How mothers in poverty explain their use of corporal punishment: a qualitative study in Kampala, Uganda

Boydell, N. , Nalukenge, W., Siu, G., Seeley, J. and 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(5), pp. 999-1016. (doi: 10.1057/s41287-017-0104-5) (PMID:29213191) (PMCID:PMC5714261)

147948.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.



Corporal punishment in the early years is associated with antisocial behaviour and violence, but little is known about its social and cultural context in low-income countries. This paper analyses how 12 deprived women in Kampala, Uganda, perceived corporal punishment, drawing on repeated semi-structured interviews. All thought it was sometimes necessary, for three main reasons. First, it was an important strategy to ensure good behaviour and maintain their and their child’s, respectability, crucial to self-respect given severe poverty. Second, it was a means of establishing household routines and managing scarce resources. Third, it was a way to protect children from health risks. However, all mothers thought corporal punishment could be excessive, and most said it can be counter-productive, making children ‘stubborn’. There appeared to be considerable variation in their degree of harsh parenting and emotional support. These findings could inform culturally appropriate interventions to reduce violence against children.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Boydell, Dr Nicola and Wight, Professor Danny
Authors: Boydell, N., Nalukenge, W., Siu, G., Seeley, J., and Wight, D.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:European Journal of Development Research
Publisher:Palgrave Macmillan
ISSN (Online):1743-9728
Published Online:23 October 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI)
First Published:First published in European Journal of Development Research 29(5): 999-1016
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record

Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
656571Sexual Health and Families ProgrammeLisa McDaidMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/2IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
656641Children, Young People, Families and Health ProgrammeDaniel WightMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/9IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
727631SPHSU Core Renewal: Relationships & Health Improvement Research ProgrammeLisa McDaidMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/11IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU