Attitudes of women in Cambodia towards child physical abuse [version 1; peer review: 1 approved with reservations]

Koustuv Dalal, Reshma Parvin Nuri, Ming Shinn Lee, Chao-Kuang Lin, Mervyn Gifford, Gainel Ussatayeva, Animesh Biswas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: This study attempted to explore the women’s attitude towards child physical abuse in relation to the respondent’s background factors, personal issues and autonomy. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of 18,749 women of reproductive age (15-49 years) using 2010 Cambodia Demographic and Health Survey. Chi-square tests and bivariate analyses were performed. Results: A significant proportion of women supported beating physically abusing sons (69.2%) and daughters (67.2%). Rural, non-Buddhist, those with no or primary education, poverty, seasonal or occasional employment seem to be risk factor for supporting child physical abuse by women (in bivariate analysis). Age, education and household economic status of the women are significantly relevant for child physical abuse (in bivariate analysis). Women who came from male-headed households more often supported beating their children. Female autonomy is an important factor for child physical abuse. Women who justify physical abuse towards wives were also generally supportive of child physical abuse. Conclusions: The current study provides knowledge about maternal factors such as age, education, economic status, rural/urban dwelling, two or more lifetime partners and autonomy in the supporting of beating sons and daughters. Further attention needs to be paid to increasing women’s education and autonomy in Cambodian family life.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1866
StatePublished - Nov 2018


  • Abuse
  • Autonomy
  • Cambodia
  • Children
  • Mother
  • Physical punishment


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