Child Abuse And Abandonment – Effects On Human Resource Development In Nigeria

Child Abuse And Abandonment – Effects On Human Resource Development In Nigeria

Child Abuse And Abandonment – Effects On Human Resource Development In Nigeria

The education of the child in Nigeria society is very vital. Child abuse has become an international phenomena, a plague of sorts. It is right to admit that it was in search of a lasting solution to the epidemic, which compelled the war leaders to put their heads together believing also that children ensures the continuity of society.

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Several studies carried out by psychologists point to the fact that personality development is fully affected by the nature of child rearing practices prevailing in a culture. Durojaiye (1976) puts the mater most straight forward by saying that the child rearing o parents has affected the education of their children. Here education is seen as the totality of the development of the personality of the child. The patter of interactions between the parents and their children shows how their children are socialized into the accepted behaviour of the society.

When children are maltreated by their parents, there is history of bad parent-child relationship that would become progressively worse as time passes. Whether he abused child is a baby or a toddler or an older child, there is a mutual feeling of rejection on fan open hostile character of the mother. Because aggression transferring their growing hostilities by overt attacks on their children when deterioration in parents-child relationship become persistent, it weakens the emotional bounds between the parents and child. As a result, at a child’s later stage, he establishes a patter of life that do not include his family which he passes to the classroom situation which in turn affects his education. Morrish (1979) opines that parents’ attitude and behaviour significantly influenes the achievement of children at schools. Yinusa (1980) who all these regareds, the child physical, emotional and psychological development and a child that grows up in an oppressive environment have here feeling of love and acceptance eroded. He also grows up to develop the problem of low self esteem in the adult live.

Child abuse is also in the form of exposing the child to diseases and unfavourable weather and social conditions. Some wicked guardians punish a child by starving the child and water for a period of time longer than necessary even to the point of starving to death. Some of the abused children are used to making money through hawking of wares of all sorts, serving in hotels irrespective of their age,


The rate at which children experience abuse, in Nigeria is increasing rapidly and the rate at which parents worry about their children of victims of the circumstances has brought about this study.

Child abuse and abandonment is a common social phenomenon in Nigeria. The rate at which child abuse and neglect is growing in the counry and the manner it is practiced without qualms along our market places, motor parks, major streets arouses the researcher’s interest. The researcher considers this special social malady as something that could result in negative effects on the country in future and therefore, demands urgent investigation and remedy. It is possible that the problem of child abuse and abandonment may have fermented the fabrics of the Nigerian society so much that it might be very difficult to control.


The focus of the research is to examine very comprehensively what constitutes child abuse and abandonment. It will also x-ray the constitutional rights of the child in Nigeria – Nigeria being a signatory to the United Nations declaration on the rights of the child. This work also intends to examine the long and short-term effects of child abuse and abandonment on the child’s psychological and socio-cultural disposition, his immediate family members and the project of such effects on the wider members of the society.

One of the expectation of the work is to fully expose the ills of child abuse and abandonment and , thereby educate the concerned parents and their children on the implication of child abuse and neglect with special reference to the areas covered by the case study. The researcher intends to create awareness among parents and their children alike on child abuse and neglect and its effects on them and the entire society.


This project has both practical and theoretical significance. It does not intend to create false alarm or downplay the effects to the problems arising thereof on the entire society. First and foremost, the study is interested in helping parents to make the best o their children and the children, the best of themselves. This is possible through practicable explanations. It much be stated, however that what is easily practicable in one society may be less practicable in another society depending on the nature of the existing realities are achievable.

In theory, this work is expected to reach many people across the country. This is intended to sharpen their awareness on the implications of child abuse and neglect and at the same time will help to put and end to it. This project hopes that government at all levels will be touched to promulgate laws and seriously enforce compliance of same banning child abuse and neglect.

The project is also expected to reduce child abuse and neglect and hence ameliorate the plight of the child by making parents and the society at large realise that abuse and neglect spoil the child. Furthermore, the project is expected to motivate parents to seek alternative solutions to doing certain things, which their children do and which constitute child abuse and neglect. For example, a parent whose underage child hawks along all streets during school hours realising that the future of the child is at stake may decide to find an alternative to hawking and hence allow that child to join his peers at school. This is one of the many significance of this project. It is done wide enough, then of the aims of this project would have been achieved.

