While parental harsh disciplining of children is a global concern, children living in Nigeria often experience particularly high levels of harsh discipline. Constrained by the lack of parenting skills to effectively manage children, most Nigerian parents rely too heavily on the use of violent methods in the disciplining of their children, which poses a huge threat to their well-being and development. Given the high levels of harsh parenting and the lack of understanding of its harms, we set out to develop a program of intervention called Psychoeducational parenting program to prevent violence against children (PEPVAC), guided by psychological principles of social learning theory, to help parents reverse the trend. We tested the effectiveness of the program using a quasi-experimental design with questionnaire and observation as data collection tools. Participants were 300 parents of children age 3-12 years, who endorsed using harsh discipline. Parents (n = 150) who received the 8-week intervention were compared with parents in the control group (n = 150). A mixed-model ANOVA revealed that the PEPVAC parents demonstrated a reduced use of harsh disciplinary tactics and a decreased incidence of parents beating their children compared to parents in the control group who continued with business-as-usual. Findings suggest that PEPVAC can be a useful intervention tool in the prevention of punitive violence against children, especially in a culturally-oriented country like Nigeria with over 91 million population of children who are at risk of disciplinary violence in the home.
Africa Population. (2018). World population review. http://worldpopulationreview.com/continents/africa/.
Ajayi, J. O. (2013). Socialization and child rearing practices among nigerian ethnic groups. Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, 2 (20), 249–256. http://dx.doi.org/10.5901/ajis.2013.v2n2p249.
Alemika, E. E. O., & Chukwuma, I. C. (2011). Juvenile justice administration in nigeria: Philosophy and practice. Centre for Law Enforcement Education.
Amos, P. M. (2013). Parenting and culture: Evidence from some African Communities. In M. L. Seidlde-Moura (Ed.), Parenting in South American and African contexts (pp. 65-77). IntechOpen. http://dx.doi.org/10.5772/56967.
Ayiro, L., Mbagaya, C. V., & Othuon, L. A. (2019). Parenting style and maltreatment of kenyan children in middle childhood. International Academic Journal of Social Sciences and Education, 2 (1), 247–261.
Baker-Henningham, H., & Francis, T. (2018). Parents’ use of harsh punishment and young children’s behavior and achievement: A longitudinal study of jamaican children with conduct problems. Global Mental Health, 5, 1–13. https://dx.doi.org/10.1017/2Fgmh.2018.21.
Banda, L. H. (2006). Negative effects of corporal punishment on children. http://www.cyc-net.org/features/viewpoints/c-corporalpunishmenteffects.html.
Bandura, A. B. (1986). Social foundation of though and action. a social cognitive theory. Prentice-Hall Inc.
Boydell, N., Nalukenge, W., Siu, G., Seeley, J., & Wight, D. (2017). How mothers in poverty explain their use of corporal punishment: A qualitative study in kampala, uganda. European Journal of Development Research, 29, 999–1016. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41287-017-0104-5.
Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. Erlbaum.
Deater-Deckard, K., Lansford, J., Dodge, K., Pettit, G., & Bates, J. (2003). The development of attitudes about physical punishment: An 8-year longitudinal study. Journal of Family Psychology, 17 (3), 351–360. https://dx.doi.org/10.1037/2F0893-322.214.171.124.
Deb, S. (2018). An empirical investigation into child abuse and neglect in india: Burden, impact and protective measures. Springer.
Durrant, J., & Ensom, R. (2012). Physical punishment of children: Lessons from 20 years of research. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 184 (12), 1373–1377. https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.101314.
Fatimilehin, I., & Hassan, A. (2016). Parenting in Nigeria: Contemporary families, extended family systems, and religious diversity. In G. Nicholas, A. Bejarano & D. L. Lee (Eds.), Contemporary parenting: A global perspective (pp.124-141). Routledge.
Gershoff, E. T., & Grogan-Kaylor, A. (2016). Spanking and child outcomes: Old controversies and new meta-analyses. Journal of Family Psychology, 30 (4), 453–469. https://doi.org/10.1037/fam000019.
Global Initiative to End all Corporal Punishment. (2020). Global report 2019: Progress towards ending corporal punishment of children. Global Initiative to End all Corporal Punishment. http://endcorporalpunishment.org/wp-content/uploads/global/Global-report-2019.pdf.
Halpenny, A. M., Nixon, E., & Watson, D. (2010). Parents perspectives on parenting styles and disciplining children. The Stationery Office.
Hecker, T., Hermenau, K., Salmen, C., Teicher, M., & Elbert, T. (2016). Harsh discipline relates to internalizing problems and cognitive functioning: Findings from a cross-sectional study with school children in tanzania. BMC psychiatry, 16, Article 118. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-016-0828-3.
Holzer, P. J., Higgins, J. R., Bromfield, L. M., Richardson, N., & Higgins, D. J. (2006). The effectiveness of parent education and home visiting child maltreatment prevention program (Child Abuse Prevention Issues No. 24). Australian Institute of Family Studies.
Kabara-Clark, A. (2014). Youth Truth: A peer education project with young parents in Lambeth. St. Michael’s fellowship.
