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Message ID: 8021
Date: 2009-01-20

Author:Willems J (IR)

Subject:RE: child trauma

Dear Kenneth Little, Non-violent discipline is part of parental responsibility in Dutch law since 2007 (Civil Code). This is a form of child rights based responsibilisation of parents which should go hand in hand with empowerment of parents, as you rightly describe. Professional centers for all parents are now being set up in The Netherlands (local Centers for Youth-and-Family) to lower thresholds for parents to ask advice on, i.a., positive (non-violent) discipline, on which information leaflets for parents are available. Parenthood education in schools and parenting education for all parents are next on lobbying agenda’s. All kinds of programs to assist parents in child rearing are already in place (Youth Care Offices), as well as programs to (further) educate and empower professionals. It is a step by step process and we still have a long way to go, but the (lobby for) prohibition of corporal punishment and humiliation of children is an important first step to raise awareness with authorities and the public in order to gradually turn repressive systems of child protection into proactive systems of responsibilisation and empowerment (with child protection at the end of a continuum of care). Kind regards, Jan CM Willems Prof Dr Jan CM Willems Department of International and European Law and Maastricht Center for Human Rights Maastricht University Faculty of Law, The Netherlands child Maltreatment, Early childhood and children’s Rights research program (MERchild) www.unimaas.nl/default.asp?template=werkveld.htm&id=3557A05360I5O1B774N7&taal=nl j.willems@ir.unimaas.nl Parenting education for all parents. Always. Everywhere. -----Original Message----- From: bounce-3477964-6833864@list.cornell.edu [mailto:bounce-3477964-6833864@list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Ken Little Sent: dinsdag 20 januari 2009 0:20 To: 'Child Maltreatment Researchers' Subject: RE: child trauma The field will need to tackle the question of corporal or physical management of children in residential and day treatment settings, as well as in school based behavioral programs too. Under the strictly limited circumstances of “imminent risk” there is a strong rationale for the use of physical intervention (by parent or professional caretaker) that even children perceive to be fair and helpful. However, physical intervention in anything less than situations containing actual imminent risk is more akin to corporal punishment. I say actual situations because most physical management events are significantly contributed to by the adult interaction partner (see transactional or reciprocal models of oppositional behavior in home and school settings) long before imminent risk criteria are even approached. And, to make matters even more complicated, imminent risk is a subjective reality. Imminent risk to whom of what, when? Studies show an 80% reduction in the use of physical intervention in intensive child and adolescent mental health facilities after altering behavior management intervention strategies. Does this mean that 80% of the physical intervention events prior to implementation where really unnecessary and a function of the adult participants intervention strategy? Yes, it’s highly likely that the adult participant contributed to the end result. That strongly suggests that physical intervention in facilities has long been used as a form of disguised or justified corporal punishment. Parents and care providers need to be able to maintain reasonable safety and environmental control. However, parent and care taker education, early and often, of the best practices (more Inductive Discipline including finely honed constructive criticism, less Power-Assertive Discipline) in gaining a more cooperative outcome is needed before asking them to stop corporal punishment and other means of toxic discipline. Taking away established behavior management practices prior to training -- to an effective level -- new behavior management practices is a recipe for disaster: feeding the coercive family (program) cycle by causing care takers to desist in disciplining children will only escalate the child to truly dangerous proportions. Intensive training and on-going support is critical to a successful transition away from corporal and toxic forms of behavior management. Sincerely, Kenneth H. Little, MA Mad River Behavioral Health Campton, NH 03223. 