Child Abuse, perceived social support, self-esteem and academic performance among primary school children in Kabale District.
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Academic performance of primary school children has persistently lagged behind despite efforts by the government and other sectors to improve it. The study sought to determine the relationship between child abuse, perceived social support, self esteem and academic performance of primary school children in Kabale district. A cross sectional study design with quantitative data collection and analysis methods was employed for the study. Using stratified random sampling technique, 308 pupils were selected to participate in the study. Four research instruments were used to assess for child abuse, perceived social support and self esteem. The Wide Range Achievement Test was used to determine the academic performance of the children. Pearson Correlation analyses were used to test the study hypothesis. Findings showed a significant relationship between emotional abuse and academic performance (p=0.05). Friend support was significantly related to academic performance (p<0.05), as was self esteem on academic performance (p<0.05), violence exponsure and self esteem (p<0.05), emotional abuse and self esteem (p<0.05), neglect and self esteem (p<0.05), and physical victimisation and self esteem (p<0.05). It was concluded that the support received by the children from friends and high self- esteem can act as a buffer for child abuse thus allowing a child to perform well even in the presence of abuse As education systems seek to improve student academic performance, the children’s environment should be put into context.