Interestingly, this differs from the findings of previous studies conducted in Jamaica with a wider range of children where it was found that physical punishment was primarily used in response to children's misbehaviours (Ricketts and Anderson 2009; Samms-Vaughan, Williams and Brown 2005).
This strategy might not be an effective response to children's misbehaviours though, as it might only work to extinguish misbehaviours temporarily.
This suggests that these caregivers were aware of acceptable techniques in handling misbehaviours and attempted to use them with their aggressive children.
This in turn may reduce the effectiveness of strategies used to reduce misbehaviours (Benabou and Tirole 2003: 489).
They may have figured that idleness was the source of their children's misbehaviours and consequently felt that they needed something constructive to do.
Future research on how Jamaican caregivers manage their children's behaviours should endeavor to examine the range of techniques they use, including those used in response to misbehaviours as well as desirable behaviours.
The study described caregivers' use of various strategies in response to their children's misbehaviours and good behaviours but not the influence of the strategies on children's outcomes.
Parent training programmes on how to handle their children's behaviours should use a comprehensive approach that takes into consideration common strategies used by the caregivers, including responses to their children's misbehaviours as well as good behaviours, and the caregiver and child characteristics that influence the strategies used.
Thus, it is possible that the findings of the study may have overestimated the true frequency of use of the strategies for responding to children's good behaviours and underestimated those for responding to children's misbehaviours.
A third limitation is that the caregivers were asked to report their responses to their children's misbehaviours and good behaviours with no identification of the specific behaviours being referred to.
The impression from past research was that Jamaican caregivers principally focused on their children's misbehaviours and used harsh and inappropriate strategies in response.