Samms-Vaughan, Maureen E.; Williams, Sian; Brown, Janet
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Child Health
Disciplinary Practices Among Parents of Six Year Olds in Jamaica
Caribbean Childhoods: From Research to Action
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The authoritarian nature of Caribbean parenting is expected to be associated with harsh disciplinary methods. There is little information available on the extent to which disciplinary measures are used for Caribbean children, particularly those under the age of six years. A representative sample of 245 Jamaican families with six-year-olds was identified from the National Labour force Survey. One hundred and ninety-three parents responded to questionnaires about the disciplinary methods used in their homes. Twenty-eight per cent of parents or guardians reported that non-violent methods were most commonly used, while 25.4 per cent reported psychological aggression and 46.6 per cent physical assault. A range of psychological aggression measures was reported. Shouting or scolding, explaining or counselling, time out or isolation and spanking were the methods most frequently used in the week prior to the survey. There were no gender or social class differences. When compared with the findings of a previous study, the use of corporal punishment appears to have decreased over time. However, the extent and frequency of its use in the home remains unacceptably high, given the known consequences. Parental education on the consequences of corporal punishment and on alternative methods of discipline is recommended, using the mass media to reach a wide audience.....