Understanding personal experiences of being smacked: An IPA study with young adults

Ball, Melany (2009) Understanding personal experiences of being smacked: An IPA study with young adults. PhD thesis, Prifysgol Bangor University.

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The question of whether or not to smack children has long been one of controversy and debate. Quantitative research into the effects of smacking has often been conducted within the wider remit of corporal punishment ) and therefore it has been difficult to ascertain outcomes relating to smacking specifically. Furthermore there exists a multitude of methodological and conceptualc omplexities associatedw ith the study of smacking, particularly within quantitative paradigms. Despite these difficulties, qualitative research into smacking has been limited and previous studies of this nature have focused on establishing a generalised reflection of experiences and opinions. The present study used an Interpretative Phenomenological Approach (IPA) to explore young adults' experiences of being smacked during childhood. Analysis identified a number of themes including: influences on individual experience; precursors to smacking; losing and regaining control; relationships with parents; and the potential for harm. From these themes a number of key findings were noted. Individual experiences both differed and converged, and were influenced by personal predispositions, attitudes towards smacking and the participants' perceptions of smacking. Smacking was often driven by parental emotions, rather than to necessarily benefit the child. Participants described common experiences relating to feelings of loss of control, and engaged in numerous coping strategies to manage these experiences and attempt to regain control. Smacking was associated with both positive and negative outcomes in relation to child-parent relationships and long-term development. It was concluded that parents need support to substitute smacking for alternative disciplinary methods, which hold less potential for harm.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: Degree Thesis
Departments: College of Health and Behavioural Sciences > School of Psychology
Degree Thesis
Date Deposited: 14 May 2015 05:15
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2016 14:38
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/4474
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