Because of COVID-19 pandemic, families across the world are experiencing new stressors that threaten their health, and economic well-being. Such a stress may jeopardize parents-children relationship. We aim to investigate the magnitude of child physical maltreatment (CPM) by parents in Egypt during the COVID-19 pandemic, to relate it to parents’ stress, and to identify other potential risk factors.
This cross-sectional study assessed parent-reported CPM and their personal experience of stress, depression, and anxiety among a sample of Egyptian parents using an electronic survey. It included sociodemographic data, Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21), and the Child physical maltreatment scale (CPMS). We also briefly assessed COVID-19 -related data.
Out of 404 respondents, (62.9%) and (32.9%) reported performing minor and severe CPM toward their children during the past 3 months, respectively. The age of youngest child, and anxiety score were significantly correlated with both minor and severe forms of CPM. While number of children, and online education system ratings were only significantly correlated with severe CPM. Parental definition of CPM was significantly correlated to minor CPM, but not to severe CPM.
CPM by parents is not uncommon in Egypt, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. These findings highlight the importance of regular support and intervention that help parents learn parenting skills and the use of non-violent child disciplining methods.