To contribute to a knowledge base about the approach of families in Russia towards implementing physical punishment, a study was conducted with 100 parents in St Petersburg. A majority of the participants indicated that it was legitimate to use some measure of physical punishment. The use of an object as a measure was considered acceptable by one-third of the participants, especially towards children in the age range 5-12. Forty percent of the participants thought that physical punishment should be implemented in a less harsh way towards girls. The most frequently mentioned rationale for its implementation was violation of collectivist-based norms. A majority of the participants expressed disapproval for state intervention in the way parents handle inappropriate behavior of children unless the situation was extreme. They also indicated a medium-to-low level of willingness to seek help from formal sources if their child has a problem. Since physical punishment is considered a risk factor for physical abuse, the findings illuminate the necessity for professionals involved in the care of children to design prevention and intervention programs that could reduce this risk.
- Physical abuse
- Physical punishment