Dear Parents Campaign
The Dear Parents Campaign, part of the Dear World Campaign, is an innovative new approach to dissuade parents from using physical discipline and encourage them to use more effective forms of discipline. A vast body of research has shown a clear correlation between physical discipline and aggression, poor relationships with peers and parents, and other behavioral problems. Physical discipline has also been shown to be less effective in the long run than other forms of discipline and can lead to worse forms of abuse. Despite these facts, physical discipline remains widely practiced and large seen as acceptable by the American public.
The Dear Parents Campaign conducted by NOCAC and the research team of Professor Catherine Taylor of Tulane University, who has researched attitudes towards physical discipline, has adopted marketing principles to generate messages to reduce the use of physical discipline. After reviewing the literature regarding interventions shown to be effective in reducing physical abuse, physical discipline, and factors that contribute to its use, NOCAC and Professor Taylor’s team has created messages designed to dissuade parents from using physical discipline by challenging common notions held by those who favor physical discipline, encouraging them to control their anger, giving alternatives to physical discipline, and showing the benefits of these alternatives. These messages were written on signs held by children, parents, and professionals such as pediatricians and religious leaders supportive of the cause. We plan to test these messages with focus groups to find the most effective images to reduce the use of physical discipline.