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Aims: This study sought to determine how variables of domestic abuse (physical maltreatment, domestic enslavement, and verbal abuse of children by parents/guardians) contribute to the prevalence of antisocial behaviour among secondary school students in Aba Education Zone of Abia State, Nigeria.
Study Design: The study adopted the ex-post facto survey design.
Population of Study: The Population of the study comprised all the 5, 605 senior secondary school students in Aba education Zone during the period of this study.
Methodology: The multi-stage random sampling procedure was used to select 1400 adolescents, which is 25% of the population, for the study. The instrument used in data collection was the researcher–made Domestic Abuse and Antisocial Behaviour Questionnaire. The reliability of the instrument was .86 Cronbach’s Alpha. Independent t-test was used to analyse data for hypotheses testing. The independent variables were used as the grouping variable and the grouping was done based on the students’ scores on each variable.
Results: The result of independent samples t-test conducted to test the research hypotheses showed that: (1) There was a significant influence of parents’ physical maltreatment of children on antisocial behaviour (M1=36.89, M2=29.20; SD1=9.491, SD2=8.984); conditions: t(1398)=7.825, P=0.000, α =.05. (2) There was a significant influence of domestic enslavement of children on antisocial behaviour (M1=35.81, M2=29.12; SD1=8.954, SD2=9.024); conditions: t(1398)=7.804, P =0.000, α =.05. (3) There was a significant influence of verbal abuse of children on antisocial behaviour (M1=38.93, M2=27.04; SD1=8.762, SD2=7.452); conditions: t(1398)= 23.88, P =0.000, α =.05.
Conclusion: Students who were physically maltreated at home were more prone to manifesting antisocial behaviour. Domestic enslavement induces negative emotions with antisocial implications. Parental verbal abuse begets in the children the tendency to use abusive words on peers at school.