alexa Prevalence and Unintended Consequences of Corporal Punishment in Northern Ireland: Evidence to Support the Introduction of an Educational Prohibition?
ISSN: 2375-4494

Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior
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Research Article

Prevalence and Unintended Consequences of Corporal Punishment in Northern Ireland: Evidence to Support the Introduction of an Educational Prohibition?

Áine E McKenna*

Department of Public Health, Ulster University, Northern Ireland, UK

*Corresponding Author:
Áine E. McKennam
Department of Public Health
Ulster University
Northern Ireland, UK
+44 28 7012 3456
[email protected]

Received Date: February 10, 2016; Accepted Date: February 22, 2016; Published Date: February 26, 2016

Citation: McKenna AE (2016) Prevalence and Unintended Consequences of Corporal Punishment in Northern Ireland: Evidence to Support the Introduction of an Educational Prohibition?. J Child Adolesc Behav 4:280. doi:10.4172/2375-4494.1000280

Copyright: © 2016 McKenna AE. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



Implementation rates for corporal punishment (CP) are problematically high in Northern Ireland (NI).The government has resisted introducing legislative changes to ban corporal punishment despite repeated calls from the UNCRC. This study examined (1) links between CP and adult psychopathology and (2) characteristics of implementers and cycle breakers. Data were from 1,986 adults who completed the NI Study of Health and Stress. CP, maltreatment and parental bonding were queried using validated measures. Assessment of psychiatric disorders was based on DSM-IV criteria. Logistic regression analysis, population attributable fractions (PAFs), and chi -square tests of independence were conducted. Exposures were significantly linked with mood disorders and substance use disorders (SUDs). Forty four per cent of parents implemented CP. Maintainers (21.6%) and cycle breakers (4.7%) were more likely to have reported physical abuse, exposures to domestic violence and suffer from SUDs. Cycle breakers were more likely to be married and to have been exposed to child sexual abuse (CSA). Eliminating exposures to CP may significantly reduce the prevalence of psychopathology, particularly SUDs. Prohibition should be flanked by ongoing educational media campaigns to effectively reduce CP implementation. Targeted capacity building supports should be considered for parents who themselves were exposed to certain childhood adversities.


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