Every material on this site is authentic and was extracted from the complete available project.Click to GET IT NOW
MS-WORD DOC || CHAPTERS: 1-5 || PAGES: 188 || PRICE: ₦3000
EFFECTS OF SYSTEMATIC DESENSITISATION AND TOKEN ECONOMY ON SEPARATION ANXIETY OF JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN ZARIA METROPOLIS, NIGERIA
1.1 Background to the Study
Anxiety is more than just feeling stressed or worried, it is when these anxious feelings don't subside, but persist and exist without any particular reason or cause, and in so many cases affects the individual daily life activities in one way or the other. There are different types of anxiety like Generalised Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Anxiety, Post Traumatic Anxiety, to mention but a few. This study chose to focus on separation anxiety, because it is one big problem that affects students. Like many childhood concerns, separation anxiety is normal at certain developmental stage, for example, when a little child is separated from his/her mother or other primary caregivers, he/she may experience distress, which is normal. However, separation anxiety that occurs at later ages is considered a problem because it is outside normal developmental expectations, and because of the intensity of the child's emotional response. Separation anxiety occurs most frequently from the ages of five to seven and from eleven to fourteen (www.minddisdorders.com). It is observed that children with Separation Anxiety tend to come from families that are close-knit, when separated from home or major attachment figures, they may recurrently exhibit social withdrawal, apathy, sadness, or difficulty concentrating on work or play (McLeod 2006). The researcher observed from some of the studies reviewed here that children in developed countries are separated from parents at a tender age, because most parents in such countries go to work, and as a result, infants are taken to Day Care Centres, Crèches or left in the hands of Nannies who are usually employed by parents to look after their children while they are away. In Nigeria on the other hand, children experience separation from parents when they gain admission into secondary schools, especially where a child is admitted in the boarding house, such children are expected to stay in the dormitory for the whole term usually three (3) months. The situation of leaving home to stay with some relatives for a while usually at the age of to (2) years when a chikd is weaned from breast milk, exposes the child to an entirely new life experience, the strange faces, new environment, absence of parents and breast milk create a lot of tension in the child, which can cause fever as a result of excessive cry and so much anxiety, which may affect the child, later in life. Infants with anxious temperaments may have a predisposition towards later development of anxiety disorders. Another reason for separation anxiety is parent/child attachment, which translates into quality of attachment between children and their parents that has also been identified as a factor in separation anxiety. If the child senses emotional distance, the behaviour may be an attempt to draw the parent in more closely. The problematic behaviours can also draw the attention and care of others as well. Children developmental considerations can also be a cause of separation anxiety; because children develop at different rates when compared to each other (boys mature slower than girls, for example). Furthermore, the rate of development within the same person can vary across different types of functioning (for example, a gifted child is advanced intellectually but may be behind developmental expectations for social and emotional areas of functioning). A slower rate of development in the intellectual, social, emotional,Or physical arena can foster anxiety within the child, making the separation more difficult. Separation of children also take place when children of a divorced woman are accepted into a new family when she re marries, without any problem. But in some cases or, in most cases the wife leaves her children behind, to be looked after by her mate, or the children‘s maternal grandparents. Separating children from a parent or both parents can significantly affect their personality later in life (Nigeria Cultural Heritage 2009). In the Hausa society for example, parents send their little children to distant cities to acquire Islamic education. These children are left in the care of adult men, which in most cases are not related to them, they are also responsible for teaching the children. Some of these children stay away from their parents for a long period of time, ranging from a year, two or more years. They experience a lot of hardships, like hunger, bullying, they lack basic hygiene; they equally suffer from loneliness that can lead to a number of anxious feelings. Obi (2009) observed that in Igbo culture, the father has his crops to tend to, while his wives will have their own jobs, whether they will be tending the family garden, processing palm oil, or selling vegetables in the local market. The struggle the Ibo child faces during the course of his development, exposes him to frequent separation from the family, and in some cases, the child becomes permanently separated from his family, to live with a relative or a master elsewhere (usually in the cities). In an average Nigerian family for example, children begin schooling at around three (3) years of age, which marks the beginning of leaving home for some hours. Some of these children find going to school each morning as amazingly pleasing, while others find it seriously disgusting, challenging, and a means of cutting the tie between the child and his parents for the period he is away. Children that find going to school each morning as a challenge to their happiness usually show a lot of problems in the