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Abuse of children has become a global issue that must be addressed if children are to be granted the right to education and liberty. In many regions of the world, child abuse has received serious attention, and Nigeria is no exception. Given this effort, one might assume that this threat will no longer exist.

However, a look at society reveals that child abuse occurs not only in the household, but also in the school system, thereby preventing the country from achieving a sound educational development. This study analyses parental awareness of child abuse’s health consequences.

chapter One


1.1 Context of the Study

Long after the abuse has ceased, abuse survivors often continue to experience health problems. Survivors of abuse are sicker and visit the doctor more frequently (Felitti, 1991). They report more symptoms and are less prone to report good health. In one study, they undergo surgery almost twice as often (Kendall-Tackett, Marshall, & Ness, 2000). Adult survivors are more likely to experience one or more chronic pain syndromes (Drossman et al.,1990; Kendall-Tackett, 2000; Schofferman, Anderson, Hinds, Smith, & White, 1992).

And in the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study, Felitti and colleagues (Felitti et al., 2001) discovered that subjects who experienced four or more types of adverse childhood events had an increased risk of a variety of conditions, including ischemic heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, diabetes, skeletal fractures, and hepatitis. Psychological abuse, physical abuse, contact sexual abuse, exposure to substance abuse, parental mental illness, exposure to violent treatment of the mother or stepmother, and exposure to criminal behaviour were among the childhood events studied.

Researchers have documented the increased prevalence of these health issues among adult survivors over the past decade. The following phase for researchers is to determine why this occurs. This study describes a paradigm with four potential pathways by which victimisation may affect health.

Clinicians and researchers can begin to comprehend the causes of health problems if they adopt a novel perspective on the long-term effects of childhood maltreatment. Behavioral, social, cognitive, and affective pathways are the four described types of pathways. Adult survivors can be influenced by any or all of these four categories, and the four types also influence one another. In fact, they constitute a complex matrix of interrelationships that all impact health. A child is an individual younger than 18 years of age.

The Nigerian infant has been viewed as “an instrument or property with no absolute rights” for centuries. In traditional African culture, it was believed that infants should be seen but not heard. Children were not permitted to attend to or participate in adult discussions or conversations. This circumstance was pervasive not only in society but also in the educational system.

Therefore, instructors only permitted children to contribute when deemed necessary. Recognizing that children play a vital role in the family and the community, there has been heightened concern about children in recent years. Children are the future generation, the leaders of tomorrow, and the potential flag bearers of any nation, according to a consensus.

To fulfil these responsibilities, the infant has certain rights that must be protected and not violated or denied. United Nations, European Union, African Union, UNICEF, and ANPPCAN have joined forces to advocate for the preservation of children’s rights and well-being. This is in recognition of the socio-cultural and educational dimensions of the child.

UNICEF and the National Policy on Children accord minors the following rights, among others: Protection against inhumane and impermissible conduct, such as maltreatment and neglect Provision of an environment that promotes early learning stimulation for the child Every child (male and female) has the right to compulsory primary education and equal access to higher education.

Encouragement and promotion of child-friendly principles in all pertinent institutions. The preceding provisions recognise the significance of education for the optimal development of the child, thereby advocating for the provision of a conducive learning environment and compulsory basic education.

Education is therefore acknowledged as a means by which the child can develop appropriately. Because education is regarded as a tool for cultural, social, political, economic, and technological development and emancipation, numerous developing countries place a high value on the education of their citizens.

In Nigeria, for example, education is viewed as a means of constructing a free, democratic, just, and egalitarian society, a unified, strong, and self-reliant nation, and a land of abundant opportunities for all citizens (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004). Therefore, Nigeria and its people require a shift and expansion in education in order to catch up to developed nations.

Over the past three decades, there has been a growing interest in the effects of infant abuse and neglect on their development, health, and mental health. Child maltreatment is both a violation of human rights and a complex public health issue, presumably caused by a myriad of individual, family, and community factors.

Child abuse encompasses all forms of maltreatment and harm perpetrated on children and adolescents by adults (or older adolescents). This type of abuse is likely to result in lasting injury to the child. The various forms of child abuse and neglect frequently co-occur within the same family and can affect multiple children.

In decreasing frequency, these include: neglect; physical abuse and non-accidental injury; emotional abuse; and sexual abuse (Cawson et al, 2000; 2002). Recently, intimidation and domestic violence were added to the list of forms of child abuse.


The issue of child abuse has been identified as a significant global social issue prevalent within and outside of the home and among all socioeconomic groups in both developed and developing nations of the world. Parents now delegate responsibility for their children’s care to schools.

Numerous young children who would have been at home at approximately two years of age have been forced to attend school. As a result, many children are neglected, despised, and tortured on a daily basis due to the teachers’ and school administration’s inability to manage their workload.

This obviously undermines the provision for the child’s right to protection from “indecent and inhuman treatment” such as abuse and neglect. On the basis of this premise, the researcher will investigate parental awareness of the health consequences of child maltreatment.


The primary objective of the study is to determine whether or not parents are aware of the health consequences of child maltreatment. However, to facilitate the completion of the study, the researcher aims to accomplish the following specific objectives:

I Determine the impact of child maltreatment on a child’s academic performance.

ii) To examine the role of parents in preventing maltreatment by educators and carers

iii) To investigate the health effects of child maltreatment

iv) Examine the relationship between parental awareness of child abuse and the health consequences of child abuse


The researcher developed the following research hypotheses to aid in the completion of the study:

The impact of child abuse on a child’s academic performance is negligible.

Child maltreatment has a significant impact on a child’s academic performance.

H02: child abuse has no effect on the child’s health.

Child maltreatment has health consequences for the child

1.5 Importance of the Research

As the purpose of the study is to investigate the disadvantages of child maltreatment, it is anticipated that the findings will be of great importance to the parents of these children when the research is complete.

The study will be of great importance to researchers, academics, students, and the general public as it will add to the existing body of literature on the subject. It will also be of great importance to researchers who intend to conduct similar research on the same subject.


The scope of the research encompasses parental awareness of the health repercussions of child abuse, but there were some factors that limited the study’s scope;

a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The researcher has insufficient research material, thereby limiting the scope of the study.

b) TIME: The time allotted for the study does not allow for a broader scope because the researcher must combine it with other academic activities and examinations.

c) FUNDING: The available funding for the research project does not enable for a broader scope because the researcher has other academic expenses to pay.


Child maltreatment

Physical, sexual, or mental maltreatment or neglect of a child or children, typically by a parent or other carer.


Health is the capacity of a biological system to efficiently acquire, convert, allocate, distribute, and utilise energy.

Parental knowledge

Parent Awareness is a family-centered programme that provides support and education to parents and children to promote the healthy, positive development of children and families.


This research project is divided into five chapters for simple comprehension: The introduction comprises 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 context of the study.

The second chapter focuses on the theoretical framework upon which the study is based, thus providing a review of relevant literature. The third chapter discusses the study’s research design and methodology. Chapter four focuses on data acquisition, analysis, and findings presentation. The fifth chapter provides a study summary, conclusion, and recommendations.

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