PSYCHO-SOCIOLOGICAL DETERMINANTS OF KNOWLEDGE AND AWARENESS OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT AMONG RURAL PARENTS. A RESEARCH PROJECT TOPICS ON GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING
1.1 Background to the Study
The difficulty researchers confront in defining an appropriate’ perspective from which to study the parenting of abused and neglected children stems in part from our currently incomplete understanding of the dynamics of parental functioning. The human potentials realized in the parental role are often reduced to the singular notion that it is the capacity to love which provides the motivation, resilience, and understanding to nurture a child. Yet, loving parents can understand and treat their children in very different ways. Studies of family violence suggest that the emotional investments of parenthood remain highly vulnerable to the stresses and demands of child rearing. There is a clear need in the current literature for closer analysis of the individual capabilities, developed during childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, which may importantly influence parental ability to adapt to these demands. This study will report research analyzing parental conceptions of children and the parent-child relationship, a dimension of social-cognitive functioning referred to as parental awareness.This domain of parent-as-self child-as- other knowledge will be viewed from a structural-developmental perspective.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1989. The convention affirms children’s entitlement to development, protection, participation and nondiscrimination. It also acknowledges that the realization of these rights for children can only be accomplished through care and assistance of adults. Nigeria ratified the UN Convention on the Child’s Rights in 1991. This implies that thenceforth the country had committed itself to a code of binding obligations towards her children. Among these obligations are the raising of awareness and the involvement of the civil society, including children, in the realization of children’s rights. Following the submission of her initial progress report, the Committee on Children’s Rights recommended, among other things, that the country should domesticate the Convention in order to facilitate its implementation under Nigerian law (UNICEF, 2007; Jacomy and Stevens, 2005). The Nigerian Federal Government enacted the Child’s Rights Act (CRA) in December 2003.
This legislation was adopted to implement principles enshrined in international instruments, including the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the 1990 African Union Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (CRCW), which Nigeria ratified in 1991 and 2000, respectively. Since the Nigerian Constitution mandates that the legislative jurisdiction on matters affecting children belongs exclusively to states, the federal law was insufficient as a means to extend protection to all Nigerian children and, therefore, needed to be adopted by the states. Today many states in Nigeria have adopted the Child’s Rights Act even though some states are yet to adopt the Act. Olumodeji (2008) is of the view that child welfare matters should be issues of urgent concern in any society. This is because according to him, the total import of the needs of the child is predicated on a holistic treatment modality that will affect education, nutrition, housing, health, and the general well-being of the society. In meeting these basic needs, societies have often tended to regard those of the child as merely secondary. However, this should not be so because the child is the future of any society.