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implication of child abuse

ABSTRACT

This study examined Child Abuse: Causes, Effects and Remedies in Andoni Local Government of Rivers State. Four research questions were answered with five questions complementing each research question. The sample size was three hundred (300). Validated structured questionnaire was administered on the randomly selected respondents by simple random sampling technique. Three hundred validated questionnaires were analysed. Frequencies and simple percentages were used in analyzing the data. The result revealed that emotional problems, economic crisis, depression and mental health problems are some of the general causes of child abuse. The findings also show that minor injuries, severe brain damage and death of the child; serious health problems that can adversely affect child’s development and result in irremediable lasting effects are some of the effects of child abuse. In addition, it was found that educating parents about warning signals that indicate that the child is having difficulties managing anxiety, powerlessness, or anger can help; helping the child’s parents/caregivers address issues of role reversal, boundaries, and setting limits that will not affect the child; removal of the abused child or the offender from the home can remedy child abuse in Andoni LGA. It is recommended that parents and caregivers should put the future of their children at heart and endeavour to create such relationship that will encourage their children to focus on opportunities and to give positive feedback about their behavior.

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1          Background of the Study

Child abuse and neglect can have lifelong implications for victims, including 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. According to Alekseeva, 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]

Children make up the segment of society that is the most defenseless, vulnerable, and completely dependent on adults. 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. Kyrsha Dryden noted that studies have 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 is also called child maltreatment. The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children noted that child abuse 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]

On his own, Trentham noted that 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 him, 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]

In Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State, child abuse has been in the increase. This is partially due to the nature of the environment. Being a riverine area, the people are not all that exposed to the enlightenment that could forestall the cases of child abuse like education and mass media. Child abuse in the area is pronounced in early marriage, child labour and child pregnancy. The researcher has been disturbed by this ugly trend in the area, hence, her venture into this project as a contribution aimed at proffering solutions to the problem.

Children who have been abused may have delays in physical and/or developmental growth and may find it difficult to trust others. 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, drug and alcohol abuse. Additional side effects include suicide, violence, delinquency, attachment disorders and forms of cruelty.

This research will evaluate the causes, effects and remedies of child abuse.

1.2          Statement of the Problem

Many people have difficulty in understanding why any person would hurt a child. The public often assumes that people who abuse their children suffer from mental disorders, but fewer than 10 percent of abusers have mental illnesses. According to Family Resource Center, most abusers love their children but tend to have less patience and less mature personalities than other parents.[5] These traits make it difficult to cope with the demands of their children and increase the likelihood of physical or emotional abuse.

One of the fundamental problems facing Andoni Local Government 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. Yesufu noted that 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 Andoni children remains critical due to the unique factors of their socio-economic, cultural, traditional and developmental circumstances. 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 Andoni 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 Andoni Local Government Area. 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 has several causes, effects and remedies. Some effects include difficulties in psychological adjustment and performance at schools in Andoni Local Government. Vondra, Barnett & Cicchetti emphasized that abused children on the average score lower on cognitive measures and demonstrate poorer school achievement than their non-abused peers of similar socioeconomic backgrounds.[7]

Andoni Local Government area of Rivers State has witnessed inhumane act of child abuse, its causes and devastating effect on the child. This becomes obvious when one view it from treatment meted to the child from broken home and parental neglect. The prevalence of these problems have necessitated the researcher to evaluate the causes, effects and remedies of child abuse in Andoni LG of Rivers State.

1.3          Objective of the Study

The purpose of the study is to evaluate child abuse: causes, effects and remedies, a case study of the Andoni Local Government. The key objectives are:

  1. To analyse the childhood stages of development
  2. To identify the causes of child abuse in Andoni Local Government Area.
  3. To evaluate the effects of child abuse in Andoni Local Government Area.
  4. To classify the signs and symptoms of child abuse.
  5. To identify remedies and treatments of child abuse.

1.4          Research Question

As a guide to the study, four research questions have been identified as follows:

  1. What are the causes of child abuse in Andoni Local Government Area?
  2. What are the effects of child abuse in Andoni Local Government Area?
  3. What are the signs and symptoms of child abuse found in Andoni Local Government Area?
  4. How can child abuse be remedied and treated in Andoni Local Government Area?

