, including; lower test score and GPA. One survey conducted by Nwachukwu (2010) in Anambra state Nigeria also found that, child abuse victims have a higher chance of psychiatric morbidity; more self injurious behaviors, poorer perceive parental support and more likely to have problems with substance abuse and above all poor academic performance. Despite these findings child abuse still remained a hidden subject in Nigeria because most people who witness it simply ignore it.

It is against these backdrop of the facts presented above that, this research work tend to look vividly into the real impact of child abuse on the academic performance of junior school students in some selected schools in Oshodi-Isolo Local Government Area of Lagos State.

Although research work on child abuse is accumulating in Nigeria, taking the research to the lowest background in secondary is not common, as most of the researches adopt a holistic approach to the study. The present study aimed to measure the impact of child abuse on the academic performance of junior secondary school, identifying the significant predictors of the abuse which could provide important information for planning future preventive measures.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

That a child needs academic knowledge to succeed in life is a fact that is unquestionable. Knowledge, especially academic knowledge liberate people from the shackles of illiteracy and make one a better citizen in the society. As human we continue to acquire knowledge right from childhood till we die. It is a fact that human give birth to baby with empty brain i.e. no form of knowledge in the brain during child birth which is what the psychologist called Tabla Rasa. So as we grow in life we continue to acquire knowledge right from childhood, this happen to be a period in life where the human brain is much active to receive knowledge.

From the psychological and sociological points of view learning goes hand in hand with some social, economic as well as en environmental factors. The argument is that, there are some factors that aid learning and as well as others that distorts learning. For example Hoffman (2013) found that bullied and abused children perform worst in school compared with their non abused peers. The view point from the above is that, children that are subject to abuse and bullied find it hard to perform better in school.

Child abuse affect children learning capability and therefore has the potential to decline their interest in education thus becoming a school dropout or truant. Therefore they may likely become a nuisance in the society during their youthful life that they are supposed to harness purposefully for the overall benefit of themselves and the society at large.

1.3 Purpose Of The Study

The main purpose of this study is to examine the impact of child abuse on the academic performance of junior secondary school students.

Other specific objectives are;

  1. To investigate whether child abuse can make junior secondary schools to engage in juvenile delinquency.
  2. To determine whether child abuse can make student to loose interest in education.

1.4 Significance Of The Study

The study will go along way in checking the factors responsible to why some children perform woeful in school despite having the potential to excel. It will also help to expose the effect of child abuse on children social, physical and emotional development with a view to finding a lasting solution.

The study will also help parents and guardians to know the effect of their action on their children.

The study will also attempt to proffer solutions to child abuse in Nigeria. And above all, it will contribute to the body of knowledge in the field of education.

1.5 Scope Of The Study

The study will try to cover the issue of child abuse with respect to academic performance. The research work will thereby limit its scope to the academic performance vis avis child abuse of students in some selected schools in Oshodi-Isolo Local Government Area of Lagos state.

1.6 Limitation Of The Study

Understanding that, a research work is a project that requires commitment of time, money and energy both intellectual and physical. Balancing research work with academic going to meet respondents for questionnaires responses is a herculean task that takes time and intellectual stamina. All this limit the extent to which the researcher can go during the course of the research.

The level of accuracy of data in this study is proportional to the availability of information that respondents are willing to give. There is this uncertainty that this information given is without bias. All the above stated point serves as the limitation to the study.

1.7 Research Questions

The questions arising in this research study are;

  1. Can child abuse have negative impact on the academic performance of students?
  2. Can child abuse lead to students engaging in juvenile delinquency?
  3. Is there a relationship between child abuse and student interest in education?

1.8 Research Hypothesis

During the course of the study the hypotheses to be tested are;

  1. Ho: Child abuse does not have a negative impact on students’ academic performance.
    H1: Child abuse have negative impact on student’s academic performance.
  2. Ho: Child abuse does not have the potential to lead students into engaging in juvenile delinquency.
    H1: Child abuses have the potential of leading students into engaging in juvenile delinquency.
  3. Ho: There is no relationship between child abuse and students interest in education.
    H1: There is a relationship between child abuse and students interest in education.

1.9 Definition Of Terms

1. Child Abuse;

The crime of harming a child physically, sexually or emotionally or spiritually.

2. Sexual Abuse;

The crime of having an unauthorized sex with someone especially children.

3. Tabla Rasa;

The period after child birth when a child brain is empty without any form of knowledge present.

4. Juvenile;

This refer to children that are not yet adult.

5. Delinquency;

Bad crime committed by young children.

6. Emotional Abuse;

This have to do with distorting the thinking faculty as well feeling of someone in a bad way.

7. Physical Abuse;

This is damaging the body of someone as a result of attack with strong objects.

8. Social Abuse;

This when someone ability to form good and lasting relationship with people is being curtail.

9. Economic Abuse;

This is when someone ability to care for his needs is being curtail.

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The Impact Of Child Abuse On The Academic Performance Of The Junior Secondary School Students


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