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Corporal Punishment and its Effects in Pakistan.

Byline: Malik Haqnawaz Danish and Asma Iqbal


This article addresses the impact of corporal punishment and its imprints on the 'psychological being' of a student. Corporal punishment or physical punishment is a tool materialized for controlling the behavior of a student for displaying behavior that doesn't confirm to the govermentality of the institution in which he/she reads. Corporal punishment among children has become a norm of the society. It is also believed that spanking and slapping children are highly affected even if they are not approved. Straus (1991) found that 84% of adults agreed on that a good, hard spanking is sometimes necessary. Carson (1986) titles the parents who refuse to use corporal punishment as "poor parents". Almost all the parents use corporal punishment while the stress of it declines with the age factor.

We tried to analyze (a) the effects of corporal punishment on the children resulting in the negativity and aggression in the behavior of the child (b) the consoling effects of psychological treatment to nurse the ailing psychology of the child with positive responses. A comparison between corporal punishment and psychological treatment is done demonstrating that the impact of corporal punishment is associated with impairment of psychology of the children and self negation. The interrelationship among physical punishment and aggression is brought to test with the aftereffects. The helping hand of psychological tools qualifies in soothing the ailing situation and maintaining harmony and peace in the development of the mind in various ways. The research is further supported by the facts and interpretations already given by critics in the past and are further elaborated.

The main objective of this assignment is to offer alternative to avoid corporal punishment to achieve desired results and to provide feasible environment for learning process. Educational psychology has for ever been in the attempt to encourage measures to benefit teaching learning process with promising results.

The point of views of both learners and instructors have been checked through interview and questionnaire either corporal punishment is good tool for learners and children or not.

Key Words: Corporal punishment, learners, instructors, behavior, child, interview, questionnaire.

1. Introduction

Psychology may be defined in its simplest form as the study of behavior. The psychologist is ultimately interested in formulating the laws of human behavior. According to psychology, all living creatures, operate, act or behave according to laws. Similarly, the focus of behaviors in the field of education is "Educational Psychology".

"Educational psychology is a subject to be studied,an area or field of knowledge, a set of applications of laws and principles from a field of knowledge to a social process, a set of tools and techniques, and a field for research". G.L. Anderson (1949).

Educational psychology is a distinct discipline with its own theories, methods, problems and techniques.

It uses the methods of science. Educational psychologists approach their problems with a scientific attitude. In the course of research, new methods and variations of methods and techniques appear every year. Educational psychology offers many frames of work to be utilized in the field of education, but we have focused on the aftereffects of corporal punishment and the soothing nature of psychological treatment at primary level.

Educational psychology has become a fashion in pedagogy. It is not just a series of article related to the growth and development of human mind but a science in itself. It is a science of functions inside the mind of a learner. A careful study was done and having all the keynotes in my mind, we tried to fabricate those ideas in our research paper. It is basically collecting the abstract ideas in our own way and making them more comprehensible. Although the research has already been done in the past with different implications, yet we have a different way of analyzing things. To what extent our effort is fruitful is not the question here, because it is the humblest effort towards finding and it is hoped that the paper may contribute towards the teaching learning process.

1.1. Hypothesis

Corporal punishment brings positive effect in the development of student and good results.

1.2. Research questions

* What are the effects of corporal punishment on the children?

* What are the consoling effects of psychological treatment to nurse the ailing psychology of the child with positive responses?

* What do instructors think about the corporal punishment and how much it is necessary for children?

1.3. Research objective

Research aims to the following objectives

* Positive and negative effects of the corporal punishment.

* To check how corporal punishment improve the behavior of the learners.

* The Study also explores the attitude of the instructor towards corporal punishment.

I.4. Delimitation of the study

Delimitation of the research are as follow

* Only students at school level were allowed to be observed and interviewed in this research.

* Open ended interviews had been organized for the learners to know their point of view about corporal punishment.

* Only government schools had been studied to check this phenomenon.

* All samples are collected from Faisalabad.

* Thirty instructors have been selected to check this phenomenon.

* Fifteen schools have been selected for this study.

* Two instructors from each institute have been selected, One from primary level and second from secondary level.

* Fifteen primary level instructors and fifteen secondary level instructors were involved in this study.

2. Literature review

6.1 Corporal punishment as a childhood stressor

It has been demonstrated that the effects of corporal punishment increase violent behavior in the character of a child being punished. Several studies," Holmes and Robins","Strauss"(1984),"Bryan and Fred" found that the psychological imprints of physical punishment remains a sensation even in later phase of life and they display high levels of depression anxiety, fewer friends and negative social interactions. Corporal punishment in a teen age develops the habit of drinking, depression and sense of uselessness. It has always being pointed out that corporal punishment is a childhood stressor always related to aggression. Anthony (1970), Feshback and Feshback (1972). Authoritarian type or harsh treatment in childhood affects the social competence of a child. It has also been suggested that authoritarian discipline contribute to negative self assessment as well as lower mystery over the issue of life such children proudly represent themselves as below average and they remain in a complex stage.

