ASSESSMENT OF THE FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT

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Abstract

In Nigeria, children face the menace of abuse ranging from physical injuries, abandonment, sexual abuse to child labour. In fact, child abuse is becoming alarming in the country. Government’s efforts to combat the problem have yielded little or no result. This study therefore, examines the factors responsible for child abuse and neglect in Nigeria. It also appraises recent intervention to the problem. The result showed that unemployment and poverty are the major causes of child abuse in the area. It recommended that punitive measures should be taken against children who engage in hawking as well as their parents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENT

Title page

Approval page

Dedication

Acknowledgment

Abstract

Table of content

CHAPETR ONE

1.0   INTRODUCTION 

1.1        Background of the study

1.2        Statement of problem

1.3        Objective of the study

1.4        Research Hypotheses

1.5        Significance of the study

1.6        Scope and limitation of the study

1.7       Definition of terms

1.8       Organization of the study

CHAPETR TWO

2.0   LITERATURE REVIEW

CHAPETR THREE

3.0        Research methodology

3.1    sources of data collection

3.3        Population of the study

3.4        Sampling and sampling distribution

3.5        Validation of research instrument

3.6        Method of data analysis

CHAPTER FOUR

DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION

4.1 Introductions

4.2 Data analysis

CHAPTER FIVE

5.1 Introduction

5.2 Summary

5.3 Conclusion

5.4 Recommendation

Appendix

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  • Background of the study

Ika South is a Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria. Its headquarters are in the town of Agbor. It has an area of 436km2 and a population of 62,594 (Onyeche, 2012).

Child abuse and neglect is a social and public health problem in Nigeria, as well as a children’s rights issue. Abuse and neglect can lead to a wide range of adverse consequences for children and young people. There is generally not a single factor that results in the abuse or neglect of a child; it is usually a combination of various factors. In addition, the duration (such as the duration of an illness) or intensity (such as the level of drug or alcohol abuse) can make it more or less likely that a child will be at risk for abuse (Aber and Cicchetti, 2014).

Child abuse is a term used for maltreatment and neglect of children. Child maltreatment may be formally described as: …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 (Woodhouse, 2011).

Child neglecton the other hand is generally seen as a different phenomenon from maltreatment. Child neglect may be defined as: ‚Äúany recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caregiver, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm‚ÄĚ (Culp, 2011). Neglect is in many ways the more insidious harm against a child, with long-term effects at least as damaging as physical abuse (if not more so) but often going unnoticed (Bloom, 2011).

The term¬†‚Äėchild abuse and neglect‚Äô refers to the harm experienced by children or young people under the age of 18 yearsas a result of the actions, inactions or inability of people with a parental responsibility for them (Sylvestre and M√©rette, 2010). Parental responsibility in relation to a child means all the duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which, by law, parents have in relation to children (Greenfield, 2010). The harm experienced by the child or young person may arise from a significant event or may arise from the cumulative effect of abuse and neglect. Most parents love their children, but when stress, tiredness, lack of skills, information and support combine it can be overwhelming (Drotar, 2012).

It is certain that no child is ever to blame for abuse inflicted on him or her by an adult. There may be no ‚Äėchild‚Äô factors present at all when a child is abused. However the risk of abuse of a child may be increased if the child has attributes that make parenting more difficult or has high needs. Relevant factors might include being a premature baby, persistently crying, being one of a multiple birth, and/or having behavioural or mental health problems (Rosenbaum, 2011).

Some children may be vulnerable because of emotional difficulties they have that both reflect and exacerbate social isolation. The resulting cognitive and emotional deficits serve as signals of vulnerability and/or interfere with their self-protective skills outside the home (Vissing, 2012). Thus, some children are victimised again and again. Cognitive and emotional deficits resulting from sustained abuse (including family violence) or neglect at home may increase the risk of a vicious circle of victimization outside the home as well. Thus, for example, experiences such as loss, conflict, deprivation or turmoil within the home may undermine a child’s ability to protect themselves, making them a potential target for bullies or sexual predators (Abram, 2010).

Low educational attainment of caregivers has been identified as a risk factor for child maltreatment and neglect (Berger, 2010) and is also associated with poverty. Hence poverty (especially when compounded with other risks such as sole parenthood), low educational attainment and maltreatment can set up a cycle whereby one perpetuates the other (Jacobson, 2010). As with other risk factors, the strength of the relationship between low educational attainment and neglect and maltreatment is unclear, as are the causal pathways. Low educational attainment can both reflect and contribute to disadvantage including precarious employment and low income. Lack of education may also mean a parent has less understanding of issues associated with parenting, or has limited ability to learn themselves (Twardosz and Lutzker, 2010).