1.5          Significance of the Study

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

  1. This study will therefore enable parents, guardians, and educators to have requisite knowledge on how to take care of children.
  2. It will also help them understand the causes, effects, signs and symptoms of child abuse in order to identify children suffering from such influence.
  3. At completion, this resource guide will provide parents, guardians and educators a checklist of sorts to guide them through recognizing the risk factors, understanding the prevalence, and identifying steps to be taken once a child is assumed to be in a situation of abuse and/or neglect.
  4. Also, it will provide wealth of knowledge to pastors and young ministers in understanding when a child is abused and the steps to remedy the situation.
  5. Finally, it will add to the wealth of available resources on child abuse for students and future researchers.

1.6          Delimitation of the Study

 This study is focused on child abuse: causes, effects and remedies. The study will be limited to covering Andoni Local Government Area in Rivers State only. Andoni LG is made up of four (4) clans and twenty-four (21) communities, these communities are covered by the researcher by random selection of respondents from each community. The study examines the stages of development of a child, causes of child abuse, signs and symptoms of child abuse, effects of child abuse and remedies to child abuse.

1.7          Limitations of the Study

 The study is on child abuse: causes, effects and remedies, case study of Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State.

Due to time and financial limitations, the researcher selects enlightened members of each community in Andoni Local Government 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. The riverine nature of the area made movement difficult. 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 Andoni Local Government Area. Therefore, this research was limited to selected participants in Andoni Local Government Area.

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: 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: Includes 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

This chapter looks at the concept of: child abuse, causes of child abuse, signs of physical abuse, effects of child abuse, remedies to child abuse and summary.

2.2          The Concept of Child Abuse

“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 as:

Maltreatment that 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. This is easily observed in Andoni Local Government area, where cases of abuse has led to child labour, maltreatment and even death. A onetime case that opened the eyes of everyone was the case of a boy that died in the river while trying to fend for the family because his step mother forced him to ride speed boat while his mates were at school studying. Child abuse, especially in Andoni Local Government Area has led to betrayal, where parents maltreat there house maids while promising the parents of the girl/boy ‘heaven and earth.’ It has also led to manipulation and domineering efforts of perpetrators who take advantage of powerlessness and vulnerability of some children. These vulnerable children were ‘stuck’ in a world that taught them ‘they would never amount to anything’ while others were meant to understanding that they are unique and worthwhile, able and OK.

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.”[11] 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.[12] 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.[13]

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.[14] In spite of this emphasis on individual mental disorders, few child abusers in the Andoni LG 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          Causes of Child Abuse

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.

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 do not 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.[15] 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.[16] 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.[17]

Immaturity: Parents who are emotionally immature fail to connect properly with their children on an emotional level. This can leave their children feeling emotionally insecure, existentially lonely, empty and hollow. According to Hosier, the emotions these children feel remain invalidated by the emotionally immature parent; indeed, the parent is frequently so self-obsessed that s/he fails to notice the child’s feelings and emotional needs.[18] However, as the child generally has no point of comparison, s/he may remain oblivious to the fact that s/he is being emotionally neglected.

Unrealistic expectations: Some people enter into parenthood with unrealistic expectations and they may be surprised at the amount of care and attention that infants and children need. This is particularly true of teen parents or immature adults. Bauer points out that parents also may become abusive if they are resentful of a child who is handicapped or difficult to handle because he requires more time and attention than they expected.[19]

Emotional problems: Parents who struggle with anxiety disorder, depression, bipolar disorder or other mental illnesses are less able to cope with the stresses of parenting and may be more likely to engage in child abuse. People with these disorders have difficulty caring for themselves and are even less able to care for others. They may be withdrawn and neglectful or quick to anger and more prone to physical violence.

Alcohol and Drug Abuse: Alcohol and drug abuse often lead to child abuse because these substances cause people to lose self-control. Parents who engage in substance abuse are almost three times more likely to abuse their children and four times more likely to neglect them, according to Prevent Child Abuse New York. Children of single parent alcoholics or drug users are at even greater risk because there is no second parent to diffuse the situation or protect the child from abuse.

