Effect of Corporal and Non-Corporal Punishment Essay

Effect of Corporal and Non-Corporal Punishment Essay.

S.V.Sindhu and Mahjabeen

The present investigation attempts to study the effect of corporal and non-corporal punishment on academic achievement of elementary school children with reference to gender and Board of education. A random sample of 180 elementary school children belonging to the age group of 10 years, both boys and girls hailing from CBSE, Matriculation, State Board schools were taken for the present study. A questionnaire was employed to collect the required data from the children. The questionnaire consists of two parts.

The first part of the questionnaire starts by listing direct beating of the student by the teacher. The second part lists the In-direct punishments, which enumerates non-corporal punishments. The data obtained were statistically analyzed using mean, standard deviation, student’s t-test, analysis of variance (ANOVA) and correlation coefficient. The result indicated that punishment does not have any effect on academic achievement of CBSE and Matriculation school children, whereas, punishment has a positive effect on academic achievement of State Board school children.


Discipline is an organized, regulated, orderly way of life. It helps to direct the child’s energies into useful and socially acceptable channels. Discipline is also society’s way of teaching the child moral concepts and behaviour approved by the group. Every child needs to be helped to understand the values of discipline through appropriate experiences. He must learn to confirm to the expected patterns of behaviour and customs in an acceptable manner, use freedom wisely and distinguish between ‘safe’ and ‘unsafe’ actions. The ultimate goal of discipline is self-discipline.1

The authors can be contacted at J.B.A.S College for Women, Teynampet, Chennai-18. Discipline is defined as a mental and moral training, obedience to rules, correction and/or chastisement.


Techniques, which are used to inculcate discipline, are of three broad categories: authoritarian, democratic and permissive. In autocratic pattern the teacher is the boss, gives the orders and sees that they are obeyed. In this situation a child feels frustrated and often shows hostile behaviour.


Under the democratic system members of the group have a share in determining the disciplinary policies and controls within the group. In a democratic, cooperative atmosphere the students are not under the pressures that bring on anxiety and fear. Therefore they are friendly and conscious of group needs and welfare.


In permissive pattern the group or members of the group are primarily responsible for determining the controls and for self-enforcement of the controls. There are teachers who through mistaken ideas of what democratic discipline involves do let their students take too much responsibility in establishing controls.

The term punishment comes from a Latin root meaning “penalty” and “pain.” Punishments are one factor in schools, efforts to maintain discipline though to administer a punishment means that all else has failed.


Punishment is defined as any event, which reduces the frequency of the behaviour, which preceded the occurrence of that event and has thus been used to modify the occurrence of undesirable behaviour.


Punishment can be classified into two main categories: Corporal punishment and Non-corporal punishment. Corporal punishment is the intentional infliction of physical pain as a method of changing behavior. It may include methods such as hitting, slapping, punching, kicking, pinching, shaking, use of various objects (paddles, belts, sticks, or others), or painful body postures. Non-corporal punishment may include: Verbal punishment – Using cruel words, shaming, ridiculing; Withholding rewards – You can’t watch TV if you don’t do your homework; Penalties – You broke the window so you will have to pay for it with money from your allowance.


Achievement is the amount of knowledge derived from learning. The child gains knowledge by instruction he receives at school. Classrooms are organized around a set of core activities in which a teacher assigns tasks to pupils and evaluates and compares the quality of their work. The school provides a wide variety of achievement experiences than does the family. Academic achievement is important because it is strongly linked to the positive outcomes of children.


In a study on the impact of corporal punishment on the behavior and academic performance of students who perceived it, it was found that the students perceived corporal punishment as not being an effective deterrent in modifying their behaviors and performance. Severe corporal punishment has a definite ill-effect on the children’s academic performance.


On studying the attitudes and perception of students on corporal punishment in the public elementary grades, it was found that significant differences between grade levels are apparent as specified by the number of times corporal punishment was chosen.


In a longitudinal study on the corporal punishment by mothers and child’s cognitive development it was found that, corporal punishment adversely affects children’s cognitive development.


In a study on Corporal punishment and children’s academic achievement, it was found that, children who are spanked perform poorly on school tasks compared to other children.


The relationship between punishment and academic achievement of children studying in different Boards of education was also studied in the present investigation. It was inferred that there is no relationship between punishment and academic achievement of CBSE and Matriculation school children. But in the case of State Board school children punishment improves their academic achievement.


Sample: A total sample of 180 elementary school children from three Boards of education – CBSE, Matriculation, and State Board schools of Madras city was studied. Out of which 60 belonged to CBSE School, 60 belonged to Matriculation school and 60 belonged to State Board School. From each group 30 were boys and 30 were girls.

