Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Magnitude and Effect of Punishment on Psychosocial Development of Urban and Rural School Children in Bangladesh

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Magnitude and Effect of Punishment on Psychosocial Development of Urban and Rural School Children in Bangladesh

Article excerpt

The experience of punishmentduring childhood is a widespread phenomenon in all culture, time and nation. Researchers have reported that over 94% of parents of toddlers use some form of corporal punishment (Straus & Stewart, 1999) and that 75% of a college student sample reported experiencing some form of corporal punishment in their childhood (Ateah & Parkin, 2002).In the cultural context of South Asia, particularly in Bangladesh the scenario is more alarming (Jabeen, 2004). Children's opinion poll by UNICEF (2008) reveals widespread use of corporal punishment in Bangladesh with 91 per cent of children reporting that they receive physical punishment in school while 74 per cent also reported receiving physical punishment at home.

Practice of punishment is augmented by the traditional sociocultural view that parents, guardians, teachers and elders 'can do no wrong' (Siddiqui, 2001). Deep-rooted patriarchal society endorse absolute obedience to authority leave the child punishment issue unchallenged and justified as almost an acceptable form of discipline, not only in Bangladeshi society, but also in Westerners and many other countries. A federal data analysis found that on average, one child is hit in public school every 30 seconds somewhere in the United States (Children Defense Fund, 2014). A survey over 29 countries found more than 80% children between 214 years' experience any sort of violent discipline (UNICEF, 2007).

Basically, punishment is used synonymous to penalty or reprimand as a valid and effective means of discipline to enforce appropriate behavior as define by family or society. Next to reinforcement, punishment is a critical notion in learning theory, particularly in Skinner's theory operant conditioning. Both are defined by its effects, however, the effect of punishment involves the suppression of a behavior rather that the strengthening of it as in reinforcement (Lefrancois, 2006). In opposition, there is a strong argument against punishment as unhelpful and even harmful to the people used for (Deirdre, 2004). Researchon punishment in childhood well-documented a range of negative consequences that puts children at risk in terms of their physical, emotional, cognitive and social on the development (Alyahri & Goodman, 2008; Sue er ah, 2012 Ferguson, 2013; Xing & Wang, 2013). It is often linked to an increased likelihood of delinquent and antisocial behavior, impaired social relationships (Rus et al., 2013) and school dropout (UNICEF, 2001).In 1998, the American Academy of Pediatrics has counseled against the use of spanking as a disciplinary strategy, citing potential negative child outcomes such as increased aggressiveness and potential physical harm to the child. In response there is an increasing awareness and ruling at the state level, including Bangladesh,to prohibit against the potential negative consequence of punishment (GITEACPOC, 2013, 2014).Gender differences were also noted by Xing and Wang (2013) in predicting problem behavior from parental use of corporal punishment.

Despite plethora of studies on painful consequence of punishment, need of systematic study on this issue has been highlighted by children's organizations (Flasan, 2014). The current study, therefore, explored the magnitude and effect of punishment on children carried out by parents and teachers, both in rural and urban area in the cultural context of Bangladesh. The outcomes of this study will help school authority, parents, teachers, policy makers and child rights bodies to advocate and promote environment where a child can develop healthily.

Objectives of the study

* To identify the common form of punishment in rural and urban area

* To explore the extent of punishment by parents and teachers in rural and urban area

* To probe the common reason for punishment by parents and teachers

* To determine its effect on children's psychosocial development



300 children of age between 10 to 13 years were selected conveniently from 4 schools (2 governments and 2 nongovernments) of urban and rural areas of Bangladesh. …

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