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This study aimed to estimate the prevalence and its associated risk factors of CPV by parents among primary school students from a rural area in Shandong province, China. In this population-based study, cross-sectional survey using cluster sampling method was conducted among primary school students’ parents in 5 rural schools located in a town of Shandong Province. Data about parental CPV behaviors during the past 3 months, attitudes toward the use of corporal punishment and CPV, family and social support and demographic background were collected by using parental self-reporting questionnaire. Logistic regression analyses were carried out to investigate the risk factors of CPV. Of the 978 parents investigated, self-reported prevalence of any form of CPV was 50.0%, and the prevalences of minor CPV and severe CPV were 45.2% and 23.5%, respectively. Parents’ favorable or tolerant attitudes toward the use of corporal punishment to discipline children, parents’ CPV victimization experience in childhood and children’s poor school performance were associated with the increased risk of using minor CPV, severe CPV and any form of CPV by parents. Mothers were more likely to use minor CPV and any form of CPV. In addition, parents’ out-migrating for work in last 12 months did not influence the use of any form of CPV. CPV by parents was possibly widespread in rural areas of China, especially the severe CPV. Programs aimed to change parents’ corporal punishment concept and improve their parenting skills are urgently needed in China, particularly in rural areas.