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Corporal Punishment in America

explanatory Essay
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Corporal Punishment in America

The term corporal punishment means the intentional infliction of pain on the body for purposes of punishment and includes slapping, hitting with objects, pinching, shaking and forcing to stand for long periods of time (Epoch 1). Family researchers define corporal punishment as " the use of physical force aimed at causing children to experience pain but not injury, for the purposes of correction and control of youthful behavior" (Day 83). Spanking is one form of physical or corporal punishment (Epoch 1).

The general acceptance, and sometimes support, of corporal punishment as a method of discipline is an aspect of the American culture (Barnett, Miller-Perrin, Perrin 61).

Children are abused, in part, because they are unable to defend themselves against stronger and more powerful adults (Barnett, Miller-Perrin, Perrin 61). Researchers only recently have recognized that spanking is used primarily with young children and that the incidence and severity of spanking often diminishes by the time children are 8-10 years of age (Day 80).

Studies of the incidence and intensity of spanking often provide evidence that most parents have spanked their children. About 90% of parents in the United States report having spanked their children (Day 80).

In a research project done using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, researchers examined the antecedents of parents’ spanking behavior. This study represents an important step forward in understanding the profile of parents who spank their children.

Even though the study had little theoretical orientation from which spanking could be predicted, it showed that younger mothers spank much more frequently than older mothers; that younger childre...

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... violence of corporal punishment. In addition, corporal punishment can and often does become abuse when parents are especially angry or stressed (Barnett, Miller-Perrin, Perrin 292).

Finally, we need to know more about the personal resources of parents that can lessen the incidence of spanking. It is found that spanking sharply decreases as the parent ages. Despite ideological motivations, parents can and should be trained to understand alternative strategies of discipline (Day 93).

Works Cited

Barnett, Ola, & Miller-Perrin, Cindy & Perrin, Robin., Family Violence Across the

Lifespan. California: Sage, 1997

Day, Randal., "Predicting Spanking of Younger and Older Children by their Mothers

and Fathers." Journal of Marriage and the Family 60 (February 1998): 79-94

National Coalition to Abolish Corporal Punishment and EPOCH_USA., 3 February

1999

In this essay, the author

  • Defines corporal punishment as the intentional infliction of pain on the body for purposes of punishment and includes slapping, hitting with objects, pinching, shaking and forcing to stand for long periods of time.
  • Explains the acceptance and support of corporal punishment as a discipline in american culture. children are abused because they cannot defend themselves against stronger and more powerful adults.
  • Explains that studies of the incidence and intensity of spanking often provide evidence that most parents have spanked their children.
  • Explains that a research project using the national longitudinal survey of youth examined the antecedents of parents’ spanking behavior.
  • Explains that even though the study had little theoretical orientation from which spanking could be predicted, it showed that younger mothers spank much more frequently than older mothers.
  • Explains that consistent use of corporal punishment has been an indicator of less effective parenting and is commonly linked to socialization out comes such as delinquence, low self-esteem, and social incompetence.
  • Explains that the child's temperament and personality directly affect the parents ability to employ non-physical discipline strategies. children who are perceived as difficult are more likely to be spanked.
  • Explains that older parents with more education will have more experience raising children, know more about alternative and nonpunitive strategies of discipline, and have a greater sense of maturity and self-control, all of which may reduce inclinations to spank.
  • Explains that spanking is deeply rooted in the history and culture of our nation as well as in our own personal experiences.
  • Explains that when parents are working and are not on public assistance, they have a greater ability to provide necessities and extras for their children. economic independence may lead to greater sense of personal worth.
  • Explains that single mothers are understaffed and have difficulty juggling household, children, and work. when these strains exist, discipline strategies may reflect a more pressured situation.
  • Explains that fathers spank less than mothers, suggesting that this period of the child's life may be difficult for mothers.
  • Explains that the study indicated that boys are spanked more frequently than girls. mothers and fathers are less likely to spank older children.
  • Explains that black, single mothers report the most spanking, while married women with older children report more than white women, but less than single, black mothers. the younger women are more likely to espouse religious conservatism.
  • Concludes that spanking is a common occurrence during the parent-child relationship. data matched previous research and indicated that toddlers and younger children are more likely to be spanked than older children.
  • Explains that fathers are cast in less direct parenting roles that are supposed to be supportive of mothers’ effort but are less involved in the daily administration of discipline. black and white mothers of younger children are significantly influenced by the parent-child context.
  • Explains that parental spanking may be complicated by many factors, including gender, age, gender of parent, and age of the parent.
  • Explains that parents' inclinations to spank may be embedded in conservative religious beliefs and the parent's own perceptions of characteristics of their children that have developed during parent-child relationship.
  • Opines that little work has been done to understand parents' discipline strategies in many ethnic and racial groups in our society. motivations for spanking are complex and embedded in the ideological and family system fabric of daily life.
  • Explains that spanking is a conflict between the ideal of the loving parent and the purposeful violence of corporal punishment.
  • Opines that parents should be trained to understand alternative strategies of discipline, despite ideological motivations.
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