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Consequences of parental corporal punishment on 12-year old children in the Colombo district

Authors:

Piyanjali de Zoysa ,

Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Colombo, Kynsey Road, Colombo 8, LK
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Peter A Newcombe,

School of Social Work and Applied Human Sciences, School of Psychology, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia 4072, AU
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Lalini Rajapakse

Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Kynsey Road, Colombo 8, LK
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Abstract

Objective To study the association between parental corporal punishment and psychological maladjustment in children. Potential mediating variables of this association were explored. The relationship between corporal punishment and physical abuse was also investigated.

Design, setting and sample The children (N=1226, 12- year olds) were selected from government schools in the Colombo district, using a stratified random sampling technique.

Measurements Self-administered instruments, adapted and validated to the Sri Lankan context were used.

Results The experience of parental corporal punishment was shown to be moderately, but significantly, associated with psychological maladjustment in children. This association was enhanced by the child witnessing or experiencing non-parent-to-child violence (eg. domestic, community, teacher and peer violence). The extent of the child's support network, the nature of the parent-child relationship and the child's attitude to corporal punishment did not significantly alter the association between corporal punishment and psychological maladjustment. Corporal punishment was also moderately, but significantly, associated with child physical abuse.

Conclusions Parental corporal punishment is associated with psychological harm for children; this association is further enhanced by other forms of violence in a child's life.      

doi:10.4038/cmj.v53i1.218

Ceylon Medical Journal Vol. 53, No. 1, March 2008 pp. 7-9
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v53i1.218
How to Cite: de Zoysa, P., Newcombe, P.A. and Rajapakse, L., 2008. Consequences of parental corporal punishment on 12-year old children in the Colombo district. Ceylon Medical Journal, 53(1), pp.7–9. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v53i1.218
Published on 09 Dec 2008.
Peer Reviewed

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