Mothers’ Perceptions and Experiences on Corporal Punishment within the Family Systems Approach Framework

Kurt Ş. H., YAŞAR M.

Journal of Child and Family Studies, 2024 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10826-023-02728-4
  • Journal Name: Journal of Child and Family Studies
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, ASSIA, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, Criminal Justice Abstracts, EBSCO Education Source, Education Abstracts, Psycinfo, Public Affairs Index, Social services abstracts, Sociological abstracts, Violence & Abuse Abstracts
  • Keywords: Corporal punishment, family relationships and corporal punishment, Family Systems Approach, mother’s corporal punishment perception, qualitative study
  • Çukurova University Affiliated: Yes


The aim of this study was to examine mothers’ perceptions and experiences of corporal punishment during interactions with their children according to the Family Systems Approach. Interviews were conducted with 19 mothers of 5–6 years old children living in a small town, Anamur, on the Mediterranean coast, in the province of Mersin, Turkey. Collected data were analyzed through qualitative content analysis, and analysis revealed participating mothers exposed their children to corporal punishment and considered some situations acceptable. Typically, mothers used physical force to prevent or manage children’s unwanted behavior, express their anger, and/or re-establish their authority. Participating mothers perceived corporal punishment as unacceptable when it involved children’s physical needs and/or safety. According to the Family Systems Approach, these mothers failed to meet their children’s needs of individualization due to their role organizing the family’s daily routine. Mothers’ overly-excessive proximity to their children, both emotionally and physically, increased the tendency to be intrusive in the children’s lives. Thus, problems of hierarchy and extremely permeable boundaries between family members seemed to form the basis of corporal punishment.