603-236-6893 From: bounce-3475018-6833746@list.cornell.edu [mailto:bounce-3475018-6833746@list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Willems J (IR) Sent: Monday, January 19, 2009 2:44 AM To: Child Maltreatment Researchers Subject: RE: child trauma The issue is not state control but positive state obligations to facilitate parenthood and parenting education, esp in relation to positive parenting and positive discipline. The legal basis for this is the prohibition of corporal punishment and humiliation in family law, which is being adopted by a growing number of states (Sweden 1979, Netherlands 2007). Kind regards, Jan CM Willems Prof Dr Jan CM Willems Department of International and European Law and Maastricht Center for Human Rights Maastricht University Faculty of Law, The Netherlands child Maltreatment, Early childhood and children’s Rights research program (MERchild) www.unimaas.nl/default.asp?template=werkveld.htm&id=3557A05360I5O1B774N7&taal=nl j.willems@ir.unimaas.nl Parenting education for all parents. Always. Everywhere. -----Original Message----- From: bounce-3472114-6833864@list.cornell.edu [mailto:bounce-3472114-6833864@list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Lehmann, Peter Sent: zondag 18 januari 2009 23:08 To: Child Maltreatment Researchers Subject: RE: child trauma Some years ago at the first conference on children exposed to domestic violence in London Canada I heard Murray Straus say there was one thing that would dramatically cut the rates at which children experience maltreatment; teach, support, and encourage parents not to spank. So, it is still pretty amazing that in 2009 and after the evidence is in, the professional field is still in favor of saying that under certain conditions and using certain techniques it's ok. p in tx From: bounce-3471979-6833529@list.cornell.edu [bounce-3471979-6833529@list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of DeanTong@aol.com [DeanTong@aol.com] Sent: Friday, January 16, 2009 9:23 AM To: child-maltreatment-research-l@list.cornell.edu Subject: Re: child trauma This APA release http://www.apa.org/releases/spanking.html for the most part reinforces Gershoff's findings. It does allude to the fact that corporal punishment (Most true Christians insist on following-up corporal punishment with a hug of the child) does bring immediate child compliance. Dr. Straus and I, et al, argued our points on this very topic about 10 years ago at a conference in the beltway. I'm torn between the fairly strong empirical data that shows parents shouldn't administer slaps, whacks, et al for disciplinary reasons, and taking away parents' rights to control their children's behaviors so long as they don't leave "significant welts or bruises." And in my 25 years in this issue I've always told parents to only apply an open hand on the buttocks and to no other anatomical area and with no other tool (spoon, coat hanger, strap, belt, et al). Other alternative disciplinary measures such as "time out" or "taking away privileges" are not absolute remedies in controlling children's aberrant behaviors. And as someone who has consulted with thousands of families since 1984 on this very topic I always worry about giving more control to the State. In law, this is called in loco parentis or parens patriae. I'm certain our incoming Secretary of State, the author of the book "It Takes A Village," Hillary Clinton, would concur with Dr. Straus' findings herein. That said, is there still not a line of demarcation between the administration of corporal punishment and physical child abuse? Dean Tong Dean Tong, MSc., Forensic Trial Consultant 604 Brentwood Place Brandon, FL 33511 813.657.4930, Ph/Fax 813.417.5362, Cell 800.854.0735, Books/Media http://www.abuse-excuse.com http://www.DeanTong.com Read Dean Tong's articles online at www.newswithviews.com/Tong/deanA.htm Disclaimer: Dean Tong is not an attorney licensed to practice law. His professional opinion herein must not be construed as legal advice. And the recipient of this e-mail should always first query an attorney for professional legal advice. If you are not the intended recipient of this e-mail please delete the same. In a message dated 1/16/2009 9:57:42 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, murray.straus@unh.edu writes: Dear Todd & List: The most pervasive, and also the most ignored child trauma, is being hit by parents in the name of "discipline." Our national surveys and other studies have found that at least a third of parents hit infants -- typically a slap on the hand for touching something forbidden or dangerous or for repeatedly pushing food off a high chair tray. The percentage increases to over 90% for spanking or slapping toddlers. American culture (and most others) define this as harmless if done "in moderation" by loving parents. However, the empirical evidence indicates the harmlessness is a cultural myth. Below is a list of some of the studies providing the evidence indicating that being hit by parents is a traumatic experience for children, and that it has the typical effects of being a victim of a traumatic experience. All of the