Corporal punishment of children

The latest material added to the Australian Institute of Family Studies library database is displayed, up to a maximum of 30 items. Where available online, a link to the document is provided. Many items can be borrowed from the Institute's library via the Interlibrary loan system.

See more resources on Corporal punishment of children in the AIFS library catalogue

The role of corporal punishment of children in the perpetuation of intimate partner violence in Australia.

Poulsen A
Children Australia v. 43 no. 1 Mar 2018: 32-41
Intimate partner violence (IPV) has been widely acknowledged as a prominent problem throughout Australia. A growing body of research has linked corporal punishment of children in the home with numerous adverse outcomes both in childhood and adulthood. Some of these adverse outcomes in childhood, such as aggression and antisocial behaviour, may be antecedents for involvement in violence as an adult. Adverse longitudinal outcomes of corporal punishment in childhood include involvement in intimate partner violence as an adult, both as victim and as perpetrator. Corporal punishment is a type of family violence that is legal in Australia, yet its role in the family violence scenario is not yet fully appreciated. This article presents extant scientific literature on the link between corporal punishment in childhood and involvement in intimate partner violence in adulthood, and argues for the employment of this knowledge in the implementation of policy making around corporal punishment of children.

Australia: 'Progress for every child in the SDG era' country profile

UNICEF
New York : Unicef, 2018
The 'Progress for every child in the SDG era' report assesses the world's progress towards the many child-related indicators within the internationally agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It compares overall and regional data, and highlights the lack of data around the world for tracking progress. Country-specific profiles have also been prepared: this paper presents the data for Australia. It summarises whether the 5 broad values are met, on track, need acceleration, or have insufficient data, and presents data for each of the 44 child-related indicators, which cover issues relating to health, development, learning, abuse and protection, living conditions, and opportunity. As with many other countries, much of the needed data is missing.

The state of the world's children 2017: children in a digital world

UNICEF
New York : United Nation's Children's Fund, 2017.
The 'State of the world's children' series aims to present a detailed picture of children's wellbeing around the world. It features tables of comparative statistics on child and infant mortality, nutrition, birthweight, breastfeeding, under- and overweight, health and illness, drinking water and sanitation, immunisation, HIV/AIDS, education and school enrolment, literacy, women's health and status, maternity care, child labour, child marriage, female genital mutilation/cutting, violent discipline, attitudes to wife beating, adolescents, early child development, adult support for learning, life expectancy at birth, national demographic and economic indicators, and rate of progress in child welfare, for developing and industrialised countries, including Australia. National disparities by household wealth are also noted, where data is available. This 2017 edition also examines the ways in which digital technology has already changed children's lives and life chances - and explores what the future may hold. It discusses education and learning in a digital world, barriers to connectivity and gender gaps, online risks and harms, civic engagement online, and digital life and dependency.

A familiar face: violence in the lives of children and adolescents

UNICEF
New York : United Nation's Children's Fund, 2017.
Using the latest international data, this report documents four specific forms of violence in the lives of children and adolescents: violent discipline and exposure to domestic abuse during early childhood; violence at school; violent deaths among adolescents; and sexual violence in childhood and adolescence. The statistics reveal that children experience violence across all stages of childhood, in diverse settings, and often at the hands of the trusted individuals with whom they interact on a daily basis. Data is presented largely by region and for the most at-risk nations.

Corporal punishment: key issues

Child Family Community Australia, Australian Institute of Family Studies
Melbourne, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2017.
Corporal punishment is a contentious and much debated issue within the community. Written for service providers and practitioners, this resource provides an overview of the research and legislation on the corporal punishment of children in Australia. Topics include: defining physical punishment in contrast to physical abuse; research on the use of corporal punishment and its impact on child outcomes; children's perceptions; which children more likely to experience corporal punishment; alternative discipline techniques; Australian legislation and the criminal defence of 'reasonable chastisement'; and corporal punishment in early education and child care settings and alternative residential care settings.