Economic crisis: It should be understood that changes in economic conditions facing males and females may have different effects on family income, stress, substance abuse, divorce, and other aspects of the household that influence child abuse. As is the case in Nigeria, inability of families or parents to meet with their economic obligations can result in diversion of anger to the children which may lead to abuse.

Lack of parenting knowledge: The strongest potentially modifiable risk factor contributing to the development of behavioural and emotional problems in children is the quality of parenting a child receives. Evidence from behaviour genetics research and epidemiological, correlational, and experimental studies shows that parenting practices have a major influence on children’s development.[20] Hence, lack of parenting skills can have long-term effects on children and on society. Poor parenting can happen for different reasons and will manifest in a variety of ways, including child abuse.

Difficulty in relationships: Relationship or marital problems come in all shapes and sizes, when they occur, it is the children that bear the brunt. These relationship problems could include: emotional infidelity, sexual problems, differences in core beliefs, and many more.

Depression: Depression is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. According to National Institute of Mental health, perinatal depression is much more serious; Women with perinatal depression experience full-blown major depression during pregnancy or after delivery.[21] The feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that accompany perinatal depression may make it difficult for these new mothers to complete daily care activities for themselves and/or for their babies. This may lead to child abuse.

2.4          Signs & Symptoms of Child Abuse

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.

2.4.1   Symptoms of child 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.[22]

2.4.2   Child’s neglect, sexual abuse & maltreatment

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.

2.4.3   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.[23]

2.4.4   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.[24]

2.5          Effects of Child Abuse

The effects of child abuse and maltreatment can be devastating. According to Stone, for over 30 years, clinicians have described the effects of child abuse on the physical & psychological, cognitive & intellectual and behavioral development of children.[25] Physical effects range from minor injuries to severe brain damage and even death. Psychological effects 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 effects of abuse range from poor peer relations all the way to extraordinarily violent behaviors. Thus, the effects of abuse affect the victims themselves and the society in which they live.

2.5.1   Physical effects

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.[26] 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.[27] 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.[28]

A child does not need to be struck on the head to sustain brain injuries. Dykes 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 effects.

2.5.2   Cognitive and intellectual effects

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.[29] 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.[30]

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.[31]

2.5.3   Psychosocial effects

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.[32] 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.[33]

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.[34] 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.[35]

2.5.4   Behavioral effects

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.[36] 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.[37]

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.[38]

2.6          Remedies and Treatment of Child Abuse

Remedies and treatment of child abuse and maltreatment include the investigation of child abuse reports by state child protection agencies, clinical treatment of physical and psychological injuries, family counseling, self-help services, the provision of goods and services such as homemaker or respite care, legal action against the perpetrator, and removal of the child or the offender from the home. There are a number of concerns or issues common to children who have been abused and/or neglected. This section presents some of the most common remedies and treatment issues for maltreated children and identifies some related interventions.

Investigation of child abuse reports by state child protection agencies: Although child abuse occurs in Nigeria, it has received little attention. Child protective service officials are obligated to respond to cases of suspected child maltreatment. They evaluate the validity of complaints, perform risk assessments of families, monitor cases, and develop and implement family service plans. Child protection agencies receive and screen initial reports of child abuse and neglect from educators, health personnel, police, members of the public (e.g., neighbors, family friends), relatives (including siblings and parents), and others to determine whether investigation is required. Such agencies include: Child Rights Awareness Creation Organisation (CRACO), a Non-Profit Organisation committed to the protection and promotion of the Rights and welfare of Children and women and Fortress Nigeria, an anti-child abuse organization, a non-Government organization created to fight against every form of child abuse (Emotional Abuse, Social Abuse, Child labour above all child- trafficking) in our society.

Clinical treatment of physical and psychological injuries: Health professionals in private practice, community health clinics, and hospitals are often the first point of contact for abused children and their families when serious physical injuries are sustained. Medical examinations of abused children enable physicians to identify physical conditions requiring medical treatment (including sexually transmitted disease and pregnancy), collect forensic evidence, document abuse histories, and refer abusive families to other services. Psychosocial examinations can document the nature, severity, and chronicity of behaviors exhibited by the abused child. Nurses and hospital social workers also play an influential role in managing or detecting child abuse cases in medical settings.

