Myth:Most children in New Zealand are only smacked lightly

There is a claim often made that most children who are physically disciplined are only ever smacked lightly.  This is not accurate.

We do not know how many children are never smacked in New Zealand - but the number is probably growing and these are not the children and young people out of control, in trouble with the law or violent.  Examine the history of almost any angry or aggressive child or young person and you will find heavy use of physical discipline.  Research indicates that around 50% of children in New Zealand still experience moderate or harsh physical discipline, often used indiscriminately.  Yet most would not be described as being abused.  There is ample evidence that moderate and heavy physical discipline is a risk factor leading to poor outcomes including child abuse.