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Corporal Punishment and Child Maltreatment

Problem Analysis

Parents are the main people who are responsible for their children development, understanding of the world around, and promoting desirable behaviors that meet special standards and rules. Misbehavior of children is a burning topic for consideration in many countries because parents want to choose the most appropriate options to solve this problem, the society aims at protecting children and their rights, and policymakers have to consider all aspects to make sure that justice and clarity are supported. In many countries, corporal punishment is the way of how parents try to manage their children behaviors. Many American parents believe that one good spanking may replace a number of words and explanations (Lansford et al., 2014). However, the problem is not that parents choose this option because of its simplicity and fast effects. The concern is that not all parents, as well as other family members, are actually aware of the outcomes of corporal punishment on their children, promoting the development and support of domestic violence.

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The point is that corporate punishment is usually explained as an activity that is used to change child maltreatment. Still, Schneider, MacKenzie, Waldfogel, and Brooks-Gunn (2015) admit that it is wrong to compare or combine the terms of corporate punishment and child maltreatment, and the possibility to introduce these two terms as synonyms result in high risks of physical abuse and domestic violence. Many social workers and political stakeholders may find it necessary to develop special legislation and laws to protect children against their parents. At the same time, it is wrong to support the possibility of partial interference of the government in family affairs. It is necessary to gather enough information, clarify each action and a situation in general, and consider all possible factors that may influence child and parental behavior. The problem is that the law is not always a solution to corporal punishment and domestic violence.

There are many factors and reasons that can be used to explain corporal punishment chosen by parents as a method of behavioral management. Despite possible similarities between corporal punishment and domestic violence, Lansford et al. (2014) suggest focusing on social circumstances of different countries. For example, the countries that support an authoritarian style of parenting do not find corporal punishment as a problem, and the counties where laissez-faire parenting is promoted may ban corporal punishment in any form (Lansford et al., 2014). Schneider et al. (2015) discover another aspect of this problem, explaining that the appropriateness of corporal punishment may depend on a person who reports on domestic violence. The recognition of all these factors proves that the problem of child maltreatment and corporate punishment cannot be fast solved. Much time, clear examples, and cultural peculiarities have to be taken into consideration.

The problem of domestic violence has to be solved because it also influences public opinion and attitudes. It is not enough to state that punishment of children is wrong or right. It is necessary to be ready to discover all its merits and demerits through the prism of such issues as education, legislation, and research. Mental health problems, unstable behaviors, poor academic achievements, and low employment may be the results of corporal punishment in families. At the same time, the absence of control and punishment may lead to the same problems. Therefore, thorough research and strong arguments have to be used to prove the extent to which corporal punishment may be approved, and the limitations when this type of punishment as a type of domestic violence cannot be allowed.


Lansford, J. E., Sharma, C., Malone, P. S., Woodlief, D., Dodge, K. A., Oburu, P.,… Giunta, L.D. (2014). Corporal punishment, maternal warmth, and child adjustment: A longitudinal study in eight countries. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 43(4), 670-685.

Schneider, W., MacKenzie, M., Waldfogel, J., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (2015). Parent and child reporting of corporal punishment: New evidence from the fragile families and child wellbeing study. Child Indicators Research, 8(2), 347-358.

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