“Is Corporal Punishment a Cause of Mental Illness?” Comments, Page 1

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5 Comments (2 Discussion Threads) on “Is Corporal Punishment a Cause of Mental Illness?”

    1. Thanks for the comment, Michele. While the jury is still out with respect to the consequences of spanking per se, the evidence is mounting against the use of the more intense forms of corporal punishment.

  1. I used spanking in a very limited fashion with my first child. I found that punishment only increased the intensity of emotions in the situation but did not change the child’s behavior much. Thus when my second child was born we did not spank.

    I know that both kids are pretty great and that was the right decision for them. But it was also the right decision for ME. My emotions are less intense when I do not get physical so i can interact in a more helpful manner. Therefore, through anecdotal evidence alone, I concur with your assertions wholeheartedly!

  2. Corporal punishment (CP) is a broad category. It can be viewed on a continuum from mild to extreme (in intensity), and also from intermittent to ongoing (duration). What is clearly obvious, to me, is that extreme CP is never appropriate in any situation. Without doubt, maltreatment is associated with negative issues and outcomes. My question is, can we separate levels of CP and study parenting habits that are not extreme? Anecdotally for me, mild CP was not problematic, and I believe that such consistent parenting (that is mild CP) should be investigate separately from moderate or extreme forms of CP. Let me say that mild discipline may or may not be painful, and I believe it does not carry the same negative childhood outcome noted in the literature? So, I question if we can say the all types of CP are contributory to problems. Is spanking likely to have the same associated outcome of a child who is severely beaten with an object? I don’t think so. My point is that CP is not a monolithic concept but engages a vast array of parent activity. I propose that we should separate levels of CP investigate and compare.
    Let me elaborate. Mild CP can become a problem particularly when it is ineffective and the care provider takes the discipline to another level (escalating). Parents can escalate and displace their anger resulting in possible physical abuse, and what started out as mild CP is more serious to the child is at now risk for harm. For this reason, many experts propose to ban CP entirely; parents can escalate and displace anger resulting in possible physical abuse. To avoid escalation parents must be mindful of their corrective style.
    This issue of disciplining using CP has been around for the last 50 or more years. Most parent in our country use CP. What we do know is that there are effect nonphysical ways of correcting behavior that are productive. I think that we must education us all on parenting issues. Just maybe we will see a decline in parental use of CP. As consumers of research, we all need to become aware of the findings and make healthier decisions.

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