Tool: The Punishment Frequency Assessment Scale, a questionnaire, originally developed in the year 1972, was adapted, revised and revaluated by the authors in 2004, was used in this study.

In order to assess the frequency 20 types of corporal and non-corporal punishments were listed in the questionnaire. The first part of the questionnaire starts by listing direct beating of the student by the teacher. The second part lists the In-direct punishments, which enumerates non-corporal punishments. All aspects of direct and indirect punishments were visualized and put into the questionnaire in simple break-up sentences for easy response by the students. The relative merits and demerits of corporal and non-corporal punishments could be studied by this separation of the two types of punishments. It is a 3-point scale.

Procedure: The Punishment Frequency Assessment Scale (Revised) was distributed among the children by seeking the permission of the Head of the Institutions. The questions were read out, proper explanations were given, doubts were clarified and the children were asked to give their response. Their answers ranged from often, sometimes to never. The time taken by the children to answer the questions was 15-20 minutes.

Academic Achievement of the pupils was taken into account to relate with punishments, Board of school education, and gender. II terminal and I terminal examination marks obtained by each child were taken for the study. The collected data were tabulated and scored. Then they were subjected to statistical analysis using mean, standard deviation student’s t-test, analysis of variance (ANOVA) and correlation coefficient.


From the results presented in Table-1 it is inferred that, there does not exist any significant relationship between punishment and the academic achievement of CBSE and Matriculation school boys. Whereas in the case of State Board school boys, it is inferred that there exist a positive correlation between corporal punishment and academic achievement of State Board school boys (r = 0.403) at 5% level, but there does not exist any significant relationship between non-corporal punishment and the academic achievement of State Board school boys. It is also inferred that, there does not exist any significant relationship between punishment and the academic achievement of CBSE, Matriculation and State Board school girls.

In an analysis, it was found that punishment doesn’t have any effect on academic achievement of the students.


Thus it can be concluded from the present investigation that there is no relationship between punishment and academic achievement of CBSE and Matriculation school children, whereas, in the case of State Board school children punishment improves their academic achievement. However punishment should not be considered as a major criterion to improve academic performance of children. Extra care like, additional coaching classes and individual attention will be more effective.


Nancy, S. (1987). “Loving your child is not enough: Positive discipline that
works”. New York: Viking.

Hoffman, M. L. (1994). “Discipline and internalisation. Journal articles developmental psychology”. New York: Journal.

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Benjamin, H. (1954). “Psychology in education”. 3rd edition. Mc Graw Hill book co. Inc. New York. p. 174.

Michael, F., Trevor, K., & Carole, K. (1995). “The Blackwell handbook of education”. Blackwell publishers. Oxford. U.K. p. 183.

Azrin, N. H., & Holtz, W. C. (1966). “Punishment – Operant behaviour: Areas of research and application”. New York: Appleton. Century Crofts.

Valya, T. (1999). “Discipline and punishment: What is the difference?” Virginia State University.

Nidds, J. A., & McGerald, J. (1996). “Corporate America looks critically at public education: How should we respond?” Contemporary Education.

Inniss, D., & Delores, I. (1990). “Students’ perceptions of corporal punishment on modifying behavior and school attitude”. Secondary education. DAI Vol. 51(08). p. 2700.

Riley, J., & David, V. (1992). “Corporal punishment: The attitude and perception of students in the public elementary grades”. Guidance and counselling. DAI Vol. 53(06). p. 1756.

Straus, M. A., & Paschall, M. J. (1998). “Corporal punishment by mothers and child’s cognitive development: A longitudinal study”. Paper presented at the 14th world conference of sociology. Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and Durham, New Hampshire: Family Research Laboratory. University of New Hampshire.

Straus, M. A., & Mathur, A. K. (1995, April). “Corporal punishment and children’s academic achievement”. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Pacific Sociological Society. San Francisco.

United Federation Of Teachers. (2000). “Effect of punishment on school performance”. India.

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Effect of Corporal and Non-Corporal Punishment Essay

Why spanking works Essay

Why spanking works Essay.

Why spanking works Essay. I will not baby-sit for a family if they don’t discipline their children. It is one of the first questions I ask the parents, because in my experience, if parents do not discipline their children, their kids are brats. I believe that though seen as one of the stickiest issues in childrearing, discipline is also the most important. Most parents will agree on this fact, but the controversy comes wth the method of choice. Spanking, when done in love, is an effective method of discipline and should not be banned from domestic use.

