Essay Physical Punishment Leads To Agression

Submitted By SarahGroove
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Physical Punishment Leads to Aggression Sarah E. Pierson Montgomery County Community College January 2015

The topic I choose to write about was how physical punishment leads to aggression I found this topic very controversial due to the fact that most parents in American still view it as useful way to punish and get rid of an undesired behavior. In our book the chapter Learning briefly spoke about punishments effect on one’s behavior and how it does not extinguish a behavior it just suppresses it. Punishment positive or negative only shows the child that the behavior is unwanted and not a more appropriate behavior. The book also stated that due to the use of physical punishment the parent then becomes a model of aggressive behavior when it comes to problem solving. There for causing the child more problems down the road with social and parenting issues. With that info I looked further into physical punishment and how it leads to aggression, this topic has been studied for many years, and is more frowned upon today than it was when my parents were children. Most of the studies I read about break down the level of aggression as an outcome into age, reason, severity and purpose. It’s very hard to look at the outcome and repercussions of something when a child’s actions are not all the same nor are the family’s rules. Another issue with these studies are that you can’t set up a controlled study so you are only able to go off of information that has been collected from both parents and children. Many studies look into spanking, swatting, and pinching as physical punishment so I will be focusing mainly on those actions. The outcome of aggression determines a lot on the child’s age and reason behind the punishment. A study that focused on moderate vs. severe physical punishment found that severe punishment with no discussion or warm parenting skills lead to aggressive behavior where moderate punishment such as a spanking with a warm parental tactic and a discussion lead to less or no signs of later aggression. (Kandel 1992) Another research stated that a child physically punished before the age of three lead to some confusion which then resurfaced around the age of five as aggressive behavior among peers such as bulling. (Mann, 2010) Another study stated that children between the ages of five and eight who had been physically punished have a larger risk of emotional, social, and cognitive development issues and were more likely to view aggression as a way to get ones way or have power.. Children who were not physically punished showed a gain in cognitive abilities faster than those who were. (Reeves, Cuddy 2014) Also due to physical punishment many children also develop distant parent-child relationships. (Niolon, 2010) When a parent uses force instead of reinforcement it teaches the child a negative and aggressive way to handle a situation which then leads to unhealthy problem solving skills. A study also stated that boys who have been severely physically punished have a greater risk towards internalizing then causing antisocial behaviors. (Niolon 2010) The importance of how one goes about handling the punishment also has a large impact on how it will affect one later in life. If a parent uses physical punishment in an instrumental way such as in calmly and thought out manner with a discussion it allows the child to get a better understanding of why that action was taken. Where if a parent uses physical punishment in an impulsive way such as out of distress and emotion the child then picks up on aggression as a way to solve a problem. (Niolon, 2010) Many studies also say that children who were physically punished have a greater risk in repeating those tactics later in life on their children there for continuing the cycle.(Reeves, Cuddy, 2014) A statistic that I