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Study Reveals Alarming Impact of Violent Child Discipline Practices on Early Childhood Development

National Survey Highlights Urgent Need for Positive Parenting Programs

A groundbreaking study using nationally representative data from the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey Bangladesh 2019 has shed light on the concerning link between violent child discipline practices at home and the early childhood development (ECD) of children aged 36 to 59 months.

The research, conducted to explore the gradient of the relationship between various child discipline practices and ECD, uncovered alarming statistics. Approximately 94% of children experienced at least one of the eight violent disciplinary measures in the month preceding the survey.

While three-quarters of the children were found to be on track in their ECD, the study revealed a significant correlation between the use of violent disciplinary practices and developmental delays in young children. The probability of children being on track in ECD increased with non-violent disciplinary practices but decreased sharply with the use of violent disciplinary measures.

The study utilized multivariable logistic regression and three sets of summative indexes to measure the gradients of this relationship. The analysis focused on the physical, literacy-numeracy, learning, and social-emotional domains of early childhood development.

“For one unit increase in the overall violent disciplinary index, the odds of children being on track in their ECD was reduced by 12%,” the study reported. This reduction was statistically significant, with an adjusted odds ratio of 0.88 (95%CI: 0.86–0.91), emphasizing the detrimental impact of violent disciplinary measures on children’s developmental progress.

The findings have prompted a call for urgent action to address the issue. The study recommends banning violent punishments in all settings and implementing positive parenting programs to provide parents with effective and non-violent discipline strategies.

Experts and child development advocates are urging policymakers, educators, and parents to work collaboratively to create a supportive environment for children’s growth and well-being. The study’s revelations underscore the need for a collective effort to ensure that children are raised in a nurturing and violence-free atmosphere conducive to their optimal development.