The Global Adoption of National Policies Protecting Children from Violent Discipline in Schools and Homes, 1950–2011

Hollie Nyseth Brehm, Elizabeth Heger Boyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


With a focus on the relationship between women's and children's rights and theories of globalization, we conduct an event history analysis of more than 150 countries between 1950 and 2011 to assess the factors associated with policies banning corporal punishment in schools and homes. Our research reveals that formal condemnation of corporal punishment in schools is becoming a global norm; policies banning corporal punishment in the home, in contrast, are being adopted more slowly. We find that the percentage of women in parliament is associated with the adoption of anti-corporal punishment policies in both schools and homes, suggesting a nexus between women's and children's issues. Countries with more ethnic diversity are slower to adopt home policies, however. We propose that minority groups in these countries may be resistant to laws because of the risk of selective or prejudicial enforcement. In terms of globalization, more aid is associated with both school and home policies, and countries that have ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child are more likely to adopt home policies. Surprisingly, international nongovernmental organizations are not significantly associated with either type of policy adoption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)206-233
Number of pages28
JournalLaw and Society Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2018


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