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Corporal Punishment: What the evidence tells us about the effects on child development 03 December 2013 Pretoria PAN: Children Dialogue Series.

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Presentation on theme: "Corporal Punishment: What the evidence tells us about the effects on child development 03 December 2013 Pretoria PAN: Children Dialogue Series."— Presentation transcript:

1 Corporal Punishment: What the evidence tells us about the effects on child development 03 December 2013 Pretoria PAN: Children Dialogue Series

2 SA Research in the context of global evidence 2 International experience South African research Focus on Behavioural Outcomes

3 Risk for use of corporal punishment InterpersonalIndividualCharacteristics of child at risk Male-dominated households Caregiver psychological functioning Psychological functioning and temperament Marital conflictAge and educational attainment Gender Family structureViolence in family of origin Age (Dawes et al 2005) 3

4 Aggression and Anti-social behaviour Children punished by corporal punishment, by parents –significantly more likely to become aggressive with peers Trickett PK & Kuczynski C (1986) Barlow & Parsons (2005) –Increased risk of delinquency and substance abuse Barlow & Parsons (2005) Mulvaney MK & McBert CJ (2007) 4

5 A Campbell Collaboration Systematic review found that parenting practices, and specifically harsh discipline, little positive parenting involvement, and poor supervision, accounted for up to 40% of variation in social behaviour amongst children (Patterson (1993)) 5

6 Corporal punishment in adolescence is strongly associated with an increased probability of condoning violence against one’s spouse, experiencing depression as an adult, and elevating levels of marital conflict. In turn, each of these components was associated with an increased probability of physically assaulting one’s spouse and child. Straus, MA & Yodanis CL (1996) 6

7 In a meta-analysis of 88 studies, Gershoff concludes that there are strong negative associations between corporal punishment and: Mental health in childhood Aggression in childhood Delinquent and anti-social behaviour in childhood and adolescence Abusing a child or spouse as an adult (particularly strong association with IPV) (Gershoff ET (2002)) 7

8 Because… Kerr DCR (2004) shows that corporal punishment reduces both empathy and moral regulation. 8

9 And…. “The effect of corporal punishment may best be understood from a stress-process framework. Receiving physical discipline from a parent is likely to be stressful for a child, and children who are continuously exposed to stressors in their environment (and perceive them as stressful) show increased internalizing and externalizing behaviours.” (Turner & Finkelhor (1996)) 9

10 10 DirectIndirect Impact of Corporal Punishment

11 In South Africa Data collected through the CJCP national child and youth surveys (household and school-based) provides empirical evidence of the relationship between corporal punishment and various negative behavioural outcomes 11

12 Strong associations 12 Children who are beaten at home are more than TWICE as likely as those who are not to: –Use drugs –Have positive attitudes to assault, revenge, and taking goods using force –Feel that violence is the best/appropriate form of conflict resolution (p=.000; Exp(B) range between 1.98 and 2.66)

13 Strong associations Children who are beaten at home are ONE AND A HALF TIMES more likely than those who are not, to: –Steal money or goods –Feel unsafe at school, home and community –Feel that beating up others is a good way to impress peers –Feel that stealing for revenge is acceptable 13 (p=.000; Exp(B) range between 1.6 and 1.78)

14 Summary In conclusion: –Children who experience corporal punishment are more likely to develop inadequate coping mechanisms, externalise behaviours, and adopt violent/aggressive responses and coping mechanisms as a child, through adolescence and into adulthood. What we DON’T know is the impact of severity and frequency on negative behavioural and developmental outcomes 14

15 THANK YOU 15


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