Change over time in parents' beliefs about and reported use of corporal punishment in eight countries with and without legal bans

Jennifer E. Lansford, Claudia Cappa, Diane L. Putnick, Marc H. Bornstein, Kirby Deater-Deckard, Robert Bradley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Stopping violence against children is prioritized in goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015. All forms of child corporal punishment have been outlawed in 50 countries as of October 2016. Using data from 56,371 caregivers in eight countries that participated in UNICEF's Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, we examined change from Time 1 (2005-6) to Time 2 (2008-13) in national rates of corporal punishment of 2- to 14-year-old children and in caregivers' beliefs regarding the necessity of using corporal punishment. One of the participating countries outlawed corporal punishment prior to Time 1 (Ukraine), one outlawed corporal punishment between Times 1 and 2 (Togo), two outlawed corporal punishment after Time 2 (Albania and Macedonia), and four have not outlawed corporal punishment as of 2016 (Central African Republic, Kazakhstan, Montenegro, and Sierra Leone). Rates of reported use of corporal punishment and belief in its necessity decreased over time in three countries; rates of reported use of severe corporal punishment decreased in four countries. Continuing use of corporal punishment and belief in the necessity of its use in some countries despite legal bans suggest that campaigns to promote awareness of legal bans and to educate parents regarding alternate forms of discipline are worthy of international attention and effort along with legal bans themselves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 19 2016

Keywords

  • Abuse
  • Corporal punishment
  • Laws
  • Spanking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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