A further widely recognised stressor is sole parenthood (Alessandri, 2011). Two factors appear to contribute to sole parenthood as a stressor and risk factor for children: the first is the strong link between sole parent households and poverty, especially reliance on benefit income (Chaffin, 2011) although, due to the loss of the absent parent‚Äôs wage-earning power, ‚Äúthe majority of single-parent, female-headed families [are driven] into poverty,¬†regardless of whether the mother works.‚ÄĚ [emphasis added] (Bloom, 2011); the other is that sole parenthood may be associated with lack of family or community-based support networks. And a sole parent is doing the work of two people. While support provided to mothers is significantly associated with them being able to provide support for their children, there is no evidence that lack of support and/or wider family dysfunction necessarily leads to maltreatment (Aber and Cicchetti, 2014).

Child abuse occurs in every country in the world, and despite considerable efforts and resources, rates of maltreatment and neglect in developed countries have not markedly diminished, nor are researchers much closer to being able to assess which children are at risk, and what programmes effectively change long-term behaviour so as to prevent maltreatment (Berger, 2010).

Child abuse and neglect have immediate and long-term consequences. In addition to negatively impacting on the child, child abuse and neglect impacts on the family, the school community, and even future generations. The ability to survive and thrive in the face of child abuse and neglect depends on a variety of factors, including the extent and type of abuse or neglect, whether it was continual or infrequent, the age of the child when abuse was initiated, the child’s relationship to the abuser, and how the abuse or neglect was responded to if discovered or disclosed. Outcomes are also dependent on the child’s personality traits, inner strength, and the support the child receives from those around them (Berger, 2015).

Neglected children are also at considerable risk. These children are more likely than other children to suffer from a serious physical injury due to an accident such as falling, drowning, fire, or ingesting poison. They are also at a greater risk than other children of being physically and sexually abused from an unrelated caretaker, often times a significant other or friend of their parent(s) (Berger, 2010).

It is important to note that some children will not develop behavioral problems, so it cannot be assumed that a lack of behavioral problems is evidence against child abuse or neglect. When there are behavioral problems as a result of child abuse and neglect, they will most likely be related to difficulty following rules, being respectful, staying in their seats and keeping on-task, temper tantrums, and difficult peer relationships. As children become older they are more likely to engage in self (Woodhouse, 2011).

It has been the general assumption that children with reasonable physical care would grow into normal happy adulthood. But scientific investigations of psychologists, sociologist and psychiatrists regarding personality development has uncovered the greater importance of the growing up and its lasting effects on the total personality of a person. Adult personality has its root in childhood. What we can do as adult is largely determined by ways in which we were allowed into experience inevitable events of childhood. Thus the aim of this research work is to shed more light on the issue of child abuse and neglect in Ika South Local Government of Delta State. A child is neglected when he lacks continues physical and emotional contact with his mother. Children under this category are those may be due to lose of mother or both parents or the separation of both parents, thus child may be sent to nursery school or orphanages with many children which makes it difficult for special individual attention to be rendered to each child. Those children are therefore brought up by stranger which could be changed at different times due to the shift of their study. Child abuse on the other hand can be defined as the portion of harm to children that result from human action or in action that is prescribed, proximate and preventable. The definition recognizes that such harm is no accident but something perpetrated on children by others, usually intestinally and that the actors inflicting this harm do not enjoy society approval. It is also point out that abuse generally come from the child immediate environment and that it is preventable child neglect is a passive form of maltreatment or abuse UNICEF (1986).

There is reason to be concerned about child abuse (mistreatment and neglect) in Nigeria: children‚Äôs mortality rates from intentional injury almost doubled over the 1980s, and have improved little since then (Craig & et al, 2011, p. 59; 2012, p. 56). In 2003 UNICEF reported that New Nigeria ranked third highest amongst rich nations for its child maltreatment death rates (UNICEF, 2003). The public is understandably anxious following a number of highly publicized cases of intentional child maltreatment and death. Official reports including the Green Paper for Vulnerable Children (Nigerian Government, 2011), the ensuing White Paper (Nigerian Government, 2012b) and the final report of the Welfare Working Group (WWG) (Welfare Working Group, 2011), which highlight the plight of ‚Äėvulnerable‚Äô Nigerian children, have also fed the public‚Äôs concern.

