La fessée

Les travaux universitaires considèrent souvent l’impact des châtiments corporels en général qui peuvent donc inclure, en plus des fessées, le fait de gifler, pincer, tirer les cheveux ou encore d’autres pratiques comme faire avaler de la sauce piquante ou donner une douche froide. Il est vrai que certaines études montrent que la désobéissance peut être réduite à court terme en utilisant la fessée1–4. Toutefois, ces travaux ont montré de nombreux biais et ont été nuancés, voire parfois réfutés par plusieurs méta-analyses démontrant que la fessée n’est pas plus efficace que d’autres méthodes plus douces, comme le temps mort, pour obtenir l’obéissance immédiate d’un enfant5–9. La large majorité de ces travaux s’accorde surtout à dire que les enfants recevant des fessées souffrent davantage de problèmes cognitifs, émotionnels et comportementaux sur le long terme que ceux n’en recevant pas9. Ces résultats semblent unanimes quels que soient le sexe, l’âge, la classe sociale ou culture étudiés9–20.

C’est pour cette raison que la Convention des Nations unies pour les droits de l’enfant, ratifiée en 1989 par 194 États, souligne que la fessée et les châtiments corporels sont des violations des droits de l’enfant 21. La fessée a été légalement interdite dans 58 pays (dont la France), et 30 autres pays se sont engagés dans cette voie22. Dans le monde, 90 % des enfants sont protégés légalement en dehors du foyer familial et 12 % sont aussi protégés à la maison.

Mais peut-on se fier à ces résultats ? Le problème, comme souvent, c’est qu’ils ne reposent que sur des corrélations, et pour des raisons éthiques évidentes, on ne peut pas faire d’expériences randomisées contrôlées. Cela serait pourtant nécessaire pour tester si ce sont bien les punitions physiques qui donnent lieu aux problèmes cognitifs, émotionnels et comportementaux, ou bien si ce sont ces problèmes qui rendent les enfants difficiles et « obligeraient » les parents à opter pour la punition physique23,24. Toutefois, une étude longitudinale prospective (c’est-à-dire qui a suivi des enfants pendant plusieurs années), publiée en 2017  et qui prend en compte le tempérament de l’enfant, ainsi qu’une revue de littérature scientifique publiée en 2018 sur la question concluent toutes deux que les châtiments corporels ont très probablement bien des effets négatifs sur le développement de l’enfant25,26. Une publication récente suggère que la manière dont l’enfant perçoit la punition (comme une forme d’amour ou de rejet de la part de ses parents) pourrait modérer, voire expliquer l’impact négatif de la punition27. Toutes ces questions restent encore débattues aujourd’hui27–29.

Il semble quand même qu’en général, si les parents utilisent les châtiments corporels, ce n’est pas parce que l’enfant est difficile et qu’ils auraient testé, et jugé, toutes les autres méthodes inefficaces. En fait, une étude rapporte que la plupart des parents utilisant ces pratiques sont ceux les ayant subies étant petits30.

Quid de la "bonne fessée" ? Pourrait-il y avoir un niveau optimal de fessée ?

Les quelques études s’étant intéressées à cette question ont toutes conclu que, même lorsque les fessées sont occasionnelles, elles aboutissent à davantage de problèmes comportementaux que lorsqu’il n’y a pas du tout de punitions physiques9,10,25,31.

Références

1             Bean, Arthur W. and Roberts, Mark W. (1981) ‘The effect of time-out release contingencies on changes in child noncompliance’. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 9(1), pp. 95–105. [online] Available from: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/BF00917860 (Accessed 13 September 2017)

2             Day, Dan E. and Roberts, Mark W. (1983) ‘An analysis of the physical punishment component of a parent training program’. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 11(1), pp. 141–152. [online] Available from: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/BF00912184 (Accessed 13 September 2017)

3             Roberts, Mark W. (1988) ‘Enforcing Chair Timeouts with Room Timeouts’. Behavior Modification, 12(3), pp. 353–370. [online] Available from: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/01454455880123003 (Accessed 13 September 2017)

4             Roberts, Mark W. and Powers, Scott W. (1990) ‘Adjusting chair timeout enforcement procedures for oppositional children’. Behavior Therapy, 21(3), pp. 257–271. [online] Available from: http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0005789405803296 (Accessed 13 September 2017)

