Format

Send to

Choose Destination
N Z Med J. 2007 Dec 14;120(1267):U2866.

Punitive parenting practices of contemporary young parents.

Author information

1
Canterbury Child Development Research Group, Department of Psychology, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. lianne.woodward@canterbury.ac.nz

Abstract

AIMS:

To describe the punitive parenting practices of a cohort of young (<25 years) New Zealand parents and to examine the life course risk factors that placed these parents at increased risk of severe child physical punishment/abuse.

METHODS:

The data were gathered as part of the Christchurch Health and Development Study. At age 25, all respondents who had become a parent were interviewed about their parenting practices and family circumstances, including an assessment of child physical punishment/abuse using the Parent-Child Conflict Tactics Scale. The present analysis was confined to those young parents (n=155) who were living full-time with their children at the time of assessment.

RESULTS:

Amongst this high-risk group of young parents, 77% reported having physically punished a child and almost 12% reported having severely physically assaulted a child in the past year. Although higher rates of child physical punishment were reported for parents of older children, a substantial proportion of parents reported having physically disciplined an infant (37%) or preschooler (84%) in their care. Risks of severe physical punishment/abuse were greatest amongst those young parents from lower socioeconomic status family backgrounds whose own parents were controlling, restrictive, and over-protective, and who (as young adult parents) were responsible for the care of larger numbers of children under conditions of socioeconomic and family functioning stress.

CONCLUSIONS:

The use of physical punishment and more severe forms of physical assault/abuse are relatively common amongst contemporary young parents. Implications of study findings for social policy aimed at reducing levels of family violence in New Zealand are considered.

PMID:
18157192
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center