Parents and Guardians Assessment of the Role of Conventional Media in Preventing Child Neglect in Cameroon

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Barbara H. Senge, Stephen N. Ndode, Kingsley L. Ngange

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Published: 18 March 2024 | Article Type : Research Article

Abstract

Over the years, little attention has been given to child neglect in the media. The neglect of children by their parents and caregivers is a troubling and complex social issue which has been given less importance; but, has enormous short and long term effects. With the current information superhighway, mass media - print, electronic, and online hold more substance than ever. They are expected to be at the forefront of educating the masses on what constitutes neglect, including negative effects of child neglect. Three specific objectives guide this study: to ascertain if the mass media raise awareness of child rights and responsibilities; to determine if mass media are active in reporting child neglect cases; and to establish the effects of mass media messages on child neglect on parents and guardians. Two theories are used: Agenda setting (McCombs & Shaw, 1972) and Framing (Goffman, 1974). The specific method of inquiry is survey. It involves 207 parents and guardians in the Buea metropolis, Cameroon. The questionnaire was constructed using concepts and constructs from the literature/theoretical framework. Reliability was tested using Cronbach’s Alpha (.813). Analysis incorporates descriptive and inferential statistics in SPSS, with p-value significant at p≤0.05. Findings show a significant relationship (p=0.000) between mass media coverage and parents/guardians knowledge on children’s rights and responsibilities, and that such messages have effects in terms of creating awareness and educating parents and guardians on child neglect (p=0.000). The study signals that mass media can serve as veritable tools to transform the cycle of child neglect. By so doing, society will learn, as UNICEF prescribes, that child care and protection are cornerstones for human progress.

Keywords: Mass Media, Conventional Media, Child Neglect, Child Care / Protection

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Citation:

Barbara H. Senge, Stephen N. Ndode, Kingsley L. Ngange. (2024-03-18). "Parents and Guardians Assessment of the Role of Conventional Media in Preventing Child Neglect in Cameroon." *Volume 3*, 1, 11-37