A Preliminary Investigation of the Prevalence of Corporal Punishment of Children and Selected Co-occurring Behaviours in Households on New Providence, The Bahamas

Shane Brennen, William J. Fielding, Marie C. Carroll, Janice C. McCants Miller, Latanya Adderley, Mary A. Thompson


The purpose of this study was to examine the link between violence in homes, focusing on corporal punishment of children as a means of discipline, and other behaviours (including sexual abuse, illegal drug use, domestic violence, hitting of pets) which may be a cause for concern. This paper reports the results of a survey of 933 people and 12 case studies. Violence, physical or domestic, occurred in 62% of survey participants’ homes. The survey indicated that in respondents’ homes many children were physically hurt as a means of discipline. Children were spanked in 77% of homes with children, pets were hit in 25% of homes with pets, and domestic violence was found in 23% of homes. These findings suggest that those who use violence in their homes may not understand the wider and longer-term consequences of their actions for both victims and society. Case study participants seemed to view only severe physical violence as abuse. They also appeared reluctant to report abuse to the authorities which can hamper the efforts to curb violence in homes


Domestic violence; Child abuse; Corporal punishment

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15362/ijbs.v16i0.121

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