Studies, Reviews and Research

Corporal Punishment in Schools: Longitudinal Evidence from Ethiopia, India, Peru, and Viet Nam

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UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti

Despite the use of corporal punishment in schools being increasingly prohibited by law, in many contexts it persists, even where outlawed. This paper combines a life course and structural determinants framework with Young Lives longitudinal data collected in four countries: Ethiopia, India, Peru, and Viet Nam.

The authors draw survey data collected from caregiver and child questionnaires to first examine the prevalence of corporal punishment at different ages and what this means for children in terms of what they most dislike about being at school. Second, they use regression analysis to explore potential predictors of corporal punishment, as well as the associated effects of corporal punishment on concurrent and later cognitive development and psychosocial well-being outcomes.

The key findings provide valuable insight to the debate on whether or not corporal punishment in schools is an acceptable means of disciplining children and instilling obedience.

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