A Jamaican study has found that corporal punishment is seen by children as ineffective. The children would prefer the adult using the violence to talk with them and counsel them. The study also found that children are deeply disturbed when they see a parent being beaten by a partner or spouse.
The research, entitled a Social Norms Baseline Study, examined pro violence social norms among children and young people and was conducted by the Violence Prevention Alliance (VPA) on behalf of the Citizens Security and Justice Programme (CSJP).
Jennifer Jones, sociologist and the lead investigator, released the findings of the research at VPA forum on ‘Pathways to the Prevention of Violence: Examining the Evidence’, recently at the Regional Headquarters at The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus.
“Beating is ineffective and only results in anger and resentment or depression and self-harming ideation. They want parents to talk it over, listen to their side of the story and counsel them,” said Jones who was presenting on the topic ‘Socio-cultural Factors that Facilitate Interpersonal Violence in Children and Adolescents’ at the forum.
Jones said two grade eight boys during a focus group suggested: “Siddung wid yuh child and get fi know wha a gwaan inna dem life and know the problem wha dem a guh through.”
The sociologist said that every single student interviewed for the research said they hated the cursing, which they pointed out was humiliating and disrespectful.
“Seeing their father or another man beating their mother provokes very deep and violent responses in children. Students say the children feel like killing the perpetrator. They cannot concentrate at school,” she added.
Jones also disclosed that the students in the focus group shared that they do not respect, and find it difficult to learn from teachers who are verbally abusive, threaten with or use physical punishment and who do not take extra time with students who are not coping with the subject matter.
Jennifer Jones, sociologist and the lead investigator of a study on corporal punishment.