Portfolio

child abuse and neglect

ABSTRACT

This study examined child abuse and neglect: implication on the educational development of the child, case study of Assemblies of God Nigeria, Ideato North Section of Orlu East District, Imo State. Five research questions were answered with four questions complementing each research question. The sample size was one hundred and fifty (150). Validated structured questionnaire was administered on the randomly selected respondents by simple random sampling technique. One hundred and fifty validated questionnaires were returned. Frequencies and simple percentages were used in analyzing the data. The result revealed that environmental interaction influences a child’s behaviour and development. The findings also show that immaturity, unrealistic expectations and emotional problems of parents and caregivers are major causes of child abuse and neglect. In addition, it abused and neglected children face difficulties in psychological adjustment and in performance at school. It is recommended that parents should put the future of their children at heart and endeavour to create such relationship that will encourage their children to create academic opportunities and to give positive feedback about their behavior.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1      Background of the Study

Children make up the segment of society that is the most defenseless, vulnerable, and completely dependent on adults. It is the fault of adults when children end up in areas of natural disasters and catastrophes or zones of military combat operation and become the hostages and victims of physical, sexual, and emotional violence.[1] Child abuse and neglect can have lifelong implications for victims, including on their well-being. Since the last decade, there have been reported cases of violence against children such as torture, kidnapping, shootings, sexual harassment, rape, corporal punishment and so on. In education today, as in years past, child abuse and neglect is an overwhelming epidemic. Teachers are faced daily with the prospect of having to call human services to report an incident of child abuse and/or neglect. Study after study has been conducted and an overwhelming amount of them find that child abuse and neglect is a behavior that is handed down from generation to generation and only with education can the behavior be broken.[2]

Child abuse, commonly known as child maltreatment, was discovered as a social problem and became a matter of intense public concern in Western industrialised countries in the 1870s, although children had been hurt, killed, injured and exploited by others well before this date. According to NSPCC, it was the horrific physical violence, starvation and neglect of 9-year-old Mary Ellen in the United States, in 1874, that precipitated the development of the world’s first organization against child cruelty, the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, and subsequently, in England, the development of the NSPCC in 1889.[3]

Child abuse and neglect impacts several long-term socioeconomic outcomes at least in part because maltreatment affects victims’ educational performance, school attendance, response to teaching and learning. Also, it affects the physical health, mental health, and cognitive reasoning of the victim and the likelihood of being re-victimized. According to Bart Trentham, effects of child abuse and neglect will vary depending on such things as the child’s relationship to the perpetrator, the degree of force used, the duration of abuse, the child’s age and the child’s pre-abuse functioning.[4]

Children who have been abused may have delays in physical and/or developmental growth and may find it difficult to trust others. Children don’t grow up and forget their childhood, or their experiences. They carry physical and emotional scars throughout their lives, sometimes repeating the pattern of abuse or neglect with their own children. Abused and neglected children can suffer permanent physical impairment, drops in intelligence scores, increases in learning disabilities, depression, and drug and alcohol abuse. Additional side effects include suicide, violence, delinquency, attachment disorders and forms of cruelty.

This research shall systematically evaluate the implications of child abuse and neglect on the educational development of a child.

1.2      Statement of the Problem

Child abuse and neglect is a problem plaguing children today. In addition to negatively impacting the child, child abuse and neglect impacts the family, the school community, and even future generations. According to Twardosz and Lutzker, in 2008, 73.3% of all child abuse victims were victims of neglect. Physical abuse victims represented 16.1% of all victims, sexual abuse 9.1% of all victims, and emotional abuse 7.3% of all victims. The remaining 4.2% of child victims experienced other types of maltreatment such as abandonment, threat of harm, and in-utero drug exposure.[5]

One of the fundamental problems facing Nigeria today is the fact that the incidences of children who work outside the family to earn a living or to support their families are increasing. Children are known to engage in one form of work or the other especially within the family. In the urban areas, children between the age of eight years and fifteen are seen hawking or engaged in one form of labour or the other, hence, exposing them to danger.[6] The situation of most Nigerian children remains critical due to the unique factors of their socio-economic, cultural, traditional and developmental circumstances. Poor households need money which the family can earn in order to take care of the family. As a result, children are compelled by circumstances beyond their control to contribute to family income. In the long run, working children are disadvantaged in several ways due to their involvement in all sorts of hazardous works which affect their education, health and development process.

Majority of Nigerian parents believe that children are God-sent-helpers both economically and for other purposes. It is this notion that led many families into producing many children especially in the Nigerian agrarian society. This belief has become so accepted in the thinking that few or no attempt has been made to question its validity. Hence, children are victims of ignorance and barbaric cultural practices.

In effect, child abuse and neglect has severe educational implications. Such implications include difficulties in psychological adjustment and in performance at school. Studies have consistently emphasized that abused or neglected children on the average score lower on cognitive measures and demonstrate poorer school achievement than their non-abused peers of similar socioeconomic backgrounds.[7] Orlu east District has witnessed inhumane act of child abuse, its consequences and its devastating effect on the educational development of the child. This becomes obvious when one view it from treatment meted to the children from broken home and parental neglect. The prevalence of these problems have necessitated the researcher to evaluate the educational implication of child abuse and neglect as it affects children in Assemblies of God Nigeria, Ideato North Section of Orlu East District.

1.3      Objective of the Study

The purpose of the study is to evaluate child abuse and neglect and its implication on the educational development of the child, a case study of the Assemblies of God Nigeria, Ideato North Section of Orlu East District. Distinctively, the objectives are:

  1. To ascertain the reality of incidences of child abuse in Ideato East section.
  2. To evaluate relevant childhood developmental stages
  3. To identify the causes of child abuse and neglect in Ideato North of Orlu District.
  4. To categorise the signs and symptoms of child abuse and neglect
  5. To analyse the consequences of child abuse and neglect in Ideato North of Orlu District.
  6. To evaluate the implication of child abuse and neglect to the educational development of the child

1.4      Research Question

To guide the study, five research questions have been posed as follows:

  1. Are there cases of child abuse & neglect in Ideato North, Orlu District?
  2. What are the relevant developmental stages of a child?
  3. What are the causes of abuse and neglect in Ideato North of Orlu District?
  4. What signs and symptoms signify child abuse and neglect?
  5. What are the consequences of child abuse and neglect in Ideato North of Orlu District?
  6. What is the impact of child abuse on the educational development of the child?

1.5      Significance of the Study

This research is significant because child abuse and neglect is plaguing the society today. It is therefore important to develop a resource guide for parents, educators, and caregivers so that they are able to understand child abuse and neglect. It is believed that with increased understanding and knowledge parents, educators, and caregivers will be able to better protect and care for children in abusive and neglectful environments.

  1. The outcome of the study will therefore enable parents, educators, and caregivers to have requisite knowledge on how to take care of children.
  2. It will also help them understand the signs and symptoms of child abuse and neglect in order to identify children suffering from such influence. This will go a long way to heal such children psychologically.
  3. At completion, this research work guide will provide parents, educators, and caregivers a checklist of sorts to guide them through recognizing the risk factors, understanding the prevalence, and identifying steps to be taken once a student is assumed to be in a situation of abuse and/or neglect.
  4. Finally, it will add to the wealth of available resources on child abuse and neglect for future researchers.

1.6      Delimitation of the Study

 This study is focused on child abuse and neglect: implication on the educational development of the child. The study will be limited to covering Assemblies of God Nigeria, Ideato North Section of Orlu East District in Imo State only. Geographically, Ideato North section is made up of eight (8) churches, these churches are covered by the researcher by random selection of respondents from each church. Literarily, the study examines the developmental stages of a child, causes of child abuse and neglect, signs and symptoms of child abuse and neglect and its consequences. Finally, the study would evaluate the implications of child abuse and neglect on the educational development of the child.

1.7      Limitations of the Study

 The study is on child abuse and neglect: implication on the educational development of the child, case study of Assemblies of God Nigeria, Ideato North Section, Orlu East District of Imo State.

Due to time and financial limitations, the researcher selects members of Assemblies of God Nigeria in Ideato North section only to fill the designed questionnaire. During the course of the research, the researcher encountered the problem of non-immediate compliance with the filling of the questionnaires by the selected members. The result of the analysis is limited to the available data provided by the participants in the survey. However, the researcher overcame the problem of non-compliance by using available participants, as well as lodging the questionnaire to participants for a certain period before retrieval.

Also, due to distance, the researcher was not able to cover the entire Orlu East District of the Assemblies of God Nigeria. Therefore, this research was limited to AG Ideato North section of Orlu East District of Imo State.

1.8      Definition of Terms

Child: a human being between the stages of birth and puberty.

Abuse: The improper usage or treatment of an entity, often to unfairly or improperly gain benefit.

Neglect: Failure to provide for a child’s basic needs. Neglect maybe physical, medical, educational, or emotional.

Physical neglect: Failure to provide necessary food or shelter, or lack of appropriate supervision.