It is common and easy for Nigerians to find for doing so many wrong things. For example, many Nigerians considered abused and abandoned children as unfortunate and suffering children as unfortunate and suffering from the poor economic position of their parents. Such people do not see it as something that could result in a very bad effect on the child, its family and the society at large. In this regard, child abuse and abandonment are not seen as a social ill rather as “God’s will”. This project will practically change this type of notion for the better, an if this happens, many Nigerians will help in one way or the other to see that the plight of the child is improved.

Another significance of the project is that while learning the study, the knowledge and ideas of the researcher on the social ill prevalent in our society would widen, for one thing leads to another. The government might realise that the need to help certain parents who abuse their children because they had not alternative. Consider for example the children of handicapped parents to live. In a situation like this, the society is to be blamed for allowing such children to waste away. If this project achieves its aims, it will make societies such as described above realise the need for them to help stop child abuse and abandonment on human resource development in Nigeria and force that may begin to be born and where they are already existing, they shall be more affective.


This study sought to answer the following questions;

1. Does child abuse affect the education of the child?

2. Do parents neglect their children because of poor economic background?

3. Do children of low-income background experience abuse more than children of high income background?

4. Is the problem of child abuse more rampant among illiterate parents than literate parents.

5. What are the causes of child abuse ad neglect in our society?

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Having all these in mind and the link between social change and the plight of the average Nigerian child on the streets, in our motor parks and in slavery, the following hypotheses are formulated:

1. Child abuse and neglect in Nigeria today is caused by the inability of the Nigerian parents to adjust themselves to modernisation and traditional task of child rearing.

2. The plight of children in Nigeria is caused by the political and economic hardship in the country.

3. More ignorant women than men engage in Child abuse and abandonment in Nigeria.

There are two types of hypothesis which was used to analyse the hypothesis formulated: Null hypothesis and alternative hypothesis

Ho: Child abuse and abandonment in Nigeria are not caused by inability of parents to adjust themselves to modernisation and traditional task of child rearing.

Ho: Child abuse and abandonment in Nigeria are caused by inability of parents to adjust themselves to modernisation and traditional task of child rearing.

Ho: Child abuse and abandonment in Nigeria are not caused by political and economic hardship in the country.

Ho: Child abuse and abandonment in Nigeria are caused by political and economic hardship in the country.


The study is restricted to child abuse in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State. It is designed to find out the effects of child abuse and abandonment on human resource development in Nigeria. This has been a problem to the progress of our society.



Wrong use of the child or maltreatment of the child proportion of harm to children that results from human action or in actions that is preventable.


This involves not allowing and encouraging children to grow like others, example is abandoning new born babies somewhere to die or be picked up.


A cause of moral injustice and evil in the society that disturbs the economy.


A widespread disease that affect many people.


In this chapter, we have to look at the definitions of child abuse and child labour and also the causes.

Child abuse and neglect ahs not been given sufficient attention in this country. This accounts for near absence of publications discussing it. However, it is a common knowledge that abuse and neglect of the child has so permeated the fabrics of our society that it is now giving many Nigerians food for thought. Most publications on child abuse found on newspapers and magazines only report particular cases in point of such abuse and neglect. These media fail to proffer solutions because they do not delve deep enough to investigate causes of such abuse and neglect.

Child abuse can be defined as the wrong use of the child or maltreatment of child proportion of harm to children that result from human actions or inaction that si preventable. Child labour can also be defined as an active trade in children both within an outside the country. This totality deviates from the traditional African culture of handing over children from indigent families to live with relations that are more affluent. With the old practices, a silent trade by barter is achieved whereby the child assists in the household chores while the affluent relatives trains the child for a better future.