studies are available in the Corporal Punishment Papers section of my website http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2 These studies, which can be downloaded from my website, have found that more corporal punishment, the greater the probability of: * Post traumatic stress symptoms (paper CP67 - paper in preparation, but preliminary Power Point is on my website) * Slower than average growth in cognitive ability (paper CP51R) * Antisocial behavior (paper CP24) * Depressive symptoms (paper CP03) * Physical violence to dating and marital partners later in life (paper CP23) * A summary of longitudinal studies which help establish the causal direction (paper CP41) The "effect sizes" for the above are low, but because corporal punishment is experienced by over 90% of American children, the cumulative adverse effect on American children and American society is very large (see page 212 of attached paper CP41 on Benefits of Never Spanking). Also of interest may be the following on my website * National survey showing that 94% of parents hit toddlers, at least occasionally (paper CP36) * Article documenting the neglect in the scholarly literature of research showing harmful effects of corporal punishment (paper CP65) I also recommend the following excellent meta analysis: Gershoff, E. T. (2002). Corporal punishment by parents and associated child behaviors and experiences: A meta-analytic and theoretical review. Psychological Bulletin, 128, 539-579. Best, Murray Murray A. Straus Professor of Sociology and Co-Director Family Research Laboratory University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824 603-862-2594 Fax: 603-862-1122 murray.straus@unh.edu Copies of many of my papers and some out-of-print books can be downloaded from my website http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2 . For information about the Family Research Laboratory, conferences, and bibliographies of publications by members of the laboratory log into www.unh.edu/frl From: bounce-3453666-6832966@list.cornell.edu [mailto:bounce-3453666-6832966@list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Todd McDonald Sent: 2009-01-12 11:12 To: child-maltreatment-research-l@list.cornell.edu Subject: child trauma List members, could someone point me towards some of the most recent empirical studies of child trauma? We recently purchased the child welfare trauma training toolkit, but would like our staff to read a few articles about trauma in advance. Todd McDonald

Dear Kenneth Little, Non-violent discipline is part of parental responsibility in Dutch law since 2007 (Civil Code). This is a form of child rights based responsibilisation of parents which should go hand in hand with empowerment of parents, as you rightly describe. Professional centers for all parents are now being set up in The Netherlands (local Centers for Youth-and-Family) to lower thresholds for parents to ask advice on, i.a., positive (non-violent) discipline, on which information leaflets for parents are available. Parenthood education in schools and parenting education for all parents are next on lobbying agenda’s. All kinds of programs to assist parents in child rearing are already in place (Youth Care Offices), as well as programs to (further) educate and empower professionals. It is a step by step process and we still have a long way to go, but the (lobby for) prohibition of corporal punishment and humiliation of children is an important first step to raise awareness with authorities and the public in order to gradually turn repressive systems of child protection into proactive systems of responsibilisation and empowerment (with child protection at the end of a continuum of care). Kind regards, Jan CM Willems Prof Dr Jan CM Willems Department of International and European Law and Maastricht Center for Human Rights Maastricht University Faculty of Law, The Netherlands child Maltreatment, Early childhood and children’s Rights research program (MERchild) www.unimaas.nl/default.asp?template=werkveld.htm&id=3557A05360I5O1B774N7&taal=nl j.willemsir.unimaas.nl Parenting education for all parents. Always. Everywhere. -----Original Message----- From: bounce-3477964-6833864list.cornell.edu [mailto:bounce-3477964-6833864list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Ken Little Sent: dinsdag 20 januari 2009 0:20 To: 'Child Maltreatment Researchers' Subject: RE: child trauma The field will need to tackle the question of corporal or physical management of children in residential and day treatment settings, as well as in school based behavioral programs too. Under the strictly limited circumstances of “imminent risk” there is a strong rationale for the use of physical intervention (by parent or professional caretaker) that even children perceive to be fair and helpful. However, physical intervention