New Zealand Survey on Public Attitudes Towards the Physical Discipline of Children

By Sue Carswell

First published in November 2001 by the
Ministry of Justice
PO Box 180
Wellington
New Zealand
Ph (04) 494-9700
Fax (04) 494-9701
ISSN 0-478-20159-1 © Copyright

Executive Summary

Methodology
The telephone survey was undertaken by a research company, the National Research Bureau Ltd, during June 2001.

Findings:

Type of physical punishment
The results showed that 80% of the public agreed that a person parenting a child should be allowed by law to smack the child with an open hand if they are naughty. The use of objects to smack a child and smacking them in the head and neck area drew an overwhelmingly negative response from the public, indicating that only using an open hand was acceptable to most people.

  • Fifteen percent agreed with the viewpoint that a person parenting a child should be legally allowed to use objects like a wooden spoon or a belt to punish the child if they are naughty.


Severity of physical punishment
The responses indicated that only a smack that left no mark was acceptable to the majority of people (75%).

  • 6% thought it was acceptable to use physical punishment that leaves a red mark that lasts a few days.


Age groups of children

  • 23% thought it was acceptable to physically discipline children under two years old.
  • 62% thought it was acceptable to physically discipline children 2-5 years old.
  • 72% thought it was acceptable to physically discipline children 6-10 years old.
  • 43% thought it was acceptable to physically discipline children 11-14 years old.
  • 16% thought it was acceptable to physically discipline children 15-17 year olds.

Full Report available at:
www.justice.govt.nz/pubs/reports/2001/children/ex-summary.htmlvvvv  

Leave a Reply