Medical neglect: Failure to provide necessary medical or mental health treatment

Educational neglect: failure to educate a child or attend to special education needs

Emotional neglect: inattention to a child’s emotional needs, failure to provide psychological care, or permitting the child to use alcohol or other drugs

Physical abuse. Physical injury (ranging from minor bruises to severe fractures or death) as a result or punching, beating, kicking, biting, shaking, throwing, stabbing, choking, hitting (with a hand, stick, strap or other object), burning or otherwise harming a child. Such injury is considered abuse regardless of whether the caretaker intended to hurt the child.

Sexual abuse:  Sexual abuse is unwanted sexual activity, with perpetrators using force, making threats or taking advantage of victims not able to give consent. It includes activities by a parent or caretaker such as fondling a child’s genitals, penetration, incest, rape sodomy, indecent exposure, and exploitation through prostitution or the production of pornographic materials

Emotional abuse: This can be defined as any act including confinement, isolation, verbal assault, humiliation, intimidation, infantilization, or any other treatment which may diminish the sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth. This is a pattern of behavior that impairs a child’s emotional development or sense of self-worth. This may include constant criticism, threats, or rejection, as well as withholding love, support, or guidance. Emotional abuse is often difficult to prove and therefore, child protective services may not be able to intervene without evidence to harm to child. Emotional abuse is almost always present when other forms are identified.

Organised abuse: This form is very complex and can involve multiple forms of abuse and occur in the context of abusive family groups and perpetrator networks.

Childhood trauma: Childhood trauma includes child abuse in all its forms, neglect, witnessing or experiencing domestic violence in childhood as well as other adverse childhood experiences.

 

ENDNOTES

CHAPTER TWO

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

2.1      Introduction

The review of related literature would evaluate child abuse and neglect: implication on the educational development of the child. This chapter looks at: the concept of child abuse and neglect, causes of child abuse and neglect, signs of abuse and neglect, consequences of child abuse and neglect, educational implications of child abuse and neglect and summary.

2.2      The Concept of Child Abuse and Neglect

“Child abuse is a complex term that defies a precise, timeless definition. What one generation may regard as acceptable, even desirable child discipline may be regarded by another as unacceptable and abuse.”[8] Not until the Western society became industrialized in the nineteenth century and the growth of large cities did people begin looking at and evaluating the treatment of children. Child abuse is known as any avoidable and non-accidental act that causes physical injury to a child and is inflicted by someone who is responsible for that child’s welfare.[9] Child maltreatment is a blanket term used to describe all child abuse and neglect which includes physical, emotional and sexual abuse as well as neglect and exploitation.

The World Health Organisation defines child abuse thus:

Child abuse or maltreatment constitutes all forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power.[10]

Child abuse can be a single incident, but usually takes place over time. As explained by the women participants in a study:

We were told throughout our lives that we were ‘useless’, ‘good for nothing’ and ‘deserving of everything we got’. This was reinforced by ‘betrayal’ from our family and ‘manipulation’ from the perpetrator/s who ‘dominated’ us from their position of power and trust, making us feel ‘powerless’, ‘worthless’, ‘ashamed’, ‘guilty’ and ‘to blame somehow’. We were ‘used’ and treated as ‘objects’ or ‘meat’. When other children were developing ‘the building blocks for a strong identity’ and understanding that they were unique and worthwhile, ‘able and OK’. We were ‘stuck’ in a world that taught us ‘we would never amount to anything’. But worse, we still carry the burden of ‘shame’ and ‘guilt’, ‘confusion’ and ‘sadness’ which continually diminishes our ‘self-worth’ and ‘shatters our identity’.[11]

Alekseeva states that, “Children who are brought up by very young parents with no partner or family support or by a parent who has learning difficulties are seen to be at increased risk of neglect.”[12] The risk of a child being abused and/or neglected rises if there is poverty, social isolation unemployment, housing problems, or lack of parental basic childcare skills. The trend is clear children who have young, poor and or uneducated parents are at high risk of being neglected or abused.

Craig found that the intergenerational transmission theory postulates that being a victim of physical abuse, or witnessing the abuse of other family members, teaches boys to become violent. With continued exposure to violence, learning occurs through both observational learning and positive reinforcement in the form of approval for violent behavior.[13] This theory shows a trend that children that are in abusive homes are more likely to be abused themselves. It is well known that children do as they see, they learn through observation. Because abusive parents/caregivers are less likely to be employed they are more likely to keep their children home with them each day, the children are never given the opportunity to observe and learn from healthy relationships.

Among academics, clinicians and social workers, there have been diverse theories about child abuse and neglect etiologies. During the past three decades, professionals in different occupational fields have been actively involved in the identification, treatment, and prevention of child victimisation and its detrimental consequences. Tzeng et al., in their book, Theories of Child Abuse and Neglect: Differential Perspectives, Summaries, and Evaluations, appraised more than forty theoretical viewpoints that have been proposed in literature and used for clinical practice as well as academic research.[14]

In very broad outline the medical and psychological theories claim that child abuse is an illness to be diagnosed, treated and prevented. It assumes that the identification of child abuse relies on scientific and objective knowledge. Studies in this regard have shown that most child-abusing parents were themselves abused as children. Some psychological researchers have asserted that parents who abuse children have infantile personalities. Others note that parents who abuse children unrealistically expect them to fulfill their (the parents’) psychological needs; when disappointed, the parent experiences acute stress and becomes violently irritated and abusive.[15] In spite of this emphasis on individual mental disorders, few child abusers in the Orlu East context can rightly be regarded as true psychotics or sociopaths, because they seem to function well, socially and psychologically, in other respects.

While definitions of abuse remain ambiguous, some behaviours are objectively deleterious to healthy child development. All the same acceptability around behaviour varies widely from one social group to another and from culture to culture.

2.3      Childhood Developmental Stages

Children go through distinct periods of development as they move from infants to young adults.  During each of these stages multiple changes in the development of the brain are taking place. There is all round holistic development of the child physically, emotionally, intellectually, socially, morally, culturally and spiritually. Learning about child development involves studying patterns of growth and development, from which guidelines for normal development are drawn up to assist parents, educators and caregivers.

Definitions of stages of growth in childhood come from many sources. Theorists such as Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, Lawrence Kohlberg, and Erik Erikson have provided ways to understand development, and recent research has provided important information regarding the nature of development. In addition, stages of childhood are defined culturally by the social institutions, customs, and laws that make up a society. For example, while researchers and professionals usually define the period of early childhood as birth to eight years of age, others in the United States might consider age five a better end point because it coincides with entry into the cultural practice of formal schooling.

2.3.1   Childhood developmental theories

Psychologists and development researchers have proposed a number of different theories to describe and explain the process and stages that children go through as they develop. According to Kendra Cherry, child development that occurs from birth to adulthood was largely ignored throughout much of history. Children were often viewed simply as small versions of adults and little attention was paid to the many advances in cognitive abilities, language usage, and physical growth that occurs during childhood and adolescence.[16]

Psychoanalytic child development theories

The psychoanalytic theories of child development tend to focus on things such as the unconscious and the formation of the ego. The two primary psychoanalytic theories of development are Sigmund Freud’s theory of psychosexual development and Erik Erikson psychosocial theory of development.

Sigmund Freud: The theories proposed by Sigmund Freud stressed the importance of childhood events and experiences, but almost exclusively focused on mental disorders rather that normal functioning. According to Freud, child development is described as a series of ‘psychosexual stages.’ In “Three Essays on Sexuality” (1915), Freud outlined these stages as oral, anal, phallic, latency and genital. Each stage involves the satisfaction of a libidinal desire and can later play a role in adult personality.[17] If a child does not successfully complete a stage, Freud suggested that he or she would develop a fixation that would later influence adult personality and behavior.

Erik Erikson: Theorist Erik Erikson also proposed a stage theory of development, but his theory encompassed human growth throughout the entire lifespan. Erikson believed that each stage of development was focused on overcoming a conflict. For example, the primary conflict during the adolescent period involves establishing a sense of personal identity. Success or failure in dealing with the conflicts at each stage can impact overall functioning. During the adolescent stage, for example, failure to develop an identity results in role confusion.[18]

Behavioral child development theories

Behavioral theories of child development focus on how environmental interaction influences behavior and are based upon the theories of theorists such as John B. Watson, Ivan Pavlov and B. F. Skinner. These theories deal only with observable behaviors.[19] Development is considered a reaction to rewards, punishments, stimuli and reinforcement. This theory differs considerably from other child development theories because it gives no consideration to internal thoughts or feelings. Instead, it focuses purely on how experience shapes who we are.

Cognitive child development theories

Theorist Jean Piaget suggested that children think differently than adults and proposed a stage theory of cognitive development. He was the first to note that children play an active role in gaining knowledge of the world. According to his theory, children can be thought of as “little scientists” who actively construct their knowledge and understanding of the world.

