More than 40% of parents still use physical discipline years after law change, latest data shows

TVNZ One News 30 April 2021
The latest data from a study looking at how much parents still physically discipline their children shows the practice still remains common despite a drop in its use over the past 15 years

Participants in the study were members of the Christchurch Health and Development Study (CHDS) – a longitudinal study of 1,265 children, including 630 females, born in Christchurch over a four-month period during 1977.

According to the Christchurch campus of Otago University, this cohort has been studied regularly from birth to age 40.

The latest data, released today, shows the patterns of discipline used by 763 parents from the cohort between 2002 and 2017.

Senior research fellow at the Christchurch Health and Development study at the Otago University, Geraldine McLeod, told 1 NEWS that “about 42 per cent are reporting they are physically disciplining their child”.

“At age 25, 77.4 per cent of participants said they said were going to disicpline their child,” she said. Adding that the latest data collection included “everything from smacking through to the worst kind of assault”.