African Journal of Social Work

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Indigenous children discipline styles in Zimbabwe: nature and implications on children protection practices

Taruvinga Muzingili, Witness Chikoko


The issue of parenting and child discipline remains one of the topical areas in the world of child protection. In a quest to understand the issue, the study aimed at investigating indigenous parenting methods on child discipline and their implications on child protection practices in Zimbabwe. Concurrent mixed methodology was used to collect data from (n=157) randomly selected participants. Data was also collected from five (5) key informants. The study revealed that people used plethora of indigenous parenting practices on child discipline which include; authoritative, authoritarian, permissive and neglectful. The indigenous parenting practices on child discipline had implications in designing of social policies related to; school code of conduct, inclusive child protection policy and culturally acceptable legal frameworks. ANOVA test (Critical Value=0.001<p=0.05) showed that participants believed that indigenous methods are best when dealing with child disciplinary challenges in the society. The study recommended for more public debates on child discipline and parenting, inclusive legal protocol on child discipline and community awareness on promoting collaborative indigenous parenting practices on child discipline. The study concluded that community perceives child discipline as a fundamental aspect in addressing child disciplinary challenges in modern day Zimbabwe.

Keywords: Indigenous, child discipline styles, child protection, Zimbabwe

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