The state of the world's children 2016: a fair chance for every child

UNICEF
New York : United Nation's Children's Fund, 2016.
The 'State of the world's children' series aims to present a detailed picture of children's wellbeing around the world. It features tables of comparative statistics on child and infant mortality, nutrition, birthweight, breastfeeding, under- and overweight, health and illness, drinking water and sanitation, immunisation, HIV/AIDS, education and school enrolment, literacy, women's health and status, maternity care, child labour, child marriage, female genital mutilation/cutting, violent discipline, attitudes to wife beating, adolescents, early child development, adult support for learning, life expectancy at birth, national demographic and economic indicators, and rate of progress in child welfare, for developing and industrialized countries, including Australia. National disparities by household wealth are also noted, where data is available. This 2016 edition also highlights the issue of inequity, with millions of children's lives blighted for no other reason than the country, the community, the gender or the circumstances into which they are born. Though the world has made tremendous progress, there are constraints due to political commitment and collective will. The report describes the the terrible impact on children by 2030 if we don't act now.

The legacy of aversive parenting : predictors of pre-parents' attitudes toward endorsement of physical discipline with children.

McCann A and Pidgeon A
14th Australasian Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect : ACCAN 2015 : cultural responsiveness in a multi-agency world : 29 March - 1 April 2015, Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand. Canberra, A.C.T. : Australian Institute of Criminology, 2015: 23p
There is a growing body of research looking at the various factors that contribute to parents' selecting physical disclipline as an appropriate parenting response. This study adds to the literature by investigating these factors in people who are not yet parents. 129 university students were shown various child behaviour vignettes, to assess the factors behind any endorsement of physical discipline - in particular negative attributional style, anger-justifying attributions, unrealistic expectations, depression, frequency of childhood physical discipline, and severity of childhood physical discipline. This document contains the slides from the session, with selected text from a background literature review and descriptions of the study's methodology, results, and discussion.

Parents' reported use and views of strategies for managing the behaviour of their preschool child.

Cuskelly M, Morris M, Gilmore L and Besley T
Australasian Journal of Early Childhood v. 40 no. 2 online annex May 2015: 99-106
The aim of the research was two-fold: first, to investigate strategies used by Australian parents to encourage desirable child behaviours and to decrease undesirable behaviours; second, to determine the acceptability and perceived usefulness to parents of various strategies. The research encompassed two studies. In the first study, 152 parents of children aged under six years completed questionnaires to identify their disciplinary practices. In study two, 129 parents reported on the acceptability and perceived effectiveness of various parenting strategies (modelling, ignoring, rewarding and physical punishment) for influencing child behaviour. Most parents in study one reported using techniques consistent with positive parenting strategies. The use of physical punishment was also reported, but predominantly as a secondary method of discipline. In study two, the techniques of modelling and rewarding were found to be more acceptable to parents than were ignoring and smacking. The findings highlight the need to raise parental awareness and acceptance of a broader range of positive ways to manage child behaviour.

'Smacking never hurt me!' : identifying myths surrounding the use of corporal punishment.

Kish A and Newcombe P
Personality and Individual Differences v. 87 Dec 2015: 121-129
Despite increasing evidence of its harms, corporal punishment is still a commonly used disciplinary strategy for children. This article investigates whether common beliefs or myths of its harmlessness might account for its continued use. A study was conducted with 366 young people, utilising the newly developed Corporal Punishment Myths Scale (CPMS).

State of the world's fathers: a MenCare advocacy publication 2015.

MenCare (Program), Promundo (Organization), Rutgers (Organization), Save the Children (U.S.), Sonke Gender Justice (Organization), MenEngage Alliance
Washington, D.C. : Promundo, Rutgers, Save the Children, Sonke Gender Justice, and the MenEngage Alliance, 2015.
Men's and boys' participation in the daily care of others has a lasting influence on the lives of children, women, and men, and an enduring impact on the world around them. This inaugural report collates the latest information on men's caregiving and fatherhood, identifies what further research is needed, and makes recommendations for full gender equality and maximum child well-being. Topics include participation in caregiving, sexual and reproductive health and rights, maternal and child health, violence and violence prevention, and child development. The research is supplemented with stories from men, women, and children about what fatherhood and caregiving really mean and promising fatherhood-involvement programs and policies from around the world. It concludes with tables comparing time use, paternity leave, contraception attitudes, violence during pregnancy, child abuse, and corporal punishment around the world. This report will complement the work of the 'State of the World's Mothers' and 'The State of the World's Children' series of reports.

'Help, not punishment' : moving on from physical punishment of children.