Vangham (1992) is of the view that statistics indicates that most of the abandoned children of the S.O.S, village, Isolo and Yaba psychiatric hospital are from broken homes. According to him, changes in the family result in the lives of the concerned children. Such changes channels the children’s lives towards juvenile delinquency and delinquency and their struggle for the manifestation of their personalities.


The Africa child today lives in an ambivalent state. The message that come across to him is that of love an hate from the same world. Love, because the whole world professes to love children. Hate, because there ahs been a dramatic rise in recent years, in the number of children in especially difficult circumstances in Africa. According to United Nations/UNICEF reports worldwide, the report indicates ah in the past decade, some two million children have been killed, four to five million children disabled, twenty million homeless, over one million orphaned or separated from their parents while some ten million from their parents while some ten million others have ended up psychologically traumatized with several millions of survivors who are to know peace in their life time.

There are various forms of psychological abuse used by parents, teaches and guardians. These are as follows:


This involves refusing the request or needs of a child in such a way as to imply a strong dislike and affection for the child.


This is the withholding of affection, detachment, coldness or failing to respond to the child’s attempt to communication.


This means humiliating children in public or calling them stupid, using abusive words in degrading children’s self esteem is lowered by frequent assaults n their dignity or intelligence.


A child who suffers regular beatings or threatened with violence is terrifying for a child.


Refusing to allow a child to play with friends or take part in family activity is to isolate a child.


Taking advantage of a child’s innocence or weakness is exploitation.

Child abuses are widespread social problems. Included in the definition of abuse is physical injury other than accidental injury, which creates risk of death, disfigurement or impairment and also sexual abuse, neglect describes situations in which the child’s barest physical needs are not met, thereby putting him in danger. For example, a neglected child is deprived of food, shelter and medical attention and he is unsupervised. There are various causes o child abuse which are as follows:


The issue of broken home is regarded as a contributing factor to the causes of child abuse. Although a break between the parents may alleviate some aspects of conflict in the child’s lie, conflicts such as constant quarrel between both parents, in some cases to the extent of fighting. But other conflicts also rises such as shortage of money, preoccupation of the single parent which his or her own life, less concerned about the welfare of the child or children. Children form one-parents home perceive their homes and often report that the difference makes them feel inferior (Hurlock, 1973).

Child prostitution is a situation where children etween the ags of 10 – 15 engage in prostitution to provide for their various needs, this is because the parents are just too busy taking reconstituted home of the parent in custody of the child (Landis, 1963, Perry and Pfuhi, 1963). Homes that have stepparents may have more stress than normal homes (Bowerman and Irish, 1962). This is especially true if the stepparent is a stepmother as witnessed by the higher juvenile delinquency rates from homes where there are stepmothers rather than stepfathers (Glueck, 1962). These children are singled out for maltreatment by the stepmother who is supposed to be a other figure. Most of these children are forced to roam the streets hawking wares while their mates are in the school.

There are so many experts with regard to children from broken homes. First example, there is the case of a senior secondary school student in Benin city begging for money to feed when asked his reason for begging when he is not supposed to was that his mother had left his father and his father late remarried, but he is hardly at home. His stepmother does not care for him in anyway.

Another example is in the Guardian newspaper of 7th October, 1995 of an article titled “one for street kinds”. The report showed the case of a boy from a broken home who had to make a living from the streets until he was able to get help. According to the report, the boy, 5 years old moved under the bridge early 1994 in Lagos scrounged an existence from the streets till September 1995 when he got help. His father felt that, with nowhere he joined other boys to struggle of odd jobs to keep boy and soul together. The stepchild or children even when they have a chance of living with one of the parents are made to do all the domestic works at home. They are always singled out for abuse.

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One stepfather killed a twenty-tow month old baby girl for failing to use the toilet. Abusing parents will usually defend the right to use physical force as a disciplinary measure, even to the point of injuring the child (Wasermann, 1961). It is estimated that a stepfather is likely to abuse his stepdaughter than a biological father is to abuse his own daughter (Sed Lack and Wvolfe, 1984).


