There is a growing consensus among professionals working with parents and children, and advocates for child rights, that a ban on the use of corporal punishment (CP) in raising children is justified in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC, 1989). However, this is an issue which seems to polarize people and opponents of banning CP have attacked the scientific literature and made dire predictions of adverse consequences if parents are not allowed to use CP. The problem is that so much attention has been focused on the “to spank or not to spank” issue, the developmental benefits for children and parents stemming from positive parenting have been largely ignored. There is increasing evidence that public health approaches to increasing parenting support reduces coercive parenting practices. Breshears' study represents an effort to gain a clearer understanding of the reasons many parents continue to support CP and draws on innovative qualitative methods to argue that parents’ views about CP are important and must be taken into account in planning intervention programs.
Matthew Sanders is a Professor of Clinical Psychology and Director of the Parenting and Family Support Centre at the University of Queensland. He is also a visiting Professor at Manchester University, University of South Carolina, Glasgow Caledonian University and The University of Auckland. As the founder of the Triple P-Positive Parenting Program, his work has had a major international impact on child and parenting research, policy and practice. Triple P was the first evidence-based public health model of parenting intervention to be experimentally tested and has now been disseminated to 23 countries worldwide, has 62,000 professionals trained to use the intervention, and has served more than 7 million families and children worldwide. Professor Sanders is known for conducting a large number of high quality randomised trials of parenting interventions, many of which have been published in top peer reviewed journals. This work has been widely recognised by his peers as reflected a number of prestigious awards. In 2007, Professor Sanders received the Australian Psychological Society’s President’s Award for Distinguished Contribution to Psychology. In 2004 he received an International Collaborative Prevention Science award from the Society for Prevention Research in the US. In 2007 he received a Trailblazers Award from the Parenting and Families Special Interest Group in the Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapy. In 2008 was became a fellow of the New Zealand Psychological Society and has won a Distinguished Career Award from the Australian Association for Cognitive Behaviour therapy. In 2009 he was the Honorary President of the Canadian Psychological Association and served as a consultant for various state and federal governments in Australia, NZ, Canada and the United Kingdom. He is an Australian Psychological Society spokesperson on child and family matters and he actively promotes positive parenting strategies throughout his local community.
"Commentary on "Strengthening Families: Parents' Voices on Discipline and Child Rearing","
Journal of Family Strengths:
1, Article 19.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/jfs/vol11/iss1/19
A Response To:
Elizabeth M. Breshears, Strengthening Families: Parents' Voices on Discipline and Child Rearing