Nearly one in 10 Hong Kong parents admit subjecting their children to physical punishment, a study showed. The survey, which interviewed 2,956 parents of students from 17 secondary schools, also showed that most were uncertain about their parenting skills. Eighty per cent of those interviewed said they supported what they felt was the more 'positive' approach of talking to their children about their problems. At the same time, 70 per cent said they were worried they were raising disobedient or insecure children. 'The study showed that there are still parents who choose to use smacking as a way to discipline their children, and the reasons they do so have a lot to do with the pressure they are experiencing,' said Cammy Cheung Suk-ying, chief co-ordinator at the Hong Kong Christian Service Family Network, which carried out the survey. 'When parents lose control of their own distressed emotions, they can easily resort to hitting or constant nagging in disciplining their children.' Ms Cheung said parents needed to better control their emotions if they wanted to avoid putting more pressure on their children. 'Our survey found that when parents are over-anxious, children normally show more negative behaviour,' she said. The study found that 9 per cent of parents surveyed resort to physical punishment.