Family counseling: Treatment programs are frequently offered to adult and adolescent offenders as part of plea bargaining negotiations in criminal prosecutions. The traditional assumption has been that children and society are better protected by counselling and offender treatment than by traditional prosecution and incarceration. These programs usually incorporate educational approaches, behavior therapy, and relapse prevention. Its primary purpose is to identify and confront cognitive distortions, rationalizations, excuses for offending, and behaviors that signal potential reoffending.[39]

Self-help services: Self-help support and treatment programs are based on the premise that individuals can benefit from learning about the victimization experiences of others. These programs have attracted popular support in a wide range of health services, including the treatment of alcoholism, weight loss, and rape counseling programs, and they have also been applied in the treatment of both physically and sexually abusive adults. A comparison study of self-help groups conducted by Berkeley Planning Associates found that self-help groups and lay therapists were reliable predictors for reduced recidivism.[40]

Provision of goods and services such as homemaker or respite care: Remedies and treatment for neglectful parents typically focus on areas such as providing nutrition, homemaking, and child care. Such parental enhancement programs may help some families who experience child management problems when a sexually abusive father is removed from the home. In these cases, child management skills help develop positive child-parent interaction in sexually abusive families. Home-based services and family preservation services address the overall needs of families, include both children and parents, and focus directly on contextual factors, such as poverty, single parenthood, and marital discord that increase stress, weaken families, and elicit aggressive behavior.[41]

Legal action against the perpetrator: A small proportion of child maltreatment cases that are substantiated by child protection agencies can become involved with juvenile courts, family courts, and criminal courts, but according to Smith, no cohesive policy exists to guide the justice system’s response to child abuse and neglect cases.[42] Child maltreatment cases may be relevant to family courts when one parent seeks action against the other and evidence of abuse (usually sexual abuse) is considered in visitation or family custody decisions. Criminal courts handle charges against adults who have severely harmed or molested a child and can mandate that child abusers receive treatment. Legal interventions in child maltreatment are complicated by many factors, such as the absence of physical evidence, difficulties in obtaining consistent and reliable testimony from children, emotional trauma that might be incurred in forcing a child victim to testify against a parent or other adult who may have harmed him or her, and inconclusive scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness of treatment in halting abusive and neglectful behavior.[43]

Removal of the child or the offender from the home: Most treatment interventions for physical abuse, child neglect, and emotional abuse seek to change parents or the home environment. By so doing, counselling and training would be used to improve on the cognitive-behavioral skills and adapt behavioral methods designed originally to assist abusive families with behaviorally disturbed children or parents. Family systems treatments target the psychodynamic interplay in relationships in such families.[44]

2.7          Summary

In this chapter, the student had been able to review related literature on the child abuse: causes, effects and remedies. The chapter started with the concept of child abuse, and went further to discuss the childhood stages of development. Furthermore, the causes of child abuse, signs & symptoms of abuse, and effects of child abuse were evaluated. It ended with remedies and treatment of child abuse.

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 community residents of Andoni LG in Rivers State.

3.2          Area of Study

The area of study is Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State, Nigeria. The study was carried out within the Local Government Area. The Local Government Area is made up of four (4) clans and twenty-one (21) communities.

3.3          The Population of the Study

The research is on child abuse: causes, effects and remedies. The total population of Andoni Local government area, according to updates from the National Population Commission, Andoni LGA is 294,786.

3.4          Sampling and Sampling Techniques

A total of 300 samples are drawn randomly from the population of Andoni LGA of Rivers State for the study.

To effectively draw samples for the study, the researcher used simple selective sampling technique which is an appropriate sampling technique suitable for drawing such samples. This technique allows designated residents 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 Andoni LGA of Rivers State 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 360 questionnaires were distributed to appropriately selected respondents of Andoni LGA, and 300 well filled questionnaires were collected, validated and used for the analysis.

The researcher distributed and collected the research questionnaires herself. The questionnaires were lodged to the selected respondents and a maximum period of 14 days allowed for the respondents to fill the questionnaires. After 14 days, the researcher went back and retrieved the lodged questionnaires. The administration of the instrument and collection took a period of about 30 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
36032089%30094%

 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 causes of child abuse in Andoni Local Government Area?