The first social system, which is concerned with the socialisation process of the child, is the home. Thrasher (1927) was of the view that the infant who appears to be innocent leans from immediate environment. It therefore follows that where the parents are abusive towards their children it goes to affect the character of the child latter in life, who in turn will be abusive towards other children. Maccoby et al (1957) wrote that the family is widely acknowledged as among the most powerful socialising agents in a young child’s development. Since this is the case, the child should be given the kind of love that we make him/her feel wanted. Withholding this love from the child by the parents is an abuse on the child. This have a kind of psychological effect on the child for the fact that his parents at home have a kind of negative attitude towards him or her, he feels rejected and unwanted in the family circle.

I Sunday Observe, of August 13, 1995, an article titled “addressing issue of child abuse”, a contributor, Engineer Mrs. Comfort Ponnel point out the fact that children from the so-called well-off homes also suffer some form of abuse from negligent parents. These parents over pamper their children, others leave the upbringing of their children to house helps, day care centres and schools. In general, those are seen as bad role models to their children who can be so easily influenced.

Most parents due to materialistic pursuit have tilted or no time for their children. Parents fail to face the fact that not creating time to spend with their children or child at home is a form of abuse and neglect.

Street kids of all sorts have become part of the landscape of many cities in Nigeria. Here I the tendency for some parents to say “look at your mates with cars” this is another form of abuse which forced many children into the rigours of child labour too early in life. Parents who are supposed to be role models to their children now encourage them to be way-ward. These children faced with such situations proceed to mingle with bad gangs in the school, thereby giving room to moral decadence as encouraged by their so-called parents.

Smith (1973) lamented over the present state of morality at home. He blamed parents who are drug addicts, thieves, indolent parents who have other behaviour, which are rebellious to the society. He felt that it is difficult for children from such hoes to be disciplined. According to Smith, this wickedness to run the life of such children, thereby abusing their children through the kind of character they portray.


Wealth, power and prestige are not always consistent, some people like to university professors are members of professions that are fairly prestigious but provided little wealth or power. Other people have political power, through they are not wealthy.

Poverty, unemployment and overcrowding also play a role in child abuse, although physical abuse of children is found at all socio-economic levels. It is almost seven times more likely to be reported in homes where the annual income is very low (Sed Lack, 1989).

The burden of the poverty is spread unevenly among the region of the developing world. Among countries within these regions, and among localities within these countries nearly half to the world’s poor people live in South Asia, a region that accounts for roughly 30 percent of the world’s population. Sub-Saharan Africa of which Nigeria is a part accounts for a smaller but still highly disproportionate share of global poverty.

Unemployment is also a source of abuse. A parent who is suddenly and unexpectedly out of work become abusive towards his or her children. An unemployed father may try by wielding authority at home through physical domination.


The impact of child abuse and neglect is often discussed in terms of physical, psychological, behavioural and society consequences. In reality, however, it is impossible to separate them completely. Physical consequences (such as damage to a child’s growing brain) can have psychological implications (cognitive delays or emotional difficulties for example). Psychological problems often manifest as high risk behaviours.


The immediate physical effects of abuse or neglect can be relatively minor (bruises or cuts) or severe (broken bones, haemorrhage, or even death). In some cases the physical effects are temporary. However, the pain and suffering they caused a child should not be discounted. Meanwhile, the long term impact of child abuse and neglect on physical health is just beginning to be explored. Below are some outcome researchers have identified:

i. Shaken baby syndrome: The immediate effects of shaking a baby (a common form of child abuse in infants) can include vomiting, convulsion, respiratory distress, seizures and death. Long-term consequences can include blindness, learning disabilities, mental retardation, cerebra palsy, or paralysis (Conway, 1998).

ii. Impaired brain development child abuse and neglect have been shown, in some cases, to cause important regions of the brain to fail to form properly, resulting in impaired physical, mental, and emotional development (Perry, 2002, Shore, 1997). In other cases, the stress of chronic abuse causes a “hyperousal” response by certain areas of the brain, which may result in hyperactivity, sleep disturbances, and anxiety as well as increased vulnerability to post-traumatic stress disorder, an learning and memory difficulties (Perry, 2001; Dallam, 2001).