Strauss emphasizes that these victims of corporal punishment use the same strategy towards others as adults. Strauss theorizes that cultural "spillover" contributes violence in one part of life to be promoted in other stage of life. Strauss fails to relate adequately how physical punishment received in childhood emerges into the act of violence in adulthood. Psychological stress claims negative impact on physical and psychological health of an individual. Corporal punishment is casually common in abusive and even in non abusive families. Most of the research which has documented the negative impact of corporal punishment had been conducted in the context of sketching out the development of aggressive behavior in children. Negative attitude towards life and even sense of uselessness and negative responses, all of these can be interpreted as aftermaths of corporal punishment. Another source of stress, chronic strain has also got its deep roots in exercising corporal punishment (Pearlin, 1989).

There are also some contexts under which corporal punishment is influential, one of them is the social support received from their parents. Children who have parental support are less likely to be affected by corporal punishment. Dignity, confidence and ability to overcome stressful circumstances may mount by parental support. Parental support may be considered as a tool to reduce negative influence of corporal punishment. Both the stress and support are generated by the parents in different circumstances. Supportive children have greater attachment to their parents and more likely they are subject to more negatively affected by the corporal punishment they receive from them. The second phase of corporal punishment which a child receives in his career is the institute in which he starts his education. In the institution, the same role of authoritative parents is adopted by the teachers. They are the same source of stress and support as parents.

The practice of spanking and slapping is reported to be in practice as normal routine in most of the institutions. Similar after effects are being noted such as aggressive behavior and self complexity in the character. Larzelere (1986) also sketches out a linear relationship between frequency of corporal punishment and aggression. Frequent practice of corporal punishment is associated with impairment in children's psychology. Parents and teachers represent themselves a nominated figure under a slogan of "Spare the rod and spoil the child". The choices about physical punishment are different in different social groups and they have different standards of punishment. Giovannoni and Baccera (1977) traced discrepancies among classes, races and cultural groups and their way of rewarding punishment. Society is a system that shares violent acts commonly. Corporal punishment is taken as liability in educational institute and is not termed as ill by most of the members of the society.

Lack of insight of teachers and their inability to resolve matters psychologically results in furnishing complex being in a child and contributes to both depression and stress in children who are frequently punished and even those who receive low levels of punishment once or twice a year share the same feeling of distress. In learning, teachers play more important role as parents do and the same supportive attitude is being perceived from them as well. Teachers rewarding physical punishment hinder the cognitive development and also make the course of learning empathetic. Frequently spanked, slapped and hit allow student to attribute their teacher violent. Students mostly idealize their teachers and expect similar supportive attitude as displayed by their parents, so the harsh attitude may cause them perceive their teachers in negative terms. Such type of treatments by the teachers distorts the self concepts and threats the self esteem of students. Students continually ask themselves," How am I doing".

They give the verbal and nonverbal reactions of significant people like parents and other members of the family, friends, schoolmates and teachers later to make judgments, Harter (1988). They also compare their performance in one subject with the performance of another subject. Harsh treatments by the teachers hinder the way of self concept development in the students. Self esteem of a student contribute favorable attitude towards the whole life, more positive behavior in the classroom and greater popularity among other students, Cauley and Tayler (1999). The life in school affects the students self esteem, their sense that classes are interesting and that teachers care and back up. Self perception is contaminated by the use of physical punishment resulting in the change of behavior.

The negative effect of getting tough is not a promising route to self esteem. Peane (1991), physically punished children have negative effects on their character and psychology that results in negative self-esteem, emotional instability, negative world view, negative self adequacy and aggression. Children love to come to school if they are treated well and pampered properly. On the other hand, if they are beaten and spanked or treated harshly, they develop a negative approach towards the institution and towards teachers. The question arises is "How to avoid the use of force and to maintain the discipline in the classroom"? Recent research has documented a lot towards psychological rather than the use of rod. The govt of Pakistan has imposed a ban on corporal punishment with severe implications. The slogan Govt raised to avoid corporal punishment is "Maar nae Pyar". The main object of this policy is to eradicate the symptoms of aggression and negativity from the grass root level.

A research was conducted on two groups of the same cadre of the same school. Group A was subject to corporal punishment while the other was treated psychologically. Group A in spite of getting harsh treatment showed no better sign in studies or behavior while group B showed symptoms of improvement in character and education as well. The subject of group A showed aggressive behavior and negativity. With the passage of time, group A lost interest and behavior towards teachers became more aggressive and unfair. The communication between the teacher and the student became rare and the gap of cooperation between the two widened. Through different research instruments, it was further introspected what they think about the punishment they receive.

