CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT AS PREDICTORS OF DEPRESSIVE TENDENCIES AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL ADOLESCENTS IN IDEATO NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF IMO STATE, NIGERIA.
This study investigated child abuse and neglect as predictors of depressive tendencies among adolescents in secondary schools in Ideato North Local Government Area (L.G.A) of Imo State, Nigeria. The study adopted a correlational survey research design. Two research questions and two hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. The population of the study comprised all the public and private secondary school adolescents in Ideato North Local Government Area of Imo State. The population consists of thirteen thousand seven-hundred and fifteen (13,715) adolescent students in secondary schools. A sample of 1364 students was used for the study representing 10% of the entire population using clustered sampling technique. Questionnaire titled Physical and Sexual Abuse Scale (PSAS) and Depressive Tendencies Scale (DTS) were validated. The reliability coefficients of the instruments were 0.94 and 0.89 respectively using Cronbach Alpha Statistics which guarantee the use of the instruments for the study. The Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient was used to answer the research questions while the two hypotheses were tested at a probability level of 0.05 using ANOVA. It was found out among others that physical and sexual abuses predict depressive tendencies among adolescent students. It was recommended that government should enact a legislation against child abuse and neglect, there should be awareness programmes for children through collaboration of parents and teachers/caregivers, principals should recognize the roles of educational psychologists and school counselors in the fight against sexual abuse and neglect, parents and guardians should also be properly enlightened through seminars and workshops by government and NGOs to prevent and protect their children and wards against any forms of child abuse and neglect.
Keywords: child abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect, depressive tendencies and secondary school adolescents.
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