The purpose of this research report is to review the practice of corporal punishment in the home and the lasting harmful effects on the children involved. The research is based on the opinions and finding of professionals in mental health and child development and offers little to no support for the use of physical punishment. This research outlines several areas of a child’s life that are acutely affected by the violent form of punishment called “spanking”. Within our community I have seen first hand that children who are subjected to such punishment suffer emotional as well as physical harm. Loss of trust, confusion, damaged relationships; aggression, humiliation, depression as well as death occur in children disciplined with corporal punishment. This paper reports the findings of many national studies in an attempt to educate those who continue to advocate violence in the home.
A Lifetime of Damage
Research about corporal punishment and the effects on children has become increasingly important. In particular, child psychologists have studied how to recognise behaviours that may suggest violence in the home, allowing vital intervention. This research led psychologists to realise that the behaviours they were observing in young children were almost always carried with the child throughout life and affected future behaviour; causing delinquency with the law, drug and alcohol abuse and perpetrating abuse on others. This study began with a sense of urgency to find information and educate those who felt that spanking was an acceptable and effective form of punishment. Secondly this research was done in order to better understand the emotional health of children. Research pertaining to the detrimental effects of corporal punishment on a child’s emotional and physical well being has shown that whether corporal punishment is used every day, once a week or once a month, there are lasting harmful effects to the children involved.
Some of the physical and emotional effects of parents using corporal punishment on their child can be seen immediately. Along with physical damage such as redness, swelling and bruises, there is also significant emotional damage. Loss of trust and confusion are immediate and very detrimental to a young child. There are also many consequences that remain hidden for years, which may cause these children to suffer fr...
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...here is no excuse that magically makes hurting a child kind or merciful” (1994, p.1). Children suffer damages that have been measured in many studies, by many doctors. But, these children who are being spanked also suffer from wounds that no one can begin to measure. The lost trust that a child suffers while begin spanked causes a lifetime of damage to his or her spirit, as well as to the relationship between the parent and the child. The psychological impact that has been attributed to a majority of spanked children, not only harms the future of that child, but those who surround him.
Alexander, K. (2001). Is Spanking Ever Okay? Parents, 90-98.
Flynn, C. (1999). Exploring the Link Between Corporal Punishment
and Children’s Cruelty to Animals. Journal of Marriage and the Family,
Greven, P. (1991). Spare the Child. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Lindgren, A. Never Violence. Cox, Randy.
Riak, J. Plain Talk About Spanking.
Schaefer, C. (1990). Teach Your Child to Behave. New York: Penguin Books.
Straus, M. (1994). Beating the Devil out of Them. New York: Lexington Books.
Straus, M. Hitting a Child is Wrong. Cox, Randy.
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