Emotional maltreatment of children and adolescents is a subtype of abuse. The magnitude at which children and adolescents suffer from emotional maltreatment of isolation, degradation and exploitation has been found to be very startling. While studies have shown the impact of several dimensions of emotional abuse on human behaviours, there is lack of empirical information on the combined and separate effects of emotional isolation, degradation, and exploitation on the self-concept of adolescents. Hence, the study examined the combined and separate effects of these variables on self-concept of adolescents in Nigeria. Four hundred and eighty adolescents (215 males and 265 females) selected through purposive sampling technique from fifteen private secondary schools in Ota, Nigeria participated in this descriptive survey design of ex-post facto study. Questionnaires on Seven Dimensions Emotional Maltreatment at Home (QSDEMH, α = 0.84) and Adolescent Personal Data Inventory (APDI, α = 0.81) were used to generate data. Three research questions were tested at 0.05 alpha level and stepwise multiple regression was employed for the analysis. Results indicated that the three independent variables jointly accounted for 26.2% of the variance in self-concept (R2 = .262.) and separately predicted self-concept at different degrees (Isolating β= -.202; t=- 4.441; p <0.05; Degrading β= -.261; t= -5.354; p <0.05; Exploiting β= -.169; t= -3.438; p >0.05). There was also negative but significant relationship between the predictors and the criterion variable. It is recommended that psychological intervention programmes currently available in schools should be enhanced to identify and treat psychological maltreatment.
Key words: Adolescents, abuse, emotional degradation, exploitation, isolation, Nigeria, self-concept.
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