Presentation on theme: "PROFESSOR SALLY HOLLAND CARDIFF UNIVERSITY CASCADE RESEARCH CENTRE Positive parenting and physical punishment: the evidence."— Presentation transcript:
PROFESSOR SALLY HOLLAND CARDIFF UNIVERSITY CASCADE RESEARCH CENTRE Positive parenting and physical punishment: the evidence
Physical punishment In England and Wales, section 58 of the Children Act 2004 permits parents and others who have care and control of a child to raise the defence of “reasonable punishment” for a common assault on the child.
International picture 44 states have prohibited all corporal punishment in all settings, including the home including New Zealand – a country rather like Wales
Do parents still smack their children? What % of parents smack or physically punish their children in the UK in one year?
The evidence: ‘meta-analyses’ Smacking does not work as well as other ways to reduce negative behaviours in children Smacking is associated with increased aggression in children increases in mental health problems in childhood and adulthood, delinquent behaviour in childhood and criminal behaviour in adulthood, negative parent-child relationships increased risk that children will be physically abused
How do we know this? Many studies draw on large-scale longitudinal cohort studies – ie large numbers of children and their families followed up regularly over several years They can be generalised to the whole population They don’t rely on memory – usually ask about events in the last week. Nearly all studies show that smacking independently associated with poor behaviour – and that it is not just badly behaved children who get smacked (chicken and egg)
Children’s views 'it feels like someone banged you with a hammer' (5 year old girl) 'it's like when you 're in the sky and you 're falling to the ground and you just hurt yourself' (7 year old boy) '[Children feel] grumpy and sad and also really upset inside' (5 year old girl) '[It] hurts your feelings inside' (7 year old girl) 'You feel you don't like your parents anymore' (7 year old girl) 'it feels, you feel sort of as though you want to run away because they 're sort of like being mean to you and it hurts a lot' (7 year old girl) 'when you get smacked sometimes we get angry because sometimes when my mum smacks me you get angry' (6 year old boy)
Evidence-based parenting programmes E.g. Incredible Years, Triple P, Strengthening Families Social learning theory: rewarding positive behaviours (praise star charts etc), role modelling (no more ‘do as I say, not as I do!’), problem-solving with the child, active listening, boundaries and consistency. Child knows what to expect. Trusts adults. Feels respected. Feels secure. Understands that there will be consequences.
Does it work? And can it be learned? Most studies show that when parents actively use positive parenting then child behaviour improves and aggression decreases. Parents report decreased stress, more confidence. Authoritative parenting is associated with better outcomes in education, health and wellbeing.
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