FSD3383 Attitudes towards Corporal Punishment of Children in Finland 2017

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  • Central Union for Child Welfare


child abuse, child protection, child safety, children, corporal punishment, domestic violence, parent attitude, parents

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The data are part of a Central Union for Child Welfare study that investigates the use of corporal punishment in upbringing and attitudes towards it in Finland. Face-to-face interviews were carried out in spring 2017 as part of an Omnibus study conducted by Taloustutkimus.

The respondents were asked whether they thought corporal punishment was, at least in some cases, acceptable. The same question was asked about pulling a child's hair or flicking them. Further questions included whether using "moderate" violence to solve conflicts between children and parents is justified, and whether using "mild" or "moderate" corporal punishments is, at least in exceptional circumstances, acceptable. The respondents were then asked whether they thought yelling at a child was a justified way of intervening in misbehaviour, threatening with corporal punishment was acceptable in exceptional circumstances, and repeatedly ordering a child to calm down alone, e.g. in a time-out, was acceptable.

Next, those respondents who had children under the age of 18 in the household were asked whether they had used different forms of corporal punishment (pulling hair, spanking etc.) and whether they had threatened their children with violence. The respondents were also asked whether the Finnish law allows corporal punishment or not and whether their parents had used corporal punishment to discipline them when they were under the age of 18. Finally, the respondents were asked how harmful they thought various actions were for a child's development when done by a parent (e.g. spanking or ignoring a child, reprimanding a child, exposing a child to violence between the parents).

Background variables included, among others, the respondent's gender, age, region of residence (NUTS2 and NUTS3), number of inhabitants in the municipality of residence, municipality type, household composition, number and ages of children living in the household, employment status, economic activity and occupational status, level of education, marital status, and type of accommodation.

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