By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
Although corporal punishment and spanking of children is banned in 24 countries, it is a common practice all over world, revealed three studies by UNC researchers. Spanking children has decline since 1975, however, it is still common practice, 80%, for preschool children.
Below is a summary of the findings revealed by the one of three studies conducted by Desmond Runyan, professor of social medicine at UNC:
– Mothers with fewer years of education more commonly used physical punishment.
– Harsh punishment of children by parents is not less common in countries other than the U.S. However, it may be more common in low and middle income countries.
Adam J. Zolotor, assistant professor of family medicine and UNC School of Medicine, led the other two studies. A summary of the results are listed below:
– Zolotor’s first study tracked corporal punishment trends for 3-to-11-year-old children in the U.S. as demonstrated by four separate surveys conducted in 1975, 1985, 1995 and 2002. Although there was a decrease in the number of children slapped (18%) in 2002 from 1975, about 79% of preschool-aged children are spanked.
Zolotor states that given the weight of the evidence of his studies, corporal punishment does more harm than good. Therefore, it is important for parents, guardians, day care providers, caretakers, babysitters, etc. to educate themselves on the consequences of corporal punishment. There is a fine line between disciplining a child and inflicting physical abuse upon a child, the latter never being okay. If you would like to read more on this topic and see more findings of the conducted studies see Studies on Corporal Punishment upon children.