Effect of Child Abuse on the Academic Performance of Secondary School Students in Nigeria
This chapter focuses on the literary works of scholars that have been done in the area of child abuse and its effect on the educational performance of secondary school students.
The chapter will be grouped and treated under the following sub headings:
1. The Concept of Child Abuse
2. The Causes of Child Abuse
3. The Effect of Child Abuse on Students Academic.
4. Factors Affecting the Consequences of Child abuse and Neglect
5. Theoretical Orientations towards Child Abuse as it affect Academic Performance.
6. Ways of Preventing Child Abuse.
2.1 The Concept of Child Abuse
The terminology child – abuse is a compound word formed from child and abuse. From English definition, child means an infant, one that is very young, a son or a daughter, offspring; and abuse simply means an improper treatment or employment of angry or violent attack in word melted on any one. Psychologically, the term child used to present that developmental state of man encompassing the early stages of development ranging from Neonate (few months after birth), early children (1-2 years), pre-school ages (first to five years and middle childhood (Pre-adolescence).
In chronological term, childhood can be broken as a teenager. As commonly used by parent, a father or mother would refers to his or her offspring as a child irrespective of the age. Child in the present context is any one between the age of one to twenty years who is still largely dependent on a caretaker for duly survival and maintenance. It is such dependency that makes the child susceptible to treatment that may be termed maltreatment from whoever the child is dependent on.
2.2 Causes of Child Abuse and Human Issues
The causes are hard to determine, child abuser come from all income level, geographic area, family settings, religious background, ethnic groups and residential environment. Some of the causes are discussed below.
1. Adults that were abused as children
There is one factor that seems related to child abuse. Although, a cause effect sequence has not be demonstrated. According to Kline, (2007) has reported a clear relationship between child abuse and neglect. This researcher found that of children judges to be abuse or neglected, 27% of them where subsequently enrolled in special education classes. When the question was asked why do these parents do it? It was found out that child abuse is a psychological problem. The authors of one study claim that as infants and children all of the (abusing) parents were deprived both of basic mother care about from the beginning of their lives (Spinetta and Rigle, 2002). This statement could be interpreted to mean that all abused children will grow to become abusing adults; and that any one who has not been abused as a child will not abused his/ her own children, because violence is very likely to reject the violence. A child learns violence as a solution and an outcome when there is family conflict the intense emotion that accompanies the witnessing of violence by a child enhance the learning process. The violent lessons of family conflicts are likely to be forgotten.
According Leonard, J.R. (2004) wrote of an abused child growing up in violent family might not have learnt an alternative means for dealing with conflict violence. His or her reporting of behavior may not include such facilitative skills as negative reasoning, exchange of services or humor. Such a person may know of no other way to deal with a child than to use physical force. According to Fontana, (2008) suggests that parents who abuse their children have great difficult in developing trust, a difficulty that is linked to isolation of parent from family and other social groups.
Isolation has been used to explore violence towards children in number of studies. For example, Modern and Wrech Smith (2003) found that child abused has been found in family where there is no ongoing relationship outside the home. According to Gelles and Straus found higher audience of violent in a family that has live or in a neighborhood less than three years. Those who did not attend or belong to any organization in the community have a much higher rate of child abuse than those who belong to or attend at least an organization (Straus, 2009).
The child abuse problem is complicated by guilt on the part of both parent and children. Few children even in the pre – school years will appear to outside for help. Any parent, an abuse one may be deeply loved by the child. And it hardly need to be said that very few parent even among those who believe in physical punishment would consciously feel justified in doing their children serious harm. According to Younes, (2007) in his write up on “child – abuse and neglect incidence”, wrote that physical abuse of children by their parent is a phenomenon of maladjustment that can be diagnosed and treated.
2. Broken Home
According to Anykam, (2004), a study of spouses who was involved in divorced action revealed a significant incidence of violent family behavior. The pattern of violence is cynical, children who have been abused or neglected group lack trust and are unable to form a close relationship with their spouse when they marry.They frequently lack a sense of positive self – esteem and competence. In other words, they exhibit the helplessness syndrome, such individuals often want children but when they become parent they have no knowledge of appropriate child – rearing practices or normal growth and development. As a result, they may punish a six month old child for crying when this is his only means of communicating his needs.
Battering usually occurs as crisis when parent anger and frustration are multiplied; and the parents interpret the child behavior as being accusatory and rejecting. Children have been ill – treated by adults throughout history, but are very recently that concern about the issues has gathered momentum. In order to assess the significant of recent development, it is important to locate the special reaction to children’s problem in a wider historical context from the beginning of the century to the 1970s’ concern for children has focus primary on the promotion of society from children and the control of delinquent youth. The primary concern with children has been in terms of the prevention of crime and anti – social behavior.