Porzig-Drummond R
Children Australia v. 40 no. 1 Mar 2015: 43-57
Although the physical punishment of children is overall an ineffective disciplining strategy, has adverse long-term psychological effects, and carries the risk of physical punishment escalating into child abuse, parental physical punishment is lawful in all Australian states and territories within the bounds of lawful correction or reasonable chastisement. What is considered to be reasonable is open to considerable interpretation, which further increases the risk of physical harm to children. Physical punishment of children also contravenes the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Australia has ratified. Although more effective disciplining strategies, such as cognitive-behavioural parenting strategies, are available and have been advocated by professional organisations, the vast majority of Australian parents condone parental physical punishment of children and are opposed to its prohibition. Predictors for this stance include perceived social norms, the belief that physically punishing children is an effective disciplining strategy and a parent's right, a perceived absence of alternative parenting strategies, and fear of prosecution if physical punishment were to be banned. Countries that have phased out the physical punishment of children have demonstrated that, to encourage a shift in parental attitudes and behaviours, public awareness about the detrimental effects of physical punishment and the effectiveness of alternative disciplining strategies needs to be raised. Additionally, parents require support through free and convenient access to evidence-based parenting programmes that promote alternative disciplining strategies; and the defence of lawful correction needs to be repealed, with the aim of setting a new standard, as well as education rather than prosecution.

The state of the world's children 2015: reimagine the future

UNICEF
New York : United Nation's Children's Fund, 2014.
The 'State of the world's children' series aims to present a detailed picture of children's wellbeing around the world. It features tables of comparative statistics on child and infant mortality, nutrition, birthweight, breastfeeding, under- and overweight, health and illness, drinking water and sanitation, immunisation, HIV/AIDS, education and school enrolment, literacy, women's health and status, maternity care, child labour, child marriage, female genital mutilation/cutting, violent discipline, attitudes to wife beating, adolescents, early child development, adult support for learning, life expectancy at birth, national demographic and economic indicators, and rate of progress in child welfare, for developing and industrialized countries, including Australia. National disparities by household wealth are also noted, where data is available. This 2015 edition also marks the 25th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, with case studies on the work of young innovators who are reimagining the future.

Report of case study no. 7: child sexual abuse at the Parramatta Training School for Girls and the Institution for Girls in Hay

McClellan P
Sydney, NSW : Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, 2014.
As part of the Royal Commission's investigation of how institutions respond to child sexual abuse abuse, it will conduct case studies of selected incidents to more fully understand the institutional and systemic factors involved. This report examines the experience of women who were sexually abused as children, between 1950-1974, while committed in the Parramatta Girls' Training School and the Hay Institution for Girls, both in New South Wales. It discusses the law governing out-of-home care during that period, the harsh disciplinary conditions of the institutes, allegations of physical and sexual abuse against staff, the impact on health and employment, and the issues of reporting and redress. Both institutions closed in 1974 after a public outcry about their conditions. The case study's website also includes transcripts, opening addresses, and witness lists from the related public hearings held in Sydney from 26 February to 3 March 2014.

Hidden in plain sight: a statistical analysis of violence against children.

UNICEF. Division of Data, Research and Policy
New York : UNICEF, 2014.
This report reviews what is known about global patterns of violence against children, and compares rates of violence in countries around the world. It presents the latest statistics on physical violence, homicide, sexual violence, forced first sex, violent physical discipline, fighting and physical bullying among children, and partner violence. It also discusses social norms and community attitudes to violence against children.

The state of the world's children 2014 - in numbers : every child counts : revealing disparities, advancing children's rights.

UNICEF
New York : United Nation's Children's Fund (UNICEF), 2014.
The 'State of the world's children' series aims to present a detailed picture of children's wellbeing around the world. It features tables of comparative statistics on child and infant mortality, nutrition, birthweight, breastfeeding, under- and overweight, health and illness, drinking water and sanitation, immunisation, HIV/AIDS, education and school enrolment, literacy, women's health and status, maternity care, child labour, child marriage, female genital mutilation/cutting, violent discipline, attitudes to wife beating, adolescents, early child development, adult support for learning, life expectancy at birth, national demographic and economic indicators, and rate of progress in child welfare, for developing and industrialized countries, including Australia. National disparities by household wealth are also noted, where data is available. This 2014 edition also takes a moment to highlight the role and power of data and statistical evidence in helping to identify the children at greatest risk and address disadvantage.

