The protection of children from violence is a fundamental right of every child

Follow-up Survey on Parents’ and Caregivers Associated with Violence Against Children

A father holding a baby


The protection of children from violence is a fundamental right of every child. Unfortunately, violence remains a severe reality for millions of children around the world and leaves lifelong consequences on children’s lives and development. Violence impedes children’s development, learning abilities and school achievement; it constrains relationships, contributes to low self-esteem, emotional distress and depression, leads to risk taking, self-harm and aggressive behaviour. Additionally, violence conveys serious economic impact for society, reducing human capacity and compromising social capital.

UNICEF commissioned a survey to assess parents’ and caregivers’ knowledge, attitudes, practices & social norms associated with violence against children. The survey results served as baseline data and contributed to designing communication for social change strategy and campaign titled “Parenting is also learned” that was launched on 5 November 2018. By opening discussion on child development and human flourishing, the campaign aimed to bring attention to the need to support parents in raising confident, respectful and successful children.

With the purpose of assessing the extent to which campaign activities to date have influenced knowledge, attitudes and practices; and a need for new [up-to-date] insight to inform future social change interventions, a nationwide 2019 follow-up survey was conducted among parents or caregivers of children aged 2-14 with the aim to answer the following research questions:

1. Knowledge: how people understand and define violent and alternative positive child discipline methods;

2. Attitudes: the extent to which people approve of different child rearing practices, in what circumstances they find them acceptable;

3. Beliefs: how people understand the effects and consequences of violence and positive child rearing practices, in what circumstances are practices believed to be justified; what the relative advantage would be of adopting positive parenting practices vs. violent methods;

4. Child rearing practices and child abuse and neglect: the extent and types of practices used to raise children; the preference to use certain forms of discipline depending on circumstances, age of the child, gender (parent’s and child’s gender);

5. Empirical and normative expectations: the extent to which social norms influence attitudes and practices towards physical and psychological punishment; what respondents think other parents in their community do to discipline their children; what respondents think other people (parents, family members, other community members, etc.) expect them to do in certain circumstances (when the child misbehaves);

6. What proportion (disaggregated by place of living, ethnicity, gender and age) of the target audience has seen or heard about the UNICEF supported campaign and through which channels?

7. Of those who have seen or heard about the campaign, to what extent the campaign affected their knowledge and attitudes?

A father holding a baby
Publication date
English, Macedonian

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