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The research work analyses the prevention child abuse and neglect with parent training: evidence and opportunities. The various form of child abuse and their impact on the child and the society. Child abuse and neglect leads to denial of the child’s right which includes: education, food, health, medical care etc. to determine the trend and pattern of child abuse and neglect, identifying factors that lead parents/guardians engaging in abusing their children.
Questionnaires were distributed to respondents in the study area. Data obtained and were presented analyzed. The analysis showed that the socio-economic status of parent is a major factor that make parents to abuse their children, educationally, emotionally, and use them as hawkers, beggars etc. Other factors include level of education of parents, inability of government to meet up its citizens’ needs, lack of legislation against child abuse and neglect, parenting style. Child abuse and neglect exposes children to danger that can influence their social behaviour thus, leading to juvenile delinquency which contributes to social menace in the society.
The government should ensure that the social-economic status of parents is improved so that they can not abuse nor neglect their children.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Improved parenting is the most important goal of child abuse prevention. Parents maltreat their children for many reasons and combinations of reasons. In the past three decades, researchers have identified four common co-occurring issues parental substance abuse, parental mental illness, domestic violence, and child conduct problems that are related to parenting and that lead to child maltreatment. Understanding and responding to these issues is fundamental to designing effective parenting education programs that can help prevent abuse and neglect. One key decision facing those who design such programs is whether (and the extent to which) a parenting program should directly address these related problems or whether efforts to improve parenting should focus primarily or solely on improving parenting skills, with the expectation that the negative effects of these other problems on parenting may recede if parenting programs are effective. A fifth risk factor for child abuse is family poverty. Every national incidence study of child abuse and neglect has shown that poor families are disproportionately involved with child welfare services. Parenting education, however, is not designed to reduce poverty, and that risk factor will not be further discussed below. See the article in this volume by Fred Wulczyn for a discussion of family poverty and child maltreatment
The concepts of child abuse and child neglect are forms of maltreatment on the child that impedes child survival, development and participation. Children are seen as assets to parents and government because they are human resources that any society can boast of, therefore, parents and government invest in them in order to obtain better tomorrow. This can be achieved however, if their early child socialization is devoid of harmful cultural practices that crippled their chances of survival, development and participation.
Ejikeme (1987) defines child abuse as a problem arising from the intention of an adult to carry out an act that is inimical or detrimental to the physical, intellectual, language, emotional, moral and social development of a child; while child neglect which involves some degree of deprivation refers to an intentional failure of an adult to perform physical, cognitive, moral and social development of a child.
However, it is imperative to note in this premise that what constitute child maltreatment in one society may not be considered same in another society, this is because of cultural differences an belief, practices. From the above, it will be important to trace the fact that there might be different factors that caused child abuse and neglect since the application of cultural ideology is not universal; that is, it changes across societies.
However, different forms of child maltreatment exist like: child trafficking, street begging, street hawking, child discrimination or child preference, early marriage, prostitution, child labour, use of virgin girl-child for ritual/sacrifice etc. despite tangible evidences or empirical indicators of child abuse and neglect, it is difficult to measure.
This is so because it is recognized as a major social problem that occurs in all levels of social class, race, religion and ethnic groups. It is important to note that the practice of child abuse and neglect is supported by government indirectly when the individual is seen as a product of the society.
Poor socio-economic status of parents trace its roots through unemployment and destitution as government does not address social inequality, unemployment and poverty amongst its citizens, instead people in position work towards actualizing their selfish ends and those who cannot meet the society values through the legitimate means result to deviance and crime as postulated by Robert K. Merton, Alemika and Best (1988) argues that our past successive state Governors/Administrators both military and Politicians, business individuals, foreigners etc who loot billions of Naira from the country’s treasury and precipitate years of economic crisis, political instability etc are hardly arrested, prosecuted nor jailed, instead they are rewarded with Chieftaincy tittles, honorary degrees, ministerial appointments, contracts and the like.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Forms of child maltreatment like; child abandonment, child abduction, child trafficking, street begging, street hawking, child labour, prostitution, early marriage and the like, deteriote and cause a total decay of the society. This foster insecurity and anarchy as a result of inadequate means of meeting legitimate goals or values of the society. This jeopardizes not only the immediate children but further endangers our future continuum and a tactical genocidal wipe of humanity since child maltreatment maimed the survival, development and participation of the child.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The research at glance intent to critically analyzes, appraises and examines the impact of negative attributes of child abuse and neglect on the individual, families and the society. The specific objectives are:
i) Determine the impact of child abuse and neglect with parent training.
ii) Determine the relationship between child abuse, child neglect and crime.
iii) Determine the roles of parents and government in curbing the menace.
iv) Determine the influence of culture in propagating child abuse and neglect.
v) Make appropriate recommendations to the government.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
Child abuse and child neglect are social problems that affects a significant number of people about which something need to be done. This menace deters technological advancement and waste a lot of wisdom and talents. This study however, would help reduce the number of people affected through adequate mobilization and campaign against this catastrophe. This study would also help in legislating against the catastrophe. This study would provide a data bank that serve as literature for further use by scholars.
1.5 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF STUDY
This study was restricted to Gyel district of Jos south local government area; this is to provide the researcher access to sample a particular target population to ensure meaningful work.
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