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J Pediatr Health Care. 2003 May-Jun;17(3):126-32.

The risks and alternatives to physical punishment use with children.

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  • 1Helen Glass Centre for Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.


Despite strong evidence of negative developmental outcomes resulting from the use of physical (or corporal) punishment with children, its use by parents and other caregivers is common. Such negative outcomes include child aggression, mental health issues, and physical abuse. Health care providers have a responsibility to promote disciplinary strategies that facilitate positive parent-children relationships and keep children's self-esteem and bodies healthy and intact. The incidence, factors, and outcomes associated with parental use of physical punishment are reviewed and useful advice for parents and age-appropriate disciplinary strategies and resources are outlined for the various stages of child development from infancy to school age.

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