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ERIC Number: EJ892460
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0951-0605
In Two Minds?--Parental Attitudes toward Physical Punishment in the UK
Bunting, Lisa; Webb, Mary Anne; Healy, Julie
Children & Society, v24 n5 p359-370 Sep 2010
Since the Millennium, the use of physical punishment in the home has been a widely debated topic across the UK. Reliance on public opinion has been an important feature of this debate with a variety of UK surveys showing that many find physical punishment acceptable and do not support a complete ban on smacking. Drawing on the results from a comprehensive review of the literature, this article highlights that public/parental opinion is less than straightforward. Parents are often ambivalent about physical discipline, do not view it as an optimal method of behaviour management and are more prone to smack when stressed or angry. Likewise, a survey of the disciplinary practices and attitudes of 1000 parents in Northern Ireland shows that majority of parents have negative attitudes towards physical discipline. Nonetheless, many parents continue to smack despite the fact they do not believe it to be effective. Lack of parental support for legislative reform should be reconsidered in the light of this ambivalence. Most important, the UK Government needs to reframe the smacking debate in terms of children's rights rather than relying on public opinion if it is to fulfil its commitment to protect children from harm as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
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Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom; United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)