Punishment in Child Rearing Practice

Topics: Childhood, Reinforcement, Child discipline Pages: 4 (1192 words) Published: October 8, 2010
Should punishment have a role in 21st Century child rearing practice?

Word count: 1100
Abstract
According to Burton, Westen and Kowalski (2009), punishment can be described as an environmental consequence that has the ability to modify behaviour through operant conditioning. This paper examines three different studies that explore the effects of corporal punishment on adolescence, the effects of punishment on children of different ages, and the effects of punishment on children of different temperaments. Research evidence indicates that punishment is most effective when combined with reasoning. If a child is being punished for a particular behaviour, it is imperative that the child is able to make a connection between the action and the punishment to generate alternative responses. It will be argued that the combination of punishment and reasoning is most effective in 21st century child rearing practice.

Should punishment have a role in 21st century
child rearing practice?
Punishment can be positive or negative when used as a response to unwanted behaviour. Positive punishment refers to stimuli being present to reduce the likelihood of the operant reoccurring. Smacking, time out, and institutionalisation are examples of positive punishment used in child rearing practices to make a behaviour less likely to occur. In contrast, negative punishment refers to a reinforcer taken away to reduce the likelihood of the operant reoccurring. Denied access to games and loss of pocket money are examples of negative punishment used in child rearing practices to make a behaviour lees likely to occur. To determine if punishment should be used in 21st century child rearing practice, this paper will discuss the effects of corporal punishment by Straus and Kantor (1994), the effects of punishment on children of different ages by Larzelere , Sather, Schneider, Larson and Pike (1998), and the effects of punishment on children of different temperaments by Hemphill and...
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