Child abuse and neglect is one of the Nation’s most serious concerns. The Children’s in Delta strives to ensure the safety, permanency, and well-being of all children by working with state, tribal, and local agencies to develop programs to prevent child abuse and neglect. The Children’s Bureau awards funds to states and tribes on a formula basis and to individual organizations that successfully apply for discretionary funds. Child Maltreatment 2015 presents national data about child abuse and neglect known to child protective services (CPS) agencies in the United States during federal fiscal year (FFY) 2015. The data were collected and analyzed through the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS), which is an initiative of the Children’s Bureau. Because NCANDS contains all screened-in referrals to CPS agencies that received a disposition, including those that received an alternative response, these data represent the universe of known child maltreatment cases for FFY 2015 CAPTA was amended in 1988 to direct the Secretary of HHS to establish a national data collection and analysis program, which would make available state child abuse and neglect reporting information.1 HHS responded by establishing NCANDS as a voluntary national reporting system. During 1992, HHS produced its first NCANDS report based on data from 1990. The Child Maltreatment report series evolved from that initial report and is now in its 26th edition. During 1996, CAPTA was amended to require all states that receive funds from the Basic State Grant program to work with the Secretary of HHS to provide specific data, to the extent practicable, about children who had been maltreated. These data elements were incorporated into NCANDS. The required CAPTA data items are listed in appendix A. The CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2010 added new data collection requirements.

NCANDS is subject to the Office of Management and Budget approval process to renew existing data elements and to add new ones. This process occurs every 3 years. The most recent renewal in which new elements were added occurred during September 2012 when six fields were added to NCANDS‚ÄĒfour to the Child File and two to the Agency File. The six new fields were implemented to comply with CAPTA and improve data quality‚ÄĒtwo fields added time stamps related to the receipt of a referral and the start of an investigation or assessment, two fields added dates for a discharge from foster care and child fatality, and two fields asked for counts of children eligible and referred to early intervention services. As of FFY 2015, most states are reporting data in the new fields.

  • STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

One of the basic principles of the International Convention on the Right of the Child is that every child must be protected against all forms of exploitation, indecent or degrading treatment, including child labour, abduction and sale (UNICEF 2000). According to UNICEF, exploiting the labour of a child means employing a person below the age of 15 years and paying him/her less than the minimum standard wage. Halting the maltreatment and neglect of children matters because abuse causes harm to the victim both at the time of the abuse and in the long term: that harm may be ‚Äúsubstantial and long-lasting‚ÄĚ; many victims ‚Äúfollow a path to crime and violence‚ÄĚ and may never become ‚Äúproductive‚ÄĚ members of society (Child Youth and Family, 2010, pp. 2-3). Physical, mental and emotional development may be affected. It is against¬† this backdrop that the researcher intends to assess the factors responsible for child abuse and neglect in Nigeria

  • OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The main objective of the study is to assess the factors responsible for child abuse and neglect. But to aid the successful completion of the study, the researcher intends to achieve the following specific objective:

  1. To ascertain the factors responsible for child neglect and abuse in Delta
  2. To ascertain if there is any relationship between child neglect and the child long run productivity
  • To evaluate the role of the parents in curbing child abuse
  1. To examine the relationship between child abuse and child neglect in Delta
    • RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

To aid the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

H0: there is no significant relationship between child neglect and child long run productivity

H1: there is a significant relationship between child neglect and child long run productivity.

H02: parents do not have a significant role to play in curbing child abuse in Delta metropolis

H2: parents do have a significant role to play in curbing child abuse in Delta metropolis.

  • SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of great importance to the management of non-governmental organization as the study seek to acknowledge their roles in the campaign against child abuse and neglect, the study will also be beneficial to the Delta state government, as the study seek to loud the state government effort in curbing child abuse and neglect as the study seek to proffer suggested solutions to the relevant authority on how to eliminate this havoc from our society, the study will also be beneficial to researchers who intend to embark on a research in a similar topic as the study will serve as a reference point for further study, finally the study will be of great importance to academia’s , teachers, students, lecturers and the general public as the study will add to the pool of existing literature on the subject matter.

  • SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

The scope of the study covers an assessment of the factors responsible for child abuse and neglect in Kaduna state, Nigeria. But in the cause of the study, there were some factors which militate against the scope of the study which were out of the researchers control;

Time factor: time was not on the researchers to consult various sectors of the economy to review employees or given out questionnaire to various institutions on the effect of government revenue policies.

Finance: this is another barrier that limited the researcher’s work.

Availability of research materials: material for this work is not readily available as the researcher has to go to the field and source for materials.

Operational definition of terms

Abuse

is the improper usage or treatment of an entity, often to unfairly or improperly gain benefit. Abuse can come in many forms, such as: physical or verbal maltreatment, injury, assault, violation, rape, unjust practices, crimes, or other types of aggression.

Child abuse

Child abuse or child maltreatment is physical, sexual, or psychological maltreatment or neglect of a child or children, especially by a parent or other caregiver

Child neglect

Child neglect¬†is a form of¬†child¬†abuse, and is a deficit in meeting a¬†child’s¬†basic needs, including the failure to provide adequate health care, supervision, clothing, nutrition, housing as well as their physical, emotional, social, educational and safety needs

  • ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study its based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.  Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.



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