Harsh Policies & Childhood Punishment
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|Sun, 10-31-2004 - 1:37pm|
2004: Linking childhood punishment with political beliefs in adulthood:
The 2004-MAY-13 issue of Newsweek carried an article by Michael Milburn, interviewed by Brian Braiker. Milburn is a psychologist at the University of Massachusetts and a co-author of the book: "The Politics of Denial." 11 He "has extensively explored what determines political attitudes, the role of emotion in public opinion and the effects of the mass media on political attitudes and social behavior." Discussing the prisoner abuse scandal in Iraq involving the physical and sexual mistreatment of inmates by American soldiers, he commented:
"We found that, particularly for males who had never had any psychotherapy, when they reported a high level of childhood punishment, they were significantly more likely to endorse a range of punitive public policies like support for the death penalty, opposition to abortion, support for the use of military force....Well, the extent to which emotion connected to childhood punishment was driving their political attitudes, when they had an opportunity to sort of reflect on that and short-term catharsis experience, that sort of energy disappears....What we have found, really broadly, is the higher level of punitiveness among political conservatives is really strongly associated with experiences, generally, of harsh punishment from childhood. It’s not just going to be that they were spanked; there’s a whole family climate, and punishment is just going to be one of those indicators of that....In our research we also found that when we gave people the statement 'the amount of physical and sexual abuse in this country is greatly exaggerated by the mass media,' conservatives were significantly more likely to agree with that."
1. Sean Fine, "Study links spanking to future alcohol abuse," The Globe and Mail, Toronto, 1999-OCT-5, Pages A1 & A13
2. Jane Gadd, "Spanked children suffer intellectually," The Globe and Mail,Toronto ON, 1998-JUL-30
3. Harriet McMillan, et al., "Slapping and spanking in childhood and its association with lifetime prevalence of psychiatric disorders in a general population sample," Canadian Medical Association Journal, 1999-OCT-5, at: http://www.cma.ca/cmaj/vol-161/issue-7/0805.htm
4. "Punished for life: Canadian study links spanking to addiction and psychiatric disorders," Reuters, 1995-OCT-5. Online at: http://nospank.org/canada2.htm
5. M.A. Straus, Corporal punishment of children and adult depression and suicidal ideation," Chapter 5 of: "Beating the devil out of them: Corporal punishment in American families and its effects on children," New Brunswick, (2000), Page 60 to 77. Online at: http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2/CP3.pdf
6. P. Greven, "Spare the child: The religious roots of physical punishment and the psychological impact of physical abuse," Knopf, (1991)
7. Irvin Wolkoff, "Spanked child can become self-loathing adult," The Toronto Star, 1999-NOV-26, Page F4.
8. E. Larzelere, "A review of the outcomes of parental use of nonabusive or customary physical punishment," Pediatrics 98:824-831
9. Patricia McBroom, "UC Berkeley study finds no lasting harm among adolescents from moderate spanking earlier in childhood," at: http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/
10. Maggie Fox, "Why some boys go bad: Gene study may show why abused turn violent," Reuters News Agency, 2002-AUG-1.
11. Michael A. Milburn & Sheree D. Conrad, "The Politics of Denial," MIT Press, (1996). Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store