 

 

Table 4.1: Causes of Child abuse in Andoni LGA

StatementAA%SASA%DD%SDSD%TotalTotal %
General causes such as: emotional problems, economic crisis, depression and mental health problems16053.310033.34013.400.0300100
Intergenerational transmission of violence whereby children who experience abuse and violence may adopt same behavior as a model for their own parenting14046.78026.66020206.8300100
Stress due to social conditions such as unemployment, illness, poor housing conditions, death of a family member, etc8026.714046.78026.600.0300100
Social isolation and low community involvement which deprives abusive parents of support systems that would help them deal better with social or family stress10033.316053.34013.400.0300100
Family structure including single parenting & families in which one member dominates in making important decisions15050.010033.3103.34013.4300100

Source: Researcher

 Table 4.1 shows the responses of the 300 respondents on the causes of child abuse. 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: “General causes such as: emotional problems, economic crisis, depression and mental health problems”, 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 emotional problems, economic crisis, depression and mental health problems causes child abuse.

 In the second statement: “Intergenerational transmission of violence whereby children who experience abuse and violence may adopt same behavior as a model for their own parenting,” 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 Intergenerational transmission of violence causes child abuse.

 The third statement states that “Stress due to social conditions such as unemployment, illness, poor housing conditions, and death of a family member.” 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, stress due to social conditions such as unemployment, illness, poor housing conditions, death of a family member, leads to child abuse.

 The fourth statement states that, Social isolation and low community involvement which deprives abusive parents of support systems that would help them deal better with social or family stress can cause child abuse. 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 social isolation and low community involvement may lead to child abuse.

 The fifth statement has it that, “Family structure including single parenting & families in which one member dominates in making important decisions can cause child abuse.” The results based on the questionnaire shows that 50% of the respondents agreed, 33.3% strongly agreed, and 3.3% of the respondents disagreed and 13.4% strongly disagreed to the statement. The results of the respondents show clearly that 83.3% of the respondents are in agreement with the statement that family structure including single parenting & families in which one member dominates in making important decisions leads to child abuse.

4.3          Research Question Two

What are the effects of child abuse in Andoni Local Government Area?

Table 4.2: Effects of Child abuse in Andoni LGA

StatementAA%SASA%DD%SDSD%TotalTotal %
Child abuse can lead to minor injuries, severe brain damage and even death of the child20066.78026.7206.600.0300100
Child abuse may result in serious health problems that can adversely affect child’s development and result in irremediable lasting effects180608026.7206.6206.7300100
Child abuse leads to problematic school performance (e.g., low grades, poor standardized test scores, and frequent retention in grade)14046.74013.312040.000.0300100
Child abuse may also lead to developmental delays, attention deficits, poorer social skills, and less emotional stability on children10033.320066.700.000.0300100
Child abuse causes physical aggression and antisocial behavior on abused children12040.014046.74013.300300100

Source: Researcher

 Table 4.2 depicts responses on effects of child abuse. In the first statement: “Child abuse can lead to minor injuries, severe brain damage and even death of the child”, 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 child abuse can lead to minor injuries, severe brain damage and even death of the child.

In the second statement: “Child abuse may result in serious health problems that can adversely affect child’s development and result in irremediable lasting effects”, 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, child abuse may result in serious health problems that can adversely affect child’s development and result in irremediable lasting effects.

 The third statement states that “Child abuse leads to problematic school performance (e.g., low grades, poor standardized test scores, and frequent retention in grade)”, 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 child abuse leads to problematic school performance (e.g., low grades, poor standardized test scores, and frequent retention in grade).

The fourth statement states that child abuse may also lead to developmental delays, attention deficits, poorer social skills, and less emotional stability on children. 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, child abuse may also lead to developmental delays, attention deficits, poorer social skills, and less emotional stability on children.

