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ISSN: 2161-0665

Pediatrics & Therapeutics
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Research Article

Extreme Physical Punishment by Teachers and its Associations with Aggression and Victimization at School: A Study among Young Adolescents in Iran

Hassan Jaghoory, Kaj Björkqvist* and Karin Österman

Department of Developmental Psychology, Åbo akademi University, Finland

*Corresponding Author:
Kaj Björkqvist
Professor, Department of Developmental Psychology
Åbo akademi University, Social Sciences
Strandgatan 2, Vasa, 60100, Finland
Tel: 358-45-8460100
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: December 06, 2014; Accepted Date: January 08, 2015; Published Date: January 12, 2015

Citation: Jaghoory H, Björkqvist K, Österman K (2015) Extreme Physical Punishment by Teachers and its Associations with Aggression and Victimization at School: A Study among Young Adolescents in Iran. Pediat Therapeut 5:228. doi:10.4172/2161-0665.1000228

Copyright: © 2015 Jaghoory H, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

Objectives: Physical punishment by teachers is accepted in Iranian schools, but it may at times take extreme forms, such as teachers burning the hands of pupils, or even breaking their bones. The study aims at investigating how frequently such punishments occur, and their relationship to perpetration of and victimization to peer aggression at school.

Methods: Data from 1244 young adolescents (649 boys, 595 girls; M age=12.7 yrs, SD=2.1 yrs) was collected in two cities, Mashhad and Eylam, in both public and private schools (totaling 24 schools) in Iran. Whether the pupils reported having been exposed to extreme forms of physical punishment (EPP) by teachers, such as burning of hands, and breaking of bones, was investigated and served as independent variables in MANOVAs with various types of aggression and victimization in school settings as dependent variables. Results: Participants who had had their hands burnt (3.8% of respondents), and bones broken (4.8%) as punishment scored significantly higher on both perpetration of and victimization to almost all types of aggressive behavior at school. Notably, EPP by teachers had strong associations with the most severe forms of school aggression measured in the study, i.e. threatening (and, respectively, being threatened by) another pupil with a knife or a chain. EPP by teachers also was associated with EPP occurring at home. Conclusion: Results indicate that EPP by teachers does indeed occur in Iran, in this sample it had been experienced by about 1/20 of respondents, and it was associated with both perpetration of and victimization to aggressive behaviors (in particular its harshest forms) in school settings.

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