Experiences and attitudes of children towards corporal punishment.
Ntshingila, Sylvia Ntombifuthi.
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The overall objective of the study is to explore with young people their attitudes and experiences of corporal punishment. The specific aims are: i) To explore children’s experiences of corporal punishment ii) To ascertain children’s attitudes towards corporal punishment iii) To explore alternatives that children suggest to corporal punishment as a form of discipline In this study I conducted in-depth interviews with eighteen early adolescents between ages of 10 to 15 year olds from a community in Imbali, KwaZulu Natal, and Pietermaritzburg. It was intentional to explicitly work with children from a similar black township of Zulu background. Hence the only representation I sought to address in this group was gender and the group was equally represented with 9 boys and 9 girls using a snowball sampling. The prominent findings of the study which confirm some of the previous studies of particularly Dawes et el (2004 and 2005); Maree and Cherian (2004); and De Wet (2009): Mothers are the prominent disciplinarians in the home. Adults use and support corporal punishment as tool to discipline. Criminalising corporal punishment has not been effective. Corporal punishment has worked as a temporary deterrent. Children still think corporal punishment is the only way to prevent children from being spoiled this is despite the fact that they think of it as painful. Boys tend to be more aggressive after the punishment. Girls are more fearful prior to the punishment. Children prefer being punished at home rather than at school. Collective punishment by teachers in schools was seen as unfair. Most preferred alternative to physical punishment was withholding of privileges like pocket money.