3. Research methodology

The research falls into the realm of mixed method research because the research tools of both approaches have been used in this research. Interviews and questionnaires have been used to analyze the phenomenon to get the exact percentage of the result and interpretation is also given which is the subjective opinion of the research according to the result of questionnaire.

First quantitative results have been gathered to know the opinion of the community and later on open ended interview session has also been conducted to know the point of view of the community and on the basis of this, researchers interpret the results of questionnaire.

Thirty instructors have been selected to fill the questionnaire, fifteen from primary level and fifteen from secondary level, two from each institute. Pakistani government schools have been selected for sampling and only schools located in Faisalabad were taken as samples for the research.

Fifteen senior school teachers have been selected for interview regarding corporal punishment. All teachers have been selected on the basis of their experience among permanent government employees having minimum experience of ten years.

4. Discussion

4.1 Interviews

The interview gave a peep into the mind of students what they think about the punishment they receive. Most of the children of group A were not subjects of corporal punishment by their parents so they didn't expect the other from their teachers,(60% agreement). These students remained in the state of insecurity in schools and showed negative characteristics towards the faculty. Some 29% were from those families who perceived beating as a normal part of raising children. Such students found it hard to differentiate between a strict culture of their home and institute. They always searched for the asylum in both of the places of learning. 10% of group A were those who seldom receive corporal punishment throughout the year, they were not habitual of punishment. Such punishments have severe implications to the psychological being even though it was inculcated in their minds that it was for their own good.

One thing they all shared was the sense of uselessness and they were not guilty for their failure and aggression towards the institution. It was also noted that the student of group A were more sensitive than the students of group B. they were asked questions openly and frankly about what would be the better treatment otherwise, the obvious answer was something other than spanking, slapping, hitting, cuffing and beating with a whip.

4.2 Questionnaires results

The slogan of government of Pakistani which is very common from last decade in Pakistan is, Not to beat But Love "Maar nahi Pyaar" this slogan is strictly observed by the government in schools where corporal punishment is a very common phenomenon. The study aims to check the response of society specially the instructors of government school.

After developing the questionnaire, researchers gave it to the instructors to fill and the very first question asks whether the instructors are in favor of corporal punishment or not, the following result have been collected. It is clear from the above chart which is developed in the opinion of the fifteen different school instructors that they are in favor of corporal punishment and according to them it is not as much negative a thing as the ratio of negation is.

Corporal punishment brings positive change in the attitude of the Learners as also shown in the graph according to teachers' community of Faisalabad, Pakistan. It is clear that corporal punishment brings positive change in their learners. They become more conscious about their work and perform well if teacher punishes them in presence of the class. The issue of business is involved when a teacher punishes learners as also shown in the graph, just to prove himself authoritative.

When instructors punish learners, most of the learners consider punishment an attack on their self respect which also brings positive change most of the time in their attitude and next time, learners try their level best to avoid such activities in front of the instructors on the basis of which punishment is awarded to them.

It is quiet, less difficult for the instructors to punish their student because most of the time instructors have good intentions in their mind when they punish their students and a very few learners in which punishment arises the feeling of positive attitude receive such blows to their self-esteem.. Most of the learners take it negative and think that the instructors have some psychological issue that's why he is punishing them. At the same time there is a community of positive thinkers who think it a step towards betterment, no doubt, negative or positive both attitudes develop a habit of obeying their instructors. Most of the instructors are against on high level physical corporal punishment and they are in favor of psychological punishment.

Most of the instructors think that corporal punishment in any community is never humiliating the rules of humanity, it is for the betterment of the learners. The majority of the instructors think that corporal punishment must be according to the cultural values and some instructors have this point of view that it must not be according to the culture making their learners more responsible which saves them from negative activities and they use it in a positive way.

Corporal punishment according to statics of a questionnaire which researcher collects from fifteen different schools claims that corporal punishment makes learners aggressive and some of the instructors are not in the favor of rewarding corporal punishment as shown below, but according to the researchers, this aggressiveness left a positive impact on the learners; they do their work with more attention and become more disciplined if they are punished once.

The new slogan of the Pakistani government as it is discussed earlier, it is clear that most instructors think it a cause of young anti social behavior in the society and some are against it. The learners who receive punishment and build their positive attitude in response to the punishment have a high percentage in the society but there are still some learners who build negative attitude and involve themselves in criminal activities as shown in the graph below. Corporal punishment also helps instructors to teach social values and norms, most of the time.

