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Influence Of Parents’ Socio-Economic Status On Child Neglect In Lower Primary Schools In Mekenene Zone Nyamira County, Kenya

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ABSTRACT

Parent child neglect is a global issue which is a threat to holistic development of children. Neglected children perform poorly in school. Research has shown that parent child neglect starts at home during the early years. The study was to establish the prevalent forms of parent child neglect among lower primary school pupils’ in Mekenene Zone of Borabu Sub-county and factors influencing it. This study was guided by Baumrind’s theory of parenting styles. The dependent variable was parent child neglect in lower primary schools, while the independent variables were parents’ socioeconomic status. The study locale was Mekenene Zone in Nyamira County. The population was lower primary school pupils and their parents in twenty three schools in the zone. Questionnaires and interview schedules were used to collect data. The researcher carried out a pilot study in two schools in the zone, one public and the other private. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics that is frequencies and percentages and results were presented using tables, figures and text. Results revealed that parents neglected their children in many ways. The common forms of parent child neglect were: Physical, medical, inadequate supervision, emotional and educational form of neglect. Parents’ level of education, income and occupation influenced parent child neglect. School management should also start programmes to support needy children to help them to be in school.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION AND CONTEXT OF THE STUDY

 1.1   Introduction

 This chapter presents an overview of the background to the study, statement of the problem, purpose of the study and objectives, research questions, significance of the study, delimitations and limitations of the study. The theoretical framework, conceptual framework and definitions of operational terms are also described in this section.

1.2   Background to the Study

 Child neglect makes children to score poorly, to be absent from school and sometimes drop out of school (Gootman, 1993). It also hinders children holistic development (Kundu & Tutoo, 2000). Parent child neglect also makes children to repeat classes and develop negative attitude towards school (Acierno & Resnick, 1997). When parents support their children they perform better in school (Jeynes, 2007). All types of child abuse emanate from parent child neglect and a child who is neglected by parents is vulnerable to many other vices (Gootman, 1993).

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Parent child neglect is when the parent or caregiver fails to meet the basic needs of a child (Umobong, 2010). Parent child neglect is a situation when a parent fails to provide the basic needs of a child which includes food and education (Children Act, 2001). Parent child neglect also refers to when parents can’t meet a child’s needs due to lack of skills or support (Alued, 2000).

Neglect of children by parents is a global issue. According to DePanfilis (2006) child neglect is a common child maltreatment which is never reported. In USA Hussey, Chang and Kotch (2006) found that physical assault and physical neglect were the most common forms of child abuse. In the United Kingdom, Cawson  and Corrinne (2014) established that maltreatment of children was an extensive social problem. Nguyen (2006) who did a study in Vietnam had found that many young children were exposed to many forms of child abuse like physical neglect. It was therefore necessary to find out whether parent child neglect is an issue in Kenya and specifically in Nyamira County.

Studies done in Africa have also shown that child neglect is a serious problem. For example in Uganda Tuwangye (2000) found that some forms of child abuse by parents were regarded as part of everyday life. This practice of denying the female children basic education was also found to be practiced in many communities in Kenya (Nasir, 1988). In Kenya the Early Childhood Development (ECD) Service Standard Guidelines (2006) safeguards the rights of children which include protection from all forms of abuse. It further states that children need to be given stimulation, shelter, proper clothing, adequate nutrition, healthcare education and others (Republic of Kenya, 2006). The national Early Childhood Development (ECD) policy framework (2006) also provides for the safety and protection of children from all forms of abuse and neglect (Republic of Kenya (ROK), 2006). The policy also advocates for safeguarding of the rights of young children which was the focus of this study. There was therefore need to establish whether parents comply with the policies.

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In Kenya it is also an offence for any person to neglect a child (Children Act, 2001). There was also need to find out whether parents comply with the provisions of the constitution. Therefore this study was designed to establish the forms of parent child neglect among lower primary school pupils’ in Mekenene Zone of Nyamira County.

1.3   Statement of the Problem

 Parent child neglect is failure for a parent to meet the basic needs of a child. Neglected children perform poorly in school because they lack basic needs and support. Research has shown that parent child neglect starts at home and in early childhood and is caused by many factors related to the home environment.

The studies done in Kenya and in the county on child abuse and neglect have mainly concentrated on social and cultural factors which promote child maltreatment and very little on socio-economic factors. Due to the effect of child neglect on children’s holistic development and performance in school, there was need to establish the prevalent forms of parent child neglect in the zone and determine how socio-economic factors of parents are influencing it in order to suggest appropriate strategies to overcome the vice.

1.4   Purpose of the Study

 The study was to determine the prevalent forms of parent child neglect among lower primary school pupils’ in Mekenene Zone of Nyamira County. The study

was also to determine the influence of parents’ level of education, income and occupation on child neglect and the strategies teachers are using to overcome the problem.

1.3.2   Objectives of the Study

 To establish the prevalent forms of parent child neglect among lower primary school pupils.

  1. To find out the influence of parents’ level of education on parent child neglect among lower primary school
  • To determine the influence of parents’ income on parent child neglect among lower primary school
  1. To find out the influence of parents’ occupation on parent child neglect among lower primary school
  2. To determine the strategies teachers have put in place to overcome parent child neglect among lower primary school

1.3.3   Research Questions

 What are the forms of parent child neglect among lower primary school pupils?

  1. Does parents’ level of education influence parent child neglect among lower primary school pupils?
  2. What is the influence of parents’ income on parent child neglect among lower primary school pupils
  3. Does parents’ occupation influence parent child neglect among lower primary school pupils
  4. What are the strategies teachers have put in place to overcome parent child neglect among lower primary school pupils?
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1.4   Significance of the study

These study findings provide insight to the forms of parent child neglect in primary schools. This study may also shed light on how parents’ socio-economic status influences parent-child neglect.

The findings of the study may be useful to many key stakeholders like teachers, school board of management, and county government. Teachers may use the findings of the study to come up with strategies to overcome parent child neglect. School Board of Management may use the findings of the study to come up with strategies to reduce parent child neglect in schools.

1.5   Limitation and Delimitations of the Study

 They have been described in the following sections.

1.5.1   Delimitations of the Study

 The study was conducted in both public and private lower primary schools in Mekenene Zone of Nyamira County. There were many factors which could be making parents to neglect their children like family conflicts, but this study focused on parents’ socio-economic status.

1.5.2   Limitation of the Study

One of the limitations the researcher experienced during data collection was challenges of accessing some schools with very poor roads due to heavy rains in the area. The researcher overcame the challenge by collecting the data during dry season and using motorbikes. The other limitation was use of questionnaire to collect data from the respondents which imply that some of them could give information which is not true. The limitation was overcome by assuring the respondents that the information they provide was to be kept confidential and used for research only.

1.6   Assumptions of the Study

 The study assumed that parents understood the basic needs of children and reasons why they should provide the basic needs of their children.


Pages:  65

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF        

Chapters: 1-5

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.

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