Why spanking works Essay

Over fifty yeas ago, Dr. Benjamin Spock,a prominent child pediatrician, suggested that all forms of corporal punishment traumatize children, trigger more aggressive behavior in the future, and is entirely ineffective in discipline (Costello). Since then, modern child psychology has been under that assumption. I believe this assumption is based on the fact that criminals of physical abuse were often abused as children, thus turning all corporal punishment into abuse.

Why do punishments work?

Following this trend, many countries in Europe and Africa have banned corporal punishment in the homes. Such countries include Germany, Croatia, Zambia, Italy and Sweden. The European Network of Ombudsmen for Children (ENOC) is an organization that wants to ban all forms of corporal punishment of children in Europe. They give the following statement as their standard.

Is hitting an effective punishment?

“As spokespeople for the children of Europe, we believe that eliminating violent and humiliating forms of discipline is a vital strategy for improving children’s status as people, and reducing child abuse and all other forms of violence in European societies. This is a long overdue reform, with huge potential for improving the quality of lives and family relationships.” (ENOC)

Why do babies like to be spanked?

Many advocates of the “no-spanking” movement like to site countries like Sweden as showing how the ban on corporal punishment has benefited society. However, a study conducted over the decade following that law made in 1979 found that overall child abuse rates increased 489% , the rate of assault by minors against minors increased 672%, and that since the law was put into place “parents had not … found constructive alternatives to physical punishment. For most parents the alternative was yelling or screaming at their children, and some believed this was equally, perhaps more, destructive” (Larzelere).

Dr. Louis Moore, now 81, was a practicing physician for over thirty-five years. Recently, he submtted a commentary for the Naples Daily News of Naples, Florida. He recounts the crimes of his child hood, like stealing watermelons, hub caps, and sugar cane, or trying to sneak cigarettes or whiskey. In that day, police were seen as allies, the schools were orderly, and, in general, students worked hard to do well and to avoid summer school. Now, common juvenile crime includes stealing cars, breaking and entering, physical assault, and even homicide. Teachers are threatened; classrooms are chaotic. Police are seen by many as “corrupt pigs” and have turned from friend to enemy, because some parents resort to calling the police to control their children.

Moore recounts his childhood standards, “When I was growing up almost every boy got whippings and spankings. None of the people I knew at school ever reported child abuse, although it did happen around the fringes. None of these school friends – several hundred – that I grew up with turned out to be child abusers or had warped personalities. In fact, today we are referred to as ‘The Greatest Generation’” (Moore). He continues that the lessons learned from this were that if you break a rule, you will face the painful consequences.

With current parenting as I have observed it, discipline is being replaced with reasoning. Browsing through several parenting books and through my own experience, parents are suggested to explain and reason with their children on why doing mean things isn’t nice and how it makes people feel bad. There is no correction in this.

Proverbs 3:11 says, “My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” How can a parent truly show love to their children without the courage to discipline them? By using correction through spanking it is proof of love for a child from the parent. To not discipline a child would be like saying, “Go on; head for ruin and destruction; I don’t care.” This scripture warns parents against the human nature to let children go their own way and to avoid the temporary sting of a spank.

Parents can make excuses for their children’s behavior, saying that it is just a stage like the terrible two’s, and that they will simply “grow out of it”. Proverbs 19:18 says, “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.” The battle for a child’s heart is fought early. Children, once accustomed to getting their own way, learn how to manipulate and bully the authorities set over them to get what they want. The reason that the world opposes a Biblical view of discipline is because it is based on the recognition of a sinful nature. Whereas the world sees rebellious behavior more like a bad habit. Humans are rebellious by nature, whether a parent steps in or not. It is a sin nature, not a stage (Benedict).

The American Academy of Pediatrics published a report stating that about ninety percent of U.S. parents spank, and about fifty-nine percent of pediatricians in a 1992 survey said they support the practice. According to the academy, effective discipline has three key components: first, a loving, supportive relationship between parent and child; second, use of positive reinforcement when children behave well; and third, use of punishment when children misbehave (Spare…).

When spanking is done in Godly love and in combination with other methods of discipline, like a time out or restriction, the results can be very successful. But the most important factor in whether any form of discipline is effective is if the parents love the children. For discipline to be most effective it must be consistent and continual. It is true that different methods work differently for different children, so it is also important to remember to treat each child as an individual without making comparisons.

At this point it should be made clear the difference between discipline in love by means of a spanking and reaction in anger by hitting children. The Bible makes very clear that anger should not lead you to sin, and that love and discipline for children should mirror the love and discipline that God has for us. Hitting a child can cause severe mental anxiety, and depressive symptoms.

