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Corporal punishment of children in the home in Australia: a review of the research reveals the need for data and knowledge

  • Angelika Poulsen (a1)


A growing body of literature indicates that corporal punishment (CP) has the potential to adversely affect the mental and physical wellbeing of children in childhood as well as into adulthood. Corporal punishment of children in the home is legal in all states and territories in Australia, but not much is known about this type of family violence in the Australian context. This article presents a review of the literature currently available on the prevalence of CP of children in the home in Australia, covering online surveys, academic research, government data and grey literature. The role of online surveys is examined, and the lack of data available from government studies concerned with the wellbeing of children is also explored. There is found to be an overall lack of consistent data available on CP of children in the home in Australia, and this article calls on researchers and policymakers to further research and act on this aspect of family violence.


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Author for correspondence: Angelika Poulsen, Email:


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