Physical Punishment






Physical Punishment

Physical punishment has been frowned upon by psychologists and child behavior specialists. This is because studies, over time, have shown that the act of physically punishing a child for wrong behavior does little to correct the behavior. In fact, physical punishment is considered retrogressive to a child’s development. Thus, physical punishment should be made illegal not only in schools but also in homes across the United States of America.

Children mould their behavior from observing the environment. Thus, using violence on children could communicate the wrong message to them. A child who is frequently assaulted physically by the parents may think that the only way of solving problems in life is through use of physical force. On the other hand, parents who correct their children through dialogue enforce the values of honesty, open communication, and compromise in their children (Cerutii, 2009).

In addition, using physical punishment often can cause a child to become resistant to the punishment. This is because the child adjusts his psychological behavior to expect punishment every time they do wrong (Gask, 2006). Thus, they develop a defense mechanism where the mind blocks out the pain and thus rendering the punishment ineffective.

Supporters of physical punishment have argued that it is necessary use physical force on children as a way of exerting authority over children (Kapardis, 2008). Teachers in particular are of the idea that punishing the children physically will make them fear and hence respect them. This is a wrong notion since there is a big difference between fear and respect. Physical punishment instills fear and not respect in the children.

The question as to whether physical punishment should be made legal or illegal in the U.S. remains debatable. However, strong academic evidence shows that this method of behavior correction is both retrogressive and redundant (Smart & Reginald, 2003).


Cerutii, S. (2009). Department of psychological and brain sciences. Duke University .

Gask, L. (2006). British Journal of Psychiatry . Delivering medical care for patients with serious

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Kapardis, A. (2008). Psychology and Law: A Critical Introduction. Cyprus: Cambridge

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Smart Reginald, M. R. (2003). Psychiatric Distress Among Road Rage Victims and. mdcflk: dc,.