Corporal Punishment

  • Paige CulottaEmail author
  • Taylor McLain


While spanking has been seen as a norm for many cultures, research has shown that it does not appropriately convey disapproval of a child’s action or offer a means with which to correct the behavior. As with all types of physical discipline, it is impulsive and aggressive, at best, and is much more likely to result in negative consequences for the child. Corporal punishment leads to negative outcomes for all children despite race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic background. Cultural acceptance of the practice does not spare a child the harmful consequences. Worldwide, human rights groups and academic societies strongly disavow the use of spanking and physical discipline, and many countries have already banned or are working toward completely outlawing corporal punishment. It is recommended that pediatricians and other providers discourage and ardently educate against spanking and other acts of physical discipline. In summary, the literature shows that spanking and other forms of corporal punishment are ineffective and harmful, subjecting a child to a host of negative outcomes, and there are more effective options available for discipline.


Corporal punishment Spanking 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Child Abuse PediatricsChildren’s Hospital of New Orleans, Audrey Hepburn CARE CenterNew OrleansUSA
  2. 2.Baylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA

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