142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Corporal punishment of children: A norm worth challenging

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 11:30 AM - 11:45 AM

Cathy A. Taylor, PhD , Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA
Background: Violence prevention professionals often acknowledge both the importance and the challenge of changing prevalent social norms that promote violence.  Of course, when social norms that bring even minor to moderate risk to large populations are challenged, public health approaches can have a large impact on health.  Corporal punishment of children is such a norm, as it is a strong risk factor for child physical abuse, increased childhood aggression, and has been linked with poorer mental and physical health outcomes.  Most child physical abuse starts out as “normative” child discipline.  And use of corporal punishment teaches children that violence is an acceptable way to respond to conflict. 

Methods: Public health strategies from across the spectrum of prevention that are currently being planned, implemented, or evaluated to reduce the use and acceptance of corporal punishment will be reviewed. 

Results: Strategies from across the spectrum of prevention (policy/legislation, organizational change, fostering coalitions, educating providers, community education, and building individual level knowledge) will be presented. For example, (Policy/Legislation) as of January 2014, 35 nations had implemented universal bans on corporal punishment (i.e., corporal punishment of children is not allowed in any environment, including the home) and, in the U.S., 31 states have bans on corporal punishment in schools.

Conclusions: Given the risks associated with corporal punishment and its high prevalence, reducing use of corporal punishment could lead to a reduction in more injurious forms of violence as well. Challenges to planning and implementing relevant strategies will be discussed.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe how corporal punishment (CP) can be viewed as a problem from a public health perspective. Identify strategies to prevent and reduce CP from a public health perspective. Discuss key challenges to addressing CP as a public health problem.

Keyword(s): Violence & Injury Prevention, Child Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principal investigator on two federally funded grants focused on child physical abuse prevention. In particular, my K01 (Prevention of child maltreatment: A focus on social norms and corporal punishment) from NICHD is funding this work.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.