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Influence Of Maternal Age And Child’s Birth Factors On The Later Cognitive Development Of Pupils

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

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1.1       Background to the Study

Child development entails the biological, psychological and emotional changes that occur in human beings between birth and the end of adolescence as the individual progresses from dependency to increasing autonomy (Awana, 2012). It is a continuous process with a predictable sequence yet having a unique course for every child. Cognitive development specifically in the field of study in neuroscience and psychology for focusing on a child’s development in terms of information processing, conceptual resources, perceptual skill, language learning and other aspects of brain development.

Influence Of Maternal Age And Child’s Birth Factors On The Later Cognitive Development Of Pupils

In a relative study, Piaget (1996) had put the study on cognitive development in stages starting with the sensorimotor, preoperational concrete operational and the formal operational stages. The whole stages all depend on one factor to be successful. A lot of factors arising from the parents as well as the environment does influence how well children develop cognitively. In their work, Eneh and Nkang (2011) saw cognitive development as intellectual development and state that it is characterized by the increasing ability to grasp relationships, solve difficult problems, use abstract reasoning, deal remember events, use language effectively in communication and use past experience to solve present and future problems (Denga, 2011). Ekerus (2009) saw cognitive development as a process of perceiving, learning, thinking, concept formation and problem-solving.

As stated earlier, many factors are known to influence growth and development generally at the prenatal and postnatal stages of development. Specifically, this research work considers some pre-natal variables such as pregnancy order, birth type, birth weight, gestational age of the mother, infant disease and feeding style of the baby at birth. Although other factors that are postnatal do have great effects or influence on the child’s cognitive development, they are seen as being secondary. Therefore, the researcher at the discovery of the above factors seeks to research to reveal the influence of maternal age, child’s weight and birth type on the child’s late cognitive development with emphasis on pupils in primary schools.

Influence Of Maternal Age And Child’s Birth Factors On The Later Cognitive Development Of Pupils

1.2       Statement of Problem

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The fact that there is no stipulated age for one to become a mother is great and has been given concern by researchers within and outside Nigeria cannot be overlooked. This lack of stipulated dates does not mean that a girl child of very tender age should be put in the family maybe anyone. The age eighteen is at least the expected age that one should be married depending on how developed or matured the girl is. Also, the age thirty-five (35) as seen in many research works is said to be an advanced maternal age. Eneh and Nkang (2011) observed that the age of the pregnant woman is very crucial in determining the healthy growth and development of the child.

Very young mothers below the age of eighteen (18) tend to have problems and difficult labour which may result in maternal and child mortality. It is a well-known fact in Nigeria that, child marriage is not legal as such had resulted in most child mothers in Veside Vaginal Fistula (VVF) and many dead especially where there is no knowledge of cesservas section (cs). The age, health and the parental condition of a mother determined to a great extent the level to which the child would develop cognitively. Thus, the problem identified in this study are stated below:

(i)        Most mothers are too young to give birth to children thereby suffering delayed labour such that can later have an effect on the child.

(ii)        Some newborn babies loss weight due to the antenatal advice given to mothers to ensure safe delivery of the babies.

(iii)       The birth type most times (e.g. C.S.) are not known by some younger mothers who stand the risk of normal delivery.

(iv)       Advance maternal age do have a negative effect on the baby.

Influence Of Maternal Age And Child’s Birth Factors On The Later Cognitive Development Of Pupils

1.3       Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of the study is to examine the influence of maternal age and child’s birth factors on the later cognitive development of pupils in public primary schools in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area.

(1)        To examine the influence of maternal age on child’s later cognitive development.

(2)        To examine the influence of child’s birth weight on the later cognitive development.

(3)        To ascertain the influence of birth type on child’s later cognitive development.

(4)        To examine the influence of breastfeeding type on a child’s later cognitive development.

(5)        To examine the joint influence of maternal age, child’s weight and birth type on child’s later cognitive development.

 

 

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