 The fifth statement has it that, “Child abuse causes physical aggression and antisocial behavior on abused children.” The results based on the questionnaire shows that 40% of the respondents agreed, 46.7% strongly agreed, and 13.3% of the respondents disagreed to the statement. The results of the respondents show clearly that 86.7% of the respondents are in agreement with the statement that Child abuse causes physical aggression and antisocial behavior on abused children.

4.4          Research Question Three

What are the signs and symptoms of child abuse found in Andoni Local Government Area?

 

 

Table 4.3: Signs and Symptoms of Child Abuse in Andoni LGA

StatementAA%SASA%DD%SDSD%TotalTotal %
When a child shows sudden changes in behavior or in school performance14046.710033.34013.3206.7300100
When a child has not received help for physical or medical problems brought to the attention of the parents or guardian14046.710033.34013.3206.7300100
When a child has learning problems or has difficulty in concentrating that cannot be attributed to specific physical or psychological causes14046.712040.04013.300.0300100
When a child seems frightened of the parents or guardian and protests or cries when it is time to go home12040.016053.300.000.028093.3
When a child shows extremes in behavior, such as overly compliant or demanding behavior, extreme passivity, or aggression9030.016053.4103.34013.3300100

Source: Researcher

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

 In the first statement, “When a child shows sudden changes in behavior or in school performance”, 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 shows sudden changes in behavior or in school performance there is a tendency of abuse while 20% disagreed with this problem. The second statement which states, “When a child has not received help for physical or medical problems brought to the attention of the parents or guardian”, 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 has learning problems or has difficulty in concentrating that cannot be attributed to specific physical or psychological causes”, 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 has learning problems or has difficulty in concentrating that cannot be attributed to specific physical or psychological causes, then one should suspect abuse. Fourthly, 40% of the respondents agreed and 53.3% strongly agreed with the statement that, “When a child seems frightened of the parents or guardian and protests or cries when it is time to go home.” However, 6.7% of the respondents did not respond to this statement.

Finally, the fifth statement has it that, “When a child shows extremes in behavior, such as overly compliant or demanding behavior, extreme passivity, or aggression.” The results based on the questionnaire shows that 30% of the respondents agreed, 53.4% strongly agreed, and 3.3% of the respondents disagreed while 13.3% strongly disagreed to the statement. The results of the respondents show clearly that 83.4% of the respondents are in agreement with the statement.

4.5          Research Question Four

How can child abuse be remedied and treated in Andoni Local Government Area?

 

 

Table 4.4: Remedies and treatment of Child abuse in Andoni LGA

StatementAA%SASA%DD%SDSD%TotalTotal %
Educate parents about warning signals that indicate that the child is having difficulties managing anxiety, powerlessness, or anger10033.318060.0206.700.0300100
Help the child’s parents/caregivers address issues of role reversal, boundaries, and setting limits that will not affect the child14046.716053.300.000.0300100
Investigation of child abuse reports by state child protection agencies and taking legal action against the perpetrators14046.716053.300.000.0300100
Clinical treatment of physical and psychological injuries, family counseling, self-help services, the provision of goods and services such as homemaker or respite care24080.000.06020.000.0300100
Removal of the child or the offender from the home12040.018060.000.000.0300100

Source: Researcher

 The researcher was able to deduce the responses of respondents on the remedies and treatment 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 remedies and treatments of child abuse. The result implies that at least 80% of the overall respondents agreed and totally support the following statements on the remedies and treatments of child abuse:

  1. Educate parents about warning signals that indicate that the child is having difficulties managing anxiety, powerlessness, or anger
  2. Help the child’s parents/caregivers address issues of role reversal, boundaries, and setting limits that will not affect the child
  3. Investigation of child abuse reports by state child protection agencies and taking legal action against the perpetrators
  4. Clinical treatment of physical and psychological injuries, family counseling, self-help services, the provision of goods and services such as homemaker or respite care
  5. Removal of the child or the offender from the home

 

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 causes of child abuse. According to the findings, issues such as: emotional problems, economic crisis, depression and mental health problems are some of the general causes of child abuse. The findings also show that the intergenerational transmission of violence whereby children who experience abuse and violence may adopt same behavior as a model for their own parenting, stress due to social conditions such as unemployment, illness, poor housing conditions, death of a family member, etc, social isolation and low community involvement which deprives abusive parents of support systems that would help them deal better with social or family stress, and family structure including single parenting & families in which one member dominates in making important decisions were all causes of child abuse.

