Can Discipline Education be Culturally Sensitive?

Matern Child Health J. 2017 Jan;21(1):177-186. doi: 10.1007/s10995-016-2107-9.


Objectives Inappropriate discipline such as harsh physical punishment is a social determinant of health. The objective was to determine if a brief parent training intervention that teaches discipline strategies is culturally sensitive. Methods English or Spanish-speaking parents of 1-5 year old children viewed a multimedia program that teaches appropriate discipline strategies. The intervention, Play Nicely, was viewed in the exam room before the physician's visit. Parents viewed 4 of 20 discipline strategies of their choosing; the average viewing time was 7 min. Results Of 204 parents eligible to participate, 197 (96 %) completed the study; 41 % were Black, 31 % were White, and 21 % were Hispanic. At least 80 % of parents from each racial/ethnic group reported that the program built their confidence to care for their child, addressed their family needs, explained things in a way they could understand, respected their family values, and was sensitive to their personal beliefs. Overall, 80 % of parents reported that the program answered individual questions. One parent (0.5 %) reported that the program did not respect her family values. Conclusions for Practice Discipline education can be integrated into the pediatric primary care clinic in a way that is family-centered and culturally sensitive for the majority of parents. The results have implications for the development and implementation of population-based parenting programs and the primary prevention of child abuse and violence.

Keywords: Aggression; Child abuse; Child behavior; Counseling; Education; Intervention; Parenting; Pediatrics; Prevention and control; Primary care; Violence.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Continental Ancestry Group / ethnology
  • African Continental Ancestry Group / psychology
  • Child Abuse / prevention & control*
  • Child Abuse / psychology
  • Child Behavior
  • Child, Preschool
  • Culturally Competent Care / methods*
  • Culturally Competent Care / standards
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / ethnology
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / psychology
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans / psychology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • New York
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Parents / education*
  • Primary Health Care / methods
  • Schools / ethics*
  • Teaching / standards