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How Child Abuse Impact Children Performance in Schools

Introduction and Background

Child abuse is a crime or act of harming a child sexually, emotionally, and physically. It can also be treating the child badly especially forcing him into child labor. It is a pervasive social issue characterized by devastating consequences on the child for their entire lives. Although several stringent measures have been adopted by human rights organization and law enforcement agencies, studies indicate that case of child abuse has increased over recent time. Child abuse takes a lot of forms, like commission and omission. The commission is an act that is related to sexual abuse and physical abuse, while omission involves both physical and emotional neglect. When these two acts happen extremely, they can easily lead to devastating long-term effects on child development, thus influencing their behavioral, cognitive, physical, and psychological development.

Unfortunately, it is a high chance that child neglection and abuse have a high chance of lowing child academic achievement. Also, several studies indicate that children who are suffering from neglect exhibit low academic and those who are abused physically. Many tend to drop out of school even before completion because poor academics cause them to stay longer in school. The cognitive ability and memory to master concepts in class are lower than their friends. Many do not know to understand that child abuse is a serious problem affecting children today. The number of abuses has increased to a level in every ten children there is one who is facing child abuse or has experienced child abuse. Studies have also indicated that sexually abused children aged between 7 to 12 years face academic difficulties, and many repeat a grade severally as their cognitive ability is low. The study will provide both schools administrators and parents with an insight into how child abuse has impacted children negatively academically.

Literature Review

Azi, A. S., & Saluhu, A. I. (2016). The effect of child abuse on the academic performance of school children: Implication on the Nigerian Economy. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, Arts, and Sciences3(3), 23-27.

According to the article, child abuse generally can harm a child emotionally, sexually, and physically. Harmful behavior of children’s parents, siblings, peers, teachers, and society in a different form can lead to child abuse which is not a strange issue in Nigeria. Also, Chalk, Gibbons, and Scarpa have noticed that child abuse affects children most physically, behaviorally, and psychologically (Azi et al., p. 23). Asokan and Olatunji’s study indicated that child abuse highly influences the children’s secondary and primary education academic performance. They used a sample of 200 teachers to investigate the impact of child abuse on school performance, and they found out that child abuse child performance in schools is positively related.

The study was done by Augustine Azi and Abubakar Isa Saluhu, who narrates the theoretical study. They examined the impact on academic performance and its implications. The study’s finding indicates that there are three main of child abuse which includes emotional, physical, and sexual or psychological abuse. According to Azi and Saluhu’s findings, abused children commonly perform poorly in class because they find it difficult to remain focused and concentrate on their studies. Additionally, they found out that more than 24.6% of the children in Nigeria face child abuse annually, which has affected their studies as well the economic production of the country (Azi et al., p. 24). They are also recommended different ways to curb the issue; both government, parents, school authorities, and teachers should play their role to help in mitigating this problem.

The source highly articulates the key aspects of the study in our cause by addressing the question in our research. The article has indicated different types of child abuse and listed and discussed the impact on the children’s academic performance. The source has also brought on board recommendations that can be used to mitigate this kind of problem (Azi et al., p. 26). The article can be used when researching as it is reliable. The author holds a doctorate in Education, Art, and Sciences from the University of Jos, Plateau. He has done several types of research on this topic and other topics.

Bosede, Alokan Funmilola, and Olatunji Itunu Comfort. “Influence of child abuse on classroom behaviour and academic performance among primary and secondary school students.” European Scientific Journal 10.10 (2014).

According to Bosede, child abuse has emerged as a major social problem that needs public attention. Like over the world, the children are subjected to child labor, others as beggars in the streets, many are denied education others die because of mistreatment. Several types of research indicate that childhood maltreatment contributes a lot to failure in academic achievement. Bosede and Comfort O.I (2014) researched to determine the relationship between child abuse and their attention in class. To collect sufficient information, they adopted the survey method. The targeted population for the study comprised primary and secondary teachers from both private and public schools from major areas of Nigeria (Bosede et al., np). The sample was comprised of 200 teachers drawn from 10 schools using stratified random sampling. The researchers gave out questionnaires targeting those who have faced abuse. Also, behavior questionnaires were used to collect data related to the performance in class.