The immediate emotional effects of abuse and neglect-isolation, fear, and an inability to trust – can translate into life long consequences including low self-esteem, depression, and relationship difficulties. Researchers have identified links between child abuse and neglect and the following:

i. Poor mental and emotional health; In one long-term stud, as many as 80 percent of young adults who had been abused met the diagnostic criteria fat leas one psychiatric disorder at age 21. These young adults exhibited many problems including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and suicide attempts (Silverman, Reinherz and Glaconia, 1996).

ii. Social difficulties: Children who are abused and neglected by caretakers often do not form secure attachments to them. These early attachment difficulties can lead to later difficulties in relationships with other adults as well as with peers (Morrison, Frank, Holland and Kates, 1999).


Not all victims of child abuse and neglect will experience behavioural neglect appear to make the following more likely:

i. Difficulties during adolescent studies have found abused and neglected children to be at least 25 percent more likely to experience low academic achievement, drug abuse, and mental health problems (Kelley et al, 1997).

ii. Alcohol and drug abuse; Research consistently reflects an increased likelihood that abuse and neglected children will smoke cigarettes, abuse alcohol, or have illicit drugs. According to National Institute on Drug Abuse, as many as two-third of people in drug treatment programmes reported being abused as children (2000).

iii. Abusive behaviour: Abusive parents often have experienced abuse during their won childhood. It is estimated approximately one-third of abused and neglected children will eventually victimise their own children (parent child abuse, New York, 2001).


While child abuse and neglect always occur within the family, the impact does not end there. The society as a whole pays a price for child abuse and neglect, in terms of both direct and indirect costs.

i. Direct Costs: Direct costs include those associated with maintaining a child welfare system to investigate allegations of child abuse and neglect, as well as expenditures by the judicial law enforcement, health, and mental health systems, to and treat abused children and their families. A 2001 report by Prevent Child Abuse America estimates these costs at $24 billion per year.

ii. Indirect costs: Indirect costs represent the long-tem economic consequences of child abuse and neglect. These include juvenile and adult criminal activity, mental illness, substance abuse, and domestic violence. They can also include loss of productivity due to unemployment and underemployment, the cost of special education services, and increased use of health care system. Parent-child Abuse America recently estimated these costs at more than $69 billion per year (2001).

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Emotional abuse according to Kinard (1979) refers to an injury to a child’s psychological self. Jus as physical abuse consist of injury to a child’s body. Its intention and effects are punitive which is generally experienced as parental hostility or rejection such verbal criticism of a child ‘s failure to meet unrealistic expectations or standards for his or performance.


The National Centre for Child Abuse and Neglect (1978), defined sex abuse as any of a sexual nature upon or with a child performed by parents or caretaker without the child’s consent and understanding.

There are more cases involving caretaker than parents. At times masters provide necessary items and even more to entice young girls approaching puberty under their care.


Barton (1976), identified physical abuse to include, punishing the child, pinching, slapping, flogging the child, and asking the child to kneel down for hours with raised hands, beating the child to a point of unconsciousness, burning a part of the child’s body, pouring cold or hot water on the child, pushing the child against an object e.t.c. It is indicated by physical injuries generally considered to be deliberately inflicted by a caretaker or parents.


This research covers Ossissa community in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State. Ossissa community is divided in four clusters, group A-D. Group A, comprises Umudke, Umuogwaye, Umueyim and Umuekete.

Group B, consistsofUmuokolo, Umuogbeunu, Umuawele and Utehi.

Group C, consists of Umuedogwu, Ogbesile, Ogbeti and Umuodia.

Groupd D, Umueze and Umunor.

Ossissa community is in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State. It is geographically located between Asaba and Warri, along the expressway lining these two towns. Ossissa has a very big market where people come from different areas including a motor park, like Asaba park, Kwale park, Obiaruku park, Ogwashi-ukwu park. These are the major places where child labour is very visible and where you find under aged children obviously loitering and seemingly without knowledge of parents. Most of those under aged children hawk different wares while some go about begging for also either in cash or in kind.