 According to research question two, the following were observed to be the effects of child abuse: minor injuries, severe brain damage and even death of the child; serious health problems that can adversely affect child’s development and result in irremediable lasting effects; problematic school performance such as low grades, poor standardized test scores, and frequent retention in grade; developmental delays, attention deficits, poorer social skills, and less emotional stability on children; and physical aggression and antisocial behavior on abused children.

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

  1. When a child shows sudden changes in behavior or in school performance
  2. When a child has not received help for physical or medical problems brought to the attention of the parents or guardian
  3. When a child has learning problems or has difficulty in concentrating that cannot be attributed to specific physical or psychological causes
  4. When a child seems frightened of the parents or guardian and protests or cries when it is time to go home
  5. When a child shows extremes in behavior, such as overly compliant or demanding behavior, extreme passivity, or aggression

 Research question four surveyed the responses of the respondents on the remedies and treatment of child abuse. From the results, the researcher can deduce significantly that:

  1. Educating parents about warning signals that indicate that the child is having difficulties managing anxiety, powerlessness, or anger can help an abused child
  2. Helping the child’s parents/caregivers address issues of role reversal, boundaries, and setting limits that will not affect the child can help remedy child abuse
  3. Investigating child abuse reports by state child protection agencies and taking legal action against the perpetrators can help curb & remedy child abuse in Andoni LGA.
  4. Clinical treatment of physical and psychological injuries, family counseling, self-help services, the provision of goods and services such as homemaker or respite care can go a long way at remedying child abuse in Andoni LGA.
  5. Finally, removal of the abused child or the offender from the home can bring a final remedy to child abuse.

5.2          Conclusion

 From the findings of the study, we can observe that child abuse has great implication on the psychological, physiological, behavioural and cognitive development of the child. It was observed that good parent-child relationship affects the cognitive process and development of a child in various ways. Accordingly, parents should care, support and cultivate friendly relationship with their children. Parents 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 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 qualitative development and build good spiritual and behavioural formation on the upcoming generation, hence reduce abuse. Also, family background affects the way children from diverse cultural, religious and social backgrounds will be able to understand issues and make decisions for effective change in the environment.

 Family background is important in various ways, both to the parents, caregivers and the child alike. Through effective and efficient family background which grows into cordial parent-child relationship, there will be creation of healthy spiritual and cognitive development of the child; contribution to positive behavioural, social and emotional development of the child; provision of foundation for the child’s successful adaptation to the social environment; and help to maintain the child’s interest and love for others. 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 society.

 

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 focus on 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, emotional 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.
  6. Government should set up effective investigating agencies that shall be in-charge of cases of abuse in the society and bring the perpetrators to book
  7. Government in Nigeria, like in developed society, should attempt to remove the abused child or the offender from the home.

5.4          Suggestions for further study

 The following areas of study are suggested:

  1. Evaluation of the consequences of poor parenting on the psychological development of the child.
  2. A comprehensive study on the role of Parents in cognitive development and achievement of children.
  3. An analysis on the effect of child-parent relationship on grades of the child in secondary school.
  4. An analysis of the role of parents, caregivers, mentors and counselors to children academic achievement.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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

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

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.

Bauer, Mary. “What Causes Parents to Abuse Their Child?” Livestrong.com, May 25, 2015.

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

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.

Cohn, A. Effective treatment of child abuse and neglect. Social Work 24(6) November, 1979, 513-519.

Collins, W.A, Maccoby E.E, Steinberg L, Hetherington EM, Bornstein MH. Contemporary research on parenting: The case for nature and nurture. American Psychologist 2000; 55(2):218-232.

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

Culp, R.E., M.T. Richardson, and J.S. Heide. Differential developmental progress of maltreated children in day treatment. Social Work 376:497-499. 1987a.

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

Drotar, D. Prevention of neglect and nonorganic failure to thrive. 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., 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.

Family Resource Center. The Causes of Child Abuse. Kingshighway: St. Louis. 2016.

