Harsh parental discipline common in poverty-stricken families

August 5, 2022 10:20 am

[File Photo]

Children living in the poorest households are likely to experience violent discipline compared to children living in rich households.

Seven in 10 children aged one to 14 years experienced physical punishment; out of which one in eight experienced severe physical punishment.

This, according to the first-ever Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey conducted in Fiji.

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The survey stated that four in five children aged one to 14 experience violent discipline.

It indicated that boys aged 1 to 14 years and those living in rural areas are most susceptible to violent discipline.

This survey further reveals that mothers and caregivers from rural areas and from the poorest households have a more accepting attitude towards physical punishment.

According to the survey, violent discipline was regarded as any physical punishment or psychological aggression.

Physical punishment includes shaking, hitting, or slapping a child on the hand, arm, or leg, hitting on the bottom or elsewhere on the body with a hard object, spanking or hitting on the bottom with a bare hand, hitting or slapping on the face, head or ears, and hitting or beating hard and repeatedly.

Psychological aggression involves shouting, yelling, or screaming at a child, as well as calling a child offensive names such as ‘dumb’ or ‘lazy’.

The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey is an international household survey program developed and supported by UNICEF and its partners.