Influence of Child Abuse on the Academic Performance of Primary School Pupils

Influence of Child Abuse on the Academic Performance of Primary School Pupils
Influence of Child Abuse on the Academic Performance of Primary School Pupils

ABSTRACT: This research investigated the Influence of child abuse on the academic performance of primary school pupils in Nsit Ibom local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. The population of the study was three thousand eight hundred (3800) pupils. Simple random sampling technique was use to choose the sample size of two hundred (200) pupils. Survey design was adopted for the study the instrument use for data collection was fifteen (15) items questionnaire. Independent t-test was as in statistical analysis the finding reveal that hawking was one of the immediate child abuse in primary schools. The following recommendation were made parent should be educated to help them train their children properly. Since hawking is the most common form of child abuse in Nsit Ibom local government Area, the government and nongovernmental organization should educate parents on the danger of allowing their children to hawk. The study concludes that a child with behavioural problem is bound to attract hatred and maltreatment from the parents. Unwanted pregnancy produces children who are abused.        

Influence of Child Abuse on the Academic Performance of Primary School Pupils



1.1 Background to the Study

This united nation (2006) declaration of the right of the child was adopted unanimously by the general assemble in 2013. It affirmed the rights of the child to enjoy special protection and to be given opportunities and facilities for developments. The effectiveness of this declaration in Nigeria is doubtful because in our schools, some pupils are said to be exploited through hawking forced labour, mini-slavery and seduction. They are being exposed to unfavourable conditions of living such as hunger, diseases, poor or no shelter and the use of foul language among others. The large society is also guilty of this inhumanity for instance, some religious organizations that would have been considered perfect for good child upbringing have become avenue for child abuse as some pupils are sexually intimidated and abused, brainwashed, can slaved dehumanized through ritual and traditions such as body mutilations.

According to Formasek Tomasevski (2008) respect for children’s (probably two third of all countries in the world) may gain admirable and no international or non-government organization is in a position to investigate and give report no global stage of children’s right is steadily improving but it is still very far from having a “global” reach.

Child abuse has existed for centuries with varying degrees of responses by different societies. Burdett (2012) observed that, “in the early times, there existed destruction of children considered undesirable for religious, political and economic reasons or because they are defective females or twins was culturally approved”.

In the words of Dorian Harper (2000), during the 14th century in the western culture, young children were beaten and forced to perform dangerous and unhealthy tasks for long hours in filth ridden environments. He further said throughout history, young boys and girls have been sold and kept for sexual purposes and exploited by adults for some selfish reasons.

In every western nation, efforts have been made and continued to be made toward s understanding the phenomenon. Many investigations and studies have focused on the causes, treatment and prevention of children against potential abused for example, since the publication of the battered child syndromes in Kenya in 2000, the problem of child abuse has attracted a lot of public concern.

Gloria (2011), observed that the problem of child abuse despite the increasing concern has continued to defy solution. She further stressed that the problem and harmful effects existed among children of both sexes of all ages races, every income level and geographical area.

According to Harper (2000), child abuse take a variety of forms, it may include: any act or omissions that adversely affects a child’s physical, mental and emotional developments. When young children continually live in an environment threatened with family disruption and personal neglect. Also when they are denied parental love and nurturing which are important needs are of young children, their growth and development are certainly hampered.

According to Akpabio (2009), “parental concern and empathy given the young child as first feedings of his own family surrounding and the confidence in the world at large”. Also Erikan (2012) maintained that these neglected children will not acquire the sense of trust in their surroundings that leads up gradually to the different sense of autonomy, integrity which is fundamental steps to healthy personality development.

According to Frite (2004) there are many causes of child abuse. The following are examples:

  • Immaturity of parent
  • Misuse of drugs
  • Sexual promiscuity
  • Drugs and alcoholic dependence
  • Pregnancy and especially repeated pregnancy among teenagers.
  • Low intelligence, poor self discipline
  • Legitimacy, a succession of consorts and cohabiters.
  • Overdose of alcoholic

He went onto say that factors of other kinds are chronic disease and disability (mental or physical) poor quality housing frequent movements homes, change of employment low income.

Martin (2004), said that what cause child abuse are:

  • The mother herself had a very depriving background as a child or all her life.
  • The green of the child may be in question
  • The child is not a legitimate child.
  • The child was not wanted in the first instance
  • The mother is isolated from his relationship and friends
  • Crises in the family.

Child abuse can take many forms. It may be physical, emotional, sexual and child labour. All these forms of child abuse have effects on academic performance of pupils.

Margaret (2004) said that depression result from maltreatment, which is form of child abuse, ascertained that children who are abused or neglected may share several distinguishing characteristics as being depressed withdrawn, passive and show lack of positive self image. The thought of success is motivation and as such it a pupil perceives himself as an academic failure, his efforts in studying is affected adversely. According to Umoh (2009), hearing process proceeds better when dominated by stimulating positive and encouraging thought of oneself.

The effective handing of child abuse in our society will enhance a positive self performance. This calls for a multi-disciplinary child abuse in our society. The research seeks to contribute towards the achievement of these goals. It is against the background that the work is based.

Gloria (2011), maintained that “awareness of child abuse varies from one society to another and this depends on political, social, economic and cultural concepts of the country”. Taylor and Barger (2000), recognizes child abuse and neglect as significant problems. This often depends on the local definitions for priorities. Also parker (2011) said there is no unified theoretical framework on child abuse and neglect.

Influence of Child Abuse on the Academic Performance of Primary School Pupils

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Nigeria in the past had witnessed an unpredicted wave of child abuse, child neglect and child exploitation. There had been cases of killing of twins because they were regarded as bad, taboo or bad omen in the society. Children in Akwa Ibom state had been exploited through hawking, forced labour, mini slavery, seduction and exposure to unfavourable condition of living such as a hunger, diseases servitude and the use of foul language among others.

Many parents in Nsit Ibom negate the global policy of a equal opportunity to all it is against this backdrop that research on child abuse and academic achievement of mathematics among primary school pupils is conducted.

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