Childrearing Discipline and Violence in Developing Countries


concerning this article should be addressed to Jennifer E. Lansford, Center for Child and Family Policy, Duke University, Box 90545, Durham, NC 27708. Electronic mail may be sent to


The present study examined the prevalence and country-level correlates of 11 responses to children’s behavior, including nonviolent discipline, psychological aggression, and physical violence, as well as endorsement of the use of physical punishment, in 24 countries using data from 30,470 families with 2- to 4-year-old children that participated in UNICEF’s Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey. The prevalence of each response varied widely across countries, as did the amount of variance accounted for by country in relation to each response. Country-level indicators of life expectancy, educational attainment, and economic well-being were related to several responses to children’s behavior. Country-level factors are widely related to parents’ methods of teaching children good behavior and responding to misbehavior.