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Use the carrot, not the stick: a view on corporal punishment - page 3 / 7





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Punishment of Children, which takes a stance that research into corporal punishment is unnecessary to prove that corporal punishment should be prohibited, as the issue is one of human rights.10

The arguments surrounding the issue of corporal punishment are certainly emotive and as such draw a sometimes polarized set of views as to its effectiveness and implementation and certainly in approaching the subject itself. From the articles above, the most common theme when approaching corporal punishment is that of the use of hitting using an object, typically a paddle or stick. The intention of using this method of discipline is for a quick and (contextually assuming) effective response from the student. This essay will now focus on research related to corporal punishment in order to establish a more objective argument against the use of corporal punishment.

Elizabeth Elmer & Grace Gregg pioneered research into corporal punishment with their paper of development characteristics of abused children in 196711. Since then research has found associations between an increased risk of aggression and delinquency and corporal punishment.12 The work of Straus (2003) has consistently noted that “physical abuse of children is known to adversely affect cognitive performance”, drawing on the work of various others in

the context of the US. These findings are reiterated in the work of Poole et al13 research concluded;

(1991) whose

"corporal punishment increased aggressive and destructive behavio , increased disruptive classroom behavio , vandalism, poor school achievement, poor attention span, increased drop-out rate, school avoidance and school phobia, low self-esteem, anxiety, somatic complaints, depression, suicide and retaliation against teacher." Research also indicates long term effects to corporal punishment, Aldarando and Sugarman14 (1996) noting that corporal punishment in adolescence was inversely related to graduation from college. Quantitative studies by Strauss have reiterated these effects, noting that ‘CP in childhood and adolescence is associated with lower economic and occupational achievement in adulthood (Straus and Gimpel 2001)15’ and in a study of more than 800 mothers over a period from 1988 to 1992, children who were spanked were more rebellious even after taking into accounting their initial behaviors concluding that "The problem with corporal punishment is that it has lasting effects that include increased aggression and social difficulties."

Further Straus work includes the recent presentation to the 14th International Conference On Violence, Abuse And Trauma, where his paper used data on 17,404 university students from, 32 nations that drew a conclusion that the higher the percentage of parents who used corporal punishment, the lower the national average IQ, reiterating the conclusion that the increased sue of corporal punishment has a positive relationship with the decrease in academic

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