Corporal Punishment of Children in Theoretical Perspective


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Edited by Michael Donnelly and Murray A. Straus

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Despite being commonplace in American households a generation ago, corporal punishment of children has been subjected to criticism and shifting attitudes in recent years. Many school districts have banned it, and many child advocates recommend that parents no longer spank or strike their children. In this book, social theorist Michael Donnelly and family violence expert Murray A. Straus tap the expertise of social science scholars and researchers who address issues of corporal punishment, a subject that is now characterized as a key issue in child welfare.

The contributors discuss corporal punishment, its use, causes, and consequences, drawing on a wide array of comparative, psychological, and sociological theories. Together, they clarify the analytical issues and lay a strong foundation for future research and interdisciplinary collaboration.

MICHAEL DONNELLY is professor and chair of the Sociology Department, Bard College. MURRAY A. STRAUS is professor of sociology and codirector of the Family Research Laboratory, University of New Hampshire. He is coauthor of Four Theories of Rape, published by Yale University Press.

"The impressive expertise of the authors provides a comprehensive and textured view of corporal punishment drawn from an array of disciplines and theoretical perspectives. This book is must reading for everyone engaged in the important social issue of how to reduce corporal punishment in disciplining children."—Edward Zigler, Sterling Professor of Psychology, Emeritus, Yale University

"There is no shortage of theories to explain the nature, causes, and consequences of corporal punishment. This volume does an excellent job in bringing often diverse perspectives together so that they can be considered side by side. All students of child development, parenting, and related topics will find this book eminently informative."—-Professor Jay Belsky, Director of the Institute for the Study of Children, Families and Social Issues, Birkbeck University of London
ISBN: 9780300206340
Publication Date: October 8, 2013
352 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
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Arnold S. Linsky, Ronet Bachman, and Murray Straus

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