To ensure the validity of the content, they used experts to judge the validity of the data collected. A test-retest method was employed to determine the reliability of the data obtained. Therefore the reliability coefficient was found to be 0.72. further analysis of data was done by use of Pearson Product Moment Correlation. After analyzing the data, the information obtained revealed a significant relationship between child abuse and their concentration or attention span in class (Bosede et al., np). Based on the obtained finding, both Alokan and Funmilola Bosede concluded and recommended that child abuse highly affects children’s concentration in class, thus lowering their grades in academic performance. Education forums should be put in place to curb this problem. Also, parents should purpose to always relate with their children with affection, love, and provide for their needs.

The article has discussed in detail the question in our problem by evaluating deeply how child abuse has negatively impacted the educational performance of abused children. The article is done by Aokan, Funmilola Bosede, a Ph.D. holder in the department of guidance and counseling Faculty of education, Etiti State University of Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria. Together with this journal, he has done many other journals on the same topic and on another topic that has reliable sources of research information and references for many researchers.

Makondo, S. L. D. D. (2017). Effects of child abuse on the academic performance of primary school learners in the Manzini Region, Swaziland. World Journal of Education7(5).

According to Sylvia Lungile and Davison Makondo, child abuse is one of the social catastrophes problems that is recently attracting public attention. In Swaziland, education is one of the fundamental human rights and is highly considered a cornerstone to the development of oneself and the development of the nation at large. In the United States, education is viewed as a basic human right and a tool that helps one achieve social equality in society. Then, the researcher in this article has observed that many children are not attending school as a result of child abuse. Also, the researcher has observed that child abuse in Swaziland has become rampant and sexual abuse is more prevalent in the country (Makondo et al. np). This study selected primary school teachers in Swaziland, which revealed that more than 40% of the population had experienced child abuse.

The study’s main purpose was to investigate the impact of child abuse on academic performance, especially for primary schools students in Manzini, a region of Swaziland. The research was qualitative, and it employed a phenomenological research design to collect data—the main target population of the abused students in Manzini primary. The researchers collected data from 15 abused learners. Purposive sampling was the employed method used in the selection of targeted schools. After the analysis, the findings indicated that the majority of the abused learners have poor academic. Thus, the researcher concluded that child abuse has negatively affected the academic performance of learners who have been abused (Makondo et al. np). Therefore, the study reached the recommendation that all parents, stakeholders, school administrators, and teachers should plan to work hand-in-hand to handle this problem to help the abused kids improve their academic performance and social life.

The journals have detailed every aspect regarding our question in our problem by addressing the effect of child abuse on academic performance, especially for primary learners. It was published in 2017 by Sylvia &Makondo, who have done several other research journals on different topics. The journal can be easily accessed through the website indicated above. They have shared knowledge and information that several scholars can apply and use in their research.

Ada, P. A., & Anake, P. (2015). Child abuse and students’ academic performance in boki local government area of cross river state. British Journal of Education3(3), 34-42.

According to Ada, child abuse has become an apparent vicious and endless cycle that hurts the social image of a State and more the dignity for those who are abused. He states that child abuse can occur at home, in school, or the community as children tend to interact with each other. He has also categorized child abuse into four sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, physical abuse, and regret. According to the journal, child neglect and abuse can result in death or lead to emotional and physical harm (Ada et al., p. 36).