Social Child Development Theories

Social theories of child development tend to focus on the role that parents, caregivers, peers and other social influences impact development. Some focus on how early attachment influence development, while others are centered on how children learn by observing people around them. A few examples of these social theories of child development include attachment theory, social learning theory and sociocultural theory.

John Bowlby’s Attachment Theory: There is a great deal of research on the social development of children. John Bowbly proposed one of the earliest theories of social development. Bowlby believed that early relationships with caregivers play a major role in child development and continue to influence social relationships throughout life.

Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory: Psychologist Albert Bandura proposed what is known as social learning theory. According to this theory of child development, children learn new behaviors from observing other people. Unlike behavioral theories, Bandura believed that external reinforcement was not the only way that people learned new things. Instead, intrinsic reinforcements such as a sense of pride, satisfaction, and accomplishment could also lead to learning. By observing the actions of others, including parents and peers, children develop new skills and acquire new information.

Lev Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory: Another psychologist named Lev Vygotsky proposed a seminal learning theory that has gone on to become very influential, especially in the field of education. Like Piaget, Vygotsky believed that children learn actively and through hands-on experiences. His sociocultural theory also suggested that parents, caregivers, peers and the culture at large were responsible for the development of higher order functions.

2.3.2   Stages of Development

There are three broad stages of development: early childhood, middle childhood, and adolescence.

Early Childhood (Birth to Eight Years)

Early childhood is a time of tremendous growth across all areas of development. The dependent newborn grows into a young person who can take care of his or her own body and interact effectively with others. For these reasons, the primary developmental task of this stage is skill development. A key moment in early childhood socioemotional development occurs around one year of age. This is the time when attachment formation becomes critical.[20] Attachment theory suggests that individual differences in later life functioning and personality are shaped by a child’s early experiences with their caregivers. The quality of emotional attachment, or lack of attachment, formed early in life may serve as a model for later relationships.

Implications for educational development: The time from birth to eight years is a critical period in the development of many foundational skills in all areas of development. Increased awareness of, and ability to detect, developmental delays in very young children has led to the creation of early intervention services that can reduce the need for special education placements when children reach school age.

Middle Childhood (Eight to Twelve Years)

Historically, middle childhood has not been considered an important stage in human development. Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory labeled this period of life the latency stage, a time when sexual and aggressive urges are repressed. Freud suggested that no significant contributions to personality development were made during this period. However, more recent theorists have recognized the importance of middle childhood for the development of cognitive skills, personality, motivation, and inter-personal relationships. During middle childhood children learn the values of their societies. Thus, the primary developmental task of middle childhood could be called integration, both in terms of development within the individual and of the individual within the social context.

Implications for educational development: For many children, middle childhood is a joyful time of increased independence, broader friendships, and developing interests, such as sports, art, or music. However, a widely recognized shift in school performance begins for many children in third or fourth grade (age eight or nine). The skills required for academic success become more complex. Those students who successfully meet the academic challenges during this period go on to do well, while those who fail to build the necessary skills may fall further behind in later grades.[21]

Recent social trends, including the increased prevalence of school violence, eating disorders, drug use, and depression, affect many upper elementary school students. Thus, there is more pressure on schools to recognize problems in eight-to eleven-year-olds, and to teach children the social and life skills that will help them continue to develop into healthy adolescents.[22]

Adolescence (Twelve to Eighteen Years)

Adolescence can be defined in a variety of ways: physiologically, culturally, cognitively; each way suggests a slightly different definition. For the purpose of this discussion adolescence is defined as a culturally constructed period that generally begins as individuals reach sexual maturity and ends when the individual has established an identity as an adult within his or her social context. In many cultures adolescence may not exist, or may be very short, because the attainment of sexual maturity coincides with entry into the adult world. The primary developmental task of adolescence is identity formation.[23]

Implications for educational development: The implications of development during this period for education are numerous. Teachers must be aware of the shifts in cognitive development that are occurring and provide appropriate learning opportunities to support individual students and facilitate growth. Teachers must also be aware of the challenges facing their students in order to identify and help to correct problems if they arise.[24] Teachers often play an important role in identifying behaviors that could become problematic, and they can be mentors to students in need.

2.4      Causes of Child Abuse and Neglect

There is not any single fact which causes child abuse; abuse usually occurs in families where there is a combination of risk factors. Abuse and neglect occur most often in families who are under pressure and lack support.

2.4.1   General causes

According to the non-profit organization, Prevent Child Abuse New York (PCANY), several factors cause some people to have difficulty meeting the demands of parenthood, leading them to become abusive when they reach a breaking point or don’t know what else to do. These factors include immaturity, unrealistic expectations, emotional problems, economic crisis, lack of parenting knowledge, difficulty in relationships, depression and other mental health problems.[25] When the stress of childcare combines with anxiety from other sources, some parents lack the skills to cope with it in healthy ways. Instead, their tempers get the best of them in times of crisis.

Parents who physically abuse their spouses are more likely than others to physically abuse their children. However, it is impossible to know whether marital strife is a cause of child abuse, or if both the marital strife and the abuse are caused by tendencies in the abuser.[26] Sometimes, parents set expectations for their child that are clearly beyond the child’s capability. When parents’ expectations are far beyond what is appropriate to the child (e.g., preschool children who are expected to be totally responsible for self-care or provision of nurturance to parents) the resulting frustration caused by the child’s non-compliance is believed to function as a contributory if not necessary cause of child abuse. Most acts of physical violence against children are undertaken with the intent to punish.[27]

2.4.2   Main causes

According to Tower, the two main causes of child abuse are domestic violence and substance abuse. Children who live in households where violence is present usually end up becoming victims themselves.[28] PCANY reports that 50 to 70 percent of men who abuse their female partners also abuse their children.[29]

Substance abuse is another leading cause of child abuse. According to PCANY, drugs or alcohol contribute to 70 percent of cases of child maltreatment, meaning physical abuse or neglect. Kids under 5 are the most susceptible to abuse or neglect by a substance-abusing parent and represent the fastest growing population of foster children.

Substance abuse can be a major contributing factor to child abuse. One U.S. study found that parents with documented substance abuse, most commonly alcohol, cocaine, and heroin, were much more likely to mistreat their children, and were also much more likely to reject court-ordered services and treatments.[30] Another study found that over two-thirds of cases of child maltreatment involved parents with substance abuse problems. This study specifically found relationships between alcohol and physical abuse, and between cocaine and sexual abuse.[31] It should be noted that parental stress caused by substance increases the likelihood of the minor exhibiting internalizing and externalizing behaviors.

2.5      Signs of Abuse and Neglect

In addition to working to prevent a child from experiencing abuse or neglect, it is important to recognize high-risk situations and the signs and symptoms of maltreatment. If you do suspect a child is being harmed, reporting your suspicions may protect him or her and get help for the family. Any concerned person can report suspicions of child abuse or neglect. Reporting your concerns is not making an accusation; rather, it is a request for an investigation and assessment to determine if help is needed.

The following signs may signal the presence of child abuse or neglect. The Child: shows sudden changes in behavior or school performance, has not received help for physical or medical problems brought to the parents’ attention, has learning problems (or difficulty concentrating) that cannot be attributed to specific physical or psychological causes, is always watchful, as though preparing for something bad to happen, and Lacks adult supervision.

2.5.1   Signs of physical abuse

Consider the possibility of physical abuse when the child: has unexplained burns, bites, bruises, broken bones, or black eyes; has fading bruises or other marks noticeable after an absence from school; seems frightened of the parents and protests or cries when it is time to go home; shrinks at the approach of adults; reports injury by a parent or another adult caregiver and Abuses animals or pets.[32]

2.5.2   Signs of neglect

Consider the possibility of neglect when the child: is frequently absent from school; begs or steals food or money; lacks needed medical or dental care, immunizations, or glasses; is consistently dirty and has severe body odor; lacks sufficient clothing for the weather; abuses alcohol or other drugs; and states that there is no one at home to provide care.

2.5.3   Signs of sexual abuse

Consider the possibility of sexual abuse when the child: has difficulty walking or sitting; suddenly refuses to change for gym or to participate in physical activities; Reports nightmares or bedwetting; experiences a sudden change in appetite; Demonstrates bizarre, sophisticated, or unusual sexual knowledge or behavior; becomes pregnant or contracts a venereal disease, particularly if under age 14; Runs away; reports sexual abuse by a parent or another adult caregiver; and attaches very quickly to strangers or new adults in their environment.[33]

2.5.4   Signs of emotional maltreatment

Consider the possibility of emotional maltreatment when the child: Shows extremes in behavior, such as overly compliant or demanding behavior, extreme passivity, or aggression; is either inappropriately adult (parenting other children, for example) or inappropriately infantile (frequently rocking or head-banging, for example); is delayed in physical or emotional development; has attempted suicide; and Reports a lack of attachment to the parent.[34]

2.6      Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect

The consequences of maltreatment can be devastating. For over 30 years, clinicians have described the effects of child abuse and neglect on the physical, psychological, cognitive, and behavioral development of children. Physical consequences range from minor injuries to severe brain damage and even death. Psychological consequences range from chronic low self-esteem to severe dissociative states. The cognitive effects of abuse range from attentional problems and learning disorders to severe organic brain syndromes. Behaviorally, the consequences of abuse range from poor peer relations all the way to extraordinarily violent behaviors. Thus, the consequences of abuse and neglect affect the victims themselves and the society in which they live.

