Corporal Punishment: A Literature Review Term Paper by scribbler

Corporal Punishment: A Literature Review
A brief review of the literature on the effects of parents' use of corporal punishment.
# 152769 | 880 words | 4 sources | APA | 2013 | US
Published on Apr 28, 2013 in Sociology (General) , Child, Youth Issues (General)

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The paper looks at a study by E.T. Gershoff that finds that corporal punishment is ineffective in soliciting voluntary compliance on the part of a child, and this leads to higher rates of aggression in children, delinquent behavior in juveniles, and criminal behaviors in adults. The paper then looks at the research of Baumrind who believes that Gershoff's evidence indicates that some parents are excessive in their use of corporal punishment; Baumrind argues that physical punishment is effective and should be differentiated from the abuse Gershoff refers to. The paper highlights how the research indicates the highly subjective nature of conducting parent and child interviews on this topic and also points out that the studies subsumed within the meta-analysis format were so varied in their approaches and definitions of corporal punishment that comparisons between such studies were difficult to draw in a consistent fashion.

From the Paper:

"'Spare the rod and spoil the child' has been a cliche seemingly since the beginning of time. However, according to Gershoff (2002), parents who use corporal punishment may be fostering the aggression they seek to curtail through corporal punishment. To support her thesis about the inefficacy of corporal punishment, Gershoff conducted an impressive literature review of over 88 previously existing studies. Gershoff's meta-analysis attempted to synthesize a variety of techniques and methods and come to a general conclusion, based on the research studies, some of which were scientifically rigorous, others of which she granted were not. Gershoff stated that while the bulk of the literature supported the idea that immediate compliance was fostered through the use of physical punishment, corporal punishment was ineffective in soliciting voluntary compliance on the part of a child.
"Poor mental health and poor parental relations, and criminal behavior all were associated with the use of corporal punishment. Gershoff's meta-analysis suggested a relative lack of a moral compass outside of parental supervision amongst children subjected to corporal punishment. Because children obeyed out of fear, rather than self-mastery or moral internalization, they were more likely to transgress in the parent's absence. Higher rates of aggression in children, delinquent behavior in juveniles, and criminal behaviors in adults were all associated with corporal punishment. In Lester's 1991 study of past physical abuse of current inmates, 49% of those who had attempted suicide had been subjected to corporal punishment and 44% had been physically abused."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Baumrind, D., Larzelere, R. & Cowan, P. (2002). Ordinary physical punishment: Is it harmful?Comment on Gershoff. Psychological Bulletin, 128, 580-589.
  • Gershoff, E. T. (2002). Corporal punishment by parents and associated child behaviors and experiences: A meta-analytic and theoretical review. Psychological Bulletin, 128, 539-579.
  • Horn, Ivor Braden; Jill G. Joseph, & Tina L. Chen. (2004, September). Non-abusivephysical punishment and child behavior among African-American children:A systematic review. Journal of the American Medical Association, 96 (9).
  • Larzelere, R. (2000). Child outcomes of non-abusive and customary physical punishment byparents: An updated literature review. Clinical Child and Family Review, 3, 199-221.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Corporal Punishment: A Literature Review (2013, April 28) Retrieved May 27, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Corporal Punishment: A Literature Review" 28 April 2013. Web. 27 May. 2023. <>