3 minute read



What conclusions, then, can be drawn about corporal punishment? First, most parents in most cultures use corporal punishment at least occasionally. Second, experts do not agree about the efficacy or wisdom of physical punishment. Third, if spanking is used, it should be used sparingly and as one part of a total disciplinary program. Fourth, parents must consider the views of the culture when deciding about disciplinary strategies. Finally, no matter what disciplinary approach is taken, parents and caregivers must realize they do influence children by their own attitudes and behaviors.


Baumrind, D. (1994). "The Social Context of Child Maltreatment." Family Relations 43:360–368.

Baumrind, D. (1996a). "A Blanket Injunction against Disciplinary Use of Spanking is Not Warranted by the Data." Pediatrics 98:828–831.

Baumrind, D. (1996b). "The Discipline Controversy Revisited." Family Relations 45:405–414.

Brazelton, T. B. (1969). Infants and Mothers: Differences in Development. New York: Delacorte Press.

Canter, L., and Canter, M. (1985). Assertive Discipline for Parents, rev. edition. New York: Harper and Row.

Deater-Deckard, K., and Dodge, K. A. (1997). "Externalizing Behavior Problems and Discipline Revisited: Non-linear Effects and Variation by Culture, Context, and Gender." Psychological Inquiry 8:161–175.

Deater-Deckard, K.; Dodge, K. A.; Bates, J. E.; and Pettit, G. S. (1996). "Physical Discipline among African American and European American Mothers: Links to Children's Externalizing Behaviors." Developmental Psychology 32:1065–1072.

Durrant, J. (2000). "Trends in Youth Crime and Well-Being since the Abolition of Corporal Punishment in Sweden." Youth and Society 31:437–455.

Forehand, R., and Kotchick, B. A. (1996). "Cultural Diversity: A Wake Up Call for Parent Training." Behavior Therapy 27:187–206.

Gershoff, E. T. (2002). "Corporal Punishment by Parents and Associated Child Behaviors and Experiences: A Meta-Analytic and Theoretical Review." Psychological Bulletin 128:539–579.

Gordon, T. (1970). Parent Effectiveness Training. New York: Wyden.

Gunnoe, M. L., and Mariner, C. L. (1997). "Toward a Developmental-Contextual Model of the Effects of Parental Spanking on Children's Aggression." Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine 151:768–775.

Hyman, I. A. (1997). The Case against Spanking: How to Discipline Your Child without Hitting. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Larzelere, R. E. (1996). "A Review of the Outcomes of Parental Use of Nonabusive or Customary Physical Punishment." Pediatrics 98:824–828.

Larzelere, R. E., and Johnson, B. (1999). "Evaluations of the Effects of Sweden's Ban on Physical Child Abuse Rates: A Literature Review." Psychological Reports 85:381–392.

Larzelere, R. E.; Sather, P. R.; Schneider, W. N.; Larson, D. B.; and Pike, P. L. (1998). "Punishment Enhances Reasoning's Effectiveness as a Disciplinary Response to Toddlers." Journal of Marriage and the Family 60:388–403.

McCord, J., ed. (1995). Coercion and Punishment in Long-Term Perspectives. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Rosellini, L. (1998). "When to Spank." U.S. News and World Report, April 13, 52–58.

Rosemond, J. K. (1994). To Spank or Not to Spank: A Parents' Handbook. Kansas City, MO: Andrews McMeel.

Spock, B. (1946). The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care. New York: Duell, Sloan, and Pearce.

Straus, M. A. (2000). Beating the Devil Out of Them: Corporal Punishment by American Families, 2nd edition. Piscataway, NJ: Transaction.

Straus, M. A.; Sugarman, D. B.; and Giles-Sims, J. (1997). "Spanking by Parents and Subsequent Antisocial Behavior of Children." Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine 151:761–767.

Whaley, A. L. (2000). "Sociocultural Differences in the Developmental Consequences of the Use of Physical Discipline during Childhood for African Americans." Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology 6(1):5–12.


Additional topics

Marriage and Family EncyclopediaPregnancy & ParenthoodSpanking - Prevalence Of Physical Discipline, Controversy About The Use Of Physical Discipline, Alternatives To Physical Discipline