2.6.1   Childhood medical and physiological consequences

Physical abuse in infants and young children can lead to brain dysfunction and sometimes death. Most fatality victims of abuse and neglect are under age 5.[35] In 1991, an estimated 1,383 children died from abuse or neglect; 64 percent of these deaths were attributed to abuse and 36 percent to neglect.[36] However, the number of child deaths caused by abuse and neglect may actually be much higher, since cause of death is often misclassified in child fatality reports.[37]

A child does not need to be struck on the head to sustain brain injuries. Dykes (1986) has indicated that infants who are shaken vigorously by the extremities or shoulders may sustain intracranial and intraocular bleeding with no sign of external head trauma. Thus early neglectful and physically abusive practices have devastating consequences for their small victims. Abuse and neglect may result in serious health problems that can adversely affect children’s development and result in irremediable lasting consequences.

2.6.2   Cognitive and intellectual consequences

Cognitive and language deficits in abused children have been noted clinically. Abused and neglected children with no evidence of neurological impairment have also shown delayed intellectual development, particularly in the area of verbal intelligence.[38] Some studies have found lowered intellectual functioning and reduced cognitive functioning in abused children. However, others have not found differences in intellectual and cognitive functioning, language skills, or verbal ability.[39]

Problematic school performance (e.g., low grades, poor standardized test scores, and frequent retention in grade) is a fairly consistent finding in studies of physically abused and neglected children, with neglected children appearing the most adversely affected. The findings for sexually abused children are inconsistent.[40]

2.6.3   Psychosocial consequences

Some studies suggest that certain signs of severe neglect (such as when a child experiences dehydration, diarrhea, or malnutrition without receiving appropriate care) may lead to developmental delays, attention deficits, poorer social skills, and less emotional stability. Consequences of physical child abuse have included deficiencies in the development of stable attachments to an adult caretaker in infants and very young children.[41] Poorly attached children are at risk for diminished self-esteem and thus view themselves more negatively than nonmaltreated children. In several studies, school-age victims of physical abuse showed lower self-esteem on self-report and parent-report measures, but other studies found no differences.[42]

The consequences of neglectful behavior can be especially severe and powerful in early stages of child development. Drotar notes that maternal detachment and lack of availability may harm the development of bonding and attachment between a child and parent, affecting the neglected child’s expectations of adult availability, affect, problem solving, social relationships, and the ability to cope with new or stressful situations.[43] One study by Rohner has presented impressive cross-cultural evidence of the negative consequences of parental neglect and rejection on children’s self-esteem and emotional stability.[44]

2.6.4   Behavioral consequences

Physical aggression and antisocial behavior are among the most consistently documented childhood outcomes of physical child abuse. Most studies document physical aggression and antisocial behavior using parent or staff ratings; other measures, such as child stories; or observational measures across a wide variety of situations, including summer camps and day care settings.[45] Some studies indicate that physically abused children show higher levels of aggression than other maltreated children although other studies indicate that neglected children may be more dysfunctional.[46]

A prospective study comparing preschool children who were classified as physically harmed with those who were unharmed found that children with a history of physical harm were rated six months later as more aggressive by teachers and peers.[47]

2.7      Educational Implications of Child Abuse and Neglect

Educational implications of child abuse include difficulties in psychological adjustment and in performance at school. Many studies have consistently emphasized that abused or neglected children on the average score lower on cognitive measures and demonstrate poorer school achievement than their non-abused peers of similar socioeconomic backgrounds.[48]

Recent studies on child-caregiver attachment have indicated that negative interactions between the youngster and the caregiver may account for some of this poor school performance.[49] Youngsters with caring parents or caregivers learn to view themselves as worthy, lovable, and competent in school-related and other cognitive tasks. However, children of insensitive caregivers may see themselves as unworthy of love or caring and incompetent in academic performance. Abusive parenting often leads to a loss of self-esteem and a lack of motivation to achieve at school.

Vondra et al noted that at a very early age, maltreated children exhibit deficits in self-esteem, behavior, and adaptation to their environments. Abused toddlers respond more negatively than their nonabused peers to their mirror images and make fewer positive statements about themselves.[50] It appears that, by preschool age, specific behaviors are associated with the different types of abuse. In a study by Erickson, Egeland, and Pianta, physically abused preschoolers exhibited more angry and noncompliant behavior than their nonabused classmates of similar socioeconomic backgrounds.[51]

The maltreated children also were more impulsive and disorganized and were less successful on preacademic tasks. They lacked the necessary social and work skills for age-appropriate adjustment in their preschool and kindergarten classes. Almost half of the physically abused youngsters were referred for special education or retention by the end of their kindergarten year. Similarly, emotionally abused young children displayed more disruptive, noncompliant behavior and a lack of persistence in their schoolwork than their nonabused peers.

Patterns of behavior characteristic of the sexually abused children in the Erickson et al. study included extreme anxiety, inattentiveness, and difficulty in following directions. Their social behavior ranged from being withdrawn to being extremely aggressive, with the consequence of being rejected by their classmates. A striking characteristic of these children was their dependency on adults and strong need for the affection and approval of their teachers. Their dependent behaviors seemed to be reflective of their roles as victims at home.

Several investigations have indicated that neglected children display the most severe problems. According to Eckenrode et al, they were the least successful on cognitive tasks in kindergarten compared with the other types of abused children. They also were more anxious, inattentive, and apathetic, and had more difficulty concentrating on preacademic work.[52] The neglected children relied heavily on their teachers for support and encouragement. Socially, they exhibited both withdrawn and aggressive behavior and were not accepted by their peers. These youngsters rarely displayed a sense of humor, positive affect, or joy. A majority of these neglected children were retained or referred for special education (learning disabilities, socialemotional difficulties) at the end of kindergarten. The available research suggests that a major reason for this poor performance could have been the   lack of positive stimulation that the children received in their homes.

The effects of their environments became more obvious at school as the children lacked opportunities to acquire the necessary social and preacademic skills for school success. Several studies have demonstrated that, at later school ages, all types of maltreated children demonstrate more cognitive deficits and are considered more at risk for school failure and dropout than are their nonmaltreated peers.[53] The abused children were rated by their teachers as more overactive, inattentive, and impulsive than their nonabused classmates. They appeared less motivated to achieve at school and had more difficulty learning. This common pattern of behaviors for different types of child abuse may reflect the fact that the forms of abuse often overlap. Children may suffer from more than one type of abuse, such as a combination of emotional, sexual, and physical maltreatment.

Two studies compared the characteristics of physically abused, sexually abused, and neglected school-age children and found that the physically abused students displayed significant school problems.[54] They performed poorly in all academic subjects but especially in mathematics and language skills. They received poor performance ratings and were more likely to be retained than were their nonmaltreated classmates. In adolescence, they were at risk for dropping out of school. Both teachers and parents reported that these children had significantly more behavioral problems than their nonabused peers; however, they did exhibit more competence in adaptive living skills. It appeared that the children had learned to adapt functionally to their environment, perhaps because many abusive parents demand compliance in self-help and community living skills.

Neglect was associated with the poorest academic achievement among the different groups of maltreated students. Teachers confirmed that these pupils were performing below grade level and that their rate of school absenteeism was nearly five times that of the nonneglected students. Neglect appears to have a greater long-term impact on academic performance than do other forms of abuse. However, the adaptive functioning of the neglected group was within normal limits. Perhaps these children had learned survival skills out of necessity because of the lack of care in their homes.[55] Sexually abused children, on the other hand, were similar to nonabused youngsters in academic achievement and in the number of discipline problems. They did not differ significantly in any area of academic performance. Although sexual abuse has negative social-emotional consequences, its influence on academic achievement was not evident in these studies. Whatever the type of abuse, there is a compelling need for school personnel to intervene in order to try to prevent further maltreatment and to remediate the school and behavioral difficulties of the victims.[56]

2.8      Summary

In this chapter, the student had been able to review related literature on the child abuse and neglect: implication on the educational development of the child. The chapter started with the concept of child abuse and neglect, before it discussed childhood developmental stages. It went further to discuss the causes of child abuse and neglect, signs of abuse and neglect, and consequences of child abuse and neglect. It ended with educational implications of child abuse and neglect.

ENDNOTES

 

CHAPTER THREE

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

This chapter discussed the methodology used by the researcher to analyze the results of the survey. The chapter covered the area of study, population of study, sampling and sampling techniques, and instrument for data collection, administration of instrument, and method of data analysis.

3.1      Research Design

The research design used in this research is the survey method. The researcher carried out the study by involving members in Assemblies of God, Nigeria, Ideato North Section of Orlu East District in Imo State.

