Name: Title: Course: Tutor: Date: Corporal Punishment and Children Behavior Introduction Corporal punishment continues to be widely used as a technique to discipline children in many families. It is defined by Mulvaney and Mebert as the using physical force intending to cause pain on a child, but not injury, with the aim of correcting or controlling the behavior of such a child (389)…
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Therefore, families should not adopt corporal punishment as a technique of teaching children how to behave as it impacts negatively on behavior, both in the short term and long term. Increasingly, research studies point out to the unintended negative consequences of corporal punishment. First, corporal punishment increases aggression among children as they appreciate physical violence as a form of solving conflicts, just as applied by their parents. Corporal punishment entails use of physical force which exhibits a positive curvilinear relationship with aggression in children. In fact, while vouching for the need for legislation against this form of punishment, Smith cites the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child referring to it as “legalized violence against children.” A review of various research studies by Elliman and Lynch (197) indicates that corporal punishment results in the child complying with the parental demands immediately after being hit, but for a short term. Such a child does not learn what the desired good is and hence the threat of need for greater frequency and intensity of corporal punishment so as to maintain the compliance. This causes significant physical abuse among the children exposed to corporal punishment. Humphrey and Schmalleger observe that in school, such children are twice more likely to attack other children physically within 6 months (121). Further, such children exhibit tendencies of abuse of child or partner late in life. They become antisocial and have the sense of conscience, moral internalization and empathy in them significantly reduce (Aucoin, Frick, and Bodin 528). Therefore, corporal punishment does not cause positive behavioral gains, but rather arouses and propagates aggression in children. Corporal punishment has also been noted to increase the likelihood of children becoming delinquent. In fact, as noted by Aucoin, Frick, and Bodin (529), corporal punishment could lead to behavioral problems as opposed to behavioral problems leading to corporal punishment. As such, these children develop delinquent behaviors later in life. Continued use of corporal punishment upholds delinquent behavior, such trouble at school and lying, two years later (Humphrey and Schmalleger 120). Indeed, a research study documented by Elliman and Lynch on 4,888 residents of Ontario aged below 65 with no history of sexual or physical violence, but reported being spanked or slapped, exhibited significantly higher tendencies of alcohol abuse, dependence and anxiety disorders (197). It should therefore be appreciated that whereas corporal punishment aims at instilling desirable behavior in a child, it could lead to delinquency in children. The third negative impact of corporal punishment entails the lowering of self-esteem among children, together with causing depression. The physical pain that children endure as a result of corporal punishment causes a rise of bitterness in them. With limited opportunities to release such feelings, such children end up being stressed and eventually depressed. Children who have been through years of emotional pain as a result of being
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