Lakes, K. D., Vargas, D., Riggs, M., Schmidt, J., & Bair, M. (2011). Parenting intervention to reduce attention and behavior difficulties in preschoolers: A cuidar evaluation study. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 20 (5), 648–659. https://dx.doi.org/10.1007%2Fs10826-010-9440-1.
Lansford, J. E., & Deater-Deckard, K. (2012). Childrearing discipline and violence in developing countries. Child Development, 83 (1), 62–75. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01676.x.
National Population Commission. (2017). Nigerias current estimated population. http://www.population.gov.ng.
Nduka, A. C., Mansor, M. B., & Talib, M. A. (2012). The effects of igbo cultural importance and participation in cultural events on the parents use of physical punishments on their children in imo state of nigeria. International Journal of Asian Social Science, 2 (9), 1564–1578.
Nuhu, F. T., & Nuhu, S. T. (2010). Opinion and attitudes of some parents in ilorin, north-central nigeria toward child abuse and neglect. South African Journal of Psychiatry, 16 (1), 27–32. https://doi.org/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v16i1.221.
Opeyemi, O. (2017). Corporal punishment: Perceptions and adoption in nigerian secondary schools. Education Research Journal, 7 (8), 200–208.
Peters, R. D., & Durrant, J. E. (2009). Parent training programs: A review of the current state of knowledge about evidenced-based programs and an evaluation proposal for the positive discipline program (Final Report). Save the Children Sweden.
Roskam, I. (2013). The transmission of parenting behavior within the family: An empirical study across three generations. Psychologica Belgica, 53 (3), 49–64. https://doi.org/10.5334/pb-53-3-49doi.org/10.5334/pb-53-3-49.
Runyan, D. K., Shankar, V., Hassan, F., Hunter, W. M., Jain, D., Paula, C. S., & Bordin, I. A. (2010). International variations in harsh child discipline. Pediatrics, 126 (3), 701–711. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2008-2374.
Runyon, M. K., Deblinger, E., & Schroeder, C. M. (2009). Pilot evaluation of outcomes of combined parentchild cognitive-behavioral group therapy for families at risk for child physical abuse. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 16 (1), 101–118. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpra.2008.09.006.
Ryan, C., Vanderlick, J., & Matthews, W. (2007). A paradoxical analysis of social learning theory as applied to the potential reform of terrorist offenders. Professional Issues in Criminal Justice: A Professional Journal, 2 (1), 91–110.
Sanders, M., & W., C. (2002). Promoting positive parenting as an abuse prevention strategy, In K. D. Browne, H. Hanks, P. Stratton & C. Hamilton (Eds.), Early prediction and prevention of child abuse: A handbook (pp.145163). John Wiley & Sons.
Santini, P. M., & Williams, L. C. A. (2016). Parenting programs to prevent corporal punishment: A systematic review. Paidéia, 26 (63), 121–129. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1982-43272663201614.
Scholer, S. J., Hamilton, E. C., Johnson, M. C., & Scott, T. A. (2010). A brief intervention affects parents’ attitudes toward using less physical punishment. Family Community Health, 33 (2), 106–116. https://doi.org/10.1097/FCH.0b013e3181d592ef.
Smith, B. L. (2012, April). The case against spanking. Monitor on Psychology, 43 (4), 60–61.
Snyder, A., & Bub, S. (2008). Discipline and intergenerational transmission. http://www2.uwstout.edu/content/rs/2008/19discipline%20for%20publication.pdf.
Twum-Danso, A. (2013). Childrens perceptions of physical punishment in ghana and the implications for childrens rights. Childhood: A Journal of Global Child Research, 20 (4), 472–486. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0907568212471404.
Twum-Danso, A. O. (2016). Tackling the physical punishment of children in resource poor contexts: The utility of a community starting point approach for action and intervention in childrens rights programming. International Journal of Childrens Rights, 24 (2), 469–487. https://doi.org/10.1163/15718182-02402005.
UNICEF. (2010). Child disciplinary practices at home: Evidence from a range of low- and middle- income countries. UNICEF.
UNICEF. (2014). The state of the worlds children 2014 in numbers: Every child counts. UNICEF.
To give up copyright, the authors allow that, International Journal of Psychological Research, distribute the work more broadly, check for the reuse by others and take care of the necessary procedures for the registration and administration of copyright; at the same time, our editorial board represents the interests of the author and allows authors to re-use his work in various forms. In response to the above, authors transfer copyright to the journal, International Journal of Psychological Research. This transfer does not imply other rights which are not those of authorship (for example those that concern about patents). Likewise, preserves the authors rights to use the work integral or partially in lectures, books and courses, as well as make copies for educational purposes. Finally, the authors may use freely the tables and figures in its future work, wherever make explicit reference to the previous publication in International Journal of Psychological Research. The assignment of copyright includes both virtual rights and forms of the article to allow the editorial to disseminate the work in the manner which it deems appropriate.
The editorial board reserves the right of amendments deemed necessary in the application of the rules of publication.