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Spare the rod and spoil the child? Child disciplining practices adopted by mothers in Urban Maharashtra, India

1 Station Health Organisation, Ferozpur, Punjab, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, AFMC, Pune, Maharashtra, India
3 Public Health Consultant, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Reema Mukherjee,
GA 16 Utopia Housing Society, Pune - 411 040, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmms.jmms_102_21

Background: Very little is known about child disciplining practices adopted by parents in India. Few studies carried out in India have shown a high prevalence of violent disciplining practices. Aims: We carried out this study to assess the nature and severity of violent disciplinary practices (VDPs) adopted by mothers in urban Maharashtra and identify possible social and demographic factors associated with them. Materials and Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out in a hospital attached to a medical college in Western Maharashtra, India. One hundred mothers were included in our study, and written informed consent was taken from all participants. The UNICEF/WHO Child Discipline Module questionnaire was used as the data collection tool. Ethical clearance was also obtained from the Institutional Ethical Committee before the conduct of the research. Statistical Analysis: Contingencies tables were made to find out factors associated with discipline behavior. Bivariate logistic regression was done, and factors found statistically significant were taken into multivariable logistic regression. Results: Seventy-one percent of mothers used VDP against their children. The older age of a child's mother and father and female gender significantly increased the child's risk of facing VDP. Conclusion: There is a need to sensitize parents on the ill effects of VDP on the physical and mental health of children.

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