Crossing the Line: Is Corporal Punishment Child Abuse?


Social Work

Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Type of Paper/Work

Clinical research paper


Lance Peterson


The purpose of this study was to explore when corporal punishment crosses the line into abuse. Qualitative interviews were conducted with five child protection workers who work hand in hand with families and children where abuse allegations have been made. These audio-recorded interviews took place over a period of two weeks and the data were analyzed using grounded theory methodology. The most common themes that emerged were lack of resources, financial hardships, upbringing and MN State Statute. Given the high number of abuse allegations that are made, as well as the number of open child protection cases, it is important that research into why corporal punishment is used should be continued.


coporal punishment, child abuse

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.