Domestic corporal punishment of children: prevalence and pattern

Ganesh Jayachandran, Jayakumar Muthaiyan, Anupama A, Arivoli A, Suresh S, Padamanaban P


Background:Corporal punishment is a disciplinary method in which the supervising adult deliberately inflicts pain upon a child in response to child’s unacceptable behaviour. The main objective is to study the prevalence and pattern of domestic corporal punishment among parents attending our medical college hospital.

Methods: Cross sectional study done on parents attending our pediatrics out-patient department (OPD). Corporal punishment usually includes physical assault, psychological aggression and nonviolent disciplining. We used pretested questionnaire for the same. Consent was obtained from parents and they were assured of confidentiality.

Results:Overall prevalence of corporal punishment in our study was 94%. Various  pattern of punishments were observed, e.g. 81% of  parents beat the child with hand, 6% by using stick, 4.5% by using hand and stick, 2% by using broom stick, 0.5% using belt, remaining 6% did not inflict punishment. 57.3% boys and 42.7% of girls were punished. 74.7% belongs to village remaining 22.3% belongs to semi urban area.

Conclusions:This study can be regarded as an eye opener for high level of prevalence of domestic corporal punishment in our region. A larger multicentric study is needed to assess the prevalence and profile of corporal punishment in India. This will help in implementing new schemes directed to reduce the corporal punishment and promote positive parenting practices. 


Domestic corporal punishment in children, Positive parenting practice, Pattern of punishment

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