Corporal punishment, psychological well-being, smoking and alcohol consumption among adolescents in two semi-urban localities of Nepal

Authors: Pradhan, S., Silwal, R.C., Dhungel, A. and van Teijlingen, E.

Conference: First National Adolescent Health & Development Conference

Dates: 2-3 May 2016


Background : The changes taking place during adolescence often result in new behaviors which are not always considered acceptable by the parents. As a result they tend to punish behaviors that aren’t perceived acceptable by them. Such form of punishment is termed as corporal punishment which could be either verbal or physical or both. This study highlights issues of domestic corporal punishment, psychological well-being, alcohol and smoking behavior among adolescents in Nepal. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 258 adolescents aged 13-19 years in two semi-urban communities of Nepal. The sampling technique was multistage random sampling. Chi-square test and odds ratio were used to calculate the significance level and association between variables. A p-value of less than 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant.

Results: A significant association between corporal punishment with psychological well-being as well as with smoking and alcohol consumption among adolescents was found. Occurrences of suicidal ideations were mainly reported by those facing corporal punishment (p<0.05). Respondents who reported being physically punished at home were more likely to have indulged in smoking and alcohol consumption (OR 2.841, CI=1.447-5.578). Among those who smoked and consumed alcohol, males were more likely to have faced peer pressure compared to females (OR= 6.2, 95% CI= (2.7-14.2), p=0.00). Conclusion and the way forward: Domestic corporal punishment is not a solution to enforce positive behaviors among adolescents. Further researches should focus on initiatives, strategies and interventions that can discourage corporal punishment and on other hand, address adolescent’s mental health needs in the context of Nepal.

Source: Manual