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J Pediatr Psychol. 2000 Sep;25(6):435-47.

Risk factors for severe child discipline practices in rural India.

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Department of Social Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,27599, USA.



To determine the type and severity of discipline practices in rural India and to identify risk and protective factors related to these practices.


Five hundred mothers, ages 18-50, participated in face-to-face interviews as part of a cross-sectional, population-based survey. One of the mother's children was randomly selected as the referent child. The interview focused primarily on discipline practices and spousal violence. Sociodemographic characteristics, neighbor support, residential stability, and husband's drinking behavior were also assessed.


Nearly half of the mothers reported using severe verbal discipline and 42% reported using severe physical discipline. While common, severe discipline practices occurred less frequently than moderate practices and had different risk factors, notably low maternal education and spousal violence.


Results suggest that increased formal education for rural women in India may have the added benefit of reducing family violence, including spouse and child abuse.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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