Principals' perceptions of corporal punishment in selected schools in Mississippi

Michael Louis Tatum

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to determine the relationship between principals' perceptions of corporal punishment and their use of corporal punishment when considered by gender, race, years of experience as a principal, religious beliefs, legal reasons, cultural beliefs, effectiveness as a disciplinary measure, personal exposure to corporal punishment, Board policy and personal use. Findings of this study indicated that there was a significant relationship between the criterion variable of principals' perception of corporal punishment and the independent variables of religious beliefs, legal reasons, cultural beliefs, effectiveness as a disciplinary measure, personal exposure to corporal punishment, school board policy and personal use of corporal punishment. There was also a significant independent relationship between the criterion variable and the predictor variables of legal reasons and of cultural beliefs while controlling for the other three independent variables. In addition, there was a significant interaction between gender and race based on religious beliefs and on legal reasons. There was no significant independent relationship between the criterion variable and the predictor variable of effectiveness as a disciplinary measure while controlling for religious beliefs, legal reasons, and cultural beliefs. The principals' perceptions of corporal punishment did not differ according to experiencing corporal punishment as a child, or according to school board policy, or according to personal use of corporal punishment. There was no significant interaction between gender and race on the criterion variable of corporal punishment based on cultural beliefs and corporal punishment based on effectiveness when used as a disciplinary measure.