5             Gershoff, Elizabeth Thompson (2002) ‘Corporal punishment by parents and associated child behaviors and experiences: A meta-analytic and theoretical review.’ Psychological Bulletin, 128(4), pp. 539–579. [online] Available from: http://doi.apa.org/getdoi.cfm?doi=10.1037/0033-2909.128.4.539 (Accessed 13 September 2017)

6             Paolucci, Elizabeth Oddone and Violato, Claudio (2004) ‘A Meta-Analysis of the Published Research on the Affective, Cognitive, and Behavioral Effects of Corporal Punishment’. The Journal of Psychology, 138(3), pp. 197–222. [online] Available from: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3200/JRLP.138.3.197-222 (Accessed 13 September 2017)

7             Larzelere, Robert E. and Kuhn, Brett R. (2005) ‘Comparing Child Outcomes of Physical Punishment and Alternative Disciplinary Tactics: A Meta-Analysis’. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 8(1), pp. 1–37. [online] Available from: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10567-005-2340-z (Accessed 13 September 2017)

8             Ferguson, Christopher J. (2013) ‘Spanking, corporal punishment and negative long-term outcomes: A meta-analytic review of longitudinal studies’. Clinical Psychology Review, 33(1), pp. 196–208. [online] Available from: http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0272735812001675 (Accessed 13 September 2017)

9             Gershoff, Elizabeth T. and Grogan-Kaylor, Andrew (2016) ‘Spanking and child outcomes: Old controversies and new meta-analyses.’ Journal of Family Psychology, 30(4), pp. 453–469. [online] Available from: http://doi.apa.org/getdoi.cfm?doi=10.1037/fam0000191 (Accessed 13 September 2017)

10           Grogan-Kaylor, A. (2004) ‘The effect of corporal punishment on antisocial behavior in children’. Social Work Research, 28(3), pp. 153–162. [online] Available from: https://academic.oup.com/swr/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/swr/28.3.153 (Accessed 13 September 2017)

11           Grogan-Kaylor, Andrew (2005) ‘Corporal Punishment and the Growth Trajectory of Children’s Antisocial Behavior’. Child Maltreatment, 10(3), pp. 283–292. [online] Available from: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1077559505277803 (Accessed 13 September 2017)

12           Gunnoe, Marjorie Lindner (1997) ‘Toward a Developmental-Contextual Model of the Effects of Parental Spanking on Children’s Aggression’. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 151(8), p. 768. [online] Available from: http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?doi=10.1001/archpedi.1997.02170450018003 (Accessed 13 September 2017)

13           Larzelere, Robert E, Cox, Ronald B and Smith, Gail L (2010) ‘Do nonphysical punishments reduce antisocial behavior more than spanking? a comparison using the strongest previous causal evidence against spanking’. BMC Pediatrics, 10(1). [online] Available from: http://bmcpediatr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2431-10-10 (Accessed 13 September 2017)

14           Olson, Sheryl L., Lopez-Duran, Nestor, Lunkenheimer, Erika S., Chang, Hyein and Sameroff, Arnold J. (2011) ‘Individual differences in the development of early peer aggression: Integrating contributions of self-regulation, theory of mind, and parenting’. Development and Psychopathology, 23(01), pp. 253–266. [online] Available from: http://www.journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S0954579410000775 (Accessed 13 September 2017)

15           Weiss, Bahr, Dodge, Kenneth A., Bates, John E. and Pettit, Gregory S. (1992) ‘Some Consequences of Early Harsh Discipline: Child Aggression and a Maladaptive Social Information Processing Style’. Child Development, 63(6), pp. 1321–1335. [online] Available from: http://doi.wiley.com/10.1111/j.1467-8624.1992.tb01697.x (Accessed 13 September 2017)

16           Berlin, Lisa J., Ispa, Jean M., Fine, Mark A., Malone, Patrick S., et al. (2009) ‘Correlates and Consequences of Spanking and Verbal Punishment for Low-Income White, African American, and Mexican American Toddlers’. Child Development, 80(5), pp. 1403–1420. [online] Available from: http://doi.wiley.com/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01341.x (Accessed 13 September 2017)

17           Maguire-Jack, Kathryn, Gromoske, Andrea N. and Berger, Lawrence M. (2012) ‘Spanking and Child Development During the First 5 Years of Life: Early Spanking and Child Development’. Child Development, 83(6), pp. 1960–1977. [online] Available from: http://doi.wiley.com/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2012.01820.x (Accessed 13 September 2017)

