Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D. in Education

Department

Leadership and Counselor Education

First Advisor

Rosusan D. Bartee

Second Advisor

Douglas Davis

Third Advisor

Ryan Niemeyer

Abstract

The use of corporal punishment has been debated due to linkage to decreased academic performance (Hickmon, 2010) and negative social behaviors (Hicks-Pass, 2009). Disparities exist in who has received corporal punishment (Rollins, 2012). Although there is much research pertaining to corporal punishment, there have been few studies conducted where students' opinions of it have been obtained (Holden, 2002). Thus, there is a need to examine students' perceptions of corporal punishment. The purpose of this study is to determine the relationship between academic performance, social behaviors, and previous experience with corporal punishment at school and perceptions of corporal punishment among elementary and middle school students in a public, rural school district in Northwest Mississippi. The study particularly considers the implications associated with race, gender, SES, grade level, and previous experience with corporal punishment at home. Participants (n=162) include third through eighth grade students who received corporal punishment at least once during the 2013-2014 school year. Using the independent t-test, the study finds no differences in gender, type of student, and students who received corporal punishment at home and those who did not pertaining to measures of student perception of corporal punishment. Using an ANOVA, the study finds no significant differences in race and SES pertaining to measures of student perception of corporal punishment. Using the Pearson product-moment correlation, the study finds no significant relationships for academic performance and level of previous experiences with corporal punishment at school pertaining to measures of student perception of corporal punishment. For the ten social behaviors measured, the study finds no significant relationships pertaining to measures of student perception of corporal punishment except for the measure, "I destroy my own things". Due to the findings of the study, the following recommendations are put forward: 1) Revisit the school district's corporal punishment policy; 2) Examine the use of other methods of discipline that have proven to be effective in decreasing student misbehavior; and 3) Explore how the usage of corporal punishment affects classroom management. Proceeding forward with these recommendations provides an opportunity to further investigate the diverse nature of corporal punishment and student discipline as a whole.

Concentration/Emphasis

Emphasis: Education Leadership (K-12)

Included in

Education Commons

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