This briefing provides a summary of findings from Ipsos MORI Scotland’s Young People in Scotland Survey 2016. The Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland commissioned a series of questions including a section on young people’s views of physical punishment. These responses will help to provide some evidence on how the Commissioner’s office can engage with young people on wider issues around physical punishment.
A total of 1,550 pupils from 50 secondary schools throughout Scotland took part in the survey. The age groups included in the survey were 11-18 year olds in S1 to S6. The survey took place in schools from August 2016 – October 2016. For the first time, this was an online survey.
Young people were asked their views on physical punishment. This question proved challenging to frame to ensure the language describing physical punishment was appropriate and that young people would understand the nature of the question. The introduction to the questions was as follows:
Some people think that it is ok for parents to smack their children if they have misbehaved. Other people think that smacking is wrong and can be harmful to children. We would like to know what you think about this kind of physical punishment.
Young people were then asked to indicate their level of agreement with a set of statements about physical punishment. Gender and age showed the strongest relationship with views of physical
punishment. There was less variation by other variables such as ethnicity, religion, area of deprivation, urban/rural.