In a recent study, Dr. Tamara Taillieu took a sample of 34,653 adults and categorized into racial groups. Participants were asked if they ever received harsh physical punishment. The actual question to assess this was: “As a child, how often were you ever pushed, grabbed, shoved, slapped, or hit by your parents or any adult living in your house?” and participants were able to answer on a 5 point Likert scale. Dr. Taillieu found that African-Americans were more likely to experience harsh physical punishments, Hispanics came in next, Caucasians, and the least likely were the Asian/Native group.
Dr. Taillieu and her colleagues also grouped participants by education and household income, finding that the more education that participants had, the less likely they experienced any harsh physical punishment and that the more the household income, the less likely participants experienced harsh physical punishment as well. Another study suggesting that over 90% of American parents used corporal punishment at least once (Wauchope).Parents mostly likely to do because? With so much evidence to support that corporal punishment does more harm to children, why is it still so prevalent? In Gershoff’s meta-analysis, she mentions that parent’s intentions of using corporal punishment are “to get the child to stop engaging in the unacceptable behavior—to get the child to comply…or communicating that the parent is in charge. And to decrease their children’s aggressive and antisocial behavior. (34)” Gershoff also ran an experiment comparing the effectiveness of different methods of discipline, her results were that, “corporal punishment is thus better than doing nothing, but it is not better than alternative means of discipline that do not carry the risks of physical injury to the child or of increasing child aggression” and that “87% found that parents’ use of corporal punishment was significantly correlated with less longterm compliance and less moral and pro-social behavior—in other words, corporal punishment was associated with worse rather than better child behavior.
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