Corporal Punishment

This paper reviews several studies and journal articles on the subject of corporal punishment as a disciplinary tool. Consideration is given to those who favor its use, those who oppose it, cultural and religious influences, its merits and dangers, and how its use together with other methods improve its success and minimize negative effects. Induction in particular is examined and examined for its strong role in internalization in children when used together with corporal punishment.
No area seems to so bitterly divide psychologists when discussing discipline than that of spanking.Though practiced throughout American history as a normal part of child-rearing, and despite reports that it is currently practiced by 94% of parents at some time by the time their children are 3 to 4 years old (Gershoff 2002), corporal punishment has come under increased scrutiny and distain by many in recent decades. This is largely, but not entirely, due to the frequent association with this type of punishment and child abuse.
Corporal punishment is using force to cause children to experience pain without injury to modify or correct their behavior (Gershoff 2002) in other words pain to get compliance. This form of punishment falls into the category of power assertion, which also includes demanding children, removing privileges (i.e. time-outs, grounding), slapping, spanking, etc. Abusive parents are typically more likely to use a power assertive technique always, but non-abusive parents tend to mix other techniques with power assertion ones (Grusec & Goodnow, 1994). It could be said of any disciplinary technique, but especially of spanking that a poor or rejecting parent will not send the same message in spanking as a involved and accepting parent (Holden 2002). This is important to note here before continuing since spanking can often escalate into abuse (Gershoff 2002), and what is meant by corp…

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