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Maternal violence, victimization, and child physical punishment in Peru
Authors: Anastasia J. Gage, Eva A. Silvestre
Source: Child Abuse & Neglect , 34 (2010) 523–533
Topic(s): Domestic violence
Country: Latin American/Caribbean
  Peru
Published: 2010
Abstract: Objectives: This study examined whether mothers’ experience of violence was a risk factor for physical punishment. Methods: Data were derived from the nationally representative 2000 Peru Demographic and Family Health Survey. Participants were 12,601 currently married women who were living with biological children aged 0–17 years and were responsible for disciplining the children. A multinomial logit model was used to determine the probabilities of using no physical punishment, slapping/spanking only, beating only, and both slapping/spanking and beating to discipline children. Results: The study found that childhood history of physical punishment, a greater variety of intimate partner emotional violence and experience of intimate partner physical violence increased significantly a mother’s probability of using physical punishment with her children, even after controlling for confounding factors. A mother’s history of physical violence victimization by someone other than the current partner was also a significant factor for beating children as opposed to using non-physical forms of punishment. Conclusions: Mothers were at substantially increased risk of using physical punishment if they were victims of parental physical violence in childhood, intimate partner violence in the current union, and physical violence by someone other than the current partner. Practice implications: Increased public education is needed of the negative consequences of intimate partner emotional and physical violence victimization for mothers’ childrearing strategies. There is a need to integrate intimate partner violence into child welfare programs and develop effective screening mechanisms for maternal violence victimization and child maltreatment.