According to the journal, child abuse is defined as inflicting physical injuries and emotional torture on the child, which might be intentional and could endanger one in terms of health, physical, social, educational, moral, and emotional wellness of a child. The journal has identified factors that contribute to child abuse: poverty and parents’ ignorance. The research in this journal focused on investigating child abuse as it impacts educational performance. To achieve the study’s objective the research formulated two null-hypothesis and a sample of two 200 participants randomly selected to enhance data collection. The selection of the sample was facilitated through the use of a simple random sampling method or technique. In collecting the data, the questionnaire played a key role. The Test re-test reliability was established, and the Pearson product-moment correction analysis was applied as the best tool of statistical technique during the study. Therefore, the researchers used the critical level of 0.5 to test the significance of each hypothesis. The finding of the results indicated that both sexual and physical abuse on children is statistically related to learners’ academic performance (Ada et al., p. 35). The recommendation was made based on the results. They state the importance of having intensified and affectionate campaigns to create awareness regarding the menace of child abuse, both sexual and physical abuse, as it is killing the future of our kinds, society, and family.

The journal has analyzed the question on the research as through its finding, we have witnessed how child abuse negatively affects their academic performance. The scholars of the source make it much more reliable as they have done many other journals on different topics and have sufficient knowledge of the topic (Ada et al., p. 39). They work in the Department of Education Foundations, offering guidance and counseling at the University of Calabar.

Diette, T. M., Goldsmith, A. H., Hamilton, D., & Darity Jr, W. A. (2017). Child abuse, sexual assault, community violence, and high school graduation. Review of Behavioral Economics4(3), 215-240.

According to Timothy M. Diette, the number of youths who managed to through their course in 1900 was very low because there were a lot of different forms of child abuse, either violence or sexual abuse. Community violence and sexual assault caused many students to quit their high school education before graduation. But the number kept growing to 80% by 1970. As per the researcher, the number dropped again by 2010 as many again fell victim to abuse in high schools (Diette et al., p. 220). Timothy has done several types of research that have documented the relationship between childhood sexual abuse, physical violence, and educational performance. In the findings, there is an indication that there is a positive correlation between the numbers of students who manage to graduate and sexual assault, with is one form of child abuse. Throughout their finding, it is indicated that child abuse has contributed to a large share of poor academic grades. Very few numbers of students manage to complete their studies.

Hypothesis Review

For our research question, the best hypothesis; indicates a direct correlation between child abuse and poor school performance. The research variables have been child abuse and poor performance. Reviewing the above-done research in literature, all the findings had a positive correlation between child abuse and poor academic performance (Diette et al., p. 222). When a child is abused, he is affected mentally, thus lowering his concentration in class. Also, many tend to drop out of school. The reviews have detailed how child abuse can negatively affect academic performance by giving some examples in different countries.

Research Methods

Research methods are the tools that a researcher can use when doing research. They can be quantitative or qualitative as well the mix of the two. The quantitative research method examines numerical data, and it requires the researcher to use statistical tools when analyzing the data collected. Some of the best and most convenient statistical tools that can be applied when analyzing data are the t-test, F-test, and regression analysis. The very basic statistical tools are the t-test and F-test. The best research method that can be applied in this research is the quantitative research method, which is often used when dealing with measurable forms and numbers. It gives a systematic way of investigating an issue or a problem (Diette et al., p. 225). Through analysis, it answers questions justifying the relationship between the measurable variables by either explaining, predicting and also how to control the phenomenon. The method suits our research as it helps analyze the relationship between child abuse and school performance. The quantitative research method involves three methods: survey research, descriptive research, and correlation research.

Survey research involves collecting data and information from a sample of individuals through the responses they provide to the given questions. It is a research method that allows for a variety of methods of recruiting the participants to be employed to collect data and also be able to utilize different methods of instrumentation (Azi et al., p. 23). Like in our case, in the course of collecting data, their research might apply this method to collect information from the sample of participants to answer the presented questions.

Descriptive research; is a method that is under quantitative research method. It could be of great help in our research as it is a type of research commonly used to describe the characteristic of the target population. Like in our case, our targeted population of abused children in schools. The researcher might employ the method to collect data that answers various questions like when and how its event occurred. The question in this research method pertains to a particular population and a group.

