Research on the negative impact of corporal punishment

The evidence that corporal punishment is harmful to children, adults and societies is overwhelming. The more than 200 studies included in the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children’s review of research on the impact of and associations with corporal punishment show links between corporal punishment and a wide range of negative outcomes, including:

  • direct physical harm
  • negative impacts on mental and physical health
  • poor moral internalisation and increased antisocial behaviour
  • increased aggression in children
  • increased violent and criminal behaviour in adults
  • damaged education
  • damaged family relationships
  • increased acceptance and use of other forms of violence

Intended for use by advocates for prohibition, the review illuminates how corporal punishment violates not just children’s right to freedom from all violence, but also their rights to health, development and education. It is available in both full and summary forms.

Download the summary (Word/pdf) and review (Word/pdf).

For summaries of research into the prevalence and nature of and attitudes towards corporal punishment of children, see the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children.