Original Articles

Child Physical Abuse Among Urban Secondary School Pupils in Zimbabwe

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 19, issue 1, 2009 , pages: 113–117
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2009.10820267
Author(s): Pesanayi GwirayiUniversity of Fort Hare, South Africa, Almon ShumbaUniversity of Fort Hare, South Africa


The study had two main objectives: (a) to examine the nature and prevalence of child physical abuse among urban secondary school pupils in Zimbabwe; and (b) to investigate pupils' views on the causes of child physical abuse among urban secondary school pupils in Zimbabwe. An anonymous retrospective self-rating questionnaire was administered to a randomly selected sample of 212(114 males, 98 females; age = 15 to 17 years; mean = 16 years) Form three pupils in Gweru urban secondary schools. Results reported an overall prevalence rate of 79.2% with males (81.6%) slightly more likely to be physically abused than females (76.5%). The most common forms of CPA were being hit or beaten (78.9%), threatened (55.2%) and chased (47.2%). Economic hardships, abuse of power by adults, alcohol abuse, and lack of education were mentioned as the major causes of CPA. The study recommends the introduction of Child Rights Education and use of alternative methods of firm discipline that do not involve physical violence.

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