Parents' use of physical and verbal punishment: Cross-sectional study in underprivileged neighborhoods

Vagner Santos, Paulo Henrique Dourado da Silva, Lenora Gandolfi

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1 Citation (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To estimate the past-year prevalence of parental use of verbal and physical discipline in an urban sample.
METHOD: A cross-sectional study was conducted in two underprivileged neighborhoods with nearly 80,000 inhabitants. Complex sampling was used. The households were selected by applying two-stage probabilistic sampling with stratification. A total of 401 households (sample error=0.1) were selected by maximizing the variance (p=0.5). The cluster sampling indicated 33 census units (sample error=0.05). The Brazilian Portuguese version of the WorldSAFE Core Questionnaire was used to assess parental use of moderate verbal discipline, harsh verbal discipline, moderate physical discipline, and harsh physical discipline. This questionnaire asks how often mothers (respondent) and/or their husband or partner use specific disciplinary tactics.
RESULTS: The mean age of children and adolescents was 9 years (SD: 4.5). The prevalence of harsh verbal discipline was approximately 37% (28.3% [95% CI: 23.4-33.3%] for more than three times). The prevalence of harsh physical discipline was approximately 30% (21.8% [CI: 18.2-25.4%] for more than three times). Boys had higher odds of receiving harsh physical discipline [OR: 1.56, p
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-517
Number of pages7
JournalJ Pediatr (Rio J)
Issue number5
Early online date25 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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