Physical Punishment in Childhood: The Rights of the Child / Edition 1

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"Physical Punishment in Childhood explores the fine line between normalized physical punishment and illegal or unacceptable physical and emotional abuse of children. It presents important insights into this controversial issue from child ren, parents, grandparents and professionals who work with children. The authors reflect upon the status of children in societies that sanction physical punishment, the motivations and justiAcations for its use, perceptions of its effectiveness, and its impact; they also explore the power of the language used by parents, professionals and the media to describe physical punishment." This book will be of value to child protection workers, children's legal representatives and practitioners, police officers, family court counsellors, psychologists who come into contact with children and families, those working in schools and pre-schools, and medical pract itioners who treat children and identify child abuse.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470682562
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 2/16/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 286
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr Bernadette Saunders is a Senior Research Fellow at Child Abuse Prevention Research Australia, and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Work, Monash University where she teaches Law and Social Justice. She received an Australian Postgraduate Award, and the support of the Australian Childhood Foundation, to pursue her doctoral research on physical punishment.

Professor Chris Goddard is Director of Child Abuse Prevention Research Australia, Monash University. His previous book Human Rights Overboard: Seeking Asylum in Australia (with Linda Briskman and Susie Latham, 2008) won the Australian Human Rights Literature Non-Fiction Award.

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Table of Contents


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.



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