Concluding observations on the second periodic report of the Holy See

United Nations. Committee on the Rights of the Child
Geneva, Switzerland : Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, 2014.
All signatories to the Convention on the Rights of the Child are periodically reviewed for compliance. Following the second periodic review of the Holy See, the Holy See submitted written replies to the issues identified in the review. In these concluding observations, the Committee welcomes the positive response by the Holy See on many issues, and looks forward to the adoption of prompt and firm measures for the implementation of its commitments. However, the Committee also notes some areas of dispute and concern, and reminds the Holy See that by ratifying the Convention, it has committed itself to implementing the Convention not only on the territory of the Vatican City State but also as the supreme power of the Catholic Church. Areas discussed on this review include: the protection of children's rights, gender discrimination, discrimination against illegitimate children and children from same-sex parents, anonymous abandonment of babies, the right of children to know their parents - including the children of clergy, violence against children, cruel or degrading treatment, corporal punishment, and sexual abuse.

Physical Punishment of Children: position statement

Royal Australasian College of Physicians. Paediatric and Child Health Division.
Sydney, N.S.W. : Royal Australasian College of Physicians, 2013.
This document sets out the Royal Australasian College of Physicians' position on the physical punishment of children. The RACP believes that physical punishment is a harmful and outdated practice which fails to recognise the human rights of the child. It is hoped this document will promote positive non-violent discipline.

Family discipline strategies with babies in their first year of life.

Lawrence J, Gray A, Taylor R and Taylor B
13th Australasian Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect : protecting children - new solutions to old problems : 10-13 November 2013. Canberra, A.C.T. : Australian Institute of Criminology, 2013: 17p
Though physical punishment for the purpose of child discipline has been illegal in New Zealand since 2007, this country still has the fifth worse child abuse record in the OEDC. This presentation looked at new research on physical discipline with babies in the first year of life in New Zealand. Surveys were conducted with 802 parents on discipline practices used at 6 and 12 months of age and whether discipline practices from the parent's own childhood were avoided. This document contains the slides shown during the presentation, which feature summary text and charts.

Positive discipline in everyday parenting

Durrant J
Sweden : Save the Children Sweden, 2013.
Written for parents, this book presents an innovative and empowering approach to child discipline. 'Positive discipline' was developed for Save the Children Sweden in 2007, and is based on children's rights to healthy development, protection from violence, and participation in their learning. It provides a set of principles that can guide all of parent's interactions with their children - not just the challenging ones. Parents are shown how they can teach their children while respecting their human rights.

Positive discipline in everyday parenting & teaching : 'But what else can I do?' - children have the right to be taught not hit.

Flanagan K
13th Australasian Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect : protecting children - new solutions to old problems : 10-13 November 2013. Canberra, A.C.T. : Australian Institute of Criminology, 2013: 28p
Save the Children International commissioned Dr Joan Durrant and her team at Manitoba University to develop an approach to parenting called Positive Discipline in Everyday Parenting, a relationship based approach to parenting that guides child behaviour while respecting their rights to healthy development and protection from violence. This presentation described the program and how it will be implemented in Australia and overseas. This document contains the slides shown during the presentation, which feature summary text and charts.

Fathers' involvement with children

Poole E
London : Modern Fatherhood Study, 2013
Using data from the 'Understanding Society' survey, this paper looks at the routine family activities that mums and dads do with their children in the United Kingdom. For couple and lone parent families, it looks at taking part in leisure activities, eating meals together, quarrelling, talking to their children, cuddling and praising, shouting, slapping or spanking, and helping with school homework.

Child abuse and neglect : challenges and opportunities

Srivastava R, Seth R and Van Niekerk J
New Delhi : Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers, 2013.
This book examines new and emerging issues in child abuse and child protection. Chapters are based on presentations from the 9th Asia-Pacific Regional ISPCAN Conference, which was held in New Delhi, India, in 2011, and discuss the extent and forms of child abuse and neglect, child protection and prevention, judicial aspects and juvenile justice, and social and cultural aspects. The book also presents the text of the Delhi Declaration 2011, in which the participants of the conference registered their concern at the ongoing issue of child abuse and neglect in the region.

Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 44 of the Convention: concluding observations - Australia

United Nations. Committee on the Rights of the Child
Geneva, Switzerland : United Nations High Committee on the Rights of the Child, 2012.
All signatories to the Convention on the Rights of the Child are periodically reviewed for compliance. Australia submitted its fourth periodic report in June 2012. This document presents the Committee on the Rights of the Child's response and concluding observations on that report. It welcomes recent positive law reforms, but expresses concern that previous recommendations have not been fully addressed, in particular regarding views of the child, freedom of association, corporal punishment, and the administration of juvenile justice. The document also raises concerns about data collection, Overseas Development Assistance funding levels, adoption of the best interests of the child principle, Indigenous children and discrimination and birth registration, high levels of violence against women and children, the number of children in care, breastfeeding rates, and the mandatory detention of children who are asylum seeking, while noting positive initiatives in these areas.

Ending legalised violence against children: global report 2012

Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children, Radda barnen (Society)
London, England : Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children ; Sweden : Save the Children Sweden, 2012.
This sixth Global Report reviews world progress towards prohibition of the corporal punishment of children. It profiles reform action around the world and compares the legality of corporal punishment of children in various settings in each country. For example, in late 2011, Australia only prohibits corporal punishment in some settings and has no current commitment to reform. Other feature articles include: Progress and delay in prohibiting corporal punishment; Human rights: the driving force for reform; Corporal punishment: a women's issue; Corporal punishment of children with disabilities; Corporal punishment and the right to health; Understanding law reform; Campaigning for law reform; Researching corporal punishment; Growing support among faith groups: Caribbean case study; and From prohibition to elimination. This report series highlights that not only is the corporal punishment of children an offence under criminal law in a large number of countries, it is above all a crime against the dignity of the child, all over the planet.

Parental discipline, criminal laws, and responsive regulation.

Naylor B and Saunders B
Freeman, Michael, ed. Law and childhood studies. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2012. Current legal issues v. 14 9780199652501: 506-529
This chapter argues for the criminalisation of physical punishment for children, from a human rights point of view. It compares laws in Australia and the United Kingdom, which permit physical force in discipline, with reformed laws in Sweden, Germany, and New Zealand, and proposes a framework of responsive legislation to address physical punishment whilst engaging with parents and achieving social change.

Law and childhood studies

Freeman M
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2012.
The papers in this volume address key issues in the intersection of law and childhood. It features papers from the 14th University College London Law School colloquium, held in 2010.

The defence of reasonable chastisement : a case for reform.

Bell J
2011.
This thesis reviews the defence of 'reasonable chastisement' in Australian law. It discusses corporal punishment, children's rights, and child abuse prevention.

Ending legalised violence against children: global report 2011

Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children, Radda barnen (Society)
London, England : Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children ; Sweden : Save the Children Sweden, 2011.
This sixth Global Report reviews world progress towards prohibition of the corporal punishment of children. It profiles reform action around the world and compares the legality of corporal punishment of children in various settings in each country. For example, in late 2011, Australia only prohibits corporal punishment in some settings and has no current commitment to reform. Other feature articles include: Prohibiting all corporal punishment: progress and delay; Human rights: the driving force for prohibition; Making corporal punishment visible: the reality for children; Achieving law reform; The work of the global initiative; and Active campaigns. This report series highlights that not only is the corporal punishment of children an offence under criminal law in a large number of countries, it is above all a crime against the dignity of the child, all over the planet.

What are the parenting experiences of fathers? The use of household survey data to inform decisions about the delivery of evidence-based parenting interventions to fathers.

Sanders M, Dittman C, Keown L, Farruggia S and Rose D
Child Psychiatry and Human Development v. 41 no. 5 Oct 2010: 562-581
This article investigates the parenting experiences of fathers and its association with child behaviour problems. Surveys were conducted with 933 fathers in Queensland, regarding: the prevalence and severity of disruptive behaviour problems, the use of different parenting and discipline strategies, and risk and protective factors, such as father stress and depression, partner support and agreement over parenting, and father help-seeking behaviour and use of parenting programs. The association between coercive parenting strategies or socioeconomic status with child behaviour difficulties is discussed, as well as the implications for increasing fathers' participation rates in parenting programs.

Physical punishment

Royal Children's Hospital (Melbourne, Vic.). Centre for Community Child Health
Parkville, Vic. : Royal Children's Hospital, Centre for Community Child Heath, 2010.
This Policy Brief examines issues surrounding the physical punishment of children by their parents. It summarises the research literature on international rights, children's rights, the effects of physical punishment on children, public opinion in Australia, the legal context in Australia, alternatives to physical punishment, parent education, and the implications for policy.
Subscribe to