Correlational research; is another research method under the quantitative research method, which is a convenient method for our research as it helps show the correlation between child abuse and school performance. Using this method, we concluded that there is a positive correlation between child abuse and school performance. The method is a non-experimental research method that mainly focuses on studying the relationship between two variables with the help of statistical analysis. It does not focus on studying the effects of understudy variables’ extraneous variables. For instance, in our case, we focused on the relationship between child abuse and school performance.

We should also remember that research should become useful and valuable only when valid, reliable, and accurate (Azi et al., p. 27). Therefore, to ensure that the data collected is reliable, accurate, and valuable quantitative research method involves the process of analysis before complying with the data. It uses the three methods mentioned above. With the use of descriptive statistics, the researcher will be able to summarize the data and include the measure of variability and averages. This is done through the use of scatter plots, frequency tables, and graphs to help visualize the data and be able to check for any trend of outliers. It also involves using inferential statistics, which helps in making predictions and generalizations based on the data collected for the study. Through that, it helps test the hypothesis and use of the sample to estimate the population parameter of interest in the research.

Personal Response

As I was doing my research assignment, I have learned a lot from beginning to end and have come to some needed concepts. On evaluating the impact of child abuse on academic performance, I have come to understand that apart from the physical and emotional impact that child abuse torture because it impacts individual academic performance, which in the future brings up long term consequences to the nation (Ryan et al., p. 370). I learned that the abused children might even drop out of school, which brought to my thinking that in most countries, we witness a lot of school dropouts, especially in Nigeria. According to research done by Azi & salute (2016), several factors contribute to child abuse in Nigeria and how it has contributed negatively to the education sector. Nigeria is one of the countries that experience many schools, and college drops out because of poverty and others because of sexual assault.

After reviewing different research, I can conclude that my question was well answered. All the five reviewed journals analyzed and answered the question according, as each journal evaluated the effect of child abuse on academic performance (Ryan et al., p. 370). Then, after carrying out the analysis, there was a positive correlation between child abuse and school performance. Journal one done by Azi & Saluhu evaluated the question in our research better than other journals. I can not conclude that the other journal a shall, but according to my perspective and expectation, I found that the journal is done by Azi be more detailed than the others.

The new thing I learned from my topic is that child abuse has both short and long effects on individuals’ lives. I had no understanding that child abuse can deeply impact education, as I have found. And I would like all stakeholders who can help mitigate the problem of child abuse in our society to implement policies that will eradicate the problem with immediate effect because it has become a worldwide disaster. Failure to deal with it, our future generation will be in struggles (Ryan et al., p. 370). The most important thing I learned as I was doing the assignment was that we should live as brothers and sisters because the world is made of us, and loving each other will be an immediate solution to deal with child abuse. Everyone will be a keeper to his peers and a keeper of the entire family, leaving no room for any abuse. The are several challenges I faced while doing the research. One of the challenges I faced while collecting data was that many participants gave wrong information. Even lack of enough funds to facilitate data collection was another challenge.

Work Cited

Ada, P. A., & Anake, P. (2015). Child abuse and students’ academic performance in boki local government area of cross river state. British Journal of Education3(3), 34-42.

Azi, A. S., & Saluhu, A. I. (2016). The effect of child abuse on the academic performance of school children: Implication on the Nigerian Economy. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, Arts, and Sciences3(3), 23-27.

Bosede, A. F., & Comfort, O. I. (2014). Influence of child abuse on classroom behavior and academic performance among primary and secondary school students. European Scientific Journal10(10).

Diette, T. M., Goldsmith, A. H., Hamilton, D., & Darity Jr, W. A. (2017). Child abuse, sexual assault, community violence, and high school graduation. Review of Behavioral Economics4(3), 215-240.

Makondo, Sylvia Lungile Dlamini1& Davison. “Effects of child abuse on the academic performance of primary school learners in the Manzini Region, Swaziland.” World Journal of Education 7.5 (2017).

Ryan, J. P., Jacob, B. A., Gross, M., Perron, B. E., Moore, A., & Ferguson, S. (2018). Early exposure to child maltreatment and academic outcomes. Child maltreatment23(4), 365-375.


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