The Influence of Corporal Punishment on a Child

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 936 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Sep 1, 2020

Words: 936|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Sep 1, 2020


Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2.  Implications of Corporal Punishment
  3. Cultural Acceptance and Legal Status
  4. Alternative Disciplinary Approaches
  5. Conclusion


In every child's life, there comes a phase where they test boundaries and assert their independence. This natural developmental stage often clashes with parental authority, leading to conflicts over discipline. While it's the responsibility of parents to guide their children and instill discipline, the methods they employ can have profound effects on a child's well-being and future behavior. Corporal punishment, though once considered a norm in many cultures, has increasingly come under scrutiny due to its potential negative consequences. This essay delves into the adverse effects of corporal punishment on children's mental health, its role in perpetuating violent behavior, and advocates for alternative disciplinary approaches.

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 Implications of Corporal Punishment

The mental well-being of a child is paramount in their development into healthy, functioning adults. However, the use of corporal punishment can inflict lasting emotional scars and undermine a child's psychological health. Research conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA) indicates that while physical discipline may yield short-term compliance, its excessive use can lead to long-term mental health issues for the child. Feelings of fear, low self-esteem, and aggression are commonly reported outcomes among children subjected to corporal punishment. Furthermore, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry warns of the potential for corporal punishment to erode trust in parental figures and strain parent-child relationships, leading to a cycle of dysfunction within families.

The repercussions of corporal punishment extend beyond the immediate effects on a child's mental health. There is a concerning correlation between experiencing physical discipline and exhibiting violent behavior in the future. Studies suggest that children who are routinely subjected to corporal punishment are more likely to internalize violence as a means of resolving conflicts or asserting power. Emily Cuddy, a professor at the Brookings Institute, highlights how children may associate violence with authority, perpetuating a cycle of aggression. Moreover, the American Academy of Pediatrics underscores the risk of children mirroring the behavior they experience at home, potentially manifesting as bullying or other forms of aggressive behavior in school settings. By normalizing violence as a disciplinary tool, parents inadvertently contribute to the perpetuation of violence in society.

Cultural Acceptance and Legal Status

Despite mounting evidence against its efficacy and harmful effects, corporal punishment remains prevalent in many societies. Southern Methodist University's research reveals that a significant portion of parents still view spanking as an acceptable form of discipline. Moreover, corporal punishment is legally permitted in 19 states in the United States, reflecting its cultural acceptance and entrenched status in some communities. The Brookings Institution acknowledges that physical discipline is deeply ingrained in certain cultural norms, complicating efforts to eradicate its practice. However, cultural acceptance should not overshadow the imperative to protect children from harm and ensure their well-being.

Alternative Disciplinary Approaches

While the cessation of corporal punishment is necessary, it is equally important to offer alternative disciplinary approaches that promote positive behavior without resorting to violence. One effective strategy is the implementation of non-physical consequences, such as time-outs or loss of privileges. By imposing consequences that are directly related to the misbehavior, parents can teach valuable lessons without causing harm. Additionally, serving as positive role models for children and nurturing a supportive, communicative environment fosters mutual respect and cooperation. By emphasizing empathy, understanding, and constructive communication, parents can cultivate a nurturing environment conducive to healthy child development.

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In conclusion, corporal punishment represents an outdated and detrimental approach to disciplining children, with far-reaching implications for their mental health and future behavior. As a society, we must prioritize the well-being of our children and advocate for alternative disciplinary methods that promote positive behavior without resorting to violence. By fostering environments of trust, respect, and open communication, parents can guide their children towards healthy development and contribute to the creation of a more compassionate and peaceful society. It is imperative that we collectively reject corporal punishment and embrace nurturing, non-violent approaches to discipline, ensuring a brighter future for generations to come.


  1. Gershoff, E. T. (2002). Corporal punishment by parents and associated child behaviors and experiences: A meta-analytic and theoretical review. Psychological Bulletin, 128(4), 539–579.
  2. American Psychological Association. (2019). Physical punishment of children.
  3. American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. (2012). Policy statement on corporal punishment.
  4. United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). (2019). Hidden in plain sight: A statistical analysis of violence against children. UNICEF.
  5. Straus, M. A. (1994). Beating the devil out of them: Corporal punishment in American families. Transaction Publishers.
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The Influence Of Corporal Punishment On A Child. (2020, September 01). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 4, 2024, from
“The Influence Of Corporal Punishment On A Child.” GradesFixer, 01 Sept. 2020,
The Influence Of Corporal Punishment On A Child. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 4 Mar. 2024].
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