June 12, 2009
The Centre for Effective Discipline released a report late last year entitled “Report on Physical Punishment in the United States: What Research tells us about its effects on children“.
The report synthesizes one hundred years of social science research and many hundreds of published studies on physical punishment conducted by professionals in the fields of psychology, medicine, education, social work, and sociology, among other fields.
The research supports several conclusions:
- There is little research evidence that physical punishment improves children’s behaviour in the long term.
- There is substantial research evidence that physical punishment makes it more, not less, likely that children will be defiant and aggressive in the future.
- There is clear research evidence that physical punishment puts children at risk for negative outcomes, including increased mental health problems.
- There is consistent evidence that children who are physically punished are at greater risk of serious injury and physical abuse.