Joint Statement on Physical Punishment of Children and Youth
What is the Joint Statement?
The Joint Statement on Physical Punishment of Children and Youth was developed by a national coalition of organizations facilitated by the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). Based on an extensive review of research, the Joint Statement provides an overview of the developmental outcomes associated with the use of physical punishment. The evidence is clear and compelling — physical punishment of children and youth plays no useful role in their upbringing and poses only risks to their development. The conclusion is equally compelling — parents should be strongly encouraged to develop alternative and positive approaches to discipline.
The pre-publication edition of the Joint Statement was endorsed by 138 Canadian organizations concerned with the well-being of children and youth and, by invitation, a number of distinguished Canadians. These endorsers were acknowledged in the first edition of the Joint Statement, which was launched at CHEO on September 29, 2004. At this update of the website, 490 organizations and several more distinguished Canadians are acknowledged for their endorsements. They are listed in the PDF below. Endorsements continue to be received and are welcome.
The Joint Statement is now in its fourth printing. A second edition will update research and Canadian and international developments regarding physical punishment. Research published since 2004, when the first edition of the Joint Statement was published, consistently reinforces and extends the findings of the research summarized up to that time.
The Joint Statement Receives National and International Recognition
In 2006, the Joint Statement initiative received the Ted Freedman Innovation in Education Award. This prestigious international award recognizes individuals and organizations that inspire, advocate and enable education in health care. In 2012, Joan Durrant and Ron Ensom, co-authors of the Joint Statement, were honoured for their work on the issue of physical punishment of children with the Health Promotion & Innovation Award of Excellence (presented by the Canadian Institute of Child Health) and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (nominated by UNICEF Canada).
How to Access the Joint Statement and its Supporting Documents
You may view and download from the PDFs below: the Joint Statement; its executive summary; endorsers' names; a note to potential endorsers; confirmation of endorsement form; memos to endorsers about physical punishment; a poster; backgrounders for the education, sports/recreation, mental health, and business communities; articles on physical punishment and children's health, physical punishment in sport and recreation, and an analysis of research; and a guide on positive discipline. You are welcome to circulate the documents as they are written (in hard copy or electronically), to link with this CHEO webpage, or to quote the Joint Statement with appropriate acknowledgment. Commercial distribution of the documents on this webpage is not permitted. Inquiries and endorsements may be directed as follows: email firstname.lastname@example.org; fax 613-738-4866; or postal address CHEO, Partnerships and Advocacy, 401 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON, K1H 8L1.
- Joint Statement: The full first edition of the document. (664 KB Adobe Acrobat® PDF file)
- Executive Summary: (updated March 5, 2013) A synopsis of the Joint Statement. (135 KB Adobe Acrobat® PDF file)
Some Recent Endorsers of the Joint Statement
- Anxiety Disorders Association of Canada
- Christian Children’s Fund of Canada
- Halton Healthcare Services Department of Psychiatry; Ontario
- Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research & Education; Calgary, Alberta
- National Institute of Families for Child and Youth Mental Health
- Young Canadians Roundtable on Health
490 endorsements to date
Names of Endorsers: (updated December 1, 2013) The names of organizations and distinguished Canadians that have endorsed the Joint Statement to date. (203 KB Adobe Acrobat® PDF file)
Note to Potential Endorsers: (updated March 5, 2013) Describes the background of the initiative and the endorsement process. (262 KB Adobe Acrobat® PDF file)
Confirmation of Endorsement Form: (updated March 5, 2013) Can be completed, or a brief letter written, and forwarded to us to convey your organization's endorsement of the Joint Statement. (191 KB Adobe Acrobat® PDF file)
Physical Punishment Updates: (updated March, 2013) Periodic updates sent to endorsers on Canadian and international developments regarding physical punishment of children. (835 KB Adobe Acrobat® PDF file)
Poster: (updated May 1, 2013) Summary of the key findings, conclusion, key recommendations, endorsements and impact of the Joint Statement. (1.4 MB Adobe Acrobat® PDF file)
Backgrounders: (updated July 17, 2013) Brief discussion papers on the implications of research findings on physical punishment of children for the education, sports/recreation, mental health, and business communities. (451 KB Adobe Acrobat® PDF file)
- Physical Punishment of Children: Lessons from 20 Years of Research: Durant J, Ensom R: Physical punishment of children: lessons from 20 years of research. CMAJ 2012; 184:1373-77 posted with permission of the Publisher, CMAJ. © 2012 Canadian Medical Association. (110 KB Adobe Acrobat® PDF file)
- Physical Punishment of Children in Sport and Recreation and Physical Punishment of Children in Sport and Recreation: The Times They Are A-Changin': Two articles written by Ron Ensom and Joan Durrant by invitation of Coaches PLAN du coach, published by Coaches of Canada. (284 KB Adobe Acrobat® PDF file; 1 MB Adobe Acrobat® PDF file)
- Positive Discipline in Everyday Parenting: (updated August 20, 2013) A guide written by Dr. Joan Durrant that describes how parents can effectively discipline their children while respecting their human rights. The guide may be viewed and downloaded for free from this PDF (7.5 MB Adobe Acrobat® PDF file). Hard copies can be ordered from FRP Canada using this order form.