3.2      Area of Study

The area of study is Assemblies of God Nigeria, Ideato North Section of Orlu East District. The study was carried out within the section. The section is made up of 8 churches, namely Urualla 1, Osina 1, Isiokpo, Obodoukwu 1, Urualla 2, Urualla 3, Akpulu and Urualla 4 churches.

3.3      The Population of the Study

The research is on child abuse and neglect: implication on the educational development of the child, case study of Assemblies of God Nigeria, Ideato North section of Orlu District. The total population of members of AG Ideato North section as of 2015 is as follow: Urualla 1 (100), Osina 1 (100), Isiokpo (30), Obodoukwu 1 (67), Urualla 2 (30), Urualla 3 (70), Akpulu (35) and Urualla 4 (25). Therefore the total population of study is 457.

3.4      Sampling and Sampling Techniques

A total of 150 samples are drawn randomly from the population of Ideato North Section of Orlu East District, Imo State for the study.

To effectively draw samples for the study, the student used simple selective sampling technique which is an appropriate sampling technique suitable for drawing such samples. This technique allows designated members of the population to be selected for convenience and to remove simple sampling bias in the study.

3.5      Instrument for Data Collection

The instrument used for data collection was the questionnaire. The questionnaire comprised of a set of simple questions constructed to elicit information from the respondent within the area of study. Questionnaires were sent to the randomly selected respondents of AG, Ideato North Section of Orlu District and the information received was used for the evaluation.

3.6      Administration of Instruments

The simplified questionnaire was distributed to selected samples within the section. A total of 200 questionnaires were distributed to appropriately selected respondents of Assemblies of God, Ideato Section, and 150 were collected, validated and used for the analysis.

The researcher distributed and collected the research questionnaires himself. The questionnaires were lodged to the selected respondents and a maximum period of 7 days allowed for the respondents to fill the questionnaires. After 7 days, the researcher went back and retrieved the lodged questionnaires. The administration of the instrument and collection took a period of about 21 days.

3.7 Method of Data Analysis

The data captured for this study was analyzed using descriptive statistical methods. The descriptive analysis involves the use of percentages, and tabulations.

CHAPTER FOUR

DATA ANALYSIS AND PRESENTATION OF RESULTS

4.1      Introduction

 This chapter presents and describes the findings of the study following the order of the research questions formulated for the study. The tables presented below followed a four-point Likert scale type weight where, A = Agreed, SA = Strongly Agreed, D = Disagreed, SD = Strongly Disagreed. NR was used to capture statements which respondents fail to respond. The table below shows the total number of questionnaires distributed and the percentage returned.

Table 4.0:       Total Number of Questionnaires Distributed and Percentage Returned

No. DistributedNo. Returned% ReturnedNo. Validated% Validated
20015075%150100%

 The total number returned include all returned questionnaires while the validated questionnaires are the questionnaires that are well filled. The total number of validated questionnaires is used for the analysis.

4.2      Research Question one

What are the relevant developmental stages of a child?

 

 

Table 4.1: Relevant Developmental Stages of a Child

StatementAA%SASA%DD%SDSD%TotalTotal %
According to behavioural child development theories, environmental interaction influences a child’s behaviour8053.35033.32013.400.0150100
In child development, the stage from birth to eight years is a critical period in the development of many foundational skills7046.74026.63020106.8150100
In child development, the stage from eight to twelve does not contribute significantly to the child skill development, but the child learns the values of the society4026.77046.74026.600.0150100
In child development, the stage from twelve to eighteen there is substantial cognitive development of the child to acquire enduring skills5033.38053.32013.400.0150100

Source: Researcher

 Table 4.1 shows the responses of the 150 respondents on the relevant developmental stages of a child. From the table, five statements were put up according to which respondents responds: Agreed, Strongly Agreed, Disagreed, Strongly Disagreed and No Response.

 In the first statement: “According to behavioural child development theories, environmental interaction influences a child’s behaviour”, 53.3% and 33.3% of the respondents agreed and strongly agreed respectively to the statement. This gives a total of 86.6% in acceptance to this statement while 13.4% disagreed to this statement. Hence, we can conclude that about 86% of the population surveyed is in agreement with the view that environmental interaction influences a child’s behaviour.

 In the second statement: “In child development, the stage from birth to eight years is a critical period in the development of many foundational skills, 46.7% of the respondents agreed, 26.6% strongly agreed, and 20% disagreed while 6.8% strongly disagreed with the statement. This shows that a total of 73.3% of the respondents are in total acceptance with the statement, while a total of 26.8% were in disagreement. Therefore we conclude that about 73.3% of the respondents are in agreement with the view that the stage from birth to eight years is a critical period in the development of many foundational skills.

 The third statement states that “In child development, the stage from eight to twelve does not contribute significantly to the child skill development, but the child learns the values of the society.” From the results of the responses, 26.7% agreed, 46.7% strongly agreed while only 26.6% of the respondents disagreed with the statement. This result shows that up to 73.4% of the overall respondents accept that, the stage from eight to twelve does not contribute significantly to the child skill development, but the child learns the values of the society.

 The fourth statement states that, in child development, the stage from twelve to eighteen there is substantial cognitive development of the child to acquire enduring skills. The results based on the questionnaire shows that 33.3% of the respondents agreed, 53.3% strongly agreed, and 13.4% of the respondents disagreed to the statement. The results of the respondents show clearly that 86.6% of the respondents are in agreement with the statement, that the stage from twelve to eighteen there is substantial cognitive development of the child to acquire enduring skills.

4.3      Research Question Two

What causes child abuse and neglect in the Nigerian society?

 

 

Table 4.2: Causes of Child Abuse and Neglect

StatementAA%SASA%DD%SDSD%TotalTotal %
Immaturity, unrealistic expectations and emotional problems of parents and caregivers10066.74026.7106.600.0150100
Lack of parenting knowledge, depression and mental health problems90604026.7106.6106.7150100
Domestic violence is one major cause of child abuse7046.72013.36040.000.0150100
Substance abuse can be a major contributing factor to child abuse5033.310066.700.000.0150100

Source: Researcher

 Table 4.2 depicts responses on the causes of child abuse. In the first statement: “Immaturity, unrealistic expectations and emotional problems of parents and caregivers”, 66.7% and 26.7% of the respondents agreed and strongly agreed respectively to the statement. This gives a total of 93.4% in acceptance to this statement. While 6.6% disagreed and 0% strongly disagreed to this statement respectively. Hence, we can conclude that about 93% of the respondents accept that immaturity, unrealistic expectations and emotional problems of parents and caregivers is one cause of child abuse and neglect.

In the second statement: “Lack of parenting knowledge, depression and mental health problems”, 60% of the respondents agreed, 26.7% strongly agreed, and 6.6% disagreed and 6.7% strongly disagreed with the statement. This shows that a total of 86.7% of the respondents are in total acceptance of the statement. Therefore lack of parenting knowledge, depression and mental health problems is a major cause of child abuse and neglect.

 The third statement states that “Domestic violence is one major cause of child abuse” From the results of the responses, 46.7% agreed, 13.3% strongly agreed, while 40% disagreed with the statement. This result shows that about 60% of the overall respondents accept that domestic violence is one major cause of child abuse and neglect.

 Finally, the fourth statement states that substance abuse can be a major contributing factor to child abuse. The results based on the questionnaire shows that 33.3% of the respondents agreed, and 66.7% of the respondents strongly agreed, while neither disagreed nor strongly disagreed with the statement. The results of the respondents show clearly that all the respondents are in agreement with the statement; hence, substance abuse can be a major contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.

 The results indicated in table 4.2 thus far clearly reveal the causes of child abuse and neglect.

4.4      Research Question Three

What signs and symptoms signify child abuse and neglect?

Table 4.3: Signs and Symptoms of Child Abuse and Neglect

StatementAA%SASA%DD%SDSD%TotalTotal %
When a child has burns, bites, bruises and broken bones, it suggests physical abuse7046.75033.32013.3106.7150100
When a child begs or steals food or money it indicates neglect7046.75033.32013.3106.7150100
When a child experiences a sudden change in appetite or contracts a venereal disease, this suggests sexual abuse7046.76040.02013.300.0150100
When a child shows extremes in behavior it suggests emotional abuse6040.08053.300.000.0140100

Source: Researcher

 In the above table, the researcher shows the results of respondents on the signs and symptoms of child abuse and neglect. From the results obtained from the respondents, the researcher observed that over 80% of the respondents were in concordance with the signs & symptoms displayed in the table.

 In the first statement, “When a child has burns, bites, bruises and broken bones it suggests physical abuse”, 46.7% of the respondents agreed and 33.3% of the respondents strongly agreed while 13.3% of the respondents disagreed and 6.3% strongly disagreed. Hence a total of 80% of the respondents accepts that when a child has burns, bites, bruises and broken bones there is a tendency of physical abuse while 20% disagreed with this problem. The second statement which states, “When a child begs or steals food or money it indicates neglect”, followed exactly the same pattern of response as the first. Hence a total of 80% of the respondents accepts the statement while 20% disagreed with the statement.

