May 19, 2009
The Families Commission will run an all-day research seminar series on 16 June at the Wellington Convention Centre.
The programme includes presentation of the results of recently completed projects and progress reports on studies underway. This is an opportunity for researchers, practitioners, policymakers and other interested groups to come together and discuss issues of significance for families.
Of particular interest to followers of Child Discipline issues is the presentation on “Family Discipline in Context” at 4.00pm. The abstract reads:
Family discipline in context – Julie Lawrence and Anne Smith
Family discipline is a controversial topic which has been debated for centuries, and which is known to have a lifelong effect on the well being of children. This report provides a snapshot of the views, experiences and practices of a sample of 100 New Zealand families, in relation to the discipline of their preschool children.
Parents/caregivers were asked about what they believed about discipline, how they disciplined their children, and the type of support and stress that they experienced with parenting. The study also looked at the effect of child and family characteristics and context over time, on discipline. The study used a multi-method approach, involving semi-structured parent interviews, parent diaries of disciplinary events over three days in a two week period, and a standardised tool, the Parenting Daily Hassles scale. One hundred and seventeen caregivers comprised the national sample – 99 mothers, 18 fathers, one grandfather and two grandmothers. The findings include the following headings: beliefs about discipline; disciplinary practices; the influence of child and family characteristics, stresses, context and support. The findings suggest a more favourable picture of New Zealand parents’ disciplinary practice than previous research has, showing that the majority of parents took an authoritative (firm but warm) approach, and suggests that professionals who work with families could benefit from professional development programmes focusing on effective approaches to discipline.