Some Australian children's perceptions of physical punishment in childhood

Bernadette J. Saunders, Chris Goddard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review


Despite ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, children remain the only people in Australia against whom violence may be justified as discipline. This article presents findings from qualitative research conducted in the State of Victoria, in which children were invited to contextualise incidents of physical punishment by describing the experience from different standpoints and reflecting on the feelings and motivations of victims and perpetrators. The research provides new insights into children’s experiences of childhood ‘discipline’, as children reveal the physical and emotional impact of being hit by a parent, the futility of ‘physical punishment’, parents’ confusing reactions and children’s. Children suggest more positive ways to communicate and to resolve conflict, and provide insightful comments that have the potential to enlighten adults’ thinking about the issue.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChildren's Rights
EditorsUrsula Kilkelly, Laura Lundy
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9781472463012
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameThe Library of Essays on Family Rights

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