18           Gershoff, Elizabeth T., Lansford, Jennifer E., Sexton, Holly R., Davis-Kean, Pamela and Sameroff, Arnold J. (2012) ‘Longitudinal Links Between Spanking and Children’s Externalizing Behaviors in a National Sample of White, Black, Hispanic, and Asian American Families: Spanking and Externalizing Behavior’. Child Development, 83(3), pp. 838–843. [online] Available from: http://doi.wiley.com/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01732.x (Accessed 13 September 2017)

19           Wang, Ming-Te and Kenny, Sarah (2014) ‘Parental Physical Punishment and Adolescent Adjustment: Bidirectionality and the Moderation Effects of Child Ethnicity and Parental Warmth’. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 42(5), pp. 717–730. [online] Available from: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10802-013-9827-8 (Accessed 13 September 2017)

20           Kazdin, Alan E. and Benjet, Corina (2003) ‘Spanking Children: Evidence and Issues’. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 12(3), pp. 99–103. [online] Available from: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1111/1467-8721.01239 (Accessed 13 September 2017)

21           UNICEF (1989) Convention internationale desdroits de l’enfant,

22           Global Initiative to End Corporal Punishment (2019) Global report 2019. Progress towards ending corporal punishment of children,

23           Larzelere, Robert E., Cox, Ronald B. and Swindle, Taren M. (2015) ‘Many Replications Do Not Causal Inferences Make: The Need for Critical Replications to Test Competing Explanations of Nonrandomized Studies’. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 10(3), pp. 380–389. [online] Available from: https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691614567904 (Accessed 16 October 2018)

24           Larzelere, R.E., Kuhn, B.R. and Johnson, B. (2004) ‘The Intervention Selection Bias: An Underrecognized Confound in Intervention Research’. Psychological Bulletin, 130(2), pp. 289–303. [online] Available from: https://insights.ovid.com/psychological-bulletin/plbul/2004/03/000/intervention-selection-bias/5/00006823 (Accessed 16 October 2018)

25           Okuzono, Sakurako, Fujiwara, Takeo, Kato, Tsuguhiko and Kawachi, Ichiro (2017) ‘Spanking and subsequent behavioral problems in toddlers: A propensity score-matched, prospective study in Japan’. Child Abuse & Neglect, 69, pp. 62–71. [online] Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213417301382 (Accessed 16 October 2018)

26           Gershoff, E. T., Goodman, G. S., Miller-Perrin, C. L., Holden, G. W., et al. (2018) ‘The strength of the causal evidence against physical punishment of children and its implications for parents, psychologists, and policymakers.’ The American psychologist, 73(5), pp. 626–638. [online] Available from: http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/29999352 (Accessed 12 November 2018)

27           Rohner, Ronald P. and Melendez-Rhodes, Tatiana (2019) ‘Perceived parental acceptance−rejection mediates or moderates the relation between corporal punishment and psychological adjustment: Comment on Gershoff et al (2018)’. American Psychologist, 74(4), pp. 500–502. [online] Available from: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=pdh&AN=2019-24560-002&site=ehost-live (Accessed 26 February 2020)

28           Larzelere, Robert E., Gunnoe, Marjorie Lindner, Ferguson, Christopher J. and Roberts, Mark W. (2019) ‘The insufficiency of the evidence used to categorically oppose spanking and its implications for families and psychological science: Comment on Gershoff et al. (2018)’. The American Psychologist, 74(4), pp. 497–499.

29           Gershoff, E.T, Goodman, G.S., Miller-Perrin, C., Holden, G.W., et al. (2019) ‘There is still no evidence that physical punishment is effective or beneficial: Reply to Larzelere, Gunnoe, Ferguson, and Roberts (2019) and Rohner and Melendez-Rhodes (2019)’. The American Psychologist, 74(4), pp. 503–505.

30           Simons, Dominique A. and Wurtele, Sandy K. (2010) ‘Relationships between parents’ use of corporal punishment and their children’s endorsement of spanking and hitting other children’. Child Abuse & Neglect, 34(9), pp. 639–646. [online] Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213410001754 (Accessed 16 October 2018)

31           Ma, Julie, Han, Yoonsun, Grogan-Kaylor, Andrew, Delva, Jorge and Castillo, Marcela (2012) ‘Corporal punishment and youth externalizing behavior in Santiago, Chile’. Child Abuse & Neglect, 36(6), pp. 481–490. [online] Available from: http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0145213412000968 (Accessed 13 September 2017)

Date de dernière mise à jour : 28/10/2020