Corporal Punishment by Parents and Associated Child Behaviors and Experiences: A Meta-Analytic and Theoretical Review

Psychol Bull. 2002 Jul;128(4):539-79. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.128.4.539.

Abstract

Although the merits of parents using corporal punishment to discipline children have been argued for decades, a thorough understanding of whether and how corporal punishment affects children has not been reached. Toward this end, the author first presents the results of meta-analyses of the association between parental corporal punishment and 11 child behaviors and experiences. Parental corporal punishment was associated with all child constructs, including higher levels of immediate compliance and aggression and lower levels of moral internalization and mental health. The author then presents a process-context model to explain how parental corporal punishment might cause particular child outcomes and considers alternative explanations. The article concludes by identifying 7 major remaining issues for future research.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Abuse / diagnosis
  • Child Abuse / psychology
  • Child Behavior*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Internal-External Control
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Personality Development
  • Punishment*
  • Socialization