Psychology Article Summary
Psychology Article Summary
The first summary, on the topic of the effects of corporal punishment, comes from an article in the Monitor on Psychology titled, “Journal article reignites debate over corporal punishment.” The article discusses a study done by a psychologist on corporal punishment. Psychologist Elizabeth Thompson Gershoff, PhD did a study examining the effects of corporal punishment on children, which drew significant media attention. Even in cases where no serious harm or injury is caused to the child, evidence of physical force used to control or correct behavior has been found to have negative psychological effects (Smith, 2002).
The study by Gershoff examined 88 different studies involving 36,309 children who experienced punishment through physical pain; the study found numerous characteristics of damage in the long-term behavior of these children (Smith, 2002). Some of the example from the study, which were found to occur in these children according to Smith (2002) included, “Corporal punishment was significantly associated with all 11 endpoints, including poorer moral internalization, quality of relationship with parent and mental health--as well as increased rates of abuse by a parent in childhood aggression, criminal or antisocial behavior, and abuse of own child or spouse in adulthood” (p.14).
Despite the controversy of the topic as to the two schools of thought that are for or against the idea of “spanking children”, one could positively declare that more evidence from the psychological community is needed before determining the conclusive results.
“Parent’s Use of Physical Punishment Increases Violent Behavior Among Youth” published in the Pediatrics journal. According to the article, violent behavior is one of the leading causes of death among youth (Ohene, Ireland, McNeely & Borowsky, 2006). Although violent behaviors among youth can be the result of other issues, such as violence on television or bullying, the problem with corporal punishment as a method used by parents is likely to cause behavior problems associated with violence. Considering parents are a child’s primary influence, if the only example of how to deal with challenges in life is through an angry response using physical force that is how they will learn to cope of similar situations. Therefore the kid at school who is a bully and enjoys beating up on the other kids at school is probably a victim of this behavior by the adults in his or her life at home. The effects of negative attitudes of those who grew up with corporal punishment versus their peers whose parents did not use physical force as a form of discipline, were found to prevalent in the physically abused group of youth. The concluding thought on the article stated that parents are responsible to “set a positive example by modeling respectful, nonviolent behaviors at home” (Ohene et al, 2006).
Ohene, S., Ireland, M., & McNeely, C. & Borowsky, I.W. (2006). Parent's Use of Physical
Punishment Increases Violent Behavior Among Youth. Pediatrics, 117(), 441-447. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/pi/prevent-violence/resources/violent-behavior.aspx
Smith, D. (2002, September). Journal article reignites debate over corporal punishment. Monitor
on Psychology, 33(8), 14. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/monitor/sep02/corporal.aspx