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  • Background to the Study

Child maltreatment has become a global problem that needs to be tackled if children are to be given the right to education and freedom. The issue of Child maltreatment has been given serious attention in many parts of the world and Nigeria is not left out. Given this serious effort, one would have thought that this menace will not persist (Alexander, 2009).


Pervasive child maltreatment has been linked to a marked decline in elementary school pupils’ intellectual achievement. Higgins and McCabe (2001) found that children who have been maltreated had a higher risk of academic difficulties, such as low grades and test scores, frequent absences from school, and behavioral issues.


The detrimental consequences of child matreatment on school success have been shown by other studies as well. Kim and Cicchetti (2010), for instance, discovered that children who had been abused or neglected performed worse cognitively and academically than their non-maltreated counterparts. Children who had been maltreated were also more likely to struggle with reading and mathematics, as well as exhibit poorer levels of enthusiasm and involvement in school, according to research by English and Graham (2016).


The detrimental effects of child matreatment on school success are well-documented, yet despite this, numerous obstacles remain in the way of a solution. For instance, there may be a lack of resources to help children and their families when a case of maltreatment has been identified. Poverty, social isolation, and inadequate access to services like healthcare and education may also play a role in the widespread nature of child matreatment.


It is evident that child matreatment is a multidimensional problem that calls for an all-encompassing solution. Children and families impacted by maltreatment can benefit from our better understanding of the issue so that we can better intervene and provide assistance for them.

1.2    Statement of the Problem

Research has linked child maltreatment to worse academic achievement in elementary school. Because of the potential impact on a child’s academic and social development, this problem deserves serious attention. While there is increased recognition of the issue, knowledge of the particular ways in which child matreatment impacts academic achievement is still lacking. More research on the problem is needed to help find solutions and provide resources for kids who are affected.


The increase in the incidence of Child maltreatment in the society has been of great concern to both the government and educationists. The issues of Child maltreatment have been persistent in many parts of the country. Many children who are neglected by their parents are a times hooligans, robbers etc while the female ones go into prostitute and other related cases, such as rape, sexual harassment, drug abuse and addiction which is a deviant behavior in the society.


The rate of which adolescents are turning to become touts and hooligans in the society is one of the reasons this researcher is embarking on this study. This is because many students from good homes seem to turn out to have anti social

Behaviour. Perhaps due to the problem of parental abuse or neglect. The numbers of homeless, street trading, touts, area boys and girls have increased greatly overtime.

  • Purpose of the Study

The objective of this study is to investigate the incidence and patterns of Child maltreatment among primary school pupils in Lagos State. Other specific objectives of the study include:

  1. To find out whether physical abuse of children influences their social behaviour.
  2. To investigate whether a relationship exists between sexual abuse and children’s social behaviour.

1.4       Research Question

The following research questions will guide the conduct of this study:

  1. To what extent is Child maltreatment prevalent among primary school pupils?
  2. What are the patterns of Child maltreatment?
  3. To what extent does physical abuse influence the social behaviour of children?
  4. Is there any relationship between sexual abuse and children’s social behaviour?

1.5       Research Hypothesis

The following null hypothesis will be tested in the study:

  1. There is no significant influence of physical abuse on children’s social behaviour.
  2. There is no significant influence of sexual abuse on children’s social behavior.

1.6       Significance of the Study

The importance of this research work will be that it would provide more knowledge to the masses especially, the parents or guardians on the implications of any from of Child maltreatment and neglect on adolescents and children.


It will also enlighten people on the different forms of abuse of children and maltreatment and various ways it would also suggest the best methods of handling the issue of Child maltreatment in the society. As this has posed serious concerns to both the government and parents in the country today.


Not only that, new upcoming researchers and students would find this work a great treasure and reference material in their future work.


1.7 Scope of the Study

The study will be limited to the influence of Child maltreatment on the social behavior of children in Ogudu Nursery Primary School, Ogudu Ojota Lagos State.


1.8 Operational Definition of Terms

Child maltreatment: Child maltreatment is the physical, sexual, or emotional ill-treatment or neglect of a child, especially by those responsible for its welfare.

Parents: A parent is a caretaker of the offspring in their own species. In humans, a parent is of a child (where “child” refers to offspring, not necessarily age).

Pupil: A student in primary school under the direct supervision of a teacher or professor

Sexual Assault: Sexual activity that is deemed improper or harmful, as between an adult and a minor or with a person of diminished mental capacity.

Child Neglect: failure of caretakers to provide adequate emotional and physical care for a child.

Child Maltreatment: Words or overt actions that cause harm, potential harm, or threat of harm to a child.


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