Disciplinary Practices Among Orphaned Children in Sub-Saharan Africa

Mark Lee , University of Minnesota
Elizabeth Boyle, University of Minnesota

Eradicating corporal punishment has been a central aim of human rights workers for several decades because of the deleterious impact it has on child development and well-being. In this study, we investigate disciplinary practices used by caretakers of orphaned children in sub-Saharan Africa. Previous studies have indicated that orphaned children in this region are discriminated against in other ways, but to date there has been no published study of how this vulnerable population is disciplined in the home. We use data from UNICEF’s Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey from 13 countries surveyed between 2010 and 2017. Multilevel regression estimates are used to account for correlation of observations within country regions. Surprisingly, we find that orphaned children are significantly less likely to experience corporal punishment and more likely to experience non-violent discipline than their peers, even after controlling a rich set of confounders.

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 Presented in Session 2. Children & Youth