 In the third statement, “When a child experiences a sudden change in appetite or contracts a venereal disease, this suggests sexual abuse”, 46.7% of the respondents agreed and 40% strongly agreed while only 13.3% of the respondents disagreed with the statement. Therefore, a total of 86.7% of the respondents were in agreement with the statement that when a child experiences a sudden change in appetite or contracts a venereal disease, one suspects sexual abuse. Fourthly, 40% of the respondents agreed and 53.3% strongly agreed with the statement that, “When a child shows extremes in behavior, it suggests emotional abuse.” However, 6.7% of the respondents did not respond to this statement.

4.5      Research Question Four

What are the consequences of child abuse and neglect in Nigerian society?

 

Table 4.4: Consequences of Child Abuse & Neglect

StatementAA%SASA%DD%SDSD%TotalTotal %
Physical abuse in infants and young children can lead to brain dysfunction and sometimes death5033.39060.0106.700.0150100
Abused children usually show delayed intellectual development7046.78053.300.000.0150100
Physical child abuse include deficiencies in the development of stable attachments to an adult caretaker in infants and very young children7046.78053.300.000.0150100
Abused children always show signs of physical aggression and antisocial behavior12080.000.03020.000.0150100

Source: Researcher

 The researcher was able to deduce the responses of respondents on the consequences of child abuse. The results depicted in table 4.4 above shows the detail of the survey results. According to the results, at least 60% of the respondents were in total agreement with all the stipulated consequences of child abuse and neglect. The result implies that 80% of the overall respondents agreed and totally support the following statements on the consequences of child abuse:

  1. Physical abuse in infants and young children can lead to brain dysfunction and sometimes death
  2. Abused children usually show delayed intellectual development
  3. Physical child abuse include deficiencies in the development of stable attachments to an adult caretaker in infants and very young children
  4. Abused children always show signs of physical aggression and antisocial behavior

4.5      Research Question Five

To what extent have child abuse and neglect impacted the educational development of the child?

 

 

Table 4.5: Impact of Child Abuse & Neglect on Educational Development of the Child

StatementAA%SASA%DD%SDSD%TotalTotal %
Difficulties in psychological adjustment and in performance at school5033.38053.3106.7106.7150100
Abused or neglected children on the average score lower on cognitive measures and demonstrate poorer school achievement7046.78053.300.000.0150100
Child abuse and neglect often leads to a loss of self-esteem and a lack of motivation to achieve at school.6040906000.000.0150100
They lack the necessary social and work skills for age-appropriate adjustment in their preschool and kindergarten classes9060.02010.04030.000.0150100

Source: Researcher

 The researcher was able to deduce the responses of respondents on the impact of Child Abuse & Neglect on Educational Development of the Child. The results depicted in table 4.5 above shows the detail of the survey results. According to the results, 86.6% of the respondents were in total agreement with all the first statement, “Difficulties in psychological adjustment and in performance at school,” 100% were in agreement with the second and third statements respectively: “Abused or neglected children on the average score lower on cognitive measures and demonstrate poorer school achievement”, and “Child abuse and neglect often leads to a loss of self-esteem and a lack of motivation to achieve at school.”  Finally, the fourth statement of “They lack the necessary social and work skills for age-appropriate adjustment in their preschool and kindergarten classes” recorded 70% in agreement and 30% in disagreement. Therefore, all the statements listed above have impact on the educational development of a child.

 

CHAPTER FIVE

SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

 This chapter discusses the results of the study according to the research questions, and the conclusion of the study. Recommendations are made and suggestions for further study.

5.1      Discussion of Findings

 The results of the responses to research question one show the various developmental stages of a child. According to the findings, environmental interaction influences a child’s behaviour. The findings also show that the stage from birth to eight years is a critical period in the development of many foundational skills in children, the stage from eight to twelve does not contribute significantly to child skill development, but exposes the child to the values of the society, while the stage from twelve to eighteen there is a period of substantial cognitive development of the child to acquiring enduring skills.

 According to research question two, the following were observed to be the causes of child abuse and neglect: immaturity, unrealistic expectations and emotional problems of parents and caregivers; lack of parenting knowledge, depression and mental health problems; domestic violence and substance abuse. These attributes when observed in parents or caregivers can contribute factor to child abuse and neglect.

 The researcher further analyzed the results of the respondents on the signs and symptoms of child abuse and neglect and arrived at the following findings:

  1. When a child has burns, bites, bruises and broken bones, one should suspect physical abuse
  2. When a child begs or steals food or money, one should suspect neglect
  3. When a child experiences a sudden change in appetite or contracts a venereal disease, one should suspect sexual abuse
  4. When a child shows extremes in behavior, one should suspect emotional abuse

 Research question 4 surveyed the responses of the respondents on the consequences of child abuse and neglect. From the results, the researcher can deduce significantly that:

  1. Physical abuse in infants and young children can lead to brain dysfunction and sometimes death
  2. Abused children usually show delayed intellectual development
  3. Physical child abuse include deficiencies in the development of stable attachments to an adult caretaker in infants and very young children
  4. Abused children always show signs of physical aggression and antisocial behavior

Finally, the researcher identified from the responses of survey participants, the following impact of child abuse and neglect on educational development of the child:

  1. Abused and neglected children face difficulties in psychological adjustment and in performance at school
  2. Abused or neglected children on the average score lower on cognitive measures and demonstrate poorer school achievement
  3. Child abuse and neglect often leads to a loss of self-esteem and a lack of motivation to achieve at school.
  4. Abused and neglected child lack the necessary social and work skills for age-appropriate adjustment in preschool and kindergarten classes

5.2      Conclusion

 From the findings of the study, we can observe that child abuse and neglect has great implication on the educational development of the child. It was observed that good parent-child relationship affects learning process and assimilation of a child in various ways. Accordingly, parents are caring and supportive and cultivate friendly relationship with their children; they are highly emotional, though strict and optimistic with their children. Also, parents and caregivers who are God fearing and highly dedicated to the spiritual growth and academic success of their children goes all out to assist and ensure the best performance of their children. It should be noted that every child is responsive and cooperative with parents who show them love and affection. In the home, the parents and children share common interest and commitment, and yet perhaps see things from a variety of perspectives. Parent-child relationship in this way will enhance learning and build good spiritual and academic formation on the upcoming generation. Also, family background affects the way students from diverse cultural, religious and social backgrounds will be able to understand the issues and make decisions for effective change in academic environment.

 Family background is important in various ways, both to the teachers and students alike. Through effective and efficient family background which grows into cordial parent-child relationship, there will be creation of healthy spiritual and academic development of the child; contribution to positive academic, social and emotional development of the child; provision of foundation for the child’s successful adaptation to the social and academic environment; and help to maintain the child’s interest in academic, social and spiritual pursuits in life. Furthermore, good family background, devoid of all kinds of abuse, will build and make a good and efficient child-leader, providing motivation and inspiration to others, including the peers, and creation of an environment for effective participation in the school.

5.3      Recommendations

 Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations are made:

  1. Parents should put the future of their children at heart and endeavour to create such relationship that will encourage their children to create academic opportunities and to give positive feedback about their behavior.
  2. Parents and caregivers should not engage in activities or acts that will put fear in their children; they should encourage themselves to engage in frequent social, academic and spiritual conversation with their children
  3. Parents and caregivers should always be available to their children who are having hard time and encourage them from time to time
  4. Parents should be encouraged not to look down on their children’s perspectives and ideas, rather, they should encourage them at all times and never neglect them
  5. Parents should do everything possible to avoid abusing their children.

5.4      Suggestions for further study

 The following areas of study are suggested:

  1. Study on the devastating impact of poor parent-child relationship in educational development of the child.
  2. An in-depth study on the role of Parents in educational pursuit and achievement of children.
  3. A study on the effect of child-teacher relationship on grades of the child in kindergarten.
  4. An analysis of the role of academic advisers and counselors to students’ academic achievement.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Aber, J. L, & Allen, J. P. Effects of maltreatment on young children’s socioemotional development: An attachment theory perspective. Developmental Psychology, 23, 1987, 406-414.

Alekseeva, L. S. Problems of child abuse in the home. Problems of child abuse in the home, 49(5), 2007, 6-18.

Alessandri, S.M. Play and social behavior in maltreated preschoolers. Development and Psycopathology 3: 1991, 191-205.

Amanda Hermes. Causes & Effects of Child Abuse. Livestrong.com: Demand Media, May 25, 2015.

Bart Trentham. The School’s Role in the Intervention of Child Abuse and Neglect: A Resource Manual for School Personnel. Tulsa Community College Professional Continuing Education, Tulsa, Oklahoma. 2007, 6.

Berk, Laura E. Child Development. 8th ed. (United States of America: Pearson Education, Inc.) 2009.