school, and the teacher needs to understand the peculiar needs of the child in order to adopt the best approach in helping the child. There are also some problems that are related to separation anxiety like depression, which is a condition that is commonly associated with anxiety disorders. Developing social skills can also be negatively affected by separation anxiety. There is also academic performance problem associated with separation anxiety. Prevention can be enhanced through parent effectiveness training that emphasizes the child's positive and successful coping strategies when dealing with separation. Overly anxious parents may need to develop their own support mechanisms and systems to manage their feelings and avoid influencing their children negatively (PsychCentral.com). The most effective treatments for separation anxiety involve parents, as well as school personnel when appropriate. Giving the child a sense of safety and security is key to successful treatment. Current treatment methods of separation anxiety combine some form of group or individual cognitive behavioural intervention. A number of treatment options include: Modeling, where Parents and Teachers can be helpful in modeling appropriate behaviours and coping mechanisms at home and at school. For example, parents can model being relaxed when saying goodbye to their children and other people. Another strategy that could be adopted to help children with separation anxiety is Systematic desensitization, which is a behaviour modification technique in which a person is gradually exposed to an anxiety-provoking or fearful object or situation while learning to be relaxed. A child with separation anxiety may be taught relaxation techniques for managing his/her anxiety, and, as a result, can spend longer periods of time at school without a caregiver present by teaching him/her coping starategy through relaxation. Separation anxiety has a poorer prognosis in environments where threats of physical harm or separation actually exist. Existence of other conditions, such as autism, decreases the likelihood of a positive prognosis. Presence of separation anxiety in childhood is sometimes associated with early onset panic disorder in adults (Kruck 2012), This research also looked into token economy as a treatment strategy that was used to help children with separation anxiety problem. It is one of the most commonly used behaviour management interventions, especially in settings for students who have learning or behavioural challenges.Within an educational setting, a token economy is a system for providing positive reinforcement to a child or children by giving them tokens for completing tasks or behaving in desired ways. Token economies are used as a method of strengthening behaviour, or increasing its frequency, because the tokens are a way of ―paying‖ children for completing tasks and the children can then use these tokens to buy desired activities or items (Miltenberger, 2008). A token economy is a form of behaviour modification, designed to increase desirable behaviour and decrease undesirable behaviour with the use of tokens.Some previous studies focused on solving other behavioural problems like the study conducted by Ventas, Higbee and Murdock (2001), who investigated the effectiveness of systematic desensitization for fear reduction and Waggy (2002) who investigated the effects of a token economy system in comparison to social praise on the manifest behaviours of learning disabled students at an elementary school in West Virginia. It is against this background that the researcher decided to focus on using systematic desensitization and token economy in addressing the problem of separation anxiety in our schools.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
It is a tradition that exists right from time immemorial, of a strong bond between mother and child, children are so much attached to their mothers than other people in the environment, in such a way that separation between the duo usually comes with a lot of difficulties that is manifested by the child in a number of disturbances-ranging from clinging, crying among others. Leaving home for the first time by the child, is usually accompanied by a lot of worries and anxiety, likewise when parents are leaving the child behind with a caregiver or a stranger to whom the parents have agreed to look after the child in their absence. A change of environment also brings about some discomforts to the child, which if not properly addressed, can affect the child‘s education in school.
The researcher noticed how some children are in the habit of displaying a lot of aggressive behaviours when leaving home for school, some of them will be fighting their younger ones, others will fight the parents, and become easily irritated for no just cause and some other ones will refuse to eat adequately when resumption date approaches; others will become withdrawn, and refuse to interact with friends and family members. The researcher also noticed how some children are frequently absent from school and pay multiple visits to medical doctors or paediatricians due to one problem or the other, while symptoms seem to appear only on school days and usually disappear as soon as the parents decide the child will stay at home. Sometimes young children describe having nightmares about separation themes more often, some other children show extreme distress upon separation from parents while leaving for school. The result of such behaviours usually leads the child to experience a lot of worries that can lead to poor performance, reluctance to interact with other children, refusal to sleep alone, truancy, ill health, frequent disputes with school mates and authority, among others. In spite of all these, separation anxiety has seldom been studied, and children are not usually clinically assessed until it results in school refusal.