Corporal punishment has been associated with a range of negative impacts on children, including physical injuries (and in the most severe cases, even death), psychological and emotional harm, poor performance at school, absence and dropout (ibid.). However, the use of corporal punishment and whether it has lasting impacts on children’s development remains highly contested, especially given the dearth of longitudinal data in this area.
This paper uses longitudinal data from theYoung Lives study collected from two cohorts of children in four countries; Ethiopia, India (the states of Andhra Pradesh andTelangana), Peru and Viet Nam. We first examine the prevalence of corporal punishment at different ages and what this means for children in terms of what they most dislike about being at school. Second we use regression analysis to explore potential predictors of corporal punishment, as well as the associated effects of corporal punishment on concurrent and later cognitive development and psychosocial well-being outcomes.The paper is a contribution to the UNICEF Multi-Country Study on the Drivers of Violence Affecting Children which is analysing how structural factors interact to affect everyday violence in children’s homes and communities with the aim of informing better national strategies for violence prevention.