Despite being commonplace in American households a generation ago, corporal punishment of children has been subjected to criticism and shifting attitudes in recent years. Many school districts have banned it, and many child advocates recommend that parents no longer spank or strike their children. In this book, social theorist Michael Donnelly and family violence expert Murray A. Straus tap the expertise of social science scholars and researchers who address issues of corporal punishment, a subject that is now characterized as a key issue in child welfare.
The contributors discuss corporal punishment, its use, causes, and consequences, drawing on a wide array of comparative, psychological, and sociological theories. Together, they clarify the analytical issues and lay a strong foundation for future research and interdisciplinary collaboration.