Parenting affects children's behaviour

By Drum Digital
19 April 2015

A new research by the Institute for Security Studies Africa (ISS) and the University of Cape Town (UCT) shows that parenting affects children's behaviour.

The research found that children who were subjected to corporal punishment, whose parents were stressed and who suffered from mental health problems (such as depression) were more likely than other children to be anxious and depressed or act violently and aggressively.

The research also found that children who witnesses domestic violence were more likely than other children to act aggressively and violently themselves.

“Implementing programmes to support parents and help them to parent positively is critical to national development,” said Catherine Ward, Head of the Department of Psychology at UCT.

Researchers says the South African Government has identified early intervention as key to preventing violence, and that national legal and policy frameworks already exist to carry out preventative strategies.

Catherine said the Department of Social Development, Basic Education and Health have important roles to play.

“Dialogue is needed between governmental stakeholders, including the Department of Social Development and Health, and civil society to develop plans to make evidence-based programmes available to parents nationally,” said Catherine.

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