It is true that this research focuses on children but the glaring truth is that reason for child abuse and neglect not be truly uncovered through children. In as much as many have their reason for running away from home, for engaging in child labour, for loitering during school hours instead of being in the classroom, parents and more elderly people should be in a better position to afford the explanation for this. In this research, information shall be gathered from the children, teachers and adult population. The children will be interviewed to while questionnaires will be issued to adults and teaches. The number of population of the study is numerous but one hundred and sixty (160) respondents are expected to be covered.

From the researcher’s personal observation, the number of children involved in abuse an neglect are more of male than female. It is also, for the purpose of this research assured that more ignorant women than literate women abuse their children. This is so because most of the children found hawking ae assumed to have been sent by either their mothers or female guardians.


the sampling technique used in this research is cluster sampling technique. The research grouped the community into four (4) groups from A to D. The population and sample size of each group are stated in the table above.


As stated earlier, the major instrument for data collection is the questionnaire. It contains two sections. The first section will deal with personal data of the respondents while the second part carries thirteen questionnaires. The researcher intends as earlier mentioned to se a combination of questionnaires bearing in mind the hypothesis to be tested. The questionnaire shall be structured in very simple and easily comprehensible language for easy understanding ad choice of suitable answer and illiterate adults shall be conducted using structured interview.

Questions from the questionnaire shall be read and interpreted to the respondents for choice of suitable answers based on the alternative answers already contained in the questionnaire.



The aim of this research is to examine the causes and effects of child abuse and abandonment on human reserve development in Nigeria, using ossissa community as a case study. The researcher collected data through the use of questionnaire and oral interview. The data collected were analyzed. Base on the analysis, the following findings were made;

1. Child abuse and abandonment on human resources development in Nigeria is caused by the inability of Nigerian’s parents to adjust themselves to modernization and the traditional task of child bearing.

2. The plight of children in Nigeria is caused by the political and economy hardship in the country.

3. Child abuse and neglect in Nigeria is engaged in by more ignorant women than men.

4. illiteracy on the part of the parents or not knowing the social implications has a direct bearing on child abuse and neglect in Ossissa community.

5. Parents desire for capital accumulation is another causes of child abuse and abandonment in Nigeria.

6. new trend of economic development, the traditional roles of children which have changed significantly is another causes of child abuse and abandonment on human resources development in Nigeria. This is because many families find it very difficult to cope with the new trend. The society is changing rapidly and most families are not psychologically favourable to children.

7. Children of low-income background experience child abuse than children of high income background.

8. Government also contributed to child abuse and abandonment on human resource development in Nigeria. This is because government has not done much towards educating the illiterate home

9. Economic hardship in the country has made most families to start looking for easy ways for solutions. These situations have increase on child abuse and neglect in our society.

10. Emotional discomfort is also contributed to child abuse and abandonment on human resource development in Nigeria.


In carrying out this research many obstacles existed. The problem of interaction with the illiterate parents posed a problem to the researcher. How to carry out interview with parents. Some may not want to respond well because of inferiority complex and fear of intimidation.


based on the findings the following recommendations were made;

(1) Government should make a law that will banned the withdraw of children from school by their parents for early marriage and farming activities.

(2) Federal and state government should establish child support agencies to take care of neglected and abused children

(3) No discrimination should be practiced against children on grounds of sex, language, religion, liability, birth or other statues.

(4) Children’s view should be heard and respected by both government and parents.

(5) Parents should be educated and made to be aware of the implication of child abuse and abandonment on human resource development in Nigeria.


In this work, the researcher the causes and effects of child abuse and abandonment on human resource development in Nigeria using Ossissa community as a case study.

Base on the findings I hereby conclude that the effect and causes of child abuse and abandonment on human resource development in Nigeria may be put to an end if some or all the suggestion (recommendation) in this project work are adopted.

Child Abuse And Abandonment – Effects On Human Resource Development In Nigeria

To place an order for the Complete Project Material, pay N5,000 to

GTBank (Guaranty Trust Bank)
Account Name – Chudi-Oji Chukwuka
Account No – 0044157183

Then text the name of the Project topic, email address and your names to 08060565721.  

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