Skip to main content

Physical Punishment in Childhood: The Rights of the Child


Out of stock

AUD $84.95

*Price and Tax

Physical Punishment in Childhood: The Rights of the Child

Bernadette J. Saunders, Chris Goddard

ISBN: 978-0-470-72706-5 January 2010 284 Pages

Out of stock
AUD $84.95
Out of stock
AUD $168.95


Providing a wide spectrum of views, the authors explore the fine line between normalized physical punishment and illegal or unacceptable physical and emotional abuse of children. It builds on the emerging field of research that provides opportunities for children to speak for themselves about their views and experiences.
  • Provides observations from children, professionals and several generations from within individual families
  • Discusses the power of language used by parents, professionals and the media to describe physical punishment
  • Reflects upon the status of children in societies that sanction their physical punishment, motivations and justifications for its use, perceptions of its effectiveness, and its impact
  • Presents a combination of personal, social, legal, and language factors which provide significant new insights and suggest ways to move forward

1 Introduction.

2 Childhood and physical punishment in historical perspective.

3 Legal responses to physical punishment.

4 Conducting sensitive and ethical research with children and adults.

5 Experiences of physical punishment at home, at school and in public places.

6 Public and professional perceptions of the effectiveness of physical punishment.

7 The subjugation of children through language and physical punishment.

8 The effects of physical punishment.

9 The persistence of physical punishment.

10 The morality of physical punishment.

11 An ideal childhood.



"Publications such as...Physical Punishment in Childhood should help to educate professionals and the public, and advance the cause of children's rights in the United States and the world." (PsycCRITIQUES, December 2010)

"It provides a very good summary of the history, language, impact and legal responses to physical punishment of children in Sweden and various English-speaking countries, with particular attention to Australia, the authors' country of residence. The strength and real contribution of the book lies, however, in the presentation of the views of children-voices that are generally not heard in the debate about this contentious issue though they are the ones who bear the brunt of this form of punishment. In this book, they are given equal standing with those of the adults-the parents and the professionals." (Child Abuse Review, 2010)