Hitting a child in anger condones violence and can lead to further acts of violence and disobedience. This is the source of the confusion that all corporal punishment leads to these behaviors. However, spanking and discipline in general, should never be an impulse. The line is drawn when a parent brings injury to a child including causing bruises and broken skin. And according to Dr. Kevin Leman, of Family Life Communications, a child should never be spanked younger than eighteen months (Leman).

In conclusion I quote Mark Benedict, father of three, in reference to the long term benefits that come from loving discipline.

One fruit of properly training children when young, is that later, as young adults, they will have the right attitude towards authority. Well-trained children are easily recognized by other adults for their good behavior and good manners. They grow up with the necessary social skills to be successful in every facet of life. Because they rarely experience the rejection that undisciplined children experience from both adults and other children, they tend to be happier and well-adjusted in emotional temperament. (Benedict)

Works Cited

Benedict, Mark. “The Importance of Disciplining Children Early.” Christian Parents. April 2000. 04 Apr. 2005 .

Costello, Daniel. “Spanking Makes a Comeback.” Parent Spanking, USA, June 2000. 9 Jun. 2000. World Corporal Punishment Research. 20 Apr. 2005 http://www.corpun.com/usd00006.htm>.

“ENOC Standards.” 2 Sep. 2003. European Network of Ombudsmen for Children. 20 Apr. 2005 http://www2.ombudsnet.org/ENOCStandards.htm>.

Leman, Kevin, and Randy Carlson. “Spanking.” Parent Talk. Family Life
Communications,. Broadcast. 04 Apr 2005 .

Moore, Louis. “Spanking can provide a valuable life lesson to children.” US Parental Spanking Nov 2004. 4 Nov. 2004. World Corporal Punishment Research. 19 Apr. 2005 .

Reagan, David F. “Eight Misconceptions about Spanking: Corrected from the Bible.” Learn the Bible. June 2002. 04 Apr. 2005 .

“Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child.” To Spank or not to Spank. 24 Feb. 2005. Rocky Mountain Family Counsel. 06 Apr. 2005 .

Why spanking works Essay

Why you should not spank Essay

Why you should not spank Essay.

Spanking does nothing to teach a child to develop inner discipline. A child’s focus is on the spanking itself, not on a review of the behavior that led to it. After a spanking, a child does not sit in his room and think, “Gee, I sure goofed. But I really learned something. Next time I’ll behave.” Instead a child is typically thinking, “It’s not fair! She doesn’t understand! I hate her.” Another problem with spanking is that spanking is seen as punishment for a crime, payment for a debt.

In other words, once paid, they have a clean slate. Spanking gets in the way of allowing a child to develop a conscience. The guilt that follows misbehavior is a prime motivator for change. Spanking takes away the guilt, because the crime has been paid for.

A harmful side effect of spanking is that it makes the parent feel better. When we get angry, we move into the “fight or flight” mode.

Our adrenaline increases, and we have a primitive need to strike out. Hitting releases this negative energy and helps us feel better. But even a minor spanking can escalate into major abuse. Parents have reported that during the heat of the moment it’s hard to stop hitting, and some say that they don’t even realize how hard they’ve hit until they see the bruise.

Spanking gets in the way of a healthy parent-child relationship. Children look up to their parents as protectors, teachers and guides. When a parent breaks that pattern by hitting a child, the relationship suffers.

Positive parenting and alternative forms of discipline reinforce the values we want children to learn, without physical punishments. Parents can use positive discipline, which involves defining acceptable behavior and reasonable consequences for kids that break the rules. Discipline gives children the structure they need to take control and become responsible for their behavior. Parents need to manage behavior instead of emotions. Parents need to be able to put away their feelings of frustration or upset and address the behavior that’s causing all those emotions in the first place.

Although structure and routine is key, balance is also important. Parents shouldn’t be too rigid or too flexible. If it’s your child’s birthday and she’s grounded, you should waive her punishment for the day and resume the grounding the next day. And as with anything related to parenting, you must look at a child’s development, to see if they may have an emotional or learning disorder that explains the challenging behavior.

Something as simple as positive language can go a long way toward setting boundaries. Don’t focus on the negative. “Parents must set targets, give positive feedback and always redirect the negative behavior into positive reinforcement,” says Masterson. Try saying yes, instead of starting each answer with no. If your child wants ice cream before dinner, say ‘yes, you may have ice cream after dinner.

Spanking does teach a lesson. The lesson is: “When you don’t know what else to do – hit!” or “When you’re bigger you can hit.” Or “When you’re really angry you can get your way by hitting.” It’s common knowledge that children who are frequently hit are more likely to accept the use of violence and are more likely to hit other children. It only makes sense, because, after all, children learn what they live. Children who are spanked often have more resentment and anger and lower self-esteem.

Why you should not spank Essay