The influence of corporal punishment on the parent-child relationship

This study examines how corporal punishment impacts the parent-child relationship through an exploratory study of 18 undergraduate students from the California State University, Stanislaus. The qualitative study was guided by the overarching question: “Does the use of corporal punishment negatively affect a child’s relationship with his or her parent?” Individual interviews with participants were evaluated using Neuman’s (2006) five stage approach for analyzing qualitative data. The study found that some of the participants’ relationships with their caregivers were negatively affected by the use of corporal punishment. Thirteen of the 18 participants were negatively affected by the use of corporal punishment in at least one of three ways: (a) after the implementation of corporal punishment, there were negative feelings harbored against their parents which continued for multiple years; (b) the participant developed a negative view of their caregiver due to the use of corporal punishment; (c) the participant expressed that difficulties in their relationship with their caregiver stemmed from their caregivers’ use of corporal punishment.