Hosier, David. “Parents Who Are Emotionally Immature: Effects on Their Children.” Childhood Trauma Recovery, 2016.

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

Kolko, D.J., J.T. Moser, and S.R. Weldy. Behavioral/emotional indicators of child sexual abuse among child psychiatric in patients: A comparison with physical abuse. Child Abuse and Neglect 12:529-541. 1988.

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

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

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.

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Depression. October, 2016.

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

Patterson, G. Living with Children: New Methods of Parents and Teachers Champaign, IL: Research Press, 1980.

Reppucci, N.D., and M.S. Aber. Chapter 11: Child Maltreatment Prevention and the Legal System. Pp. 249-266 in D.J. Willis et al., eds., Prevention of Child Maltreatment. New York: John Wiley, 1992.

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

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

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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.

Trentham, Bart. 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.

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

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.

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APPENDIX

SECTION A

Department of Christian Education

Assemblies of God Divinity School

of Nigeria, Old Umuahia

Dear Respondent,

This questionnaire was prepared for the project writing entitled, “Child abuse: causes, effects and remedies in Andoni LG” 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.

Frederick, Edith

 

Personal Data

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

 

 

SECTION B

Questionnaire Section

  1. What are the causes of child abuse in Andoni Local Government Area?
S/NStatementASADSD
1General causes such as: emotional problems, economic crisis, depression and mental health problems    
2Intergenerational transmission of violence whereby children who experience abuse and violence may adopt same behavior as a model for their own parenting    
3Stress due to social conditions such as unemployment, illness, poor housing conditions, death of a family member, etc    
4Social isolation and low community involvement which deprives abusive parents of support systems that would help them deal better with social or family stress    
5Family structure including single parenting & families in which one member dominates in making important decisions    

  1. What are the effects of child abuse in Andoni Local Government Area?
S/NStatementASADSD
1Child abuse can lead to minor injuries, severe brain damage and even death of the child    
2Child abuse may result in serious health problems that can adversely affect child’s development and result in irremediable lasting effects    
3Child abuse leads to problematic school performance (e.g., low grades, poor standardized test scores, and frequent retention in grade)    
4Child abuse may also lead to developmental delays, attention deficits, poorer social skills, and less emotional stability on children    
5Child abuse causes physical aggression and antisocial behavior on abused children    

  1. What are the signs and symptoms of child abuse found in Andoni Local Government Area?
S/NStatementASADSD
1When a child shows sudden changes in behavior or in school performance    
2When a child has not received help for physical or medical problems brought to the attention of the parents or guardian    
3When a child has learning problems or has difficulty in concentrating that cannot be attributed to specific physical or psychological causes    
4When a child seems frightened of the parents or guardian and protests or cries when it is time to go home    
5When a child shows extremes in behavior, such as overly compliant or demanding behavior, extreme passivity, or aggression    

  1. How can child abuse be remedied and treated in Andoni Local Government Area?
S/NStatementASADSD
1Educate parents about warning signals that indicate that the child is having difficulties managing anxiety, powerlessness, or anger    
2Help the child’s parents/caregivers address issues of role reversal, boundaries, and setting limits that will not affect the child    
3Investigation of child abuse reports by state child protection agencies and taking legal action against the perpetrators    
4Clinical treatment of physical and psychological injuries, family counseling, self-help services, the provision of goods and services such as homemaker or respite care    
5Removal of the child or the offender from the home    

[1] Alekseeva, L. S. Problems of child abuse in the home. 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] Family Resource Center. The Causes of Child Abuse. (Kingshighway: St. Louis. 2016), 21.

[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.

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

[12] 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.

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

[14] 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.

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

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

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

[18] David Hosier. “Parents Who Are Emotionally Immature: Effects on Their Children.” Childhood Trauma Recovery, 2016.

[19] Mary Bauer. “What Causes Parents to Abuse Their Child?” Livestrong.com, May 25, 2015. 2.

[20] Collins WA, Maccoby EE, Steinberg L, Hetherington EM, Bornstein MH. Contemporary research on parenting: The case for nature and nurture. American Psychologist 2000; 55(2):218-232.

[21] National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Depression. October, 2016.

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

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

[24] 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.

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

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

[27] 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.

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