in anything less than situations containing actual imminent risk is more akin to corporal punishment. I say actual situations because most physical management events are significantly contributed to by the adult interaction partner (see transactional or reciprocal models of oppositional behavior in home and school settings) long before imminent risk criteria are even approached. And, to make matters even more complicated, imminent risk is a subjective reality. Imminent risk to whom of what, when? Studies show an 80% reduction in the use of physical intervention in intensive child and adolescent mental health facilities after altering behavior management intervention strategies. Does this mean that 80% of the physical intervention events prior to implementation where really unnecessary and a function of the adult participants intervention strategy? Yes, it’s highly likely that the adult participant contributed to the end result. That strongly suggests that physical intervention in facilities has long been used as a form of disguised or justified corporal punishment. Parents and care providers need to be able to maintain reasonable safety and environmental control. However, parent and care taker education, early and often, of the best practices (more Inductive Discipline including finely honed constructive criticism, less Power-Assertive Discipline) in gaining a more cooperative outcome is needed before asking them to stop corporal punishment and other means of toxic discipline. Taking away established behavior management practices prior to training -- to an effective level -- new behavior management practices is a recipe for disaster: feeding the coercive family (program) cycle by causing care takers to desist in disciplining children will only escalate the child to truly dangerous proportions. Intensive training and on-going support is critical to a successful transition away from corporal and toxic forms of behavior management. Sincerely, Kenneth H. Little, MA Mad River Behavioral Health Campton, NH 03223. 603-236-6893 From: bounce-3475018-6833746list.cornell.edu [mailto:bounce-3475018-6833746list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Willems J (IR) Sent: Monday, January 19, 2009 2:44 AM To: Child Maltreatment Researchers Subject: RE: child trauma The issue is not state control but positive state obligations to facilitate parenthood and parenting education, esp in relation to positive parenting and positive discipline. The legal basis for this is the prohibition of corporal punishment and humiliation in family law, which is being adopted by a growing number of states (Sweden 1979, Netherlands 2007). Kind regards, Jan CM Willems Prof Dr Jan CM Willems Department of International and European Law and Maastricht Center for Human Rights Maastricht University Faculty of Law, The Netherlands child Maltreatment, Early childhood and children’s Rights research program (MERchild) www.unimaas.nl/default.asp?template=werkveld.htm&id=3557A05360I5O1B774N7&taal=nl j.willemsir.unimaas.nl Parenting education for all parents. Always. Everywhere. -----Original Message----- From: bounce-3472114-6833864list.cornell.edu [mailto:bounce-3472114-6833864list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Lehmann, Peter Sent: zondag 18 januari 2009 23:08 To: Child Maltreatment Researchers Subject: RE: child trauma Some years ago at the first conference on children exposed to domestic violence in London Canada I heard Murray Straus say there was one thing that would dramatically cut the rates at which children experience maltreatment; teach, support, and encourage parents not to spank. So, it is still pretty amazing that in 2009 and after the evidence is in, the professional field is still in favor of saying that under certain conditions and using certain techniques it's ok. p in tx From: bounce-3471979-6833529list.cornell.edu [bounce-3471979-6833529list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of DeanTongaol.com [DeanTongaol.com] Sent: Friday, January 16, 2009 9:23 AM To: child-maltreatment-research-llist.cornell.edu Subject: Re: child trauma This APA release http://www.apa.org/releases/spanking.html for the most part reinforces Gershoff's findings. It does allude to the fact that corporal punishment (Most true Christians insist on following-up corporal punishment with a hug of the child) does bring immediate child compliance. Dr. Straus and I, et al, argued our points on this very topic about 10 years ago at a conference in the beltway. I'm torn between the fairly strong empirical data that shows parents shouldn't administer slaps, whacks, et al for disciplinary reasons, and taking away parents' rights to control their children's behaviors so long as they don't leave "significant welts or bruises." And in my 25 years in this issue I've always told parents