It is clear from the various responses of questionnaire that instructors are not against corporal punishment. It helps them to build the positive attitude of the learners towards society and humanity. The reason behind the excessive use of corporal punishment in Pakistan is that the instructors don't have any substitute for corporal punishment.When they want their learners to be fast in learning or to achieve good grades, or whenever they desire behavoiural change, they have only one option left, i.e corporal punishment and this is the reason for which the questionnaire results are in favor of corporal punishment. If teachers are supposed to avoid corporal punishment,than it is compulsory for the higher authorities that the educationists must be provided with any substitute for corporal punishment.On the other hand, if higher authorities of educationists provide substitute, only than corporal punishment be averted,otherwise it is not possible in Pakistan.

5. Conclusion

The analysis supports the evidence that immature minds are much more sensitive towards such harsh treatments. The psychological inputs are more beneficial than physical. Analysis reveals that harshness is correlated with children's perception of violence and aggression. Disciplinary practice may affect psychological being in many ways. Harsh discipline paves the way towards anti social behavior which causes an academic failure and social rejection. The immature minds are like canvas on which colorful psychological tools can paint beautiful pictures while corporal punishment can destroy and darken it.

The researchers on the basis of questionnaire results, compiles the results that the majority of the instructors are in favor of corporal punishment and they consider it a good tool to develop positivity in the students. High level corporal punishment is an inhumane activity, but at psychological level, it is very important for the learners. It develops the sense of responsibility in the learners. The response by the instructors are bound to be conventional in the sense as no such activity of psychological treatment to overcome the behavioral problems is introduced, taught or trained in the basic teaching courses mandatory for teaching and no other alternate psychological path is introduced in the teaching community to support the slogan, Maar nae Pyar.


* Anthony, E. J. (1970). The behavior disorders of children. In P. H. Mussen (Ed.), Carmichael's manual of child psychology (Vol. 2, pp. 667-764). New York:

* Bongiovanni, A. F. (1979). An analysis of research on punishment and its relation to the use of corporal punishment in the schools. In I. A. Hyman and J. H. Wise (Eds.), Corporal punishment in American education: Readings in history, practice, and alternatives (pp. 351-372). Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

* Bryan, J. W., and Freed, F. W. (1982). Corporal punishment: Normative data and sociological and psychological correlates in a community college population. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 11, 77-87.

* Carson, B. (1986). Parents who don't spank: Deviation in the legitimization of physical force. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of New Hampshire, Durham.

* Cohen, S., and Syme, L. (1985). Social support and health. New York: Academic press.

* Holmes, S. J., and Robins, L. N. (1988). The role of parental disciplinary practices in the development of depression and alcoholism. Psychiatry, 51, 24-35.

* Larzelere, R. E. (1986). Moderate spanking: Model or deterrent of children's aggressive behavior in the family? Journal of Family Violence, 1, 27-36. * Pearlin, L. I. (1989). The sociological study of stress. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 30, 241-256.

* Straus, M. A. (1991). Discipline and deviance: Physical punishment of children and violence and other crimes in adulthood. Social Problems, 38, 133-154.

* Straus, M. A. (1994). Beating the devil out of them: Corporal punishment in American families and its effect on children. Boston: Lexington.

* Straus, M. A., and Donnelly, D. A. (1993). Corporal punishment of adolescents by American parents. Youth and Society, 24, 419-442.

* Straus, M. A., and Kaufman-Kantor, G. (1994). Corporal punishments by parents of adolescents: A risk factor in the epidemiology of depression, suicide, alcohol abuse, and wife beating. Adolescence, 29, 543-562.


AGE.................... Teaching experience......................... Tick the correct option and please mention your age and teaching experience in the space given above.



###Questions###Agree###agree nor###Disagree



1 Do you think corporal punishment is

###necessary for learners?

2 Does corporal punishment bringing a

###positive attitude in the learners?

3 Do Teachers reward corporal punishment

###because of their personal biasness?

4 Is corporal punishment an attack on

###learner self respect?

5 Is it difficult for instructors to give

###corporal punishment?

6 Does corporal punishment save learners

###from negative activities?

7 Are you in favor of psychological

###corporal punishment?

8 Are you in favor of high level physical

###corporal punishment.?

9 Does corporal punishment violate the

###rules of humanity?

10 Should corporal punishment be according

###to the cultural values?

11 Does corporal punishment make learners


12 Does corporal punishment build negative

###attitude in the learner?

13 Is corporal punishment make learner


14 Does corporal punishment helps learners

###to do their work with more attention?

15 do you think learners become more

###disciplined because of corporal


16 According to you the cause of young anti-

###social attitude is lack of corporal


17 Do you think The ratio of crime is less if

###corporal punishment is rewarded in the society?

18 Does corporal punishment helps

###instructors and learner social values?
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Publication:International Journal of Arts and Humanities
Article Type:Essay
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Dec 31, 2016
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