Bowman, Barbara T.; Donovan, M. Suzanne; and Burns, M. Susan, eds. Eager To Learn: Educating Our Preschoolers. Washington DC: National Academy Press, 2001.

Brodkin, A. M., & Coleman, M. F.  Has this child been sexually abused? Instructor, 103, 1994, 25-26.

Cherry Kendra. Child Development Stages: A Summary of the Different Stages of Child Development. About Health.Psychology. January 08, 2016, 5.

Child Welfare Information Gateway. What is child abuse and neglect? Recognizing the signs and symptoms. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau, 2013.

Cicchetti, D., and D. Barnett. Toward the development of a scientific nosology of child maltreatment. Pp. 346-377 in D. Cicchetti and W. Grove, eds., Thinking Clearly About Psychology: Essays in Honor of Paul E. Meehl. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1991.

Craig, C. D. Trauma exposure and child abuse protential: investigating the cycle of violence. Trauma exposure and child abuse potential: investigating the cycle of violence, 77(2), 2007, 296-305. Retrieved from EBSCO.

Crosson-Tower, C. Understanding Child Abuse and Neglect. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, 2008.

Dodge, K.A., J.E. Bates, and G.S. Pettit. Mechanisms in the cycle of violence. Science 250 (December 21): 1990, 1678-1683.

Donatus Omofuma Akhilomen. Addressing Child Abuse in Southern Nigeria: The Role of the Church. Journal: Studies in World Christianity. Volume 12, Number 3, 2006, pp. 235-248.

Drotar, D. Prevention of neglect and nonorganic failure to thrive. Pp. 115-149 in D.J. Willis, E.W. Holden, and M. Rosenberg, eds., Prevention of Child Maltreatment: Developmental and Ecological Perspectives. New York: John Wiley, 1992), 105.

Durrant, Joan. “Physical Punishment, Culture, and Rights: Current Issues for Professionals”. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics. 29 (1): March 2008, 55–66.

Dykes, L. The whiplash shaken infant syndrome: What has been learned? Child Abuse and Neglect, 10:, 1986, 211-221.

Eckenrode, J., Laird, M., & Doris, J. School performance and disciplinary problems among abused and neglected children. Developmental Psychology, 29, 1993, 53-62.

Eckenrode, J., M. Laird, and J. Doris. Maltreatment and Social Adjustment of School Children. National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect. Grant 90CA1305. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC., 1991.

Erickson, M. F., Egeland, B., & Pianta, R. The effects of maltreatment on the development of young children. In D. Cicchetti & V. Carlson (Eds.), Child maltreatment: Theory and research on the causes and consequences of child abuse and neglect (pp. 647-684). (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 658.

Erikson E. Identity, Youth, and Crisis, New York: Norton, 1968.

Famularo R, Kinscherff R, Fenton T. “Parental substance abuse and the nature of child maltreatment”. Child Abuse & Neglect. 16 (4): 1992, 475–83.

Gullotta, Thomas p.; Adams, Gerald R.; and Markstrom, Carol A. 2000. The Adolescent Experience, 4th edition. San Diego: Academic Press, 2000.

Hoffman-Plotkin, & Twentyman, C. T. Multimodel assessment of behavioral and cognitive deficits in abused and neglected preschoolers. Child Development, 55, 1984, 794-802

Knowles, Trudy, and Brown, Dave F. What Every Middle School Teacher Should Know. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2000.

Kolko, D. Characteristics of child victims of physical violence: Research findings and clinical implications. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 7(2): 1992, 244-276.

Kurtz, P. D., Gaudin, J. M., Wodarski, J. S., & Howing, P. T. Maltreatment and the schoolaged child: School performance consequences. Child Abuse and Neglect, 17, 1993, 581-589

Kyrsha M. Dryden. “Child Abuse and Neglect: A Resource Guide.” The Graduate School University of Wisconsin-Stout. Menomonie, WI, 2009, 1.

Kyrsha M. Dryden. Child Abuse and Neglect: A Resource Guide, In Child Abuse Encyclopedia. 2009, 160

Kyrsha M. Dryden. Child Abuse and Neglect: A Resource Guide, In Child Abuse Encyclopedia. 2009, 219

McClain, P.W., J.J. Sacks, R.G. Froehlke, and B.G. Ewigman. Estimates of fatal child abuse and neglect, United States, 1979 through 1988. Pediatrics 91(2): 1993, 338-343.

McCurdy, K., and D. Daro. “Current Trends in Child Abuse Reporting and Fatalities: The Results of the 1991 State Survey.” August 31. Presented at the Ninth International Congress on Child Abuse and Neglect. Chicago, IL. 1992.

Murphy JM, Jellinek M, Quinn D, Smith G, Poitrast FG, Goshko M. “Substance abuse and serious child mistreatment: prevalence, risk, and outcome in a court sample”. Child Abuse & Neglect. 15 (3): 1991, 197–211.

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children: A pocket history of the NSPCC. London: NSPCC, 2006. Available at www.nspcc.org.uk.

Newman, Phillip R., and Newman, Barbara M. Childhood and Adolescence. (Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole), 1997.

Rohner, R.P. The Warmth Dimension: Foundations of Parental-Acceptance-Rejection Theory. (Beverly Hills, CA: Sage, 1986), 88.

Ross, S. “Risk of physical abuse to children of spouse abusing parents”. Child Abuse & Neglect 20 (7): 1999, 589–598.

Shonkoff, Jack P., and Phillips, Deborah A., eds. From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2001.

Stone, D. Stop it now. Everett, WA: Open Door Theatre, 1994.

Stovall, G., and R.J. Craig. Mental representations of physically and sexually abused latency-aged females. Child Abuse and Neglect 14: 1990, 233-242.

Twardosz, S., & Lutzker, J. R. Child maltreatment and the developing brain: A review of Neuroscience Perspectives. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 15(1), 2010, 59-68.

Tzeng et al., Theories of Child Abuse and Neglect: Differential Perspectives, Summaries, and Evaluations. (Nairobi: Studies in World Christianity), 2002.

Van Loon and Kralik, In What Constitutes Child Abuse. ASCA, 2005a. 21-30.

Vondra, J. I., Barnett, D., & Cicchetti, D. Perceived and actual competence among maltreated and comparison school children. Development and Psychopathology, 1, 1989, 237-255

Vondra, J. I., Barnett, D., & Cicchetti, D. Self-concept, motivation, and competence among preschoolers from maltreating and comparison families. Child Abuse and Neglect, 14, 1990, 525-540.

World Health Organization. Child Abuse and Neglect. WHO Working Paper, 1999.

Yesufu, S. Street Trading as an Aspect of Child Abuse and Neglect (A case Study of Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria). Unpublished Master of Science Dissertation. University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria, 2005.

 

APPENDIX

SECTION A

Department of Bachelor in Theology

Assemblies of God Divinity School

of Nigeria, Old Umuahia

Dear Respondent,

This questionnaire was prepared for the project writing entitled, “Child abuse and neglect: implication on the educational development of the child” and is not purposed for the collection of any other information. The content of this questionnaire will not be used for any other purpose. Please read the following questions and make sure to mark on only one of A (Agreed), SD (Strongly Agreed), D (Disagreed) or SD (Strongly Disagreed) against each statement following the questions.

Thank you.

Amabuo Chukwuemeka

 

Personal Data

  1. Name ____________________________Marital Status_______________
  2. Sex _______________ Age____________ Years in Church____________
  3. Status______________________________________________

 

 

SECTION B

Questionnaire Section

  1. What are the relevant developmental stages of a child?
S/NStatementASADSD
1According to behavioural child development theories, environmental interaction influences a child’s behaviour    
2In child development, the stage from birth to eight years is a critical period in the development of many foundational skills    
3In child development, the stage from eight to twelve does not contribute significantly to the child skill development, but the child learns the values of the society    
4In child development, the stage from twelve to eighteen there is substantial cognitive development of the child to acquire enduring skills    

  1. What causes child abuse and neglect in the Nigerian society?
S/NStatementASADSD
1Immaturity, unrealistic expectations and emotional problems of parents and caregivers    
2Lack of parenting knowledge, depression and mental health problems    
3Domestic violence is one major cause of child abuse    
4Substance abuse can be a major contributing factor to child abuse    

  1. What signs and symptoms signify child abuse and neglect?
S/NStatementASADSD
1When a child has burns, bites, bruises and broken bones suspect physical abuse    
2When a child begs of steals food or money suspect neglect    
3When a child experiences a sudden change in appetite or contracts a venereal disease suspect sexual abuse    
4When a child shows extremes in behavior suspect emotional abuse    

  1. What are the consequences of child abuse and neglect in Nigerian society?
S/NStatementASADSD
1Physical abuse in infants and young children can lead to brain dysfunction and sometimes death    
2Abused children usually show delayed intellectual development    
3Physical child abuse include deficiencies in the development of stable attachments to an adult caretaker in infants and very young children    
4Abused children always show signs of physical aggression and antisocial behavior    

  1. To what extent have child abuse and neglect impacted the educational development of the child?
S/NStatementASADSD
1Difficulties in psychological adjustment and in performance at school    
2Abused or neglected children on the average score lower on cognitive measures and demonstrate poorer school achievement    
3Child abuse and neglect often leads to a loss of self-esteem and a lack of motivation to achieve at school.    
4They lack the necessary social and work skills for age-appropriate adjustment in their preschool and kindergarten classes    

[1] Alekseeva, L. S. Problems of child abuse in the home. 49(5), 2007, 6-18.