to only apply an open hand on the buttocks and to no other anatomical area and with no other tool (spoon, coat hanger, strap, belt, et al). Other alternative disciplinary measures such as "time out" or "taking away privileges" are not absolute remedies in controlling children's aberrant behaviors. And as someone who has consulted with thousands of families since 1984 on this very topic I always worry about giving more control to the State. In law, this is called in loco parentis or parens patriae. I'm certain our incoming Secretary of State, the author of the book "It Takes A Village," Hillary Clinton, would concur with Dr. Straus' findings herein. That said, is there still not a line of demarcation between the administration of corporal punishment and physical child abuse? Dean Tong Dean Tong, MSc., Forensic Trial Consultant 604 Brentwood Place Brandon, FL 33511 813.657.4930, Ph/Fax 813.417.5362, Cell 800.854.0735, Books/Media http://www.abuse-excuse.com http://www.DeanTong.com Read Dean Tong's articles online at www.newswithviews.com/Tong/deanA.htm Disclaimer: Dean Tong is not an attorney licensed to practice law. His professional opinion herein must not be construed as legal advice. And the recipient of this e-mail should always first query an attorney for professional legal advice. If you are not the intended recipient of this e-mail please delete the same. In a message dated 1/16/2009 9:57:42 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, murray.strausunh.edu writes: Dear Todd & List: The most pervasive, and also the most ignored child trauma, is being hit by parents in the name of "discipline." Our national surveys and other studies have found that at least a third of parents hit infants -- typically a slap on the hand for touching something forbidden or dangerous or for repeatedly pushing food off a high chair tray. The percentage increases to over 90% for spanking or slapping toddlers. American culture (and most others) define this as harmless if done "in moderation" by loving parents. However, the empirical evidence indicates the harmlessness is a cultural myth. Below is a list of some of the studies providing the evidence indicating that being hit by parents is a traumatic experience for children, and that it has the typical effects of being a victim of a traumatic experience. All of the studies are available in the Corporal Punishment Papers section of my website http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2 These studies, which can be downloaded from my website, have found that more corporal punishment, the greater the probability of: * Post traumatic stress symptoms (paper CP67 - paper in preparation, but preliminary Power Point is on my website) * Slower than average growth in cognitive ability (paper CP51R) * Antisocial behavior (paper CP24) * Depressive symptoms (paper CP03) * Physical violence to dating and marital partners later in life (paper CP23) * A summary of longitudinal studies which help establish the causal direction (paper CP41) The "effect sizes" for the above are low, but because corporal punishment is experienced by over 90% of American children, the cumulative adverse effect on American children and American society is very large (see page 212 of attached paper CP41 on Benefits of Never Spanking). Also of interest may be the following on my website * National survey showing that 94% of parents hit toddlers, at least occasionally (paper CP36) * Article documenting the neglect in the scholarly literature of research showing harmful effects of corporal punishment (paper CP65) I also recommend the following excellent meta analysis: Gershoff, E. T. (2002). Corporal punishment by parents and associated child behaviors and experiences: A meta-analytic and theoretical review. Psychological Bulletin, 128, 539-579. Best, Murray Murray A. Straus Professor of Sociology and Co-Director Family Research Laboratory University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824 603-862-2594 Fax: 603-862-1122 murray.strausunh.edu Copies of many of my papers and some out-of-print books can be downloaded from my website http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2 . For information about the Family Research Laboratory, conferences, and bibliographies of publications by members of the laboratory log into www.unh.edu/frl From: bounce-3453666-6832966list.cornell.edu [mailto:bounce-3453666-6832966list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Todd McDonald Sent: 2009-01-12 11:12 To: child-maltreatment-research-llist.cornell.edu Subject: child trauma List members, could someone point me towards some of the most recent empirical studies of child trauma? We recently purchased the child welfare trauma training toolkit, but would like our staff to read a few articles about trauma in advance. Todd McDonald