The term Corporal Punishment Essay means the intentional infliction of painon the body for purposes of punishment and includes slapping, hitting withobjects, pinching, shaking and forcing to stand for long periods of time(Epoch 1). Family researchers define corporal punishment as ” the use ofphysical force aimed at causing children to experience pain but not injury,for the purposes of correction and control of youthful behavior” (Day 83). The term “spanking” is a form of physical or corporal punishment (Epoch 1). The general acceptance, and sometimes support, of corporal punishment as amethod of discipline is an aspect of the American culture (Barnett, Miller-Perrin, Perrin 61).
Children are abused, in part, because they are unableto defend themselves against stronger and more powerful adults (Barnett,Miller-Perrin, Perrin 61). Researchers only recently have recognized thatspanking is used primarily with young children and that the incidence andseverity of spanking often diminishes by the time children are 8-10 yearsof age (Day 80). Studies of the incidence and intensity of spanking often provide evidencethat most parents have spanked their children. About 90% of parents in theUnited 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. Thisstudy represents an important step forward in understanding the profile ofparents who spank their children. Even though the study had littletheoretical orientation from which spanking could be predicted, it showedthat younger mothers spank much more frequently than older mothers; thatyounger children are spanked more than older children, and that higherlevels of socioeconomic status are associated with the decreases inspanking. It also showed that mothers with lower education, mothers livingin the south and mothers who are African American reported increased levelsof corporal punishment; and that mothers reporting higher levels ofreligiosity also spanked more (Day 80). Consistent use of corporal punishment has been an indicator of lesseffective parenting and is commonly linked to socialization out comes suchas delinquency, low self-esteem, and social incompetence (Day 81). The child’s temperament and personality directly affect the parents abilityto employ non physical discipline strategies.Order now
Consequently, children whoare perceived as difficult are more likely to be spanked than those who arenot perceived as difficult (Day 81). Older parents who have more education will have more experience raisingchildren, will know more about alternative and nonpunitive strategies ofdiscipline, and will have a greater sense of personal maturity and self-control, all of which may reduce inclinations to spank (Day 81). There is a widely held tradition in western civilization that “sparing therod spoils the child” (Day 81). Spanking is deeply rooted in the historyand culture of our nation as well as in our own personal experiences.
Somepeople point to the Bible as supporting, even requiring, physicalpunishment. Those who subscribe to this argument misunderstand and misusescripture (Epoch 3). When parents are working and are not on public assistance, they have agreater ability to provide necessities and extras for their children. Economic independence may lead to a greater sense of personal worth.
Thishigher self-worth should convert into more competent parenting, animportant link to non-punitive discipline (Day 82). Single mothers have been characterized as “understaffed” and as havingdifficulty juggling the demands of household, children, and work. Whenthese strains exist, discipline strategies may reflect a more pressuredsituation. Even controlling for the age of the mother, the pressurizedclimate of living as a single parent will increase the amount of reportedspanking (Day 82). Fathers generally spank less than the mothers.
Fathers, even when theirchildren are young, are less likely to spank. Younger children tend toreceive the most frequent spankings. This suggests that this period of thechild’s life may be difficult for mothers (Day 87). The study also indicated that boys are spanked more frequently than girls.
The effects of the gender of the child becomes more accentuated as thechild gets older. Mothers and fathers are less likely to spank olderchildren. Fathers rarely spank older girls. Older boys, if they are spankedat all, are probably spanked by their mothers (Day 87). Within the groups of women (black or white, married or single) the black,single mothers report the most spanking and black, married women with olderchildren report more spanking than white women, but less spanking thansingle, black mothers (Day 81). The black, single women are younger, whichmay account for some of this difference, and are much more likely toespouse .