[2] Kyrsha M. Dryden. “Child Abuse and Neglect: A Resource Guide.” The Graduate School University of Wisconsin-Stout. Menomonie, WI, 2009, 1.

[3] National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children: A pocket history of the NSPCC. (London: NSPCC, 2006). Available at www.nspcc.org.uk.

[4] Bart Trentham. The School’s Role in the Intervention of Child Abuse and Neglect: A Resource Manual for School Personnel. (Tulsa Community College Professional Continuing Education, Tulsa, Oklahoma. 2007), 6.

[5] Twardosz, S., & Lutzker, J. R. Child maltreatment and the developing brain: A review of Neuroscience Perspectives. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 15(1), 2010, 59-68.

[6] Yesufu, S. Street Trading as an Aspect of Child Abuse and Neglect (A case Study of Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria). (Unpublished Master of Science Dissertation. University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria, 2005), 36-47.

[7] Vondra, J. I., Barnett, D., & Cicchetti, D. Self-concept, motivation, and competence among preschoolers from maltreating and comparison families. Child Abuse and Neglect, 14, 1990, 525-540.

[8] Kyrsha M. Dryden. Child Abuse and Neglect: A Resource Guide, In Child Abuse Encyclopedia. 2009, 160

[9] Kyrsha M. Dryden. Child Abuse and Neglect: A Resource Guide, In Child Abuse Encyclopedia. 2009, 219

[10] World Health Organization. Child Abuse and Neglect. WHO Working Paper, 1999.

[11] Van Loon and Kralik, In What Constitutes Child Abuse. ASCA, 2005a. 21-30.

[12] Alekseeva, L. S. Problems of child abuse in the home. Problems of child abuse in the home, 49(5), 2007, 6-18.

[13] Craig, C. D. Trauma exposure and child abuse protential: investigating the cycle of violence. Trauma exposure and child abuse potential: investigating the cycle of violence, 77(2), 2007, 296-305. Retrieved from EBSCO.

[14] Tzeng et al., Theories of Child Abuse and Neglect: Differential Perspectives, Summaries, and Evaluations. (Nairobi: Studies in World Christianity), 2002.

[15] Donatus Omofuma Akhilomen. Addressing Child Abuse in Southern Nigeria: The Role of the Church. Journal: Studies in World Christianity. Volume 12, Number 3, 2006, pp. 235-248.

[16] Cherry Kendra. Child Development Stages: A Summary of the Different Stages of Child Development. About Health Psychology. January 08, 2016, 5.

[17] Berk, Laura E. Child Development. 8th ed. (United States of America: Pearson Education, Inc.) 2009.

[18] Erikson E. Identity, Youth, and Crisis, (New York: Norton), 1968.

[19] Cherry Kendra, 2016. 15.

[20] Bowman, Barbara T.; Donovan, M. Suzanne; and Burns, M. Susan, eds. Eager To Learn: Educating Our Preschoolers. Washington DC: National Academy Press, 2001.

[21] Gullotta, Thomas p.; Adams, Gerald R.; and Markstrom, Carol A. 2000. The Adolescent Experience, 4th edition. (San Diego: Academic Press, 2000), 21.

[22] Knowles, Trudy, and Brown, Dave F. What Every Middle School Teacher Should Know. (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2000).

[23] Shonkoff, Jack P., and Phillips, Deborah A., eds. From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development. (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2001), 56-58.

[24] Newman, Phillip R., and Newman, Barbara M. Childhood and Adolescence. (Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole), 1997, 333.

[25] Amanda Hermes. Causes & Effects of Child Abuse. (Livestrong.com: Demand Media, May 25, 2015), 2.

[26] Ross, S. “Risk of physical abuse to children of spouse abusing parents”. Child Abuse & Neglect 20 (7): 1999, 589–598.

[27] Durrant, Joan. “Physical Punishment, Culture, and Rights: Current Issues for Professionals”. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics. 29 (1): March 2008, 55–66.

[28] Crosson-Tower, C. Understanding Child Abuse and Neglect. (Boston, MA: Pearson Education, 2008), 25.

[29] Amanda Hermes. 2015, 3.

[30] Murphy JM, Jellinek M, Quinn D, Smith G, Poitrast FG, Goshko M. “Substance abuse and serious child mistreatment: prevalence, risk, and outcome in a court sample”. Child Abuse & Neglect. 15 (3): 1991, 197–211.

[31] Famularo R, Kinscherff R, Fenton T. “Parental substance abuse and the nature of child maltreatment”. Child Abuse & Neglect. 16 (4): 1992, 475–83.

[32] Brodkin, A. M., & Coleman, M. F.  Has this child been sexually abused? Instructor, 103, 1994, 25-26.

[33] Stone, D. Stop it now. (Everett, WA: Open Door Theatre, 1994).

[34] Child Welfare Information Gateway. What is child abuse and neglect? Recognizing the signs and symptoms. (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau, 2013), 23-5.

[35] Dykes, L. The whiplash shaken infant syndrome: What has been learned? Child Abuse and Neglect, 10:, 1986, 211-221.

[36] McCurdy, K., and D. Daro. “Current Trends in Child Abuse Reporting and Fatalities: The Results of the 1991 State Survey.” August 31. Presented at the Ninth International Congress on Child Abuse and Neglect. Chicago, IL. 1992.

[37] McClain, P.W., J.J. Sacks, R.G. Froehlke, and B.G. Ewigman. Estimates of fatal child abuse and neglect, United States, 1979 through 1988. Pediatrics 91(2): 1993, 338-343.

[38] Kolko, D. Characteristics of child victims of physical violence: Research findings and clinical implications. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 7(2): 1992, 244-276.

[39] Alessandri, S.M. Play and social behavior in maltreated preschoolers. Development and Psycopathology 3: 1991, 191-205.

[40] Eckenrode, J., M. Laird, and J. Doris. Maltreatment and Social Adjustment of School Children. National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect. Grant 90CA1305. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC., 1991.

[41] Cicchetti, D., and D. Barnett. Toward the development of a scientific nosology of child maltreatment. Pp. 346-377 in D. Cicchetti and W. Grove, eds., Thinking Clearly About Psychology: Essays in Honor of Paul E. Meehl. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1991), 53.

[42] Stovall, G., and R.J. Craig. Mental representations of physically and sexually abused latency-aged females. Child Abuse and Neglect 14: 1990, 233-242.

[43] Drotar, D. Prevention of neglect and nonorganic failure to thrive. Pp. 115-149 in D.J. Willis, E.W. Holden, and M. Rosenberg, eds., Prevention of Child Maltreatment: Developmental and Ecological Perspectives. New York: John Wiley, 1992), 105.

[44] Rohner, R.P. The Warmth Dimension: Foundations of Parental-Acceptance-Rejection Theory. (Beverly Hills, CA: Sage, 1986), 88.

[45] Alessandri, S.M. 1991, 191-205.

[46] Cicchetti, D., and D. Barnett. 1991, 78.

[47] Dodge, K.A., J.E. Bates, and G.S. Pettit. Mechanisms in the cycle of violence. Science 250 (December 21): 1990, 1678-1683.

[48] Hoffman-Plotkin, & Twentyman, C. T. Multimodel assessment of behavioral and cognitive deficits in abused and neglected preschoolers. Child Development, 55, 1984, 794-802

[49] Vondra, J. I., Barnett, D., & Cicchetti, D. Perceived and actual competence among maltreated and comparison school children. Development and Psychopathology, 1, 1989, 237-255

[50] Cicchetti, et al, 1989, 237 – 255.

[51] Erickson, M. F., Egeland, B., & Pianta, R. The effects of maltreatment on the development of young children. In D. Cicchetti & V. Carlson (Eds.), Child maltreatment: Theory and research on the causes and consequences of child abuse and neglect (pp. 647-684). (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 658.

[52] Eckenrode, J., Laird, M., & Doris, J. School performance and disciplinary problems among abused and neglected children. Developmental Psychology, 29, 1993, 53-62.

[53] Kurtz, P. D., Gaudin, J. M., Wodarski, J. S., & Howing, P. T. Maltreatment and the schoolaged child: School performance consequences. Child Abuse and Neglect, 17, 1993, 581-589

[54] Eckenrode et al., 1993.

[55] Kurtz, et al, 1993.

[56] Aber, J. L, & Allen, J. P. Effects of maltreatment on young children’s socioemotional development: An attachment theory perspective. Developmental Psychology, 23, 1987, 406-414.