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Does Physical Punishment Have a Positive or Negative Impact?

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Childcare
Wordcount: 1800 words Published: 8th Feb 2020

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At my job, there are a lot of mothers with their children come to have services. Some

kids sit still and wait for their moms, but they all don’t. From my observation, the ones that sit still, their moms don’t have to say much about how they should behave in public; however, the ones that more hyper, their moms have to yell at them, or even spank them in public. Shouldn’t it be the opposite? The ones that their mothers have to correct their behaviors by spanking usually cry, and scream, but their misbehavior can’t be stopped. It leads to a question, does physical punishment have a positive or negative affect? If someone asked question twenty years back, most of the answer maybe is a “positive”; however, in this digital century, people are easily accessed to the internet, being more educated, can see things in different angles, the answer is maybe shifted. There are a lot more psychiatrists, or even therapists more children, or mover over counselors in schools, so it is like an open door to the children’s world.  Lots of studies have shown the pros and the cons of corporal punishment, so there are a lot debate between the positive and negative effects of this parenting method.

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Professionals believes there are still positive effects of physical punishment. Robert E. Larzelere,  and Brett R. Kuhn, who are psychologist, show their evidence in the article “Comparing Child Outcomes of Physical Punishment and Alternative Disciplinary Tactics: A Meta-Analysis.” Meta-analysis shows 25 years of comparing physical punishment with other parenting methods, they group physical punishment in general in 4 different category such as conditional spanking, customary physical punishment, overly severe physical punishment, and predominant physical punishment. Conditional punishment is the child being punished under certain circumstances, and people prefer it over nonphysical punishment to correct children’s behavior, and isolated behavior. Customary punishment is a common parenting method of a family. Research shows that children under customary punishment less likely abuse drugs when they get older then other kids under non physical punishment. On top of that customary punishment has the same effect with other types of punishment. In brief, the rate of social isolated behavior of adults that under physical punishment when they were children is very low. On top of that, there is no proof that physical punishment is the cause of aggression behavior in children. However, physical punishment will have the opposite effect only if parents abuse it (2005). The experts have shown the positive effect of physical punishment; however, if parents abuse it, it will have the opposite effects.

Experts show the prooves on the people got affected by physical punishment, and turn out with positive outcome. Ray Guarendi, who is a doctor of Children’s Hospital, show the result in his research that 70% of the of high performance students, and employees were under physical punishment when they were children. The doctor found that physical punishment is a way to correct bad behavior, and doesn’t cause harm to children. Spanking has been found as a positive result for adults, such as the number of young men who use drugs is very low when they were under physical punishment as children. On top of that they are able to get a desired marriage. Most parents began to spank their kids 18-24 months and continue until they reach 4-6 years old. Most reasons they use physical punishment on their kids are prevent the child from any dangerous situation, behavior of defiance, and punished for disrespect behavior. Most of the parents of the children that have outstanding performance in life are willing to use physical punishment on their children. According to that, the author gives the conclusion about the physical punishment base on his research. Physical punishment is not child abuse, and parents who spank their kids are not child abuser. Spanking does not cause aggression in children, or cause mental problem. On top of that, they are normally grow just like other kids (1990). Some parents have their own reasons on why they don’t spank their kids, but they don’t consider corporal punishment as unkind, an cause any damage to the children.

Physical punishment can affect a child mentally and physically in a long term. According to Cynthia Godsoe, she points out the negative effects of corporal punishment in her essay “Redefining parental rights: The Case of Corporal Punishment.”  Many professionals in medical field support the point that corporal punishment. Even using it with cautions, it’s still not despite the fact that it is unhealthy. The kids that are affected by the physical damage have higher threat to their emotion, and how they react to the world around them leads to misbehaving and mental illness. The visible damage can lead to the invisible damage that can affect a child personality. The kids are being hurted by someone that they rely on to protect them, it can be very hurtful (2017). Physical punishment affects children’s personalities.

Professionals have warned that physical punishment and child abuse has a very thin barrier. According to Noam Shpancer, who is a psychologist, states that there are proof that show against physical punishment because spanking and child abuse have a lot of similarities in his article “The spanking debate is over.” Both spanking and child abuse use pain to discipline children. The barrier between child abuse and physical punishment can easily crossed. Parents sometimes spank their children without the purpose of discipline a child, and can cause to invisible damage to the child. Of course, studies have shown one of the reasons that lead to child abuse is moderate spanking. Moderate spanking become child abuse when it is used constantly, at higher force. Obviously, parents who abuse their children tend to spank their kids more than non-abuse parents. In brief, because there are not many evidence that show the advantages of spanking, the reasons to against that parenting method become stronger and stronger. There is not any research that the author have seen that shown that benefits of physical punishment on children.

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Experts have listed the negative effects of physical punishment. Malinda Muzi states that most of the parents still spank their kids to correct their misbehavior. She emphasizes that parents shouldn’t spank their kids because it’s cruel, avoidable, and it can cause other problem. The author also points out the reasons why parents spank their kids. They choose this parent method because they were spanked when they were children, religious teachings method, and they don’t how to discipline their child, but spank them. She responds to the statement when people say “I got hit, I turned out fine.” How do people know that they really turn out fine, or they could have turned out better if their parents didn’t spank them as they were children. Because of the believe that they “turn out fine”, it keeps the parents from changing their parenting method. Even though parents don’t mean to hurt their kids, spanking can cause mentally and physically to their later life. Malinda Muzi lists the effects of using physical punishment on children. Children will feel betrayed when they are hit by the people that they trust. Parents are the ones that suppose to keep them safe, and they rely to their parents. Of course a child still love their parents, and stay attached to their parents, but deep down that child still afraid that his parents will hurt him. A child’s self-esteem, and self-confident will be damage, with the thought that the people suppose to protect him, can also hurt him. Spanking can cause psychological trauma to children. Many psychological disorder can be the result of physical punishment. Children feel ashamed, and worthless when their parents mistreat them. These feelings will interfere with their school, and social performance. On top of that, being spanked by their parents can give them the thought that violence can solve problem, and who is bigger will have the power. That leads to reason why many kids bully weaker kids in school. Moreover, that their workplace, they may abuse the older worker as a revenge when they were hit by their parents. Spanking will cause anger, and aggression to a child. The child who gets spanked by their parents, gets temper very easily. She shows a research that 100 percent of children who get spanked, they use that temper toward their siblings.

In conclusion, different professionals show their different point of views on the physical punishment. Some points out the positive effects, and others show the negative effects of it.

Children are affected by any parenting method.


         Comparing Child Outcomes Of Physical Punishment and Alternative Disciplinary Tactics: A Meta-analysis
         Evidence Favoring the Use Of Disciplinary Spanking « Goodparent.org
  • https://goodparent.org/corporal-punishment/research-on-corporal-punishment/evidence-favoring-the-use-of-disciplinary-spanking/
  • Godsoe, C. (2017, Summer). Redefining parental rights: The case of corporal punishment. Constitutional Commentary, 32(2), 281+. Retrieved from http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A503308910/OVIC?u=phil42304&sid=OVIC&xid=6c7b1ce0
         The Spanking Debate Is Over https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/insight-therapy/201802/the-spanking-debate-is-over
         Your kids, their lives: a parent's guide to raising happy, competent, caring children
  • Malinda Muzi - Pink Roses Pub. - 2006


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